Epic Eclipse Road Trip

Eclipse photos by Narrah Kansas Palmquist

These are photos taken by my friend Narrah of the total eclipse in Queeny Park in Ballwin, Missouri.

I saw it from about 40 miles from there, another well-named place, Herculaneum, Missouri. In a park that had a good spooky name, Bates Memorial Park. I didn’t take many photos of the eclipse itself. I was “experiencing” it, and also the iphone-through-the-glasses trick didn’t work well for me.

It did get dark, but more like twilight with a 360-degree pink sunset. It did get slightly cooler, but since it was in the 90s and humid as heck, not that noticeable. Totality looked like a hole was punched in the sky. If I was an ancient person, I would have been freaked out, but I think I also would have gotten over it when it stopped after 2 minutes and nothing else happened. I would probably have wanted to record it in a cave drawing. That was the level of excellence of the experience.

The main thing, though, was the great road trip. I drove to Waverly, Iowa, on Saturday and stayed with friends Sarah and Tom Scott, who have a wonderful large farm home, 360 acres, some really pretty cows and a large, mixed flock of chickens. I think the biggest difference between Iowa and Minnesota is the willows. They have a gorgeous, giant weeping willow, whereas we have those floppy, not very interesting willows. Our signature tree is the oak.

The Rada Scott House in Waverly

Oh, and a peacock and a peahen with three chicks who is staying in one of the four bird buildings. (*more bird photos at the end of this post because I’m obsessed…)

Sunday we picked up their friend Lucy and went down to St. Louis, where I met up with Todd Oberman and Laura Davis. Two of their children came down from Chicago for the event, and it was great to meet Nina and Josh and observe some first rate parent/young adult interactions. As “spy in the back seat” to the eclipse and back, I got the inside scoop.

Then it was back to Waverly, and the next day home. I stopped in Northfield to have lunch at Hogan Brothers with the owner, my brother-in-law Greg, and two nephews who were working in the kitchen. And on the way out of town followed this truck full of corn.

truck full of sweet corn

Saw a lot of corn (Iowa corn and Missouri corn do not look the same) and had some great eats (ham steaks from last year’s pig in Iowa, and a fabulous quiche and peach pie by crust-maker extraordinaire Laura Davis, as well as an excellent taco, guac, and agua fresca at Mission Taco, in St. Louis.

Was it worth it? Oh yes it was. Grateful to all who took me into their homes and cars and shared this experience with me.

OK, now the birds…

hard to see in the sun, but this is a complex of four buildings, each painted in pastel colors, all housing birds, including the dovecote with homing pigeons.

The pigeons, though, were hanging out on this barn roof watching the cows.

full flock

Sarah has a mix of chickens who breed freely with each other. She has guineas, and silkies, and the crazy “naked neck” Turken chickens, and more.

Here’s a beautiful bantam rooster and a turken hen.

And here is a mixed up rooster for sure– lovely bantam feathers in back and a mostly naked neck in front.

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