We were at the Meramec State Park near Sullivan, Missouri. You can learn more about it here:
I've been describing it as central Missouri, but it's only about 60 miles from St. Louis, so it's really more east central Missouri. It has rugged hiking trails, caves, zero cell phone reception (which is both a good and bad thing), and it edges the Meramec River, so there's the swimming and boating thing. A really nice place that we're hoping to visit again something, a couple of hours from Emily's parents' house.
More about the park later--I have lots of pictures. But I didn't have the best camera there:
There was a good crowd, and we were thankful to have headed there in the wee hours of the morning, even though the roads there and the park itself were both pretty out of the way.
The park had a big awning up with activities and information, and even a board where visitors could show they were there:
As cool as the partial eclipse was, the wait for totality seemed to take forever, especially with the temperature hovering at around a million degrees while we stood in the sun and stared upward. Did I complain? I did not, having been convinced for weeks that it would be cloudy that day, wherever we were. The good thing about being a pessimist is that you're never disappointed.
Some of us were more relaxed than others:
As the eclipse advanced, we began to see a curious effect that's common with partial eclipses. The vanishing sun continued to shine through the trees, which produced a pinhole effect that allowed us to see the eclipse on the ground below:
As it grew darker, a dog that belonged to people nearby dragged his blanket out, pulled it into a circle, and got ready for bed. He was very confused when nap time ended so quickly.
And then: totality.