That Buzz Guy's Solar Eclipse Photo

Chasing A Total Eclipse Of The Sun



FAIRMONT, NE – The last 12 months have been a banner year for That Buzz Guy and our BuzzHead Media Company. In that year I’ve flown to Washington DC to cover a Presidential Inauguration, I’ve chased and filmed multiple tornadoes with a storm tracking crew, I’ve been an extra in three films with actors such as Jake Gyllenhaal and Bo Derrick, and I’ve interviewed rock legend Gene Simmons from KISS and TV personality Michelle Malkin.

Most of those events could be crossed off as top “Bucket List” items. As great as they all were and as much as I had looked forward to many of them, it was an event this week that I had never even contemplated that has topped them all.

It has never been my desire to see a total eclipse of the sun. I’ve never even sat down with anyone that had ever gone through the experience so I was completely unaware of what to expect and why I would even be crazy enough to go eclipse chasing. But crazy we were.

Todd Wheeler, my partner in crime on our new BuzzHead Radio, and I have been chasing stories every chance we get. We are both fortunate enough to own our businesses and have the ability to take off at the drop of a hat. I was intrigued by the hype surrounding the August 21, 2017 solar eclipse and thought it might be the next big thing for us to cover.

The only way to truly experience a solar eclipse is to plant yourself in the middle of totality. That’s the 70 mile wide area that becomes almost completely dark as the moon passes in front of the sun. A few weeks before the big event we made the decision to embark on the adventure of covering the first coast-to-coast solar eclipse over the United States in 99 years.

The first task I set out to do was find a prime location for eclipse viewing. My first thought was to head to Kansas City where I had friends and a place to stay. I quickly learned that we might run into traffic jams if we headed to the larger cities so I pulled up a map of totality.

Our hometown of Enid, Oklahoma is on Highway 81 so I decided to look straight up 81 to see which towns would fall into the path of the total eclipse. The first town that fit the bill was all the way up in Nebraska. There were a few towns in northeast Kansas that we could reach by driving on I-35 but again, I was leery of the traffic situation in that area. There were several Nebraska towns that looked promising but I honed in on Fairmont due to the fact that it was straight up 81 and was in the center of totality.

Fairmont, Nebraska luckily had a Facebook page that looked very inviting. They had posted that they would have a free parking and camping area in the park with porta-potties. Cha-ching! That’s exactly what we were searching for since all hotels had been booked for months ahead. There were also several comments on the page from travelers from other states that were planning on landing in the little town of around 600.

Without much other planning Todd and I made the decision to drive the 5 hours to Fairmont. The week before departure I started paying more attention to the hype learning that I would definitely need eclipse glasses. That turned into a futile search as there were no glasses left for sale on the planet Earth. No biggie, we’d wing it. Todd came up with some glass replacements for a welding helmet and a couple of paper eclipse glasses.

We told our families we were going and started the countdown. The only hitch I could see to our entire plan was the weather. Of course at the beginning of our plan the forecast was for mostly sunny skies but turned to mostly cloudy skies just a day before we departed. We toyed with the idea of driving to a different location but decided we’d stick with our original plan and hope for the best.

That Buzz Guy Chasing a Total Eclipse of the Sun!

Our adventure began on Sunday, August 20 around 2pm. We left the BuzzHead Studio and stopped to stock up on snacks and drinks. We then hit the highway and drove up Highway 81 into Kansas. With zero knowledge of eclipse chasing we had no idea if the highway would be packed or not. We made a quick stop in Concordia, Kansas to get dinner out of the way at Dairy Queen. We also downed a quick Blizzard.

Story continued here…