Eclipse – The Path to Totality

We saw the total eclipse of the sun in:

Silverton, OR

Silverton is in the path of totality for the Total Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017!
Observers there will see (approximately) 1m 46s of totality!

Here’s what I’ve written about it so far.

Eclipse – The Path to Totality

We planned for months
to travel to Oregon
to see a total eclipse
of the sun – the first time visible
coast to coast in the US since 1918.

My sister picked a gorgeous garden,
the Oregon Garden,
in Silverton for our viewing.
She also invited friends
and our nephew from Seattle and his family.

Before we left LA
people warned the crowds would be horrendous,
the traffic bumper to bumper for miles,
and it gave me pause.
Should we still go on this trip
to see a once in a lifetime
occurrence that would last
less than two minutes?
Of course, we went.
My husband, an amateur astronomer,
would have it no other way.
And we were not disappointed.

We left Portland in the dark of the morning
of Monday, August 21,
at five am to be exact,
and it took us all of fifty minutes
to get to our garden destination.
What happened to the predicted traffic?
Lines of cars inching along the highways,
never materialized.
When we arrived
it was just getting light
and still cold.

We found our viewing area
amongst native yellow, purple, and red blooms
and hordes of bees and yellow jackets
vying with us for a place on this ground.
But we prevailed.
All eleven of us set up
our low-backed folding chairs,
ate a light poorly cooked breakfast,
drank our $3.00 bottles of water,
got out our special glasses,
and snuggled in to wait.

At nine-oh-five
the moon took its first tiny bite
out of the sun’s upper right corner
and the event we came to see
was on its way.
After a few minutes
more of the sun disappeared.
As the moon passed in front of the sun
it created a large yellow crescent first
that got smaller and smaller and smaller still
until it looked like a sliver –
all the while turning the temperature down,
darkening the sky and
quieting the buzzing bees.
At precisely ten eighteen
yells and cheers erupted throughout the garden.
The moon had completely blocked the sun,
leaving a black hole surrounded
by a brilliant corona and a diamond ring
so spectacular, you had to be there.

The children in our family, ages eleven and twelve,
watched with the rest of us.
Cool, they said, agreeing that this was
an experience they’d never forget.

[All photos courtesy of my nephew. Thanks so much, Neph!]

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