Eclipse fans travel thousands of miles

By Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

COLUMBIA, Missouri - If you think it’s extreme to fly 800 miles from Houston to Missouri to see a total eclipse for just over two minutes, then consider this. Chris Kitt flew more than 8,000 miles, from New Zealand, for a good view.

“We did 14 hours from Auckland to Houston. And then we’ve done a couple of days in Houston. Went to NASA and now we’re just two hours from Houston to St. Louis,” Kitt said.

Kitt was not the only one flocking to the line of totality. It crosses right through Columbia, Missouri, the home of the University of Missouri at Columbia. The school planned three days of activities. Some estimated the city of more than 100,000 that could temporarily double its population for the eclipse.

“I think it’s once in a lifetime. I have friends that are like ah ... why is everyone making a big deal about this? I, for one, probably won’t see it again in my lifetime and two that the community can come together and do lots of activities and celebrate,” resident Kim Stewart said.

The big question along the line of totality is the weather. Will the clouds clear and allow this part of the country to see total darkness in what would otherwise be the brightest part of the day?

“I expect a very good, total eclipse. Really good. I’ve been to America before. Just not this part of it you know. Now he hopes to see something that few Americans have ever seen,” Kitt said.

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