CHARLESTON, S.C. — As the eclipse left the continent, the clouds won out.
“I’ve rooted for the Redskins all my life, but I’ve never rooted for the clouds before,” said Steve Garrett, 64, of Winchester, Va.
Twelve minutes before totality, the sun peeked through a hole in the clouds, exposing just a fingernail of the partially eclipsed star. “C’mon, clouds, c’mon,” Garret said.
No such luck. At 2:46 p.m., the day went dark and a burst of crows flew overhead to roost, a thick blanket of clouds separated hopeful eyes from totality. Can we take our glasses off? Sure, came the reply, there’s nothing to see. Nothing to see above — but just as the shadow came, thunder rumbled, accompanied by a flash of distant lightning.
Post-eclipse, Andrew Nadler, in his mid-50s, who’d traveled to Charleston from New York, couldn’t help but be disappointed. “The sky wasn’t quite as dark as I’d thought,” he said.
But Garrett was satisfied. “Just being here with all these people in the darkness, that was really the most incredible thing,” he said.
And there’s always the next one — 2024. “You can never think too far ahead,” Nadler said, “but yeah, I’d like to see it.”