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C’mon, eclipse …

Well, the big day is tomorrow and it sounds as if everybody all across this great land (or at least across the path of the event) is expecting pretty good weather for it.

Except us, of course. The blessings of living in the Pacific Northwet littoral (I always wanted to use that word, even if I have to stretch a bit to use it here) rarely extend to clear, sunny mornings. Summer afternoons? Gorgeous! But between 9:00 and 11:00 tomorrow a.m. at eclipse time? Fog gradually giving way to partly cloudy. Sigh. And if I know the PNW, that usually means clearing about noon.

But we shall see. Sometimes the fogs are forgiving. Maybe tomorrow’s will stay offshore or clear early. Anyhow, it’s a neighborhood bash tomorrow with ISO certified eclipse glasses and neighbor J’s home-baked eclipse cookies.

Lucky you who are not only in the path of totality but in the path of clear sunshine — until the sun quits shining.

I know only a handful who are traveling. One couple is already safely camped out on a relative’s property in central Oregon. Another friend’s having a glorious vacation: eclipse and fishing. Another few are staying home under totality’s path, dreading the onslaught of clueless tourists.

Post in comments if you’re in range of the Big Event and tell the rest of us your stories. Traffic jams? Glorious corona? Neighborhood party? Day off from work or school? People being crazy? Tell us!


  1. brew
    brew August 20, 2017 6:50 pm

    I wish the sun would just go Super Nova instead, but in lieu of that, seeing 99.29% of the eclipse might be fun too….

    The owner of the company where I work put out an email on Friday saying “Please take time to enjoy the eclipse”. That’s it.

    I am interpreting that to mean ‘take the morning off’, which I intend to do.

    Turns out my back yard offers some fine viewing angles and I’m going to set my camp chair out there and sip my morning coffee and watch this celestial miracle unfold….

    Funny thing is, there are at least TWO total solar eclipses viewable on Earth, you just have to be in the right spot… So if all else fails, some day rent a sailboat and go hang out in the middle of the Atlantic if you have to if seeing a total eclipse is on your bucket list.

    I’ll bet there’s even a club of some sort that all they do is go around and watch all the eclipse’s they can…

  2. jed
    jed August 20, 2017 7:33 pm

    I won’t be seeing totality, but ninety-something percent. From what I was hearing on the radio, traffic on the interstate was pretty heavy earlier, but looking at the DOT traffic cameras, it doesn’t look so bad this evening.

    WX forecast is for chance of thunderstorms. My plan is to either watch on TV or find a good online video stream.

  3. larryarnold
    larryarnold August 20, 2017 8:35 pm

    We have friends from when we lived in Grand Island, Nebraska, and they’re going to send us copies of the local newspaper coverage. (My wife used to work for the Grand Island Independent.)

    Our local Schreiner University is staging a Watch, and it’s on the list of events my wife is covering. By that time, I’ll be proofreading.

  4. rochester_veteran
    rochester_veteran August 21, 2017 2:28 am

    l’ll be at work. Rochester is well out of the path of totality and we’ll be getting 68% coverage. I don’t have eclipse glasses either. I’ll step outside to see how things look but will avoid looking at it and preserve my retinas!

  5. ExpatNJ
    ExpatNJ August 21, 2017 7:06 am

    90%+ totality where I live. But, I will watch it on TV, or wait for the YouTube video. With all the fakery in the world today (in so many ways), I will NOT trust my precious eyesight to some potentially counterfeit protection.

    (Moi? Cynical? I don’t think so. Why do you ask … ?)

  6. M
    M August 21, 2017 7:21 am

    We are 100% for 2 min 30 sec

    Traffic jam as we had tens of cars go by yesterday, might have been the Poker Run or Jeep Club though…

  7. Claire
    Claire August 21, 2017 7:22 am

    Much though I applaud your cynicism, in practice you can pretty well tell the authentic glasses from the dangerous knockoffs, simply by looking through them at something other than the sun.

  8. Claire
    Claire August 21, 2017 7:26 am

    7:30. Although we awoke to fog, it didn’t look like the kind that was either going to stick around or devolve into the predicted overcast. Sure enough, it’s slowly lifting and it appears the SUN is taking over.

    The sky’s still very hazy. But I’m hopeful — and crossing fingers!

  9. Comrade X
    Comrade X August 21, 2017 9:26 am

    It’s has started here and it is getting dark….. well really it looks the same but I am looking in the wrong direction and I’m not going to be blind at least!

  10. Ellendra
    Ellendra August 21, 2017 10:00 am

    Pretty overcast here. I’m not going to worry too much about it. If it clears up later, I know where the #14 welding helmet is.

    My brother and his wife are in Missouri now just to see the eclipse, I think my nephew is with them. I’m not sure they realize how much they’re ticking off the family by doing that. You see, most of Mom’s immediate family is in MO, and my brother has been saying for the last 10 years that he doesn’t have time to go and visit them, or to let Dearest Nephew come along when Mom and I drive down every year. But they have time to go within 3 miles of them to see the eclipse?

    Mom’s pissed as hell, but trying not to show it. This may end up being “the eclipse that must not be named” in my family.

  11. jed
    jed August 21, 2017 11:04 am

    Noticeable dimming here. Fun thing is all the cresent-shaped shadows from pretty much anything with small apertures — trees between the leaves, stair grating. I made a pinhole imager, but the colander was more fun.

  12. Comrade X
    Comrade X August 21, 2017 11:12 am

    It did get dimmer here also, still a blue sky but dark blue.

  13. Ellendra
    Ellendra August 21, 2017 11:26 am

    I think the clouds got slightly darker, but it’s hard to tell if that was the eclipse, or just the clouds.

  14. Claire
    Claire August 21, 2017 11:32 am

    We got noticeable dimming here, too. With weird green light like before a thunderstorm. Also noticeable cooling.

