Well, I look at all the eclipse pics and vids with a sense of what could have been. We live in NE Kentucky, and our location was to see a 90% obscuration. Since we had never seen a total eclipse, I wanted to drive down to the KY/TN (Franklin,KY) border to catch it. Afterwards we were going to go to Reed Valley orchard on the way back home as they were celebrating the big day by staying open late (7:30) and only charging a $1 per pound on all their PYO apples, pears and blackberries. What a day we had planned.
We figured on wanting to be in place by 1:30 Eastern, so we’d see the pre-eclipse and the totality and leave by 3:00. It’s about a 250mi drive, so it’d take about 4 hours. So we left the house at about 8, and had to stop at a local store to get some gas, and hit the road. Half a mile out of the parking lot our check engine light on our '02 Jeep Liberty decided to come on and there was a noticeable hesitation. We had no choice but to go back home (4mi) and pull the codes.
We also have a 03 Honda Accord that runs fine, but the AC isn’t working, which on a 90°+ day forecast, and a 600mi round trip ahead of us in a car with black leather, was not an option. I might, and that’s a big might, have been able to handle it, but my wife isn’t as cold natured as I am, so there no way that was happening. In hindsight I was glad we didn’t try it.
By the time we got home, and the code pulled, it was close to 9, and our time was running tight. The code showed a bad throttle position sensor, which I don’t have a spare one of, plus I didn’t have a code reader to clear the codes. So, with steam issuing from my ears, I knew we couldn’t make the trip to Franklin, and a trip to the orchard was looking unlikely as well. She said she could go to town in the car, and get the sensor and a code reader along with some groceries. I told her to try to get back before the max part of the eclipse hit us, at 2:30. I stayed behind to work on the Jeep some more and watch some coverage of the eclipse. By then it was about 11.
She left, and at about 1:15, they were showing the totality from Oregon. I just sat there watching in both wonder and disgust as I wished we were in Franklin by now. Here the partial started about that time, so I watched the effects outside, and tracked it thru my binoculars turned backwards towards the sun and the image projecting onto the wood deck. At about 2:15, the light had an eerie twilight look to it, it was very odd to see. I watched my animals to see how they responded to it, and didn’t see anything unusual with them.
My wife got back home at about 2:25, about 7 minutes from the max eclipse. We watched it with the binoc projection. Also took some interesting pics, which I’ll post later. After watching a bit longer, I figured I needed to get the sensor swapped out to see if it’d work or not. It took me about half an hour to get the sensor changed, just two star headed screws to remove off the top of the throttle. I cleared the codes with the scanner and fired up the engine and voila, no check engine light. About 8 hours too late…
I took it around for a brief road test and came back, by then it was about 4:30, and I asked her if she still wanted to go the orchard, and she said she was up for it, and I was too, I didn’t want to see the whole day wasted. We had about a 2hr drive ahead of us, so had to hoof it. The Jeep ran fine all the way there and back.
We got to the orchard about 6:30, so we had an hour to get what we came for. She wanted a bunch of Maxine pears, Honeycrisp apples and blackberries. We split up, took separate wagons and headed out. She went to the berry patch and I’d hit the HC rows and Maxine row. A lot of the HC were on the ground, but there were quite a few still in the trees, so I picked about 10lb and then went over to get some pears, and picked about 12-15lb when she came by with her berries. They had been picked over pretty bad, and a lot of them were past peak, getting soft, and going to seed. She was only able to get about a lb and a half. I wanted to get some Jonagold and Sweet 16 apples, so I told her to take what we picked to the store and pay for them, while I got the other apples. I got about 6lb of both varieties, and got back to the store about 7:40. We paid up, I think we ended up with about 40lb of fruit! That included about 20lb of pears, and about 20lb of apples, mostly Honeycrisp. I wanted some Macs, and Pixie Crunch, but we just ran out of time. I’m glad we got to the pears and HC today, as they would’ve been gone by next week.
We left at 8, and stopped for supper, and got back home about 11! What a day, at least it wasn’t a total washout. Plus, I fixed the Jeep on my own and saved some $$ in the process.
OK, my eyes are bleary, it’s 1:30, and I still haven’t got a shower, the Mrs went to bed two hours ago, and I’m headed there soon.
Sorry for the saga, guess I’m still wired after such a long day. I’ll post some pics soon of the day’s events. Hope those who saw the totality enjoyed it. If we’re around in 7 years, there will be another total eclipse, just to the West of us, going up from Texas, northeast up into New England… So…