Five Shul Boys ride to Hopkinsville Kentucky in order to experience the Total Eclipse of the Sun. The group left Sunday, Aug. 21st on the 380 mile trip to Bardstown, Ky. The next morning the five left for Hopkinsville, arriving around 10:30 AM. After a short exploration of this normally quiet town, the next, and last stop before the eclipse was to Casey Jones Distillery where a large number of tourists paid $50 per parking space to camped out to view the eclipse.
Seeing the total eclipse was truly a moving experience as was being able to look at the corona of the total eclipse with the naked eye. The temperature drooped about 10 degrees in a mater of minutes and an eerie darkness ensued. less than 2 minutes later the entire event was over!
Little did we know that the real adventure was only about to begin. I'll let Bruce Ente describe it in his own words:
"Although David described our trip as an "adventure," I thought it was more like Dante's "seventh circle of hell." Upon departing the eclipse site, we were shortly caught in a ten mile or more traffic jam, which we partly mitigated by riding in the oncoming lane (until there was an oncoming vehicle). In any case, we traveled 10 miles in the first hour. We avoided the KY parkways, which were more like parking lots, and took secondary roads along with tens of thousands of others. Mighty slow going and HOT -- temps of 100+ degrees in KY!
Eventually Route 62 took us to I-65 south of Louisville, and the interstate was also a slow-moving crush of bumper to bumper cars crawling along at 5 mph. It was exhausting, but we powered on in the heat and humidity -- gas stops only, no food breaks (and no appetite, either). Bottom line: instead of a 4-1/2 hour trip to Cincinnati, it took ELEVEN hours and we got there shortly after 2:00 am!!
David went to meet his son at a downtown hotel; for me it was way too late at 2:30 am to ring my friends' doorbell so I pushed on, stopping for a snack and much-needed coffee a little north of Cincinnati about 3 am. After 12 fast miles north of Lebanon, OH, I hit yet another miles-and-miles of bumper to bumper, stop and go traffic backed up on I-71.
An hour later, by 5:00 am, I had gone only six more miles, and I had had it! Couldn't tolerate one more minute in hot traffic with my clutch hand aching after 13-1/2 continuous hours of on-off-on-off. I got off I-71 at the next exit and just headed north on whatever road I was on. Eventually got to Columbus, then back on the highway, and arrived home at 8:45 this morning, safe and sound (but feeling a bit beaten up) -- 17-1/2 hours after leaving Hopkinsville. Since I hit Cleveland morning rush hour as well, I'm happy to say I got one more dose of bumper to bumper traffic on I-77 and I-480. Yay!!
The eclipse was fabulous, no doubt, but the brutal return trip? Not so much... In 2024, however, we won't have to even leave Cleveland to see the next total eclipse!"