Covered in sweat, I could feel the slight trickle of ice water dripping down my leg.

It was like watching the slowest sporting event ever. Spectators with their eyes toward the sky shouted in excitement and booed with disappointment as the clouds passed over the sun.

Strange days, as Doors front man Jim Morrison famously sang, have found us.

Mission Health Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ron Paulus took to social media last week to answer questions from patients regarding the health care system’s ongoing contract battle with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.

Mission Health’s contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina will expire Oct. 5, leaving thousands of patients to find another in-network provider or pay more out of pocket to see a Mission provider.

On Monday, Aug. 21, Western North Carolina residents and visitors will have the chance to see a rare total solar eclipse. This is the first time in 26 years that America has seen a total solar eclipse, and it is one of the few that will sweep the nation from Pacific to Atlantic coasts.

• What to do, where to go?
• Eclipse photography takes research, preparation
• Local governments plan for the worst, hope for the best
• How to prepare for the eclipse

The Smoky Mountain News has compiled an eclipse guide containing all you need to know about how to prepare for, view, photograph and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime event.

At 2:35 p.m. on Aug. 21, Western North Carolina residents and visitors will have the chance to watch as the moon moves fully in front of the sun for the first time in 26 years.

WNC prepares to celebrate Solar Eclipse

It’s safe to say that a good solar eclipse photo requires a bit more preparation than your average snapshot.

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