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« Chase Day 5 - Why Did We Leave?! (May 21) | Main | Chase Day 3 - Tornadoes, Hail & Diamonds? (May 19) »

Chase Day 4 - Solar Eclipse (May 20)

So we woke up in Wichita, Kansas really with not much intention of chasing, the chance of storms was marginal. We ate breakfast and were about to leave Wichita when we hear some of our chase friends on the radio, also in Wichita (they stayed at a different hotel than us). Bill Hark, Jason Persoff and Robert Balogh were all on the radio and said they were headed to New Mexico to watch the total solar eclipse. We said we were going to pass because that was a looooong haul to New Mexico. Jason then began to lay it on thick saying, "Oh but you can say you got engaged, saw tornadoes, large hail, lightning AND a solar eclipse!"

So ... we were convinced. We joined up with them and headed on our journey to Clovis, New Mexico to chase the solar eclipse. Solar eclipse chasing is somewhat counter intuitive to storm chasing:

  • you don't want there to be clouds
  • you're trying to get out from under the clouds
  • you have a set time as to WHEN the phenomenon is going to occur
  • you just have to get yourself there at the time and you're guarenteed a show

We heard that you needed a grade 14 welder's lens or solar eclipse lens to view the eclipse. We stopped at a local hardware store and of course were sold out of the grade 14 so we purchased the grade 5 and 9 welder's lens.

So we're near Hereford, Texas and the time of the eclipse-start is getting closer and closer. So we had to get out of the cumulus field to see the eclipse. We managed to get out of the cloud just as the eclipse was started. We pulled over and watched - well, watched as best we could. We took a few photos which I will post as soon as I get a good internet connection. It was beautiful to watch and I'm glad we made the trip. After the eclipse we continued on to Clovis, New Mexico ... I must say the smell in that town was something awful. It had the same aroma as the rhino exhibit at the zoo.

We're spending the night on the "wrong side of the tracks" in Clovis but the Econo Lodge is actually really nice.

Goodnight from Clovis, New Mexico!

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