Albert Lea residents travel to path of totality in Texas to see eclipse

Published 5:34 pm Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

After experiencing totality of the last solar eclipse in 2017 in Pawnee City, Nebraska, Albert Lea resident Holly Babcock was excited to attempt to see the eclipse again this week.

She and Phillip Johnson traveled south to Austin, Texas, to witness the eclipse.

She said while the forecast was not looking good all week, and even on Monday morning with rain and cloud cover, they thought about driving to a different area to try for a better chance. Everywhere they looked, however, had a similar fate.

Email newsletter signup

She said 15 minutes into the event, the clouds would break and then come back, so they could get some peeks, but then in the last 20 minutes and through totality they had a clear view and were able to witness the full eclipse.

“It was lucky!” she wrote in a message about their experience. “The clouds covered the entire sky after totality ended, it was rainy and nasty shortly after it!”

Unlike the 2017 eclipse, she said this time she was able to see solar flares, which she thought was neat to see.

“Totality was not as ‘magical’ from a moon shadow perspective because of how many clouds were in the sky, so the 2017 one was pretty cool in that way, but the fact we saw anything today and it was clear enough for totality was really neat — and the solar flares were icing!” Babcock said.

She said she and Johnson watched the eclipse from the roof of the hotel parking garage with about 30 other people from their hotel.

While there, they met some great people. She said one hotel employee said someone who was staying there had been to four solar eclipse totalities.