Hanging together during the eclipse

Ever wonder how many bloggers there are out in the universe we call the interwebs? I generally don’t think much about it until a day like today. As I busted out the MacBook for my eclipse day post, it hit me that there are probably millions, hell tens of millions other bloggers doing the same thing.

Some might think, “Eh, why bother” after that thought. But hell, its by blog, my eclipse day, so why not? Here it is…

OK, time to come clean. When it comes to science events, (like lunar eclipses, meteor showers and new comets) I am usually pretty on top of things. I hear about them early on, and if possible, make sure to see them. Yep, if you’ve read this blog in the past, I am very much a self-proclaimed science geek.

But for this eclipse, the biggest one to hit the US in 100 years, I somehow missed out on hearing it until right after last Christmas. When we did, Michelle and I saw the path of totality, going right through our favorite part of the Oregon Coast.

“HEY!” said she, “We could go check it out!” “Well of course we could!” thought I. And off to the interwebs I went to look for hotels.

Well, let me tell you, there were a whole HELLUVA lot of people out there ahead of me. The places we normally like to go were booked solid. OK, no worries, we can lower our standards a little…  So then I found vacancies! Hey look! The Depoe Bay Travelodge! Just a mere $400/night!! (nope NOT a typo! I just looked it up, and tonight you can get a room for $84…)  Coravllis, home of the Oregon State Beavers, were renting dorm rooms for $300/night. Oh well, it was a good idea…

But, as time got closer and we read more, it turns out we were not going to be without a show of our own.  OK it was not going to be a total eclipse, but we were going to get 93% or so of the sun covered, in August (a pretty sure bet of clear weather!)

Now a couple of weeks ago we were dealing with smoke and a red sun.

I won’t lie, having the eclipse come across when the sun looked like this would have been amazing! But, very happily so, the smoke has left and clear skies were here.

I hit up amazon a month or so ago and scored some eclipse glasses for Michelle and I. Of course there were scammers out there, but I hadn’t received a recall email. Plus I tested them early on with the sun. The seemed pretty safe. So we took the chance.

Editors note: In 1976, when I was in Germany, we had a partial eclipse, I was in the 6th grade. The eclipse happened during class. The shop teacher made a bunch of smoked glass rectangles for us to look through, I can GUARANTEE they weren’t ISO compliant. I survived! 

Just in case though, we made sure not to stare for long periods of time. They WERE VERY stylish!

I gotta hand it to my buddy Matt! He had the camera set up on our outside deck, with an excellent lens filter, and started snapping photos about the minute the moon hit the sun, I thought about stealing one of his shots, but that would be rude! (They were cool though!)

I had warned the class I was teaching that there would be a LONG break about 10AM. Michelle and I planned to head down to the parking lot to check it out.

It was almost like a party (except we were at work) We made it down to the parking lot to find 5 or 6 people already there. But as it got closer to our maximum coverage, people started pouring out of the building. There soon had to be 40 or more.

Wanna know something great? Not everyone had glasses. So all of us, Michelle and I included, were sharing them all around. (OK not everyone, I noticed one person keep her’s on her head when she wasn’t using them…) But everyone else was sharing all over the place. We wanted everyone to see this spectacular event!

I of course was answering science questions. Why can’t you look at the sun? If we COULD look at the sun right now, would there be a full moon? (Um no, the sun is in the other side of the moon, so the so called “Darkside” is now lit. (Loved the perplexed look I got when I said the dark side was lit!))

I was surprised about a few things though. First, with over 90% coverage I thought it would get darker. The light dimmed without question, but nowhere near dark. The temperature DID drop though! When I snuck out at 9 to see the start, I could feel the sun blazing on my face when I looked at it. At totality, I could no longer feel the warmth, in fact, it got darn right chilly! (some peoples weather stations had a 10 degree drop, I swear it was more!)

With all the science, home-made viewing items and overall hype, hands down the best part was NOT watching it alone.

Michelle and I were right there together (me with my intense science is cool look and her big huge smile (or its the fact I am a REALLY crappy selfie taker?!?) We made sure to share our glass with out friends, made sure each other didn’t look at the sun too long, and made a memory we will have forever.

Would it have been fun to be on the coast and see a 100% total eclipse? No question, but damn, this was NOT bad at all! Love you babe! Thanks for being there!

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2 Responses to Hanging together during the eclipse

  1. sarburch says:

    Love the photo of you and your sweetie with your glasses!

    I staffed a bike trip last week along the Oregon Coast. At the beginning of the trip, I was bummed I wasn’t going to be in Oregon for the eclipse. By the end of the week, I was glad I was gettin’ the hell outta there before the eclipse started. While I’m glad that folks were excited about the eclipse, Oregonians went bonkers. Since I can’t attach photos here, I’ll send you a photo from Depoe Bay, as a case in point. The State Parks were even renting out space to RVers in their Day Use parking lots!!!

    • I have no doubts! Michelle’s Aunt Fran, 84, who lives in some little town in eastern Oregon was telling her the place was already nuts!
      chair across the street to the church parking lot to watch the eclipse and the nutty tourists! GO aunt Fran!

      Glad you got out!! (LOVE Depoe bay normally though!)

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