Monday, August 21, 2017


Today I experienced the most beautiful natural even I’ve ever seen.  The 2017 North American total eclipse passed directly through Salem and millions of tourists traveled to Oregon to see it.  Everyone chose Oregon because the chances of good weather without clouds is incredibly high during the summer months here.  Emily’s cousins Gary & Deb with their kids Lexi and Stephen even came out for it, but unfortunately we weren’t able to meet up.  With so many people coming to Oregon the news put us locals into panic mode about it.  Cities were telling residents to stock up on water and gas like it was going to be armageddon. Everyone was saying that travel would be impossible.  

I got swept up in the hysteria as well but badly wanted to see the the total eclipse within the zone of totality.  I’d heard that there was a huge difference between even 99.9% and 100% so I was determined to make it to the zone of totality somehow.  So.. I decided to ride my bike towards Keiser in the heard of the Willamette Valley.  I got on my bike at 5:30am and hit the road!  Portland, has unbelievable bike paths and I was able to stay on bike paths way past the Milwaukie neighborhood.  Along the way more bikers joined me, many with signs that said “totality or bust”  I was listening to Google Maps for directions to Keizer but everyone started to peel off heading towards Molalla, OR where I was told had the same totality length of about 70 seconds.  So… I followed the crowd.

35+ miles later I was sitting on my bike in the town park with hundreds of other bikers and locals around me.  I had passed many cars but it certainly wasn’t the catastrophe of communication the news hyped it up to be.  The eclipse started around 9:30 and I laid back with my eclipse glasses on checking it out.  At around 10:12 the eclipse started and we were able to take off our glasses.  Street lights turned on, stars came out, birds stopped singing and everyone, including me  were in absolute awe at the beauty of it.  I had been asked by serval people if would take photos of the event but there are some things you just need to experience first hand and not through a camera lens.  

I wish it could have lasted an hour.  It was incredible.  70 seconds just wasn’t enough.  I felt bad Emily had to work and couldn’t see it with me.  As soon as it was over people bolted towards their cars and I got back on my bike for the ride home stopping at Burgerville for a burger and shake along the way.  By the time I got home I was a hot sweaty mess and pretty much fell asleep on the floor in the heaven of our central air-conditioning.  Would I do it again.  Hell yeah.  Will I become an eclipse chaser… maybe… just maybe.. it was that spectacular! 
Included in this post are some of the best from the web!  

2017 North America Total Solar Eclipse Close-up Real-time 4K from RainbowAstro on Vimeo.

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