Chili family shares experience, advice from seeing 2017 total solar eclipse

Family who experienced 2017 eclipse shares what to expect

Family who experienced 2017 eclipse shares what to expect

CHILI, N.Y. — News10NBC is officially counting down the hours until the total solar eclipse hits Rochester. For many, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Unless you’re the Dubois family, who live in Chili. In that case, it’s about to be your second time in totality. 

The DuBois family traveled with some relatives to a small town in North Carolina for the 2017 eclipse. 

“We just think back on it so fondly,” Kelly DuBois said. “We had so much fun down there and the eclipse was amazing, and being able to witness that was really cool.”

Armed with her brother Kary Forth’s massive telescope, the two families got to watch the sky darken, and saw some strange crescent shadows on the ground before totality. 

“It was an experience I don’t think ill ever forget,” Georgia Forth, who had been about 11 the first time around, said. 

“The last one was fantastic — right up until just before totality. And then some clouds rolled in, ” Kary Forth said, laughing.

While the eclipse may have been fantastic, the traffic was not. The families tried to beat the crowds by choosing a small town, but even so, they got caught up in the hours-long backup. 

“It was stop-and-go traffic on 81 south,” Kelly said. “And what I call brake checking. It was very interesting — I’ve never been in such high-speed traffic that was so intense […] it’s the most intense traffic I have ever been in in my entire life.”

Traffic was so bad, both families’ cars got into the same crash on their way into town. Everyone was unharmed, but their cars sustained significant damage. They’re warning folks: Be prepared for serious congestion. 

“We learned the hard way to avoid the traffic as much as you can, because it’s very stop and go, people get annoyed and very aggressive because of that,” Georgia said.

“I just want to make sure people are safe and know what to expect because it’s going to be incredibly, incredibly challenging,” Kelly said. “And not like anything we’re used to.”

But despite all the challenges, everyone said it’s all worth it to experience totality. 

“You’ll never forget it once you see it,” Kelly said. “It’s really awe-inspiring.”