My First Total Eclipse of the Sun

Toadstock the final chapter?

I started looking for a venue to view my very first total eclipse of the sun about a year ago when I discovered that the August 21 2017 eclipse path of totality was within easy driving distance from Sturgis South Dakota. the first place I considered was Elkhorn Springs Campground in the Casper Mountain County Park. I couldn’t find any information on whether the campground took reservations and I did not want to leave anything to chance if I could help it.

I don’t remember exactly how I found it but one day I stumbled on the “Toadstock” site, about two hundred miles from home, $50.00 bought me a four day pass that included camping and three nights of live music.


I arrived Friday afternoon to a mostly deserted pasture seven miles west of Alliance Nebraska and picked a campsite in the southeast corner and set up camp Charlie.


I came prepared, I found some polycarbonate welders lenses and fashioned solar filters for my binoculars and two cameras for under $30.

Crescent Moon and Venus at sunrise Saturday Morning


Sunday morning, let the day begin.


Monday, Eclipse Day


I woke up before dawn and I could not see the lights of Alliance on the horizon because a pea soup fog had dropped visibility to under one mile. There was a dense fog advisory for the area and this was the first day that I couldn’t watch the sunrise. About seven o’clock the sun started to burn off the fog.


Lat.: 42.1145° N, Long.: 103.0118° W

Total Solar Eclipse
Duration of Totality: 2m30.4s
Magnitude: 1.014
Obscuration: 100.00%

Event Date Time Alt Azi
Start of partial eclipse (C1) : 2017/08/21 10:26:55.1 45.9° 122.2°
Start of total eclipse (C2) : 2017/08/21 11:48:57.0 56.5° 149.7°
Maximum eclipse : 2017/08/21 11:50:12.1 56.6° 150.2°
End of total eclipse (C3) : 2017/08/21 11:51:27.4 56.7° 150.7°
End of partia  eclipse (C4) : 2017/08/21 13:16:26.5 59.4° 190.3°


My Neighbors

Camp Charlie is the red, yellow and blue blur in the lower right corner of the aerial shot.


Eclipse Oregon, Redmond, USA - 21 Aug 2017
This photo shows solar flare as the sun emerges from a total eclipse by the moon.