“We’re driving up to Oregon to see the total eclipse,” I told my dad on the phone. “It’ll be 5 of us in a car for about 2 days each way.”
“That seems like an awful lot of trouble for an eclipse,” dad replied.
Not many people have seen a total eclipse.
(I’m sure you’ve seen many photos like this by now. But this one was taken by my friend Switch while he was sitting right next to where I was watching!)
Lots of people tell stories of partial eclipses. The funky shadows, even getting to look at it, if they had special glasses
or a pinhole camera. And that’s cool.
But a total eclipse is something else entirely.
To be just in the right place to see the moon click into place in front of the sun and marvel at all the things that had to line up just right — the size and distance of the sun and the moon and us being in the right place at the right time…
Watching the light change from the weird dim spotlit shadows of partial eclipse to total blackout with just a ring of yellowish green around the horizon…
Being able to look up without glasses and see the sparkly corona of the sun around the moon, with little red spots where the sun peeks through moon craters…
Feeling the quiet as everything — the crickets, the mosquitos, the people around you — pause in awe at the strangeness of it all…
And then the burst of light as the moon moves out of alignment again, making what looks like a diamond ring in the sky, as you fumble to place your special glasses back over your eyes.
Here’s our merry band of adventurers at our campsite on the farm that rented out its land to the Atlas Obscura Eclipse Festival folks. Louie dog was unimpressed.
I’ve always been in awe of the moon. Last week a friend I hadn’t heard from in a while messaged me, saying “When the moon does weird shit, I think about you,” which I think is pretty much the coolest thing anyone’s said to me.
So when my dad said it seemed like a lot of effort to go through, I just shrugged. When people told us there’d be traffic, or we wouldn’t be able to find a place to camp, we were prepared. Nothing was going to keep us from seeing this event.
And traffic was totally fine.
And we found great campsites, and even got to go swimming in desert reservoirs full of baby catfish!
And now we’re determined to be wherever we have to be the next time the sun and the moon do their little dance. (Which looks like South America or Mexico in a few years…) Totally worth it!
Where were you Monday? Did you see the eclipse?