Total Eclipse of the Sun

 

I'm back! Three weeks ago I took off to meet my dad and sister for an epic camping trip. We caught a full glimpse of the solar eclipse from the Skull Hollow campground in Terrebonne, Oregon. 

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From Portland it was a two and a half hour drive southeast to the campsite and into the path of totality. Dad arrived to the area a week early to stake out the perfect spot. Prior to the big day we hiked our way around the volcanic mountains. Smith Rock State Park attracts extreme rock climbers. We paused routinely along our trek to watch the adventurers repel down the mountains' steep slopes. Smith Rock has a couple of distinct features including Woodstock Rock and Monkey Face Rock, both appropriately named. 

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Early in the morning, we rose with day's first sunrise. We setup our chairs and cameras and popped a bottle of bubbles for the big event. 

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The event started slowly, with what looked like a little bite taken out of the sun. As the moon crossed further and further over the sun's surface the drama increased. I wasn't actually prepared for what the full event entailed. It hadn't registered for me, until the climatic full coverage, that it would get completely dark.

With the blackout came a twenty degree drop in temperature and the howling of neighboring coyotes. Spooky, right? Their cries were matched in intensity by the roar of our campsite, which gave me more goosebumps than the chilled air. I'm at a loss for words (which doesn't happen often) to accurately describe the sense of community that developed as we all experienced a sunset at 10:30 a.m. 

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Even more powerful for me was watching the sun rise for the second time of the day, as the moon withdrew from the sun.  My dad accurately described the 360 degree sunrise and sunset created as the celestial spheres crossed paths from directly above us. 

My sister's camera is built with an extreme zoom that allowed us to get some incredible close ups of the action! 

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I know there will be other eclipses. In fact, there was a discussion within our crew to try to catch next year's in Chile. However, this did feel like a once in a lifetime experience, to see the eclipse this closely. At the very least, it was a first in a lifetime experience for all of us. 

TravelLyndsay Cavanagh