Eclipse day! We were out of the door by 7, stopped at Starbucks, and then drove to the parking lot of the Piggly Wiggly at Decatur which seemed to be a place not likely to get many visitors, but with plenty of options for routes south to Atlanta. The morning drive was no problem at all, lots of cars from other places but no jams.
We pulled up in the Piggly Wiggly and quickly realised that there was no phone service (for navigation when leaving to avoid the worst of the traffic) and that no one wants to hang out in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot in Decatur TN for 6 hours, and decided to hop across the highway towards Athens instead. The town of Athens put on an event in their regional park, and we managed to find a parking spot there. Spent five hours avoiding the sun as much as possible, sat next to people waiting for a lunar eclipse while they talked about how the moon landings were fake (come on people!), and then saw the totality in fully clear skies. It was incredible. The dusk like lighting, the drop in temperature, the ring of light around the edge of the moon - it was really something. Really glad we made the trip, and very grateful to the people of Athens TN for not even giving visitors from all over the country a chance to pay them for the use of their park. Spoke to people from all over the country, and the atmosphere was fantastic.
The journey back to ATL wasn't so far, heavy traffic for the first hour but not the armageddon we'd been promised - we did end up avoiding the highway for that hour (thanks google maps traffic!). Then our plane was delayed for hours, and we got home at 3.30am, meaning most of this week has been spent in a tired haze. But totality (hah!) worth it :)