The Eclipse


We went to Albany, Oregon, to see the total eclipse of the sun. I did not take the above photo, in fact I don't think it's the same eclipse or even if it's a real photograph.

I had never been to Oregon, not even the airport. We rented a car and drove south to Albany, which is in the center line of totality but away from the monster crowds. We were very lucky with the weather, Sunday was partly cloudy, I was worried...but Monday, not a cloud in the sky!

We had only to step outside our hotel with our coffee.

While we were successful at avoiding traffic and the throngs of people, it is nice to share this incredible experience with other people. So if you ever go to an eclipse, join the party. Because it's a very special event and sharing magnifies it. More happiness!

The excitement builds over a period of about an hour, as you watch the sun through your special glasses. Which the hotel provided, that was a nice touch. The sun looks like this through the glasses.

You start noticing weird things as the world grows ever darker, the temperature drops 20 degrees and the wind comes up. The sun makes crescent shapes everywhere.

And then, the moment arrives! The last bit of light is like a laser, they call it the "diamond ring."

After that, the corona appears and you can take off your special glasses. You gasp. You choke up. You can't believe it. The crowd cheers!

I did not take my camera, thinking (correctly) that I didn't want to be fiddling around with it during totality, which lasted only around 2 minutes. So these images are from someone else's camera. I'm sure they won't mind, it's a very sharing event.

This was taken with my iPhone. The sun looks full, but it is totally eclipsed. There are things that you can see during an eclipse that cannot be captured with any camera. Waves of solar light in the sky and strange clouds, which we saw, and some bizarre shadows on the ground that we didn't see. I couldn't take my eyes off the sun anyway. I was riveted!

And then it is over and the first beam of sunlight is again like a laser and you must put on your eclipse glasses. You can sit and watch the moon go out the other side, or you can talk to your eclipse-mates, or you can try unsuccessfully to repair your broken prescription sunglasses. Of course everyone you talk to on the plane saw it too, and you compare notes.

Was it worth it? Oh, absolutely! Most definitely! There was a time when I questioned my sanity for doing this, but I am so glad I did. I am hoping I am alive and healthy enough to see the next one on April 8, 2024.

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