The Solar Eclipse was August 21, 2017 and I was determined to see it. The path of totality arced across America from Oregon to Carolina. Closest to home, it passed through Nebraska, Missouri, and Illinois. Sonia and I made plans to catch the eclipse somewhere near Kansas City and spend a couple days scouting the surrounding area.
By Sunday night the weather reports were not looking good for viewing on Monday. Cloudy and partly cloudy reports/forecasts across much of the state. After a great deal of discussion, it seemed best to head east toward Columbus. Wanting to keep our plans fluid and weather dependent, we spend a few hours sleeping in the car at the 66 off of 191. 6 AM Perkins breakfast and then we headed to Arrow Rock, MO, which looked at the moment to be the clearest. Arrow Rock is small historic town right on the Missouri were Luis and Clark camped. A good amount of locals and tourists had gathered in the memorial park where we set up a blanket.
The clouds came in around 11am. Sonia wanted to move locations but I wasn't sure that it was going to be better elsewhere. We had to try so we jumped in the car and raced the clouds east down i80. It cleared up as we neared Jefferson City, just as the partial eclipse was starting around noon. Pulling off on a random exit we soon found ourselves on limestone road on the edge of soybean field. There was one car down the road a bit. I'll just say that it was one of the most incredible things I've seen. The light didn't start dimming until very close to the full eclipse. Then it quickly dimmed as if it was late dusk. The cicadas went quiet. The moon was a back pin head in the center of the umbra. An owl glided noiselessly over the road, looking startled caught out in the open when the lights came back on.
About my camera gear. I looked at several solar filter options and finally settled on making one of my own out of a sheet of solar mylar over a corrugated plastic board frame to use with my filter holder. I also picked up the XF 2X TC extender for my XF50-140 f/2.8 making it effectively 420mm on the long end.