Wisconsinites hit the road for total solar eclipse

MILWAUKEE -- We're a day away from the big show in the sky. Here in Milwaukee, only 83-percent of the sun will be covered Monday afternoon for the total solar eclipse. That means many Wisconsinites are headed south to get a better view.
Over the next couple days we'll be hearing a lot about St. Joseph, Missouri and Carbondale, Illinois. Those are the two Midwestern hot spots along the path of totality. The Kaczmarek family of Oconomowoc has their bags packed for an 8 hour ‘bucket list’ road trip.
"I figured, we're not in school, they're not, I'm not, so it just makes sense to make an event of it," said Carrie Kaczmarek.
Kaczmarek and her kids have all the essentials and memorabilia stowed away for their journey to st. Joseph.
"We've got the poster boards so we can see the snake shadows," said Kaczmarek
They're prepared to watch daylight turn to darkness for more than 2 and a half minutes along the path of totality.
"It's kind of rare in the U.S. to see a total solar eclipse," said Caty Lou Kaczmarek.
The Great American Eclipse will cross the continental United States from Oregon to South Carolina. The last time a total solar eclipse swept across the whole nation was 99 years ago.
"I'm really excited because this is a once in a lifetime thing," said Kaczmarek.
Over in Waukesha, strangers unite to make the must see event an educational experience through the UW Southeast Region.
A group of students and members of the community are also traveling to St. Joseph.
"It's probably the first and last one I'll ever see in my life and I'm really fascinated with astronomy so I figured why not," said student Isaac Green.
Astronomy professor William Dirienzo will be guiding the trip. He said if you miss out on Monday, there’s no need to worry.
"Luckily, we're going to have another one in 2024, but that's still a ways off," said Dirienzo.
One of the shortest trips to the path of totality is a 6 hour drive to Carbondale, Illinois. They just so happen to have the longest eclipse of 2 minutes and 41 seconds.

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