‘It will be so striking’: Travelers from across the country talk about coming to Darke County to see solar eclipse

RV owners, folks in “Airstream rally” came to Greenville from Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Florida, Louisiana to be in path of totality

More than 200 years ago, renowned Shawnee chief Tecumseh and his younger brother Tenskwatawa watched the last total solar eclipse to travel across Ohio from the banks of the Mud and Greenville creeks in Darke County.

On June 16, 1806, the two Native Americans watched in awe as the moon passed in front of the sun.

Today, thousands have traveled to Greenville to walk in the same footsteps of Tecumseh, or at several attractions set up for the Darke Side of the Moon celebration in Darke County.

>> PHOTO GALLERY: Eclipse fans were already in Greenville getting ready Sunday

Darke County is one of several counties in Ohio that will be in the totality of the solar eclipse when it takes place shortly after 3 p.m. Monday.

Here’s what several visitors had to say about their travels to Darke County.

* George and Erin Karol traveled from Chesapeake, Virginia in their Airstream trailer and will watch the eclipse today from the Darke County Fairgrounds. They are part of 150 Airstream trailers at the fairgrounds.

“We got here Saturday and can’t wait for the eclipse. We’re here for the big event, but also enjoy spending time with people with similar interests,” George Karol said.

* Lindsay Luke grew up in Darke County, but she and her partner Craig Wilsey are visiting from Silver Spring, Maryland — eight hours away.

“We have witnessed partial eclipses, but are looking forward to this. We are interested in seeing the reaction it has on wildlife,” Lindsay Luke said.

* George Parker is a retired physics professor from North Carolina State University. He and his wife, Barbara, are visiting from Raleigh, North Carolina.

The couple traveled in their Winnebago to New River Gorge and then found a spot at the Darke County Fairgrounds. They are part of 56 RVs in their travel group.

“We saw an eclipse in 2017 from Yellowstone, but we were only in 98% totality so we really wanted to see what 100% is like,” Barbara Parker said.

George Parker compared the total solar eclipse to a West Virginia coal mine.

“You see no light. It will be so striking at the time,” George Parker said.

* Leon Lupien drove 1,200 miles from Winter Haven, Florida, to Darke County. He travels half of the year with his wife. They are going on a trip to Alaska later this year.

He’s hoping for clear skies, “and I’ll be looking for a comet on the western horizon at the same time as the eclipse,” Lupien said.

* Mimi Clifton of Abita Springs, Louisiana has been traveling north since the beginning of March. She travels by herself pulling an Airstream trailer, which is solar powered when she makes stops.

“I’ve been wanting to witness an eclipse and plan on taking the time to make sure I watch it all the way through,” said Clifton, who was visiting the Darke County fairgrounds with her dog, Bayou.

* David Yolton, of Blacksburg, Virginia, will watch the eclipse from Shawnee Prairie Park outside of Greenville where a statue of Tecumseh sits outside the visitors center.

He traveled seven hours and was looking for a place near Dayton.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event. Darke County is a beautiful rural area and seemed like a great place to watch it,” Yolton said.

Yolton said the flat land after they got out of Chillicothe, Ohio, was different than the mountainous area they lived in.

“It’s really flat around here. It will be great to see the eclipse,” he said.

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