Eclipsed During the 2023 Arcadia Dome Tour

Fall Colors Surround Arcadia Dome Home.

The trees decorated with fall colors surround Arcadia Dome Home.

Dave South / Monolithic Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

It’s Dome Tour Saturday—October 14, 2023. We start the day with clouds covering the entire sky. There is an annular eclipse today, and it doesn’t seem like we will see any of it. The eclipse should max at 10:30. We hoped it would clear by then.

There is a mad dash to finish picking up the house. We’d spent the previous two days cleaning every nook and cranny. Thankfully, Jen had spent six months preparing for today with projects we could do slowly over half a year. But now, the day is here, we are clearing the tables, hiding our toiletries, and ensuring the place is cleaner than it ever is—for one day.

I took Suki to doggy daycare at 9:30 while the boys went to set up yard signs pointing to our home. In the past, our signs said “Open House,” which led to many people wondering why are we selling our house. This year, we made six signs that said “ARCADIA: Monolithic Dome Home” with an arrow that said “Free Public Tour.”

At 10:15, we had a pleasant surprise: we could see sunshine in our yard. We ran outside, and there it was, the eclipse shining through the clouds. Of course, I looked right at it for a moment and instantly regretted it. Dummy.

Solar Eclipse Album Cover.

My family look like they are posing for an album cover while looking at the annular solar eclipse peeking through the clouds.

Dave South

We live about an hour north of the eclipse totality. We were expecting 95 percent coverage. This is an annular eclipse, so it’ll seem extremely close to the same experience than if we’d driven south to witness it.

Jen had the foresight to pick up eclipse glasses—essentially paper glasses like the old 3D movie theater glasses with virtually impenetrable dark plastic as “lenses.”

What a sight!

A Diamond Ring in the Sky.

The partial annular solar eclipse resembles a diamond ring in the clouds.

Dave South / Monolithic Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

I put the glasses over my iPhone camera and lucked out with some of the greatest shots of my life. It’s especially impressive if you look at the pictures on an HDR screen like the MacBook Pro or the iPhone. Even as standard JPEGs, the images are amazing. The sun is a sliver of light shining through amazing clouds.

We watched it eclipse as far as possible for our location—nearly a complete ring—then the clouds pushed in, and the show was over.

Not long after the eclipse, a family of five showed up. They were locals from Nibley (about 10 miles away), but he’d heard of us from the Roundup. His wife seemed cautious and asked Jennifer a ton of questions. Their three children ran around the house. Aubrey printed coloring pages of her Monolithic Bruco Caterpillar artwork and handed it out to the children. They loved it.

Monolithic Bruco Coloring Page.

Aubrey handed out coloring pages of the Monolithic logo she created of Bruco, The Texas Italian Caterpillar.

Aubrey South

Another young family of four came next from Ogden—about an hour south of us. He’d been following the domes for years and was already convinced he wanted a dome home. Again, she seemed less sure. Having Jen answer questions about why she likes our home is so insightful.

From nearby Logan came a mother with two tall teenage sons. They saw the signs and just “had” to come see. I think they’d driven by our home before and jumped at the chance to come inside.

A mom and daughter duo—also from Logan—was brought in by the signs. They were driving down the hill, saw one sign, then another, turned around and came back. They loved it!

In the award for the farthest distance traveled was a couple from Kentucky who flew in last night just to see the house. They left their young children at home, making it a small vacation. They’ve followed the website for years and plan to build a dome home but wanted to see one in person. We talked for a while—as best we could as others had questions, too.

Free Public Tour of Arcadia Dome Home.

Last year, we made “Open House” signs, and our neighbors stopped by to ask if we were moving. This year, we simply said our house is open for tours.

Dave South / Monolithic Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

We talked a lot about the importance of a Word Picture. Jennifer and I, especially Jennifer, spent hours pouring over ideas for our home. Writing down, in words, what we like and dislike. Nobody should ever buy or build a home without writing down their expectations—first. And take a tape measure with you everywhere you go. Measure rooms and spaces. Learn what works best for you and why.

When it comes time to build your dream home, the Word Picture is invaluable.

A realtor from nearby Smithfield driving around looking for open houses saw our signs and dragged his three tween/teen daughters into our home. They looked everywhere.

A woman from Eagle Mountain, Utah, practically monopolized Jennifer’s time for over an hour. Jen had to loop other people into their conversation to share the discussion. She had many questions about the design and details about living in a dome home.

The second award for the farthest travel was a couple from Colorado Springs. So nice. Their sister/sister-in-law lives nearby and came, too, along with her young daughter. Aubrey’s coloring page was a hit with all the kids. Their faces would brighten every time we handed one out.

Soon, their sister and daughter left, but the Colorado couple remained—with many questions.

Although they come from Colorado Springs, they purchased 17 acres in Wisconsin and want to build a dome there. Something tornado-proof. He’s a carpenter but wants to change his career path. He’s thinking about the dome business. I recommended attending the Monolithic Dome Builders Workshop. The Workshop is an affordable way to have hands-on dome construction experience.

Spooky Cat Welcomes Visitors.

We decorated for the holiday with lights and a spooky shadow cat Aubrey created.

Dave South / Monolithic Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

A young man came after reading about it on Instagram.

Two young college girls from USU dropped in. They are studying a similar program to Jennifer’s master’s program, and they all hit it off nicely.

A couple with a young girl drove up from Spanish Fork. They are worried about the price. We talked about the workshops and sweat equity. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him at a future workshop.

Our neighbor, Wes, dropped in with his wife, young son and daughter. They loved it. He’d been wanting to see inside ever since they moved here.

Sometime around 2 p.m., the visits dropped off completely. Around 3:30, we all started putting things away, no, I mean, back out. The dog bowls. The mats. Towels. Getting things we stashed in the van and bringing them back inside.

Then another couple came. She looked so familiar. Turned out to be the receptionist for our eye doctor. It was almost 4 p.m., and they had a million questions. Serious questions. We did our best to answer them all.

And that was it. We took down the signs. Pulled down the blinds. Turned off all the lights. Picked up Suki. And collapsed. How can something so simple be so exhausting?

We had 37 people in total—highly motivated, interested and interesting people. Thank you all for coming to visit.

Halloween Decorations at Arcadia Dome Home.

Welcome to Arcadia Dome Home. Take your shoes off and look around. We are ready for your questions.

Dave South / Monolithic Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0