International visitor thanks Beatrice community

I would like to thank your community and all the organizers and volunteers who put together a wholly enjoyable event on Eclipse Monday.

My wife and I drove in from Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada, and we don’t consider a single mile wasted… except the times when she told me to take the wrong exit. On the way in, we drove through some weather that would be a once-in-a-decade storm for us, which I believe you folks refer to as a Sunday in August.

The next morning, the skies were a little clearer but the forecast was not looking too promising, and we almost considered heading over to another town. But, in the end, we stuck with our plan and made our way to the Homestead Monument.

We had heard dire warnings about the traffic, but had no trouble at all. There were signs, a radio station, parking knights and shuttle buses. There was a table laden with the coveted eclipse glasses, which were sold out in major cities but complimentary here.

We really appreciated the NASA content, the Glowing Sphere of Education, the talks by scientists, the real-time monitoring and the live feed from the weather balloon. We didn’t even realize Bill Nye was going to be there in person, but that just reinforced that Beatrice was the place to be.

We met people from all over North America, as well as the locals who made us feel welcome and taught us the proper pronunciation of Be-AH-trice.

As the inevitable moment approached, the clouds provided some added drama. It was the first time I’ve ever been in a crowd cheering so enthusiastically about cloud cover, with an intensity normally reserved for hockey games (OK, football games).

With the effort that went into your event, you absolutely deserved that favorable gust of wind that opened up the sky enough for the solar corona and nearby planet Venus to shine through. We wish we could have stayed a little longer, but are glad we were able to take a couple days off to come to your town.

-Paul Klassen, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Father, son travel to Beatrice to watch total solar eclipse

My son and I traveled to Nebraska to watch the eclipse. Totality was an awesome experience, but the best part of our trip was meeting the good people of southeast Nebraska!

To the friendly folks at 4 One 8 Bar and Grill in Beatrice, the folks at Jeannie's Place and John and Lisa in Lewiston, Charla in Table Rock and all the other locals whose names we never knew: your generosity, hospitality, offers of assistance and genuine concern for our well-being was greatly appreciated and made us feel right at home.

The eclipse viewers were also a wonderful and interesting group. We thoroughly enjoyed our conversations with them.

Many thanks to all of you for making our journey fantastic.

-Steve and Sam Reynebeau, Little Chute, Wis.

Oklahoma residents make an unplanned journey to Beatrice

As thunderstorms approached our planned eclipse-watching spot, we fled westward. Completely by accident, we arrived in Beatrice, Neb. and were so lucky to do so.

When we took our dog on an eclipse-viewing walk, no less than three different strangers offered their hospitality to us.

The butterfly garden at 13th and High streets was in full bloom, butterflies and all. Even our view of the main event turned out better than we'd hoped.

Thanks to you all for being so pleasant.

-Nick Brooke, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Visitor enjoys camping experience at Gage County Fairgrounds

We wanted to send a note of thanks for the wonderful welcome we felt as guests in Beatrice for the 2017 eclipse, and to particularly mention Lisa and Steve, who hosted so many out-of-state visitors at the campground at the Gage County Fairgrounds.

I have to admit, when we put up our tent on Friday night, in the dark with the roar of the speedway behind us, I was wondering if a hotel might have been a better bet, but we all enjoyed the camaraderie of camping and the thrill of the storm that almost collapsed our tent in the wee hours of Sunday night.

Great family stories are made of weekends like these! We watched the eclipse from the fairgrounds with some families who had come from Des Moines; they also commented on how thoroughly friendly all their encounters had been. We also chatted with one the regional directors of interpretation for the NPS, who commented on the great service that the National Park Service gets from volunteers in Beatrice.

Thanks for a great Nebraska experience!

-Claire Doyle, St. Paul, Minn.

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