Minnesotans flock for glimpse at solar eclipse

For Llilah Brinkman, seeing her second total eclipse in person was practically a religious experience.

"It kind of highlights a feeling of being connected to the universe and kind of everything in nature, everything around you," said Brinkman.

Brinkman and several members of the Minnesota Astronomical Society drove to Fortville, Indiana, just east of Indianapolis, to be in the path of totality for the solar eclipse.

Brinkman says after going to Wyoming to see the last eclipse in 2017, she vowed to witness the next one in person as well, and the celestial showstopper didn't disappoint.

"It's really moving. There's an ambiance in the air and just a feeling and it's really just joyful. So I'm a little bit emotional," said Brinkman.

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Lee Wolfgram and Kerry McCauley are still flying high from their eclipse-chasing adventure.

"Just seeing that and being in the middle of it was just, I don't know. I can't explain it," said McCauley.

"It's definitely a once-in-a-lifetime thing," said Wolfgram.

The best friends and pilots flew from Menomonie, Wisconsin to Dayton, Ohio in McCauley's twin-engine plane to watch the phenomenon unfold from 13,000 feet.

"It's a special way to see it because once you're in totality, it looks like a sunset 360 degrees around you. And I said, ‘I have to see that,’" said McCauley.

The pair say getting a bird's eye view of the astronomical event gave them a different perspective on the universe. But being able to share the experience with each other will make it difficult to eclipse in the future.

"It went beyond my expectations," said McCauley.

"I'd say the hype is underestimating how cool it was," said Wolfgram.