The lunar eclipse of May 2022 promised to be the longest in nearly 33 years, so I loaded my kids in the car and drove up to Governor Dodge State Park in Wisconsin for a chance at snapping a shot of it.
The only other lunar eclipse I've viewed was back when I was in high school with my dad in my grandparents' back yard. It was in our relatively rural town of about 4,000 people, so there was a bit of light pollution. Mostly I remember the color, and a kind of shadow that seemed to be over the moon.
For this trip with my own kids, I sweetened the deal with a night at a hotel with a pool, plus camping out the night of the eclipse. We loaded up with snacks and gear. I used Google Sky Map to find a campsite that would have a decent view of the south eastern sky. We passed up a couple of sweet spots on the river, but my kids liked Governor Dodge enough that we'll be back.
As the moon rose, I quickly realized that the trees would block our view of the moon. However, the spot we picked was also by the bathroom, which had a great open view. It always helps to think about plan B!
Totality was planned to happen well after their bedtime, I figured I'd be waking them up when it happened. But when the first "bite" came out of the full moon, all of them hopped out of the tent and were excited to watch it slowly get eaten by the Earth's shadow and turn red.
While we watched, two packs of coyotes howled in the distance. They marveled at how many more starts they could see here than in suburban Chicago. We laughed and talked until the reddish orange color of totality engulfed the moon.
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