The eclipse started here on the Oregon Coast and reached complete totality in parts of the State. At one point last month it was estimated that over a million visitors would arrive in Oregon for this celestial event.
We really wanted to be in the path of totality and knew that it would pass through the next county over from ours, but we didn't want to end up watching from a blocked freeway somewhere. (There had been a lot of hype about how terrible traffic snarls were to be expected.) So the family travel planner (that would be Bill) did the research and found a route that would keep us off the freeway.
We took an exploratory drive last month and located a Linn County Park called Roaring River, near the tiny town of Scio. It was about an hour and a half from home on a pretty back-road country drive. The Park was a large open meadow with some trees around the edges. We thought it would be perfect, as long as it was a clear day with no clouds and no smoke from forest fires (there was a fairly strong possibility of either problem in this Oregon summer). We held our breaths.
So on Eclipse Monday we got up at half-past dark, left Eugene at 6:00 and arrived at Roaring River exactly as planned in an hour and a half. There was light traffic -- more than would usually be on that road at that hour I'm sure -- but nothing that was a problem at all. We parked the van, set up our chairs and picnic table and had a pretty good breakfast picnic while watching what seemed like a normal summer day dawn.
(The moon started to edge over the sun a second or two after 9 a.m. -- just as we finished clearing up breakfast. The maximum eclipse happened at 10:21 and remained at total for a couple of minutes, then the moon started to edge out gradually. The partial eclipse ended at 11:45.)
My sister and brother-in-law are visiting from Seattle -- in fact, it was they who alerted us to the coming disappearance of the sun way back last Fall. So we'd been thinking about this for a while and planning on the lovely company. But until we got home to Oregon this summer, we really had no idea of the excitement and hype that would herald this celestial event.
The top two pictures and the middle in the bottom row are of course Bill and Pat and Mary Jo. The other two on the bottom row are just to show that there were enough other people to make it seem like an occasion but not so many that we felt at all crowded.
DISCLAIMER: In the interest of not contributing to the modern epidemic of fake news please note that all of the rest of the pictures in this post are distorted by an inadequate camera and lack of time and planning on the part of the photographer.
Without special filters, my little camera really wasn't able to begin to capture the wonder. I couldn't see to take pictures as the eclipse began and progressed because of course we were wearing our special glasses to watch the sun. You really can't see anything else at all and weren't really even supposed to point your lens at the sun. When the eclipse reached the point of totality, we could take our glasses off and then I was able to snap a few pictures.
But they don't capture the way it looked or the way it felt. It was very quiet and still as the sun disappeared. Nobody talked. We were surprised at how chilly it got outside -- from a warm sunny day to cool evening temperatures instantly.
And as soon as the sun started to return -- even with just a little sliver -- the temperature returned to normal.
These are after the sun started to return. The little moon shapes are reflections through the trees on the edge of the meadow. A man who was sitting near us used his binoculars as a pin-hole camera to reflect the rising sun on our lawn chair.
We had a perfect location and great company for the viewing. Although I don't have the words or the pictures to adequately to describe it, this once-in-a-lifetime experience couldn't have been better.