Totality Worth It

Yesterday was the total eclipse of the sun in the United States, and a big deal. I went about 90 minutes south of Portland Oregon to Mary’s Peak at about 4000 feet above sea level with a group of people to see the eclipse as it started on the coast of North America. We could see from the ocean to Mount Hood.

The morning started early around 2:30am but by 7am I was seated on a beautiful mountain top awaiting the eclipse and 2:23 minutes of totality.
Waiting for the total eclipse on Marys Peak

The difference between 99.3% and the zone of totality is huge and you shouldn't settle for 99.3%, just drive a few miles to the 60 mile wide zone of totality where the sun is completely covered by the moon. Totality is amazing and you can look up and see the moon covering the sun without eye protection. Right before totality the light seemed dimmed much like wearing sunglasses and then the shadows were lightly flickering. Then totality occurred. The ring around the moon glowing was surreal and hard to believe what you are seeing is real and happening.

When totality hit and the light darkened, I tried to not take as many photos and just soak it all in but did snap a few shots of the crowd and the landscape since so many were getting great photos of the sun/moon.
Watching the total eclipse on Marys PeakWatching the total eclipse on Marys Peak
Watching the total eclipse on Marys PeakWatching the total eclipse on Marys Peak

The highlight was the 360 degree sunset and seeing Mount Hood glowing.

Mount Hood glowing during the eclipse

I had approval from the event host and Forest Service to grab a couple quick UAS (drone) shots away from the crowd up there.

Mary's Peak watching the eclipse

Photobombed by airline.
Alaska Airlines had a charted flight that flew out over the ocean then inland to allow lucky passengers to view the eclipse from above.

The million people that came to Oregon were more evident after the eclipse on the freeways and backroads. It is normally a 90 minute drive but it took 5 hours and that was using the Waze app to find the best backroads home.

Photo by KGW

What an experience.
I have seen a total solar eclipse as a child in West Yellowstone Montana and always remembered the eerie silence and the weird shadows. Yesterday confirmed those same reactions and feelings experiencing my second total eclipse of my lifetime.

If you ever get the chance to experience a total solar eclipse, just do it.