My Experience Viewing the Solar Eclipse in Nashville


By Michael Lundquist

The morning of August 19, 2017, I departed on a journey with 12 other travelers to the Nashville area to see the sites. But I also wanted to view the solar eclipse, which I call the” Great American Eclipse.”

I have a faint memory from childhood of going outside my elementary school in Iowa to see an eclipse, which was probably not in the full path since my memory is that it was basically a letdown. This was not what I experienced this time!

We gathered at a state park in Hermitage, Tenn. on the banks of the Pearcy Priest Lake reservoir. As the time for the full eclipse approached, there was an excitement and energy with our watch party. We were not let down  as the moon passed in front of the sun and into its full position. The sky became night and the first thing I noticed was Venus shining brightly. We all cheered as the eclipse became total. We enjoyed two minutes and 33 seconds (according to my watch) before the blazing red of the sun began peeking out from behind the moon.

I was the tour director on this trip and the only person traveling alone. On this particular three-night trip, there was a supplement to get the double room confirmed as a single. In America, this is easier and more affordable then on international trips. For example, on this trip to Nashville, it was only $37 additional to travel as a single. For comparison, on a three-night trip I will be leading to Romania, it will costing $207 additional to travel as a single. This is something that single travelers should consider when making tour arrangements.

These days it’s comfortable to travel as a single. On larger trips I arrange, there are often five to six singles out of a group of 40 travelers. Traveling alone may seem like it would be lonely, but I find it to be the opposite. It gets me out of my comfort zone, seeing a new place with a group of people with whom I can socialize when I choose. As a single traveler, I can also experience some things alone when we have free time.

On the trip to Nashville, the husband of one couple brought a collapsible wheelchair for him to use during the longer sightseeing excursions, as well as to watch the eclipse. Needing assistance with mobility should not deter someone from enjoying vacation travel. Most tour directors will help to make arrangements to accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, or portable oxygen.

Metaphorically speaking, I feel the Great American Eclipse was a perfect example of how darkness and light function together. Watching the darkness engulf the light for over two minutes was incredible, and seeing how the light can’t be stopped, but eventually moves through the darkness sends  a message of victory.

This was a wonderful day, an awesome travel group, and for me, a spiritual experience.

Michael Lundquist is the owner of Vital Transport LLC and has visited 49 states and 21 countries. His passion is to encourage global travel and provide memorable travel experiences. In his free time, he loves to write blogs, articles, and poetry. For more info, visit or call 843-597-2131.


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