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WVAS SOLAR ECLIPSE TRIP TO PRINCETON, KY
After lunch on Sunday, Aug. 20, Ben and Dom Angelo, Lisa and Deedee Wieland, and George and Marlaya Wyncott convoyed from the West Lafayette Observatory to Evansville, IN.  Marilyn, Leah, and Ahmed Sameh also drove to Evansville after overnighting in Champaign, IL, on their way from Milwaukee.  After checking into our hotels, we all had dinner together at a popular pizza place.  The next morning the weather forecast still looked iffy for our planned observing location of Princeton, KY.
Screen shot of the hourly weather forecast for Princeton, KY, the day of the eclipse.  The forecasted percentage of cloud cover for the eclipse period is circled.
Upon leaving Evansville the morning of the eclipse, we immediately encountered a traffic backup as southbound travelers funneled across the Ohio River bridge.  A shorter backup occurred near Madisonville, KY, as US 41 and I-69 merged.  Traffic slowed smoothly the rest of the way to the Princeton Walmart.  Joining us there were John Mahony and Alan and Karen East.
The Sameh family stakes out a shady spot.
WVAS had permission to observe from a grassy area in front of the Walmart parking lot.  We were surprised at how many other people also chose this observing spot, probably without advance permission.
And then totality happened.  VERY COOL!  After totality, most of the "fair weather" observers left, leaving the true astronomers.
The true astronomers stay and observe until the eclipse ended at 4th contact.
Traffic jam as I-24 and I-69 merged.
Once out of the first traffic jam, we travelled at highway speeds until a couple of miles before the Henderson, KY, city limit.  Then the *real* traffic jam was encountered as all the traffic creeped toward the Ohio River bridge.  By now it was night with heavy rain just to add to the ambiance.  Once across the river we made it back to Evansville.  The normal 1.5 hour drive between Princeton and Evansville took over 5 hours.  NO police traffic management was observed at any point through the traffic jams!  Ben, Dom, Alan, Karen, and (presumably) John drove all the way back home that night while the rest of us stayed in E'ville.  The next day we returned home.
Relaxing with an appropriate beverage after getting back from the eclipse trip.
Even with the traffic jams, we'd do it again.  Totality is spectacular!

 

 

After equipment got packed up, we had a seafood lunch nearby and then departed Princeton around 4:00 p.m. CDT.  Traffic flowed smoothly at first but then we ran into the first world-class traffic jam when northbound traffic on US-41 from Hopkinsville merged with I-69.  It was 12 miles long.