We came, we saw, we fumbled around like fools, in our two minutes of totality. Yep, the traffic to the path was “no es problema.” Tenting in an elementary school field for three days with hundreds of strangers – oddly enjoyable. Not being veteran eclipse chasers though, our family arrived in to Silverton, Oregon for the Total Eclipse of the Garden without knowing what to expect. We knew we had to make it to the path of totality, but weren’t quite sure what to do when we got there.
If you are anything like us, and it’s been a few months/years since you’ve thrown up a tent and popped open a camp stove, it’s a lot of work! We were feeling pretty good with our scrappy selves by the time I snapped this pic of Niko chillin’ in his eclipse shades.
There were even moments where the excitement leading up to the event brought brother and sister together. If only it could last a lifetime.
Ever have the feeling like you’re not alone? We experienced that a lot this weekend, as waves of folks from Sacramento to Sweden set up camp near us – like really, really near us.
Ah, home sweet home the evening before the eclipse…
I have to agree with the people who say you will always remember who you shared a total eclipse with. From Seven Brides Brewing, where we cooled off with a refreshment and live music on the eve of the Great American Eclipse, to the late night glow-in-the-dark frisbee game we played with a camp host, there was some magic in the air there and we fell asleep excited.
Waking up was pretty energizing too, as a collection of self-made scientists gathered in the fire lane near my tent buzzing about how great the conditions were to see an eclipse. Not a cloud in the sky, the clearest the area has been in two weeks. No smoke from the blazing fires raging across much of Oregon. Just a perfect little canvas of blue sky, as if nature was getting ready to pull her shade down and run a feature film.
One great little breakfast burrito later (thanks Mom!) and we were on our way up to the Oregon Garden for the Eclipse Viewing party. It pretty much just got better and better from there, and I am 100% sure it was because of the changing light and had nothing at all to do with the mimosas. Well okay, maybe 99% sure? Never mind… we’re talking about a total eclipse here, and I was 100% totality in to it, and so were my sidekicks.
Did I mention August 21st was also our anniversary? 18 years of wedded bliss and one Total Eclipse of the Heart.
Our son took this picture, and we thought he did a nice job. Then we realized he had gone in for the close-ups. This is why we don’t let our kids play with knives or cameras – haha.
Here is Total Eclipse Dad:
Here is Total Eclipse Mom:
And we shared the experience with a thousand of our closest friends and their long camera lenses.
So what did we actually see? It was spectacular! In the final moments leading up to totality, the temperature dropped rapidly and the light changed to the most beautiful twilight blue. A large cricket thought it was nighttime and hopped up on my knee. It was a little eerie to see the moon-mouse chomping down on the last bit of sun-cheese, and knowing it was going to disappear completely, but strangely it did not go pitch black for us. The twilight remained fairly bright even during totality. Yes, saw the diamond ring and Baileys beads – totally mind-blowing. We could see stars and one planet. The corona was brilliantly lit. That said, my friend had texted me an animated eclipse iOS GIF that looked a lot like the real thing just beforehand. Apple is on the tech frontier for sure!
All in all, the time went extremely fast, and we were wishing for a longer stretch of totality. We actually had a bit of trouble trying to take selfies and check out the horizon, which distracted us from some of the big show in the sky. I guess the only way to fix that is to plan to crash at our friends’ new pad in Houston for the next Total Eclipse in the U.S. in 2024! Fair warning mates.
It was an extreme experience, and a little hard to get back in to the groove of “reality after totality.” The traffic on the way home was a drag, but we stopped for a nice bite to eat at the Growler Cafe in Lebanon, Oregon, where the entire floor was covered in pennies and the sandwiches were stacked high.
Don’t worry… not saying goodbye to Silverton, Oregon just quite yet. We will roll back the weekend and share some more highlights later in the week!
For now, the sun is resting and so must I.