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'High School Librarian Shelly Huette, 40, and her teacher husband Charlie, 41, were surprised by the preparation overload when they decided to make the 30-minute drive from their home in Kansas City a day ahead of time and camp out in St Joe's.
They were worried by the prospect of 'crazy traffic' on the day and made a spur of the moment decision to spend a night under the stars in St Joe's.
Eclipse chasers ran for cover, wrestled open umbrellas and pulled on rain gear.
In the distance thunder rolled but, while the sun was completely obscured, the odd effects of the eclipse were not.
NASA had predicted that between 1.8 and 7.4million will travel to or along the path of totality, a 65-mile-wide diagonal, which sounds like something on a map drawn up by L Ron Hubbard and stretches like a pageant winner's sash between Oregon and down to the East in South Carolina.
But here in St Joe's, forecasted storms and cloudy skies may have discouraged at least some from making the trip.
The First Presbyterian Church on 7th St and Jules St posted the rather ominous quote: 'The Sun Shall Be Turned into Darkness,' from biblical scripture that describes the final days.
Solar Eclipse information listed on the city's website which proudly bears the logo, 'St Joseph, MO Right in the Middle of it All!
Billed as the largest organized viewing site in the country, 50,000 people are expected to make their way to this patch of asphalt on the outskirts of St Joseph, Missouri. saw a total eclipse was 38 years ago, but the last time the path of totality unfurled across the country like this was 1918.
Penka explained: 'We are here to make pictures of phenomena only visible in a total eclipse.' They hope to measure the heat of the sun's corona - estimated to be around 1million degrees.
Mary and Bill O'Donnel's trip was an altogether more lighthearted affair.
Neon signs along access roads warned anyone hoping for a last minute spot that the space is 'SOLD OUT.'At two minutes and 38.6 seconds of total eclipse, St Joe's is just 1.4 seconds off the maximum duration possible along the path as the shadow of the moon crosses the sun and blots it out entirely. Plum on the path of totality, in St Joseph's the rolling shadow will start its move across the sun at 11.40am Central Time edging towards a totality at 1.07.38pm that will last until 1.08.57pm. However, earlier this morning there was a distinct concern in this tract of Missouri that, as far as the predicted influx of eclipse chasers was concerned, it might never even begin in the first place.
While an estimated 30,000 people pitched their tents in Oregon's Ochoco Forest where a Burning Man-style Eclipse party was in full swing and authorities pointed to gridlock roads and issued dire warnings of the worst traffic in history, St Joe's held its breath.