April 8, 2024: Eclipse Viewing Party Recap

The 2024 Great American Eclipse was an event that brought people together from all walks of life from all around North America. The eclipse provided 100% (i.e. totality) for those in a certain line of path from Mazatlán up through Cleveland. The Keweenaw Mountain Lodge was not in the path of totality, however we were predicted to see a partial eclipse with the moon covering 75.1% of the sun. This was an ideal opportunity for the team at the Lodge to provide an educational experience for guests.

This map shows where the Lodge is located (along the red path) for a 75% partial eclipse.

We decided a viewing party was in order and put together a list of learning opportunities for the guests:

  • Set up a timer to countdown the start of the eclipse.
  • Show the live feed of the broadcast from NASA in the Class room.
  • Provide eclipse viewing glasses that would allow guests to safety view the eclipse.
  • Set up an eclipse information table.
  • Test the Lodge’s new Seestar S50 digital, smart astronomical telescope in hopes to capture some images of the eclipse.
  • Offer some sweet treats from the KML Rustic and Worldly Kitchen (We like to say no party is complete without some sweets)
The poster for the Eclipse Viewing Party at the Lodge.

The morning of the event we checked the NOAA weather App and the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge Weather Station. It was a typical Spring day in the Keweenaw with a mix of clouds, sun and precipitation. The eclipse was going to happen between 1:59pm and 4:21pm in Copper Harbor, a total of 2 hours and 22 minutes. All we needed was a brief cloudless window of clear skies during the time of the eclipse.

Information about how we saw the partial eclipse at the Lodge in Copper Harbor.

We opened the Class Room for the guests around noon, and started the timer. The countdown had begun!

At 1:00pm we projected on the “big screen” NASA’s live-feed broadcast of the eclipse. Guests and KML team members trickled in to watch this celestial event. There was excitement across the continent and in the room as we watched the first images of totality from Mazatlan, Mexico come across the screen.

NASA’s live ffed showing totality in Mazatlan.

Chef Wi brought in a plate of eclipse-themed treats for guests to enjoy. These sugar cookies with dark chocolate ganache were a fun surprise for the people in the class room.

Chef Wi’s eclipse-themed sugar cookies with dark chocolate ganache.

As 1:59pm approached, a KML team member heard on the local news that the clouds would be parting around 3:00pm. For the first half hour of the eclipse at the Lodge the sky was cloudy, however we remained optimistic. Soon the clouds parted and we all ventured out with the reusable eclipse glasses that the Lodge had specially purchased to safely view the eclipse. We made it over to the fairway of hole 9 of the golf course. The group was in awe as the eclipsed sun broke through the clouds. It was mesmerizing to watch it in person compared to seeing it on the screen inside the class room.

Guests enjoying the eclipse through the Lodge’s reusable eclipse glasses.

I ran back into the class room and grabbed the new Seestar S50 digital telescope to start taking some images. One of the core values of the Lodge is to be fearless and persistent in learning on a daily basis. Learning to use the Seestar S50 is a step-by-step process. I had learned through a previous attempt that leveling the device is a critical step. There is a level on the tripod and also a screen on the app that helps you level the device, let’s just say that it is a sensitive machine. I was able to get it level after a little fidgeting and set it to solar mode. It quickly found the sun and we were able to get a great close up view of the eclipse. I was then able to show guests the live feed on my phone screen to give them another perspective.

KML Team Member Monica Howard loaded the app onto her phone. We shut off the device and restarted it and she was able to then control the Seestar S50. She delighted in capturing images of the eclipse and starting the learning process of the software application.

KML team member Monica Howard using the Seestar S50 digital telescope.

Soon the eclipse was over and we all left the experience a little changed. For a few hours we were able to witness an amazing celestial event that brought us all a little closer together. We were fortunate to have the break in the clouds which allowed our team to provide another educational experience, one of the core focuses at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge. Our hope is that guests leave more knowledgeable than when they came. Keep looking U.P.

Guests enjoying the eclipse through the Lodge’s reusable eclipse glasses.

Last modified on May 20th, 2024 at 12:46 pm