At 10:15 on the twenty-first of August 2017, Portland, Oregon will witness the first total solar eclipse, viewable in the contiguous United States, since 1979. This is a big deal and folks around the Portland area—and the country, really—are celebrating this rare event by taking the day off from work and trekking down to Lincoln City, or Salem—the two spots in the state with the best view of the eclipse.
Last week, I looked into the sky and the moon was red. A blood moon, and super creepy. This was a lunar eclipse. The rarity of having both a solar and lunar eclipse in the same month is mind boggling. It’s safe to say, that this will not happen again in our lifetimes (the next one is not expected to cross our path until October 5th, 2108).
The actual eclipse will last no longer than two minutes, but that doesn’t change the fact that people are travelling from all over the world to witness it. Yes, Portland, Salem, and Corvallis are going to see a brief uptick in population from curious sky gazers from Alaska, Canada, Even Russia and Japan. It’s exciting to be a part of something like this, and, while the south central part of the state will have the best view of the eclipse, you don’t have to leave your home or office in Portland to enjoy this spectacle.
If you haven’t booked a hotel or campground yet, you won’t get one, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this celestial anomaly and make a trip out of it. Me? I’m heading down to Lincoln City.
Yes, I’m playing hooky on that day, packing up a picnic basket, piling the kids in the car, and driving down to Lincoln City. The coast line there will offer a clear view of the eclipse and, of course, the picnic will provide a nice excuse for a family outing.
But, if you can’t (or don’t want to) play hooky, Water Front Park should offer a great view—heck, any of the many parks around Portland. Or, sneak up to the roof of your office building or take a step outside and look up—just be sure to wear your sun glasses and, during the eclipse, the suns’ rays will be especially potent to the eyeballs.
Whether you’re a science geek or just a lover of things that are strange and rare—the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 is a must see event. I’ll be in Lincoln City—where will you be enjoying from?