The Solar Eclipse In Appalachia


solar eclipse 2017 wnc

Today there will be a total solar eclipse over a large swath of the United States. My county of Cherokee just happens to be in the direct path. In fact the town of Andrews has taken on the moniker of Totality Town because the totality of the eclipse will last for 2 minutes and 38.4 seconds at that location. The maximum totality time anywhere on the globe is 2 minutes and 40.1 seconds. So for eclipse lovers it doesn’t get much better than Andrews which resides inside Cherokee County.

Folks in this area have been talking non-stop about the eclipse. Local law enforcement and emergency management services have been planing for the event for well over a year. In other words, the 2017 Solar Eclipse is big doings around here.

Depending on who you ask or what you read, there’s thousands or tens of thousands of people who will make their way to Cherokee County to view the eclipse.

When I hear the estimated number of possible visitors I think the forecasters are being ridiculous. But knowing every local hotel and cabin in the area have been booked for months and that local schools are renting camping spaces in their parking lots and that local folks are even renting out their extra bedrooms makes me think maybe the hordes of people are coming.

Since I plan to be right here at the Blind Pig abode I won’t see the teeming millions for myself if they do arrive or have arrived, but I’m sure I’ll hear all about the chaos once its finished.

Drop back by this week for a few other stories of strange happenings in the sky.


p.s. I’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to each of you for your prayers, comments, emails, and cards. I’m feeling much better and hopefully I’ll continue to improve until I’m back to full Tipper strength. I truly appreciate you all!!


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Granny Sue
    August 22, 2017 at 12:03 am

    We had 90% totality here in West Virginia, and it was enough that I decided to stay home and enjoy it rather than join the teeming streaming hordes. I do think the media over-hyped it. It’s an amazing event for sure, but the uproar in advance was too much–and I don’t even have TV, so I can imagine how it was there.
    I posted my photos on my blog today; they’re not the best but not too bad.
    Hope you feel right as rain very soon, Tipper!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 21, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    I am having trouble keeping up here lately. I am lagging behind but I am still in the race.

  • Reply
    Parker's Papaw
    August 21, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    I set in my car at work and watched the eclipse. Had myself a hillbilly steak and cheese sandwich with a moon pie and a sundrop. Good times, good times
    God is awesome.

  • Reply
    August 21, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    That Eclipse was so exciting and fun to watch, and it got cooler 20 minutes earlier. All my bunch got to see the total Eclipse, but I never saw so many cars and Winnebagos after it was over. For 3 hours you couldn’t get pulled out onto the road if you wanted to. I’d say there was at least 100,000 folks going back North, maybe more. I just hope the Nantahala Gorge held it’s own cause they were slow going by the shop. …Ken

  • Reply
    Lee Mears
    August 21, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    I didn’t see it all, got out to the yard at the end but it was SO quiet. It was as silent as a midnight new fallen snow…. but with humidity. The birds and critters had gone to bed and the street lights and my side-walk pole lamp had come on.
    We lived to have a new experience. -)

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    August 21, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Well, I tried. I got a lot of pictures, but an inopportune group of clouds interfered with most of the eclipse and the totality here of approximately 1 minute and 30 seconds all happened under cloud cover.
    Maybe I can have better luck the next time, although it won’t be here in western NC.
    The interesting thing is that here, we have the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI). This is the first ever total eclipse in the US for the totality to take place over an observatory.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    August 21, 2017 at 11:03 am

    The big spectacular event here has been advertised in and around Sweetwater, Tn. They have been preparing for a year. Renting out parking spaces, blocking off some roads, farmers renting space for parking and camping. The West bound Interstate was backed up yesterday as folks were traveling toward I-75….I’m glad I wasn’t in that gridlock…probably will be worse today. I love astronomy, seeing satellites move across the horizon through the years, watching the clear winter skies, observing the annual meteor showers, etc. You would think this eclipse would be an exciting event for me…Nope,
    maybe it’s because probably, in all honesty, this one will be my last one, at least from my earthly realm! My being 76, the fact that many years will pass before another one, in totality will occur!
    We will stay in our area, maybe visiting our grandchildren…no great travel to higher grounds, etc. as we are set on pretty high ground around here.
    There is a certain winery and grape vineyard that is offering spaces on their hills near the center of totality…I think it is free or donations accepted, on a first come first serve basis!…Of course, this is one of those “wine tasting and selling” places…Now then, by the time the totality is complete….hummm, it could be very interesting observing folks that are observing the eclipse through “rose’-Wine Colored Glasses”….HA…just a thought!
    I would like to be a “fruit-fly on a grape leaf” watching some of those “watcher-tasters” as it gets totally dark and then brightens back up…….
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    August 21, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Please take good care of yourself. My hope is that you are back to 110% right away.
    We’ll be watching the eclipse with Moon Pies and Sunshine cookies. Neighborhood cookout.
    Isn’t any body working today?

