A Travellerspoint blog

Journey to the Eclipse!

Time to go and see the eclipse! We knew that we were going to go, but we had no idea where on the path of totality we were going to drive. It was going to be a last minute decision depending on the weather forecasts. We did the same thing in 2017. We originally planned to go to Missouri for it, but ended up driving out to Lusk, Wyoming and had clear skies, which we wouldn't have had if we had followed our original plan.

So this time, our choices were to head to Illinois, Vermont or Arkansas.

There was a tiny pocket of sunshine in the Illinois, Arkansas area so we decided to head that way. Also, it was an 11 hour drive instead of a 22 hour drive. That sounds much better.

So south we went!
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Ready to go! Nick and I in the front, my niece Gab behind me, and his sister Alexis behind him.

The first night we stopped in the Quad cities for the night. We decided we didn't want to drive straight through and so just got 4 hours down the road to figure out where we were going the next morning, and give ourselves some more time.

We decided to head toward Arkansas. I knew, with my recent hip replacement, that I wouldn't be able to sit in the car as long as I used to without getting out and walking around. Luckily, Caitlin Clark and the Hawkeyes had a game that we decided to watch, so to BW3s we went!

In the end, we decided that Pocahontas, AK was our final destination. There was an airport there and Nick's parents had scoped it out for us.
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They let us camp there. This is me holding Nick up cause he was ready to fall over from blowing up the air mattress!

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Pocahontas, AK M70 Airport

After a stop at a Sonic for chili dogs, we bedded down for the night.
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Ready for bed!

The next morning, Gab and I made a trek to Wal Mart to look for some eclipse shirts.
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Turns out the gas station next door is named after my brother and her dad!

When we got back, we started getting set up for the big event.
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We had my camera, Nick's telescope, and a magnifying smart phone thing. We were pretty popular.
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Nick and Gary also got interviewed by the local news station.

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Checking out the angles!

Surprisingly, people were still arriving that morning. We figured everyone would show up the night before like we did, but tons of planes came in that day! They had 32 planes in all I believe.
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Ready to land!
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All the planes!
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Gab and I with the planes.

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People are getting ready to watch the eclipse!

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It's starting! This is a photo from inside the telescope. How cool!
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Getting closer!
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The total eclipse from the telescope. It's so cool!
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My camera's eclipse collage. Not too bad, but I still need to learn how to use my camera better. I've got wildlife figured out, now I have to figure out skies and landscapes...

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It gets pretty dark when you're in totality. Such a cool experience. 4.5 minutes!
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Gab and I

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We also got to watch the skydivers come in! There's always some skydivers jumping during an eclipse and being at the airport, we got to see them take off and land!

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One of Gary and Dorothy's friends that also made the trip. Really cool guy, Gab loved him!

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The group after totality finished

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Almost packed up to head home.

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Turns out I was the last man standing to watch the second half of the eclipse. A ton of people left right after totality finished, but there was still an entire half of the experience left! So I held out til the very end.

And now it's time to head home. It's a big drive, but we decided that since Gab had never been to St Louis, we would stop by the arch on the way home.
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A sweet bridge we went over.

Of course, it took us an extra two hours to get to St Louis because of all the traffic and accidents on the way. Ugh. Everyone was leaving!

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There it is! This is the second time I've seen the arch in the last few years and both times it has been at night. It's so pretty at night when it is lit up.

We found a parking garage and headed to the arch.
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Gateway Arch National Park.

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Smile!

Gab and I decided to head a bit closer and check it out.
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And check out how it is lit up at night...
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And dance in the lights of course!

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One last photo!
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And a better group photo to end the trip.

After the arch, we headed to a bbq place for supper... but turns out they decided they were closing early, so no luck for us. I guess it is sandwiches in the car then!

We finally got back home around 5 am... time to get some sleep in the daylight this time haha.

A quick trip to totality and a National Park on the way home. Fast but fun!

Posted by rhwanderlust 20:44 Archived in USA Comments (0)

A crazy road trip to Regina

So what do you do when your friend is named Regina and you live in the state below Canada?

Road trip to Regina!

We also decided that it would be fun to watch the Super Bowl in another country (I've done that a few times, but normally it ends up being in the middle of the night or on Monday morning when I watch it in other places, so it would be different for it to be in the same time zone!)

So off we went on Superbowl Sunday, heading to Winnipeg.
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94 people in town and they are all Norwegian...
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Leaving Minnesota!
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Found the border! The border agent was like, why are you coming to Canada? Cause we want to. Really? Yeah. Also I'm a travel agent, we are going to check things out in Winnipeg and Regina. Oh. Ok. Do you have things planned? Yes. Oh. Ok. I guess you can go.

My friend Devin was like, ""Oh! Let's go to Sask in Feb!"... said no Canadian ever".

Hahahahahah!

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But we made it through! To the bar we go!

We headed to Underdogs, which is just a sports bar in Winnipeg, not too far from our hotel.
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Of course, we sat at the bar and ended up next to a bunch of American guys from Philly.