    We didn’t see the crescent-shaped shadows jed described (though we probably had a similar degree of totality). That must have been an eerie sight. But right as the eclipse reached its max, leaving just a tiny inverted sliver at the top of the sun, the sun turned from flat orange through the glasses to something rainbow-like, only red, green, and gold.

    Neighbor J, who didn’t see the rainbow, said I was having a 1960s flashback. But then a young neighbor and one of her kids saw it, too. It lasted only about a minute, but it was trippy. In that moment, there was also a slight glowing ring around the sun. Not the blazing corona people have reported at true totality, but a soft, barely visible glow.

  15. Claire
    Claire August 21, 2017 11:35 am

    Ellendra — Damn, I’m sorry you got clouded out. What a disappointment.

    If it’s any help, neighbor J. has some relatives who live in Portland, Oregon, where it’s sunny and they’d have seen about 98% totality (correction: 99.2% totality). Instead, they made plans to go over to the coast — where they were socked in and completely missed the thing.

    I felt so lucky that our fog cleared early and we got a spectacular view.

  16. Claire
    Claire August 21, 2017 11:38 am

    “It did get dimmer here also, still a blue sky but dark blue.”

    Same here. Darker blue sky, yellowish green in the landscape.

    Special thanks to you guys who took time during the event to report what you were seeing. I was over on a neighbor’s deck and nothing could have pried me away long enough to say what I was seeing.

  17. jc2k
    jc2k August 21, 2017 12:02 pm

    Yes, the crescent shadows were definitely cool. I came into the office today, but most people are working from home in anticipation of trafficocalypse (Portland Metro).

    I was surprised at how bright .8 percent of the sun still is.

  18. Claire
    Claire August 21, 2017 12:26 pm

    “I was surprised at how bright .8 percent of the sun still is.”

    We were surprised at how bright 3% was. I’m still surprised .8% looked bright.

    We expected dusk and instead got “hour before the tornado.” Now I begin to understand why everyone says there’s no substitute for true totality.

  19. jc2k
    jc2k August 21, 2017 12:33 pm

    That picture I took was about ten minutes before we reached peak darkness, but even at it’s darkest it still didn’t reach the point where I’d worry about turning on my headlights.

  20. Claire
    Claire August 21, 2017 12:37 pm

    You took that photo you linked to earlier? It was strange and fascinating. Can you explain what we’re looking at in the pic?

    So even with just .8% you didn’t get true darkness. Wow. That puts the sun’s power in perspective, doesn’t it?

  21. jc2k
    jc2k August 21, 2017 12:43 pm

    That’s a picture of the side of my office behind a tree.

    It certainly does put the power of the sun in perspective – even at .8% glancing up at the sun without protection (for just a fraction of a second) it still appeared to be a full disk in the sky.

  22. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty August 21, 2017 12:56 pm

    Hmmm, that was certainly underwhelming. My sister called from So. Calif. about 10 minutes before predicted “totality” here and wanted to share her experience… It was supposed to be about 90 to 95% here. I looked out the west facing window and watched it get a little gray under thinly cloudy skies… sun still making bright spots of reflection off my car window. I didn’t look at the sun itself, but I saw no marked change. The temp. dropped from 74 to 73 briefly. The big flock of blackbirds that are finding bugs in the horse droppings out back continued their most welcome activity without a pause.

    Hard for me to imagine why millions of people created massive traffic jams and spent a jillion dollars on travel, etc. for it. The tourist trade people rejoiced, of course. Silver lining and all that. 🙂

  23. deLaune
    deLaune August 21, 2017 1:31 pm

    It was 82% where I live. Looked at it through a pinhole camera (2 index cards) and welding lenses. My son lives in the totality zone. He says it was absolutely incredible–pictures don’t do it justice.

  24. Claire
    Claire August 21, 2017 2:05 pm

    “Hmmm, that was certainly underwhelming.”

    97% totality at your location, ML, a little more than we had here — and I can assure you that if you’d wanted to prepare to look at it properly, you’d have seen something impressive, even with thin cloud cover. With no viewing equipment, think how remarkable it is that with only 3% of the sun’s surface showing it still appeared very nearly normal to you. That in itself is awesome.

    So the eclipse isn’t everybody’s thing. One of the little boys watching with us felt that way; he got dragged out of his bed for an event that didn’t interest him and made sure everybody knew it. But even he put on his eclipse glasses a few times and I think was more impressed than he let on.

    Don’t blame “the tourist people.” Today some of us witnessed a wonder, some were out of its path, and some within its path just weren’t motivated to care about it. Takes all kinds.

  25. Claire
    Claire August 21, 2017 2:07 pm

    “He says it was absolutely incredible–pictures don’t do it justice.”

    That seems to be the universal opinion of those who got the totality. Ah well, maybe next time …

  26. jed
    jed August 21, 2017 3:00 pm

    Next time:
    here’s when your next chance to see one will be

    If you missed the event today, you have other chances to see the phenomenon soon. The US will see another solar eclipse on October 14, 2023, though that one will be annular — which means the edge of the sun will remain visible as a bright ring around the moon. That eclipse will be visible from Northern California to Florida, according to NASA. After that, the next total eclipse in the US will occur on April 8, 2024, and will be visible from Texas to Maine.

  27. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty August 22, 2017 6:06 am

    Yes indeed, Claire. 🙂 Not everything appeals to everyone. I would not have bothered if my sister hadn’t called… probably would never have noticed. But I’m very glad for all of those who depend on the tourist trade, and don’t at all object to tourists even here. Good for business. We just had the usual influx of the Sturgis biker rally folks, and that’s always a boost. As well as very interesting to talk with some of them when I’m downtown.

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