Eclipse chasers travel from all over US, world to St. Louis area

(AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

ST. LOUIS ( -- While the Gateway Arch usually brings in tourists by the thousands, the St. Louis monument was the second choice for most visitors on the eve of the eclipse.

Thousands of people have converged on the St. Louis area from far and wide to witness the eclispe. The path of totality just missed downtown St. Louis but many are staying in the city with plans to drive to several of the nearby towns within the path of totality.

TJ Naim traveled from Santa Clara, Calif.

"[Been planning for] two, three years. Started making note and thought of going to Yellowstone, then thought about Cahokia and then realized longest point is going to be downstate Illinois," said Naim, who remembers a partial eclipse from when he was a child. "It stuck with me."

Jo Ellen and Jim Davis drove from Globe, Ariz.

"The age we are, we'll never get another chance," said Jo Ellen Davis who came to see the Arch Sunday night.

But people also traveled from around the world to St. Louis. From Mexico to Switzerland, another couple came from Dublin, Ireland.

"We will never see an eclispe in our life time again. The last one in Ireland was in 1700-something. I saw one in France in 1990 and I want to see another," said Tom.

Those like Tom that have seen an eclipse say it is worth the hype.

"It really is that good, that's why I'm here, it's worth traveling all that way."

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