Photos: Minnesotans battle storms -- and traffic -- on 23-hour eclipse road trip


The group was awakened by lightning during the trip.
1 A group of Minnesotans traveling from Albert Lea to Nebraska to view the total eclipse were awakened by lighting strikes shortly after passing through Des Moines, Iowa, around 3 a.m. 
Rain drips down the window of the charter bus.
2 Rain drips down the window of the charter bus taking Minnesotans from Albert Lea to Pawnee City, Neb., during a stop near Des Moines. 
Ken Fiscus addresses the group traveling from Albert Lea to Pawnee City.
3 As they arrive in Nebraska, Ken Fiscus addresses the group about the schedule for the day. Fiscus grew up in Pawnee City, which is also the birthplace of comedian Daniel Lawrence Whitney, better known as Larry the Cable Guy. 
A charter bus load of Minnesotans are welcomed to a breakfast.
4 The charter bus load of Minnesotans are welcomed to a breakfast at the Tiger Pride Center in Table Rock, Neb. 
Clark Hammer and Julie Rasmussen were inspired by a talk Fiscus gave.
5 Clark Hammer, of Geneva, Minn., and Julie Rasmussen, of Clark's Grove, Minn., sit in front of the Tiger Pride Center in Table Rock, Neb. Hammer and his sister, nephew, and brother-in-law went to a presentation Fiscus did on the eclipse, which inspired him to go on the trip. Rasmussen's son had Fiscus as a teacher in high school, and she also attended the eclipse presentation, which inspired her to go. 
Sunspots can be seen on the lower part and center of the sun.
6 The sun sits high in the sky at 9 a.m. above Pawnee City. Sunspots can be seen on the lower part and center of the sun. 
Ken Fiscus points to two places in the sky.
7 Albert Lea science teacher Ken Fiscus points to two places in the sky to show eclipse watchers what to look for during the eclipse. 
Shremattie Kokotovich with her son, Alek, 5
8 Shremattie Kokotovich with her son, Alek, 5, of Savage, Minn., at the Pawnee City Softball Complex, where they traveled to see the eclipse. 
An Amish family makes homemade ice cream to serve to eclipse watchers.
9 An Amish family makes homemade ice cream to serve to eclipse watchers. 
A woman who bought home-made ice cream walks in the downpour.
10 A woman who bought some of the homemade ice cream walks in the downpour while waiting for the eclipse to begin. 
Eclipse watchers from around the country huddle in a dugout.
11 Eclipse watchers from around the country huddle in a dugout to stay dry. 
An astronomer put a plastic bag over his telescope to keep it dry.
12 An astronomer put a plastic bag over his telescope to keep it dry. 
Eclipse watchers put on their viewing glasses.
13 Eclipse watchers put on their viewing glasses as the rain moves away — just in time. 
The clouds cleared in time for the beginning of the total solar eclipse.
14 The clouds clears above the Pawnee City Softball Complex in time to reveal the beginning of the total solar eclipse. 
Clark Hammer, right, and Ryan Rasmussen sit back to watch the eclipse.
15 Minnesota residents Clark Hammer, right, and Ryan Rasmussen sit back to watch the beginning of the eclipse. 
Alek Kokotovich, 5, of Savage, is lifted up to view the solar eclipse.
16 Alek Kokotovich, 5, is lifted up by a fellow eclipse watcher to view the solar eclipse through a telescope. The telescope was fitted with a special filter to avoid burning the eyes and equipment. 
Eclipse watchers get comfortable to look up at the sky.
17 Eclipse watchers get comfortable to look up at the sky. 
Dixie Jellum, of Mason City, Iowa watches the beginning of the eclipse.
18 Dixie Jellum, of Mason City, Iowa, watches the beginning of the eclipse. 
The sun begins to be covered by the moon.
19 The sun begins to be covered by the moon as the eclipse begins above Pawnee City. 
People that came to watch the eclipse stare into the sky.
20 People stare into the sky as they wait for the eclipse. 
The sun, looking like a crescent moon, moves near totality.
21 The sun, looking like a crescent moon, moves near totality. 
Eclipse watchers stare into the sky as they wait for the total eclipse.
22 Eclipse watchers wait for the eclipse to reach totality in Pawnee City. 
The sun is almost completely covered and nears totality above Pawnee City.
23 The sun is almost completely covered and nears totality above Pawnee City, where a crowd of around 400 people came from around the country to watch the eclipse. 
The star Regulus can be seen just to the left of the eclipse.
24 The eclipse reaches totality and the star Regulus can be seen just to the left of the eclipse. 
The total solar eclipse seen from Pawnee City, Nebraska.
25 The total solar eclipse reveals the sun's corona as rays from the sun shoot out around the moon. 
The total solar eclipse reveals the sun's corona.
26 The pink flares around the corona are called prominences. 
The pink layer around the moon is called the chromosphere.
27 The corona appears around the moon. The pink layer around the moon is called the chromosphere, and is visible at the beginning and ending of totality. 
As the end of totality nears, what is called a 'diamond ring' can be seen.
28 As the end of totality nears, what is called a "diamond ring" can be seen, which is the moment when the sun starts to push past the eclipse. 
A metal strainer throws eclipse-shaped light onto Alek Kokotovich's shirt.
29 A metal strainer throws out crescent-shaped light as the eclipse projects its outline through the holes onto Alek Kokotovich's shirt.