Moment in the Sun: Hundreds Taking in Eclipse at Mosquito Lake

CORTLAND, Ohio – Dave Schreiber, Beth Ellen Deibler and Sabrina Shaner were the first eclipse watchers to show up at Mosquito Lake State Park on Monday.

They left their Pittsburgh homes at 5:40 a.m. By 9 a.m. they were seated at a park table on the beach, playing cards and listening to music.

Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” was playing. “I made a mixtape of eclipse-related songs,” Deibler said. 

The three were bound up in blankets against the morning chill, which burned off by noon. They also brought bicycles and an inflatable boat, and intended to make a day of it.

“I don’t think we needed to leave so early in the morning,” Schreiber said.

The three were considering going to Erie but figured that most people from Pittsburgh would be going there, and it would be less crowded at Mosquito.

There is another reason they chose Mosquito.

“I brought an inflatable boat, and we’re going to get out on the water here,” Schreiber said.

Shaner said she had never seen a total eclipse before, although she did witness a partial eclipse in 2017. 

“It was cool, and spending the day doing this is kind of exciting,” she said.

Joe Lopez of Pittsburgh, along with his girlfriend and two of her friends, arrived around 9:30 a.m.

“I’m lucky to have seen the last eclipse in totality,” he said, explaining that he was living in Colorado at the time.

“It’s cool that I’m getting a chance to do it again,” he said.

Jason Lee, a science teacher at Howland High School and a naturalist for Mosquito Lake State Park, holds an owl before Monday’s eclipse. The owl was to be used for a demonstration during the eclipse to show how these animals react.

Crowds trickled in all morning under a clear sky. And plenty more were expected by eclipse time.

Bobbi Jo Moore, manager of the marina at the park, said 12 busloads were coming in from Pennsylvania and other locations.

More had already rented all 13 of her pontoon boats, although she reserved one in case she had to go out on the water to rescue someone or in case they ran out of gas.

The overwhelming number of out-of-state license plates in the parking lot were from Pennsylvania, although there were a few from Maryland, and even one from Texas.

Naturalists from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources set up areas where they would be making demonstrations for educational purposes. One had several birds to demonstrate how they react during the eclipse.

Mary Barnstead, Ismay Pickel and Jim Pickel of Rockville, Md., planned to rent kayaks and watch the eclipse from the water at Mosquito Lake State Park.

Jim Pickel, who was with Mary Barnstead and Ismay Pickel, drove in Saturday from their home in Rockville, Md., and are staying in Warren. They got the idea to rent a boat. Because all of the pontoon boats were taken, they decided to rent kayaks to watch the eclipse on the water.

“We wanted to see a total eclipse away from the crowd,” Jim Pickel said. “We want to experience it where it is quiet, and where you can tell that the birds have stopped singing.”

Steve Tabisz, left, of Annapolis, Md., and Aileen and David Curfman of Hagerstown, Md., came to Mosquito Lake State Park to watch the eclipse Monday.

Pictured at top: Beth Ellen Deibler, Sabrina Shaner and Dave Schreiber came to Mosquito Lake State Park from Pittsburgh to watch the eclipse Monday.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.