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A Visitor's View of the 2024 Eclipse in Limestone

Reegan, from Dayton, Maine, travelled to the Arch Hangar in Limestone, Maine to experience the total eclipse in the path of totality.


two people wearing eclipse glasses looking towards the sun
Reegan and her son view the 2024 Total Eclipse

I didn’t know what to expect of the 2024 total eclipse set to be visible in Maine on April 8th, 2024.  It was three days shy of my birthday, during mercury in retrograde and my best girlfriend was involved in planning many events in her hometown of Limestone, which is in the path to totality.  From the beginning I had my heart set on being there!


We live about five hours south of Limestone and keep a pretty packed schedule. My son, a freshman in high school, plays travel soccer, started drivers’ education courses and works a part time job.  It’s nearly impossible to plan too far ahead because I am usually needed for the daily chauffeuring and emotional support that comes with all that (believe me, I am in for it all). Of course there happened to be a soccer game scheduled the day before the eclipse and with no idea what the traffic situation might look like, we decided that we wouldn’t be making the trip north. Disappointed, I surrendered the idea and decided we would try to watch somewhere local instead, reserving just a sliver of hope that something might work out.


The turn of events leading up to that weekend were plentiful (thank you mercury in retrograde!).  Southern Maine was hit with back-to-back weather storms, leaving us without electricity for days and with 10 inches snow.  My son’s soccer game was cancelled and I immediately knew “we’re going to Limestone!”


We packed up Sunday morning and make the trek north, staying with my girlfriend and her husband for the night, socializing all about what we were going to do to prepare, celebrate and welcome the eclipse from the tarmac in front of the famed Loring Arch Hanger.  I went to bed feeling emotions of anticipation, realizing that we were going to experience something special together. 

 

We woke up bright and early on Monday, April 8th and started our day setting up for the event, being part of the unique volunteer community that great northern Maine has to offer.  There were food trucks, vendor tables, fun swag, and good music.  We danced, we laughed, we connected with people from all over who traveled just to experience this the way we had. 

 

When the partial eclipse began, my son got us a few chairs and claimed a spot to sit and observe.  We sat together, sharing a blanket as the temperatures dropped. These days it’s nearly impossible to get him to sit next to me for a lengthy period, let alone share a blanket!  My heart was full, and I knew we were making a memory that will never be forgotten.   The eclipse began right around 2:30pm and the time of totality started at about 3:30pm.  Over that hourly anticipated wait, we sat, with our eclipse glasses on and watched together with building emotions of excitement.  The sky started to get darker and there was almost an eerie feeling that came over.  My son pointed out the rays of sun that were hitting the pavement around us, as if we were in a sea of light waves. 

 

When totality hit it was truly a moment of awe.  That little over two minutes felt like 30 seconds as we stared in fascination.  We were amidst thousands of other people experiencing it, listening to a variety of reactions—cheers, gasps, bursts of laughter, pointing and observing.  The look on my sons face was of pure wonder and joy.  My heart exploded as it hit me that we’d likely never experience something like this together again. 

 

Some people say that witnessing a total solar eclipse like this can be life changing.  I have no doubt that the memories we made that day will be imprinted on not only us forever but the thousands who experienced it with us.  We spent hours in traffic driving south that night and despite exhaustion, I couldn’t help but feel that we were part of something so much bigger than we even know—collectively everyone on the highway and at the rest stops were polite, kind, and generous.  It’s like we all had a sense of “yeah, we chose this, and it was SO worth it!” 

 

I am grateful to the universe for working out in our favor and to the volunteers of Limestone who helped make this memory so special for us. It’s something we will never forget!

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