Eclipse Chasers Are About To Flock To Missouri — For The Event And Loved Ones

Aug 16, 2017

The path of totality marked by next week's historic total eclipse of the sun arcs across much of Kansas City and its surrounding areas.

Missouri is expected to have more people see the eclipse by default that most other places because the path of totality hits both Kansas City and St. Louis. Local cities like St. Joseph, Missouri, and Atchison, Kansas, have been fielding requests and making preparations for eclipse chasers hoping to get a prime viewing spot in the area.

Travel is expected to be heavy around eclipse time — and not only on the roads.                                               

Zach Krumme is coming from London to watch the eclipse in St. Joseph.
Credit Courtesy Zach Krumme

Zach Krumme works for the World Bank doing debt and equity investment in emerging markets. He comes back annually to see family — but timed his visit this year to the eclipse.

"I'm traveling 4,341 miles to see the eclipse in St. Joe. Having never seen an eclipse before, I'm really looking forward to this opportunity."

Ben Bauermeister has family in Augusta, Missouri. He's traveling from Port Townsend, Washington to watch the eclipse with them.
Credit Courtesy Ben Bauermeister

Ben Bauermeister is a social entrepreneur and musician in Port Townsend, Washington. He'll be coming to visit his brother and sister-in-law, play some music and watch the eclipse outside of St. Louis.

"I've always been intrigued by the sky and the stars and the moon. (I'm looking forward) to witnessing the grandest largesse our environment has to offer and to feel the smallest you can feel at the same time."

Steve Tannen is with the Des Moines-based band The Weepies. Tannen says they've never played Kansas City before; they'll play a concert the night before the eclipse. He's been through eclipses elsewhere in the world.

Steve Tannen plays guitar with The Weepies, a band that will perform in Kansas City the night before the eclipse.
Credit Courtesy photo / Steve Tannen

"I had a chance to see a total eclipse in Turkey. It was the closest thing to being near an alien planet. It was a totally cosmic experience."

David Katz and Chase Schober are driving overnight from New Orleans to watch the eclipse outside St. Joseph.
Credit Courtesy David Katz

David Katz graduated in December from Tulane University in New Orleans. He's currently working in mental health and marketing. Chase Schober will graduate from Tulane in December with a degree in physics.

"We're going to stay with a family friend who's got models of solar systems everywhere, and like, telescopes and stuff like that," Katz says. "I've been telling Chase we're gonna get to completely nerd- out with him and bask in whatever geeky knowledge he can throw at us for the day."

Laura Ziegler is a community engagement reporter and producer. Reach her on Twitter @laurazig or email lauraz@kcur.org.