The Day the Sun Went Out…

…is also known as the day of America’s solar eclipse. We didn’t plan it this way, but when I saw we were going to be in the path of the solar eclipse, I was tickled. I can remember years and years ago as a kid making the tricky cardboard viewer and watching the shadow of the moon cover more and more of the sun. It was disappointing, but no less memorable.

This time, with the handy-dandy solar glasses, we would get to watch the real thing from eastern Oregon. From our side yard (when you’re full-timing, the yard moves around, you know). We had our specs, Bob made his famouns french-pressed organic, free-trade coffee with Ghiradelli cocoa and a touch of honey, we had the TV on, we were ready!

This Portland TV station carried the eclipse live, and we knew we were a few minutes behind, so we could watch the fun on TV and know what was coming (sort of… more about that later):

Remember, we’d been over on the Oregon coast just a week or so before, so we had heard all the hype, seen all of the reports about the prices of hotel rooms and RV park spaces. We were glad we were going to be out of the craziness. As it turned out, they raised the prices out there and nobody came (serves them right, eh?).

In our side yard, I tried to find a great way to capture the fading sunlight. Maybe photographing this pinecone as the shadow faded would work…

What do you think? Here’s the same pinecone, 21 minutes later:

And here it is, 40 minutes after the first photo (and about 6 minutes before the “best time to view” for this area):

We were not in the path of the total eclipse, but experienced a “98.6% obscuration,” which was like being in a bright place and having the lights dimmed. I got chilly enough I went back inside the rig to put my sweater on.

Pardon the awning arm in this shot, but it shows how dim things got, and if you look really closely, you can see that the lights in the lodge across the street came on.

It wasn’t as dramatic as the total eclipse must have been, but it was nonetheless an amazing experience to see the world get a little dimmer, despite the cloudless sky.

Most of the locals didn’t seem affected by it at all.

Wherever you were for the eclipse, I hope you got to see at least an edge of it!

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About Ellen

Fiction writer and photographer, I travel the country with my sweetheart of a husband as a "full-time RVer."
This entry was posted in Animals, Cool Experience, RV Parks & Lifestyle and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Day the Sun Went Out…

  1. Hi y’all, from the great state of South Carolina (just below the Blue Ridge Mountains). We were lucky enough to be in the TOTAL path of the eclipse! All the hotels/motels/campsites, etc., had been sold out for months. And, we weren’t disappointed!
    Karen and I watched from our front porch (best advantage) as the sun was gobbled up bite-by-bite until it was a total blackout! The birds all went to roost, and then, as the sun s-l-o-w-l-y reappeared, they began to welcome the “new day” with their early-morning songs! Wow, quite the experience. I, too, experienced an “almost” total eclipse back in the Florida panhandle sometime in the 1980s, viewing it through one of those homemade boxes you mentioned. A wonderful experience, but nothing like the TOTAL eclipse we were fortunate to view this August. What a great event to be part of!

    HAPPY TRAILS,
    –Michael

    • Ellen says:

      That is so cool you were in the path of the total eclipse! I’d never realized, until after the eclipse, that a tiny percentage could make such a difference in the overall experience. We thought it was amazing, but didn’t have the same WOW! moments people who were in the total path had. Next time… maybe?? You and Karen take care!

  2. Thanks for the posts. We were in southwest Virginia and didn’t see the total eclipse. We didn’t think we would see it all and did not have any of the glasses. We spent all afternoon watching the shadows through a colander, the leaves, and a pinhole my husband poked in a raisin box!

    • Ellen says:

      Hi, Beth! What a fun experience, right? It reminds me that an event is what you make it — not what everyone says the event should be. A colander — now that’s a creative solution! Safe travels, Beth!

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