The Path To Totality

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Last week I got to experience a Solar Eclipse for the first time in my life, but to do it, I had to make a road trip down to Oregon, to the path of totality. While I did experience the awe of totality, I found so much more as well. 

The Oregon coastline & its wilderness is something that (I was reminded), I don't explore enough. There are so many beautiful hikes surrounding Seattle, but I'm finding that Oregon & our neighbors up North, have so many more facets for me to wander through. So many things to photograph & so man seasons to do it in. 

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We left on Friday after work, in hopes of beating the weekend traffic. 

And by taking mostly the countryside roads, we completely avoided traffic until our ride home, Tuesday night. After hiking closer and closer to the path of totality each night, we settled on a spot to view the solar eclipse, midway up the hike to Hawk Mountain Lookout (see map below). Come sunrise, we packed up our camera gear, and hiked up to reserve our viewing spot, which was conveniently on a half mile up. 

 

As it began, with my solar eclipse glasses, I was able to see the moon beginning to make it way in front of the path of the sun. Then it was time to set up the cameras. We had an idea where the sun would be in the sky at the time of totality, but being it was my first eclipse, I struggled with deciding on how I wanted to frame it. I didn't have a zoom lens & I favor including landscape or some type of object for perspective and scale. 

10 minutes before (photo above), it went from an uncomfortable 90F, to suddenly chilly. Despite the clear blue skies, I had to throw on  a sweater. Then 2 minutes before totality, the sky slowly went dark, until it looked like the last bit of a sunset. Then it happened. Totality. I went back and forth between snapping away & taking of my glasses to take in the process for myself. It really was surreal. My photo & anyone elses photo I saw on Instagram didn't do the feeling of seeing it in person, justice. For me, it was the realization of now small we were in the universe, and the fact that these two circles I saw in the sky, lining up over each other, were larger in real life, than I can ever imagine. 

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All I can say now, is that I can't guarantee I won't go chasing the next solar eclipse, no matter where it is in the world.  - Jen