“Very unique:” Wisconsinites traveling on bus tour south to see eclipse totality

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MILWAUKEE -- We're just two days away from an exciting astrological event; a total solar eclipse visible from here in the United States will take place Monday, August 21st. A group of Wisconsinites jumped on a bus Saturday, August 19th to head down to the total eclipse zone.

For some lucky few, they're headed right into the path of totality.

"Not a total eclipse, I've seen a eclipse, but not a total eclipse," said Madeline Caldwell, solar eclipse traveler.

Madeline Caldwell and Mary Ann Mueller

Madeline Caldwell, along with her friend Mary Ann Mueller, are two of the people braving the journey by bus to Clarksville, Tennessee.

"Something very unique and they say that we'll be able to see the stars. Most of the time you can't see the stars because of all the clouds," said Mueller.

A couple dozen people will be making the trip. In addition to looking at the eclipse Monday, riders will also make several stops to help enrich their experience.

"We're going to the University of Illinois, and stopping at the planetarium there so they can hear an expert speak about the eclipse. They actually get to look at the sun through some of their big telescopes," said John Meier, Badger Bus Tours.

The crew is made up of people from a multitude of different backgrounds. One thing they all have in common: a passion for space. One grandmother is bringing her daughter and grandchildren along.

"The eeriness of the light is so fantastic and when it was an opportunity to see a total eclipse I've thought I got to go," said Loe Diederich, taking family to see eclipse.

Loe Diederich and family

All of them are eager to bond on their drive.

"It's right before school starts back up again, so it's nice to spend a little time with our family," said Maggie Miller, eclipse traveler.

The crew will return Tuesday, August 22nd -- and in addition to viewing the eclipse in Tennessee, they're also being provided safe eclipse viewing glasses. Several of them said that having the glasses was the big selling point since they've been so hard to acquire.