Spectators in Central Missouri Call Eclipse a Moving Experience, And a Bit Scary

Aug 21, 2017

The total solar eclipse that passed through a section of Missouri Monday “couldn’t have been better” if you watched from the central part of the state.

That’s according to KSMU’s Michele Skalicky, who observed the celestial event from Scrivner Road State Wildlife Area in Cole County, about 30 minutes southwest of Jefferson City.

“The cloud cover was a little bit thicker when we first arrived this morning. But by the time the eclipse happened – we had a few wispy clouds – but for the most part the sky was clear. Didn’t have any trouble seeing the eclipse. It was incredible,” Skalicky says.

She spoke with spectators that had made the short drive from Camdenton and long trips from Texas and California. About 50 people had gathered along the park’s Winegar Lake, according to Skalicky.

One person told her she actually “let out a little yelp” upon seeing the eclipse.

“She didn’t expect to react that way, but it was such a moving experience for her.”

Another, a college student studying astrophysics, told Skalicky the eclipse ignited a bit of fear because it was “so unnatural to him.”

Credit Ryan Welch / KSMU

Skalicky estimates the total solar eclipse lasted about 1 minute, 10 seconds.

“The day insects – they’d gone quiet. The night insects started up. A rooster crowed just before totality. It’s something you just couldn’t imagine unless you [see it].”

She continued, “It was over so quickly. I felt myself – feel a little bit of disappointment that it didn’t last longer than it did, but I’m glad I got to experience it.”

Missouri was expecting anywhere between 300,000 and 1.2 million out of state guests for the event. Totality could be viewed along a diagonal path from St. Joseph to Cape Girardeau.