  • Reply
    Melissa P (Misplaced Southerner)
    August 21, 2017 at 10:08 am

    I experienced a solar eclipse (99+%) in Atlanta in 1984. It was almost sensory overload – or would that be underload? We were in a major business area of Atlanta yet, as the eclipse closed in on totality, everyone and everything got completely quiet. The pigeons and other birds began to roost and fell silent. The temperature dipped noticeably. Even though there were hundreds of us standing together, there was barely a sound. I still remember the feeling of awe. My location for this eclipse won’t be as total as in 1984, but I’m looking forward to it and am anxious to see how much – if any – differently nature will react.

  • Reply
    Grady Stanley
    August 21, 2017 at 9:42 am

    I was stationed at Ft. Bragg in Fayetteville NC during the March 1970 total eclipse. The total eclipse lasted about two minutes there. I remember standing in my yard watching it for part of that time, and it was an interesting event. This eclipse has been hyped up so much in the media and so many folks are just going nuts over it. Schools closing, businesses closing……….I don’t get it.

  • Reply
    August 21, 2017 at 9:36 am

    I , for 1, am not that excited about THE E CLIPSE. Oh, we do plan to watch it , without traveling or being overly-excited. I saw the same type of mania come out of THE WORLD FAIR in the “scruffy” little town. I saw 2 friends invest in an apartment building that was a failed venture.
    I saw other friends invest in a ” sure -thing ” venture that wound up as a total bust , all based on predictions and media . I saw motels built that were busts and have now become deserted and “rat havens”. It is pretty – much just Monday as usual, ’round here.

  • Reply
    cheryl beavers
    August 21, 2017 at 9:16 am

    planning on viewing the eclispe with some of my nieces and nephews attheir house.

  • Reply
    Brian P. Blake
    August 21, 2017 at 8:52 am

    I’ve seen solar eclipses. They are awe-inspiring. The sun turns black, the sky darkens like night, the temperature falls immediately by at least ten degrees, and the birds stop singing and tuck their heads under their wings. Today’s eclipse here in Shelton, Connecticut, will be only 65%, but it lasts for over an hour. Gretchen and I will be out on the lawn with a bottle of red wine, chanting “Oom!”

  • Reply
    August 21, 2017 at 8:40 am

    The tiny town of Hopkinsville, KY is supposed to have 2 minutes and 40 seconds of 100% darkness, while my part of the state is expecting 97% totality. Visitors are expected from 16 countries and thirty eight states. I could have been rich if I had planned ahead and bought solar eclipse viewing glassed to resell. Maybe I should have rented camping spaces or even charged $30 for a spot big enough to park a car like those folks just 20 miles south of me are doing. Oh well, maybe the next time…

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    August 21, 2017 at 8:25 am

    I’m planning on staying home to. I may walk up to the top of the ridge above the house. That ridge marks the northern edge of the Brevard Fault zone. There used to be a fire tower called Buckhorn near there.
    I saw a partial solar eclipse in Cincinnati sometime in the 1960’s but it was much less than this one will be here.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 21, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Full Tipper strength, that’s what we want!!
    There has been so much speculation about the vast number of people coming here for the eclipse, it makes me want to hide under the bed! According to online information NASA has reserved a strip mall in Andrews for viewing the eclipse. I heard estimates of up to 100,000 people coming to Andrews. Andrews isn’t much bigger than postage stamp, I don’t know where they will put all those people. I can tell you, I will not be there. I’ll view the eclipse from my back yard!

  • Leave a Reply