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A compilation of stories, telescopes, internship resources, and other things radio astronomy.

Road Trip to Totality: The 2017 Solar Eclipse

Graduate School: Applying, Living, Thesising

The Professional Student is a blog about everything grad school from the application process to my experiences living as a grad student, being a parent in grad school, and researching the role of chemistry in the evolution of our universe.

Road Trip to Totality: The 2017 Solar Eclipse

Olivia Wilkins

It's been two weeks since I decided to take a break from marveling at the radio universe and join the millions of people basking in the awesomeness of the Sun. The "Great American Eclipse"—so-called for casting a shadow over the United States that traveled coast-to-coast from Oregon to South Carolina—was the first solar eclipse to touch the U.S. since the early 1900s; thus while solar eclipses themselves are not rare, the August 21, 2017, eclipse was remarkable because it could be viewed directly by so many people.

My family and I drove 2,770 miles between Pasadena, CA, and Stanley, ID, over the week, going through 7 states, making 7 National Park visits (as well as touring the first nuclear power plant in the world) and experiencing one amazing eclipse. Here's an overview of our itinerary and the cool places we visited on our Road Trip to Totality! (You can also check out our adventure on Twitter via #RT2Totality!)


Photographs by either myself or Alexander Sauers.


Day 1:
Pasadena, CA
→ Lehi, UT

Noteworthy stops:
Cliffside Restaurant, St. George, UT
Zion National Park


Day 2:
Lehi, UT

→ Stanley, ID


Day 3:
Stanley, ID

Noteworthy stops and activities:
Totality during the 2017 Solar Eclipse!
Stanley Lake
Sawtooth Brewery, Ketchum, ID


Day 4:
Stanley, ID

→ Blackfoot, ID


Day 5:
Blackfoot, ID
→ Evanston, WY


Day 6:
Evanston, WY
→ St. George, UT

Noteworthy stops:
Kolob Canyons, Zion National Park
Iceberg Drive Inn, St. George, UT


Day 7:
St. George, UT

→ Pasadena, CA