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Ready for food, beer and football!
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Of course we got poutine. And the bar was handing out a bunch of random stuff for the occasion.
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We also got a giant platter of apps. So much food, but we hadn't really eaten all day so we were hungry!

The next morning it was time to head to Regina. We were on a mission to do as many Canadian things as we could.
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So of course we stopped at Tim Horton's for coffee and donut holes.

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And went on an I <3 Brandon merch search. Haha I have a friend named Brandon and I thought it would be funny if we could find shirts and all wear them. No luck.
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Found out moose are allowed inside though! Just keep it on its leash...!

When we got to Regina, we decided that we were going to head to the Science Museum. Cause why not? We didn't really have much else to do and we had an hour before it closed. So let's check it out!
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Let's go!
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The first thing we saw was this T-Rex. Turns out it is the largest T-Rex ever found! Move over Sue! Scotty has the crown!

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Some pretty cool bones!

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And the world's largest coprolite! (That's a science word for poop lol)
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Lots of cool art and Native American information/art.

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And Megamunch! This guy is 37 years old. An animatronic T-Rex that was retired just a couple weeks after we visited. Perfect timing!

After the museum, we headed to a brewery on the way to our hotel.
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Too bad they were having a Mario Kart tournament and there was no place for us to sit. That's disappointing. So we got takeaways.

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And headed here for food. A lot of places weren't open so we didn't have much to choose from. Turns out Regina is mostly closed Monday and Tuesday... ugh.

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So we got beer and food and headed back to the hotel. It was an Irish pub, so we went with the house favorites... fish and chips and an Irish burrito. The burrito was super tasty. The fish and chips were fine.

The next day we decided to go to Moose Jaw and check out the thermal pools. There really wasn't much else to do, so off we went!

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But first, looking for Regina merch at Walmart.

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We spent a few hours swimming around in the thermal pool. It was really nice!
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And then we went to the meadery for a tasting. It wasn't really what I expected... just a storefront... but she gave us tiny samples of everything, and then of course we had to buy something.

Then it was time to find lunch.
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We stopped for a beer as we were deciding where to go.
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And ended up next door for burgers. Pretty tasty.
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Street art on the way back to the car.

When we got back to Regina, we made a quick stop at a thrift store to see what Regina merch we could find there. Turns out we found a couple things and of course, way cheaper than they would have been otherwise!

And now it's time to park the car and journey.

I specifically booked the hotel I did because there were 3 breweries within walking distance from the hotel. Perfect! Let's go!

Turns out they don't publish their hours correctly on google. >.<
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So we started at Rebellion brewing. As we were sitting there, we realized one of the breweries had already closed and was closed before we even got back from Moose Jaw. Ugh.
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They have a farmer beer! Ha!
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The lights were great.

As we were sitting there, they asked us if we wanted food cause the kitchen was closing. We were planning on going to Regina brewing (cause Regina merch!) and so I called them to see when their kitchen closed.

They were already closed. Like completely closed.

So I asked them if I could run over there and buy some merch and takeaways really quickly as I was just a couple blocks away.

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So away I went. I guess they just close when they want to and the Google hours don't matter. Sigh.

But I got a few shirts, some stickers and some beer. The beer wasn't great which was disappointing, but it had Regina's name all over it so that was cool!

So I went back to Rebellion where Regina had ordered tacos for us and we had a couple more beers before heading back to the hotel.

The next morning it was already time to head out. We had one more stop to make before heading back home. \

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Turns out she has a city with her first name, and a bakery with her last name! Crazy!
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And since it was Valentine's day, I bought this cookie for Nick. Hahahahhaa!
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Last chance to go back to her name city!

Right before we got to the border, we found fun things!
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A giant bear!
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A random photo op!
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Tommy the Turtle!

When we got to the border, the border agent was like,
"Why are you going to North Dakota?"
and we were like, umm cause we are going to the Geographical Center of North America!
"Oh. Ok. Why were you in Canada?"
"Cause her name is Regina so we went to Regina."
"Oh. So it is."
a slight wait while he runs our passports.
"Ok, have fun! <chuckles>"

So off to Rugby we go!

Regina decided that we should stand in the center of NA and wear our Canadian sweaters and drink a Mexican beer, so we are representing all 3 countries.

I can get on board with that.
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So we found the center...
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cracked a beer...
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And represented!

There was a big storm coming, so instead of driving all the way home, we decided to spend the night in Fargo. Cause we were tired and we didn't feel like driving through a huge winter storm at night.
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So we went to Granite City for a Valentine's Day dinner. At least we had no problem sitting at the bar, cause all the tables were taken!

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Fargo sunset.

We passed out and got up early to drive back. It was probably the most random road trip I've ever been on, pretty quick, lots of driving, but lots of fun!

But pro tip. Central Canada is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. So don't bother going if it's not for the weekend!

Now we know.

Posted by rhwanderlust 16:28 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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