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Eclipse Experiences

Eclipse Experiences

Daniel Hill & Friends

Blasting Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” senior Daniel Hill and four friends split a 12-pack of La Croixs and experienced the total darkness and corona of the eclipse in amazement.

The friends trekked up to Hill’s lakehouse at Lake Viking in Cameron, MO, located on the path of totality. Hill invited seniors Matthew Trecek, Denny Rice, Claire Evans and Kirby Motsinger to drive up Sunday and spend the night so they could drive 30 min. South to Lathrop, MO for an even more spectacular view the next day.

“We were worried we would miss the corona, but right before the moon was supposed to cover the sun, a patch of the sky cleared up and we could see everything,” Motsinger said. “When the moon moved far enough off the sun that the daylight was back, we were all in awe.”

Though the drive from the viewing spot to Kansas City was only about 40 minutes, the ride home took over four hours due to heavy traffic and rain. However, the group said it was well worth the drive and spent the extra time belting 80’s classics and telling stories.

“The most interesting part to me was when the sudden temperature drop caused the clouds to briefly condense into rain,” Hill said. “Although I must say the best part was experiencing something new with people I wanted to be with. It made the overcast day sunny in spirit.”

Josie Lenger

Stoked for total viewing, sophomore Josie Lenger camped out at Smithville Lake the weekend leading up to the eclipse with her stepmom. Equipped with Kindles, an iPod and a speaker, Lenger thought they were prepared for the weekend. But what they weren’t expecting was the rain.

It wasn’t until Sunday night when a bright flash of lightning woke up Lenger, causing her and her stepmom to flee to the shelter area. When heavy rain followed, they rushed back to the tent to retrieve their belongings, only to find themselves sloshing through the tent that was flipped over and filled with three feet of water.

“I actually dove – it was that deep – into the tent and saved some of our electronics, but I only saved the iPod and the speaker,” Lenger said.

Despite the tent malfunction, Lenger and her family still enjoyed the eclipse itself.

“[The eclipse] was pretty amazing,” Lenger said. “We got a view of the totality, so it got pitch dark and actually my grandpa came out with his dogs and he set up all of his tents, and the dogs went to sleep because they thought it was night time.”


Hustling their 7-year-old black lab into the house to keep him from being blinded was the most excitement for senior Grace and freshman Violet Apodaca on Aug. 21, the day of the eclipse.

They watched from their backyard near 63rd and Roe with their mom and grandma, and while the girls were excited to see the eclipse, their concern with keeping their dog safe outweighed their original interest.

“We thought our dog was going to get blinded, so we had to bring him back inside,” Violet said. “He was a bit freaked out. I think he was just really confused because it got kind of dark.”

As for the eclipse itself, the girls found it overrated.

“It felt like there was a lot of hype over it,” Grace said. “It was underwhelming and the hype wasn’t really worth it.”

The girls were excited to see the eclipse, and hoped watching from home would still bring a fun experience. However, the actual eclipse left the sisters having differing opinions on whether or not they’d travel to the path of totality.

“I don’t think it would’ve been worth it to spend the whole day traveling just for 30 seconds of total eclipse,” Grace said.

Violet, on the other hand, said it would have lived up to her expectations had she gone outside of Prairie Village to see the total viewing.

Overall though, the sisters agree that they would be interested in viewing a future eclipse in the path of totality after hearing their friends rave about the life-changing experience.

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Anna Kanaley

Anna Kanaley is a senior at Shawnee Mission East and is the co-Mobile Media Editor-in-Chief for her third year on The Harbinger staff. Outside of journalism, she participates in the International Baccalaureate Program, cross country, lacrosse and Coalition. Despite her busy schedule, her golden retriever Chester and homemade chocolate chip cookies keep her motivated. She is looking forward to her last year on staff and hopes to get younger staffers involved with mobile ... Read Full »

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