Hometown Of Knoxville & Loudon, TN Directly In The ‘Path Of Totality’
The Great American Solar Eclipse, the first total eclipse of the sun in 99 years in the USA on Aug. 21 that had Americans scrambling to get to small towns along its path, pretty much happened without me.
I’ll was in Los Angeles, where we had 60% eclipse, so minor that local astrologers advised people to look at the ground for shadows to tell it even took place.
But it did not have to be that way. I could have simply flown to my hometown of Knoxville, TN, and experienced it in its totality. Furthermore, my parents live in one of the epicenters of the event, Loudon, Lenior City and in particular Sweetwater (home of some of the best cheese you’ve ever head in your life and yes in Tennessee!)
I would not have to worry about getting a flight (you think Uber price surging is bad, you should try and fly into a place on eclipse weekend) finding a hotel room (a near impossibility in eclipse areas) or even a rental car (none available anywhere). Plus, mom and dad would be glad to see their son!
The reason I flubbed this opportunity is simple: I simply did not know it would occur over Knoxville. I knew it’s path takes it over Nashville three hours to the east but it never occurred to me that K-town would also be a hot viewing spot. Not until my sister – who was out here in LA the previous week, by the way – texted me on the Wednesday before the moment telling me what all is happening in Knoxville for the eclipse.
There are events on the various lakes and lakeside parks in south Knoxville and the whole area is buzzing about it.I even did a little research on my own and found that nearby Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains are also in the path.
People are so excited my mom can’t find any eclipse glasses; every time she goes into a store that tells her they have another shipment coming in, she’s informed they sell out of them in an hour. People were linking up at 4 in the morning to get them when the store opened at 8.
I have friends going to extremes to see the eclipse; they are treating it as a major social event. One friend, a private pilot, if flying her plane into an otherwise empty field in Oregon. She had to get reservations in order to land and camp and she’s being joined by hundreds of other pilots and thousands of people.
Other friends are flying out of Los Angeles to Idaho immediately after going to a local wine & beer festival and driving some two-plus hours to get to a location. They will arrive in the middle of the night with little to no sleep.
And just think – all I had to do was go home and see my family.