The Total Solar Eclipse of 2017

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Last weekend’s solar eclipse experience… where do I begin? Hands down one of the most magical moments I’ve ever experienced.  If it’s not on your bucket, it should be. My trip was decided two days prior to departure and I’m so glad it was. I don’t mind that we spent fifteen hours in a car racing to get there. Don’t mind that I only had seventeen hours to spend there once we arrived. I didn’t even mind the traffic we hit along the way. This was my first total solar eclipse experience and I would absolutely do it again, exactly the same way, in a heartbeat.

How It All Started

It all started with a yoga class. What?… yes, yoga. Driving me home after a yoga class, my girlfriend Amy and I decided to compare notes in the car, on all of the latest solar eclipse facts and reviews. Where the line of totality lied, how long it would last, and whether or not it was worth the expense and miles that everyone was investing. This was quoted to be the most watched solar eclipse in history. After comparing notes, we both sighed. I knew we were thinking the same thing. We wanted to experience this. It had been 99 years since the United States had a coast to coast total solar eclipse. 99 years! She then casually mentioned, “you know, Ryan (her fiancé) has relatives that live right on the line. There was a brief pause and then I yelled out “Road Trip!…” The rest is history.

The mark of a great friend is one you can travel with, as well as try new experiences with, especially if it’s all planned last minute and completely out of your comfort zone. Amy jumped at my shotgun suggestion, to drive the 887 miles to Oregon in two days. So at 2 AM on August 20th, she showed up at my house and we jumped into my Prius, where we began our journey to Albany Oregon. The journey took approximately fifteen hours, two bags of gummy bears, half a box of Triscuits, four bottles of water, and a whole lot of jerky. As soon as we arrived, we ate dinner and then slept, only to rise five hours later, in order to set up our eclipse camp. For our camp, thanks to a local friend, we found an old bridge and a river. It was the perfect backdrop for the eclipse. So I set up my equipment and we waited.

Reaching Totality

We sat patiently on our shared yoga mat and chatted the morning away. Steadily we watching (through ISO approved eyewear of course) at the constant changing sun as it slipped behind the moon, our sky growing dimmer as the hours ticked by. I had no idea what was in store for us. I had heard the hype but was not prepared for the mind-blowing drama that darkened our path in those next few moments.

As the moon passed over the last 10% of the sun, we noticed sparks; a kind of sun burst that occurred, and then… darkness. Not complete darkness, there was still a light blue hue that wrapped the landscape, like a thick blue dusk. And the only sunlight that now remained was a vibrant white ring that floated like a dancer before us, high in the sky.

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Captured with my Iphone, I was able to get one of us during totality.

We slowly dragged our glasses down and looked up with our own eyes. All of our senses were racing. There was nothing but complete stillness; silence and then just as the adrenaline kicked in, everyone around us came together in a collective cheer. There was nothing but positivity and excitement. It was incredible. I felt so close to the earth, small and large all in one flustered moment. The totality only lasted a minute and 15 seconds but I will never forget it. It will always remain etched in my memories and I’m so thankful to have been able to capture it here, as we saw it.

Why Should One View The Eclipse?

Because it’s amazing! And it should be viewed at least once. I’ve said it before on this blog and I’ll say it again. When new experiences come your way, say yes. Why not?! Drop the excuses and just say yes. You never know what lies on the other side. We could only say yes to two days on this one but the experience managed to make it to my top ten travel experiences. Say yes as much as possible cause you never know and you never want to wonder “what if” later.

What was the eclipse like for you?! Tell us all about it! And let us know if you’ll be doing it again. We plan on going every year now. I mean, what better excuse does one need to book some travel. Total Solar Eclipse 1919- Yes Please! Check out our tips for viewing and capturing any solar eclipse HERE.