Hundreds of spectators flocked to Aiken County’s Camp Gravatt to see solar eclipse

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – Some people wait a lifetime to see one of the great wonders of the universe, but for Claire Burkelman the Great American Solar Eclipse wasn’t her first rodeo.

“Is this your first encounter with an eclipse like this?” Asked NewsChannel 6’s Stefany Bornman.

“No I think when I was a little girl I witnessed one,” Burkelman said.

The 95-year-old says it’s still amazing the second time around, but the way she’s watching it this time has sure changed.

“I made a shoes box with a pin point hole and looked through the shoes box,” said Burkelman. “We didn’t have glasses.”

Ruth Germann’s excitement for the eclipse has been building-up since she heard about it 2 years ago. She made her family custom shirts to remember the special moment.

“I’m just in awe that it’s actually going to happen. I’m just really excited,” said Germann.

One group of folks traveled from Virginia to Aiken County, because they weren’t missing the chance to witness the spectacle of a lifetime. During the eclipse, they were keeping up with friends on the West Coast as they were going through totality.

“We are all texting each other and they are halfway, I think it’s about halfway right now in Portland.” Virginia native Pam Nelson told WJBF NewsChannel 6.

Finally at 2:42 p.m. the moment the entire camp was waiting for, a sight that you won’t witness in the Palmetto State until 2078.

“Everything else was dark around us and you look up and that’s all you see. That’s pretty neat,” said Jim Kabel.

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