Friday, August 25, 2017

The Great American Eclipse

(two solar postings in one month!)
I first heard about this maybe a year or so ago, but did nothing about it.  With young kids, plans are often last minute.  Last month, we decided we could finally commit, so we scrambled for a hotel room or campsite.  Naturally, they were all booked up, at least online. There were a few vacancies provided by first-time AirBNBers wanting to take full advantage of price gouging. We found places in Portland, so we secured those first, but later on a whim, I decide to phone around at various hotels inside totality.  Surprisingly, it took less than five calls to find a hotel that still had rooms at reasonable rates; they were reserved for non-internet customers.


From Oklahoma - there was certainly an eventful excitement in the air

An hour before totality, people would park next to open fields with picnic blankets
We chose to watch from a park, where eclipse festivities brought locals and tourists out in the hundreds.


And the moment we were waiting for - totality!  A star appeared just left of the sun, which unfortunately wasn't capturable with the camera settings I used

And here's the exuberance of a crowd immersed in the shadow of the moon.


Getting to totality was fine...getting out was a 7 hour trip, normally only 4 hours.
We had just over a minute of totality from where we were, in Woodburn, Oregon.  There are few natural wonders that are as grand as a solar eclipse, and everyone in our group agreed it was entirely worth the drive.

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