Thanks for the heads up on this!
I'm also in the midwest. Not sure if it was smoke or just humidity/haze here, but i didn't expect to see much, but i set the alarm of 0345 after setting the XT8 outside to cool at 1200 and getting a bit of a nap.
I was pleasantly surprised when i went outside, as Jupiter was in between the two tall trees to my south, so i was able to set up on my sidewalk instead of in the grass. I just caught Ganymede before it began its transit, and the shadow was quite easy to see. It took quite a while to see the moon itself after it crossed in front of the planet. I'm not sure of the correct terminology for what the view was like. I think seeing was ok (nothing wavy or wiggly), but focus/blurriness would come and go. At some moments, i think i saw more cloud detail than i have so far in the few years i've been observing, especially between the two bands.
Like you said, the moon really stood out once it traversed farther 'in,' but made the GRS very difficult to discern. It doesn't stand out nearly as much as i remember from a few years ago. Very worthwhile. First time i've been out this year thanks to work/weather.
15, 12, 8, & 5 Paradigms
Started out with the 15, sharp but small
Then the 8, looked pretty good, so why not go for more
5 was too much and most detail fell apart
About an hour later, remembered i hadn't tried the 12. It was just right!
Thanks again for bringing this to my attention!