The Story

We left Salt Lake City at 3:30 am on Monday, August 21st to drive up to Rexburg, Idaho, thinking that the highway would be so crowded that we might need a lot of extra time to get there. But surprisingly enough, there was almost no slowdown at all on the way and we arrived there by about 7:00. We had a location reserved for us on the BYU campus, in the middle of the softball field and parked our 4 cars in a lot just across the road. I had given my son Ben my 5-inch telescope and he carried it along with other items over to the field, along with the other items we packed for the trip. I must admit that we had done a great deal of planning and the preparation for the trip was some of the most lengthy and complete we had ever done for any trip in our lives. We took food, water, gasoline (the news had reported that it might be in short supply), chairs to sit on, and a table to play cards on, which we used while waiting for the event to begin.
We did play Hearts for some time while other people were arriving around us. And the weather was perfect! It was sunny, without a cloud in the sky and mild temperatures. At about 10:15, the sun began to show a small bite out of the upper right portion of the disk. Ben was taking pictures with his Nikon on the telescope but was having some trouble with the tracking, due to the fact that we did not know exactly where due North was. With some adjustment, however, we got it working well enough. I was taking pictures with my Nikon on a tripod, using my Nikkor 300mm F:4.5 lens and a solar filter. During the next hour, lots of people came our way to peek through the C-5 and Ben was busy giving them a good look.
At about 11:00 I noticed that the battery on my camera had lost a notch of its charge and suddenly began to wonder if it would last through the next half hour. Then I suddenly discovered that the spare battery (fully charged, of course) was not at my feet where I expected it to be. After searching the immediate area and not finding it, I finally decided to ask my son Shawn to go back to the car and look for it but he returned without it. Now I noticed that the battery in my camera had lost another notch and I began to panic. At about 11:25, with just 9 minutes left before totality, I discovered that the little blue case with that spare battery was over near the card table and I hurredly replaced the one in the camera with the fully charged one. But unfortunately, that moved the tripod enough to move the lens off of the sun and it took me several minutes to find it again because the crescent sun was now so thin and dim. I finally got the lens back on the target just before the diamond ring effect and took several images of that but did not notice until later that my aim was imperfect and those photos are partially off the bottom of the frame. When I discovered the problem, I re-aligned the lens and did get some nice shots of the corona. I had known what exposure to use and did get what I expected, with the best results coming from a 1/16th second at F:4.5, with the ISO set at 12800.
Meanwhile, Ben got some great shots of the eclipse with the C-5.
Afterward, we packed up as quickly as possible and attempted to leave Rexburg but found that quite impossible. It look us almost 45 minutes to get out of the town, only to find the highway totally jammed with cars. The trip back to Salt Lake City, 240 miles, took us just about 10 hours, at an average speed of 24 mph! It was about 11:00 that night when we finally got back to Ben's in Sandy, Utah. Christine and I came back to Price the next morning.