Well, a few days ago, I got to see the solar eclipse at 100% totality.

Although the eclipse appeared over the entire country, the eclipse only reached 100% totality (meaning the sun was completely eclipsed by the moon) in a few select areas of America. One of those areas was North Georgia.

I live in Athens, Georgia, where the sun was supposed to reach 99% totality. Still pretty great, right?

Well, according to our good friend the Internet, there is a huge difference between 99% and 100% in this case. Since The Husband didn’t have classes Monday, I got off work, and we drove to Unicoi State Park.

I had zero expectations. When my expectations are low, I usually end up having one of the best experiences of my life. Let us all remember my trip to Tokyo last May.

I didn’t Google any photos of what an eclipse at 100% totality is supposed to look like. Frankly, I figured it would just be dark for a couple minutes. Which would still be cool, given it was 2:30 PM, but whatever.

Our friend (shout-out to Maranda!) works at Unicoi State Park. When we arrived, she told us someone had cancelled their boat reservation that morning, so there was a boat available for us to paddle out onto Unicoi Lake to view the eclipse. We took it.

So we hopped into a paddle boat and joined all our fellow rednecks on the water.

And guys. It was glorious.

No, I don’t have photos. We didn’t take any. But it was more than I could have ever imagined. It was like a disco ball in the sky. The white glow surrounding the sun and moon lit up the dark sky and Jupiter.

Looking around, there was a 360-degree sunset. Crickets got confused and started to chirp. We, along with a hundred strangers on and near the lake, cheered in unison for two straight minutes. To an outsider watching this group, it would have been comical. But the sense of camaraderie during a historic moment was almost as beautiful as the eclipse itself.

Let’s all get pumped for 2024, when another eclipse comes to America!