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2017 - Trip Report - Neal & Marian Get Eclipsed

Neal & Marian Get Eclipsed

by Marian Johns

The last DE Newsletter (September 2017) had a short note by Leonard Friedman about the total solar eclipse and coincidentally running into Craig Baker. Like the Friedman╒s and Craig, Neal and I headed up to Oregon where we hoped to see the eclipse. In fact, we ended up camping next to the John Day Painted Hills and Fossil Beds which is fairly close to Madras where our DE friends were ,John Day is a little farther east. I was hoping to find someplace in the boonies east of the Cascades and east of Bend where there would be fewer people. Boy, was I wrong!

There were people everywhere. John Day was completely full, but we had learned from BLM that the field next door was open to campers. So we joined several hundred other folks and set up camp there Sunday evening. The following morning, more and more people arrived. They parked nose to tail all along both sides of the paved road bordering our field.

When, at last, the big moment arrived there was a big, collective cheer just as the very last bit of sun disappeared behind the moon. In a matter of mere seconds, we were engulfed in total darkness. It was an awesome and moving experience. Year ago I had seen a partial eclipse, but it was nothing like this.

The down side of this memorable occasion was the traffic. People had been dribbling in over the previous few days, but then, when the show was over, they all left at once. It  took us ten hours to get to Portland - bumper to bumper most of the way. The next day when we headed on up to Seattle, it was more of the same. Still, I╒m glad we went. It was a special, once in a lifetime experience for me.

When we arrived home and went to pick up our mail, our post mistress said she had some unusual eclipse stamps which were heat sensitive. When cool, the moon in front of the sun appears black, but when you touch a warm finger to the back of the stamp, the black disappears and the features of the moon are revealed. Of course we bought some - they come in a set of sixteen.                                                ~ Marian Johns