Aug 21 2017
10:35 am

UPDATE: That was awesome! Temp dropped from 94 to 80 in our back yard (digital thermometer under our lawn chairs.) Birds seemed confused. Cicadas got loud. A couple of photos from the back yard (click image for bigger):



Heavy traffic on Alcoa Hwy/US129.

Lots of people showing up at Springbrook Park in Alcoa.

Reports of lots of people showing up at Cove Lake, other parks.

Smoky Mountains NP roads congested, large crowds at Clingman's Dome.

Reports of backups on area interstates.

Downtown Sweetwater filling up.

TVA reports all areas at Fontana Dam full, cars being turned away.

bizgrrl's picture

The grocery store was very

The grocery store was very crowded. A lot of people buying picnic supplies, like a holiday.

bizgrrl's picture

Dang, it's hot!

Dang, it's hot!

We could be 10,00o feet above sea level in Wyoming. It's only 60 degrees there.

bizgrrl's picture

There are people from NASA in

There are people from NASA in the Smoky Mountains doing eclipse tests.

R. Neal's picture

Eclipse underway here in

Eclipse underway here in Blount Co.

bizgrrl's picture

Sun is halfway covered.

Sun is halfway covered.

bizgrrl's picture



bizgrrl's picture

Even heavier traffic on Alcoa

Even heavier traffic on Alcoa Hwy, eclipse viewers returning home. The traffic is barely moving.

schull's picture

market square

I work on the square and we had a good view of it. So we didn't get full totality, but we got some lovely shadows from the trees and some cicadas and crickets. There were a fair number of people and lots of kids, and everyone seemed to have eye protection. It was a really fun moment to have vaguely shared with everyone there.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


A friend brought over a welding helmet, which apparently offers acceptable eye protection for viewing the eclipse (learn something every day...). Another had a pair of those cheap paper glasses NASA produces, these purchased by Oak Ridge City Schools and passed on to us. We just shared eye protection and had an interesting and entertaining time all around.

My teacher-daughter was bummed, though, that I had phoned her Sunday night and put a crimp in her plans to view from Sweetwater. As you may have read in Sunday's KNS, the City of Sweetwater advised on Sunday that if you hadn't already purchased your $50 parking pass, they didn't want you to show up because you would not find anywhere to park. They're a town of 6,000 and had already sold 60,000 parking passes.

Anyway, being closer to home was fun, too. Great pix, Randy!

Russ's picture

The sun's corona

During the totality, we could see the shadow of the sun's corona moving in waves across the pavement in our parking lot, like ripples on a pond. It was an astonishing sight.

R. Neal's picture

Had heard about those "shadow

Had heard about those "shadow snakes." Lucky you saw them.

Russ's picture

Shadow snakes

I'd never heard of them before. This NASA page has a good description, and this page describes seeing them as "like winning the eclipse lottery." That second link has a short video clip that shows them pretty clearly.

They moved in groups, winding back and forth and interlinking, but generally moving in a fairly consistent direction. It was like watching ocean wave patterns from an airplane.

tennesseevaluesauthority's picture

Shadow Snakes

I had secretly hoped to see Shadow Snakes during this eclipse. But, I also knew they were rare to see.

So, imagine how thrilled I was at just seconds before totality one of the people gathered with us in the parking lot said, "Hey! Look down! I think these are those snakes you were talking about."

And, sure enough, they were. We saw them again just as the sun began to leave totality.

All in all, I give it a 10 out of 10. I suddenly understand why some people travel around the world on vacation chasing total eclipses. They are amazing on so many levels.

JaHu's picture

I was in Crossville during

I was in Crossville during the eclipse and was able to see the snakes at the end of totality. I didn't think to look at the beginning. Anyway, totality was incredible. We were located about 4 miles from center.

I guess I fall in the geek side of the watchers. My brother experienced one in Charleston, SC in 1970 and another one in Panama in 2004. I've waited for this one for 13 years.

R. Neal's picture

A reader sends this video of

A reader sends this video of the "shadow snake" effect taken in Maryville yesterday...

Andy Axel's picture

My photo recipe:

Nikon D2H, Nikon f4/300mm (figure in +150mm for cropped DX sensor), 1A filter, Gitzo tripod, RRS BH55 head. Location just east of Lake Barkley near Cadiz KY.

Bracket 9 shots (+4/native/-4 in 0.7EV steps) at f4, f8, f16, f22.

Best thing about the D2H -> 8FPS with a 25 frame buffer. And even with max resolution at 4MP, how much res do you need to capture a monochromatic event?

Decent results, too:

R. Neal's picture

Nice! Best thing about the


Best thing about the D2H -> 8FPS with a 25 frame buffer. And even with max resolution at 4MP, how much res do you need to capture a monochromatic event?

C'mon, admit it. You just didn't want to risk burning out the sensor on one of your newer more expensive cameras.

Andy Axel's picture

Was also shooting with a D300 on another mount.

The pictures on the D2H actually came out better.

R. Neal's picture

Hey, just kidding.

Hey, just kidding.

Andy Axel's picture

It was a thought

just not the only thought.

That was probably the shortest 2 minutes ever.

jmcnair's picture

Shout out to MadTown

Lee Hawn and I just headed down 411 Monday morning and ended up at Kefauver Park in Madisonville. They had a good crowd of folks helping us park for free in a field adjacent and it was a great location with a small lake and walking path. WVLT was broadcasting from the vending area and they had city or county commisioners handing out free Moon Pies. They estimated 2000 cars parked. Return traffic was a nightmare we broke it up by doing some shopping at Benton's.

What a spectacle! I'm thinking about 2024 now.

JaHu's picture

McDonald's really missed out

McDonald's really missed out on an eclipse gimmick. They could have promoted 'Double Sun-Day Monday' Sundaes. Two Scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream separated by a Moon Pie.

Andy Axel's picture

Was thinking a distillery should have done

a "Dark Side of the Moonshine."

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