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Utahns flock out of state to see total eclipse

REXBURG, IDAHO – Some giddy star-gazers from Utah have already made their way up north to Idaho or east to Wyoming, hoping to get a good view of Monday’s total eclipse.

Amateur telescope builder Mike Clements says he hasn’t been able to sleep for days.  He says he’s waited 26 years to see a full eclipse.  “Last total [eclipse] I saw was July 11, 1991, in Mexico.”  He’s going to be spending three days in his truck, not wanting to pay a lot of money for a hotel.  He looked into booking a room, but, he claims the hotels were either full or charging up to $1,500 a night.

Draper resident DeLaina Tonks has family in Idaho, and is planning to stay up there until the eclipse is over, at least, or she and her family may stay longer if traffic coming back to Utah is as bad as she fears.  She says her husband is extremely excited and has been planning this trip for a year.  “For my husband, it’s a ten on the scale of one-to-ten,” Tonks says, adding, “We lived in Ohio and we saw a partial eclipse there.  So, we were looking forward to the experience of seeing a total eclipse.”

Sandy resident Diana Bennett is taking her husband and two of her kids.  She says, “I’m the one driving it in my family because I’m the one who is very excited.  I was there in 1979, so this is my second ‘once in a lifetime’ event.”

She doesn’t know how bad traffic will be getting to her Idaho destination, so she told her kids to be ready to spend between five to 14 hours in the car.  But, they’ll have plenty of family to visit when they get here.  Bennett says, “My sisters all said, ‘Hey, this would make a great family reunion.  Let’s do this.”

(Photo Credit: ShutterStock)