Total eclipse! We drove to Charlotte yesterday, got up early and drove to Table Rock State Park in western SC. We had booked the Charlotte hotel a couple weeks ago with the idea that we could decide at the last minute between alternatives within a good sized radius. I picked Table Rock because (a) the forecast was better the further west you went, and (b) they offered good viewing by the lake with first-come, first-served admission starting at 7 a.m.
We got to the park at 7:30, and they closed the gates a little while later. We staked out a nice spot in the shade of a redbud tree by the lake, and took a 2-mile hike to help pass the time. It was a very nice place, and I wish I could have done the longer hikes up Table Rock and Pinnacle Mountain, which have huge granite cliffs facing east.
The day started off completely clear, but the clouds began to gather around noon, and by the time the eclipse started the sun was in and out of clouds. Miraculously though, it was in the clear during the 2 minutes of totality and we were treated to the full experience, glasses off and corona shining. Clouds came over again just as the sun began to appear on the other side.