As a college student, optometrist Beth Gilthvedt traveled from Brainerd in 1978 with a number of her college friends to witness a solar eclipse in Winnipeg. They spent the night before in sleeping bags in a library. If it was cloudy the day of the event, as was forecast, she wasn't sure they had the gas money to travel further from home to get the full impact of the eclipse. She says the clouds broke up just in time and called it a mystical experience. She also said she understands how ancient people might have thought their world was ending as their source of light was consumed. She is particularly impressed with the diamond effect that occurs just before the sun is totally obscured by the moon.

Giltvedt will enjoy better accommodations Monday as she again travels to a spot of totality, this time in Cameron, Missouri, to observe the solar eclipse. Southern Minnesota will get about 86%, according to her, though cloud cover and the chance of rain may dampen any eclipse picnic that is scheduled. If you are in a place to see the event, and didn't get the special glasses needed to safely watch, check out these DIY ideas.

In Owatonna, the eclipse will start at 11:44AM and last until 2:31PM, with the peak at 1:07PM. Giltvedt and the doctors at Horizon Eye Care Professionals of Owatonna strongly remind people to never look directly at the sun even during the peak period in Owatonna. Though Mother Nature may have already taken care of that.

Dr. Beth says solar eclipses happen frequently, but aren't usually over such wide population zones. She already has plans to go to Bloomington, Indiana, in 2024 to take in another.