I wrote a blog post about the eclipse a few months ago, and in my research I found that the eclipse itself affects the weather. We know about the darkness (duh) and the drop in temperature, but it also helps decrease cloud cover by 20% - 40%. So, it proved to work for you! That's great!
We didn't want to take a chance on that happening in Charleston (forecast was for 60% cloud cover and 50% chance of rain, or something equally dire), so we drove 1.5 hours west and, like you, had perfect clear skies for the eclipse.
I *loved* the idea that we all were excited to experience something in nature. No politics, no red, no blue, just people in awe of something bigger than ourselves and our first world problems.
That's cool to hear about the eclipse impacting the weather! Didn't help Lawrence or St Joe (which had been planning big events for several years, and had total cloud cover).
I agree, it was amazing to share it with other folks, total strangers coming together. The guy next to us had a huge telescope. He shared it with us, we shared our wine with him. Happiness all around!
Bill & I stayed overnight in central KS on the way back from Leadville, then drove north to Beatrice, NE. We had originally planned on being further east, but the weather didn't look very promising. As it was, we still had to move a few times to get a clear patch. Fortunately, that's pretty easy to do when you have a 1-mile gravel grid to travel on. Driving home after that we hit the big storms that had gone through KC. Really heavy stuff; it would take a lot more than an eclipse to shut those down.
Oh I always feel so bad for organizers of events -- planning for years! -- that are adversely affected by weather.
I actually looked into going to St. Joe, and seeing you guys in Lawrence, but plane tix were too much. I guess that saved us ...