Eclipse Totality Travel

Eclipse 2017: Totality Planning

Many months ago, Scott had come to me, put some info on Eclipse 2017 in front of me, and asked me to research the best place in the United States to see the whole phenomenon.  So, I got to work.  There were SO many details and questions to sort through.  What locations are really in the path of totality?  What are the weather conditions likely to be on August 21st in the top locations?  Even six months ahead of time, many of these places were totally booked – so where could we get a room without selling a kidney?

Honestly, there were moments I threw up my hands and walked away from it for a while, frustrated by the whole process.

BUT, I always came back.  My husband, when he so rarely has the time, reads book about the cosmos.  This is a dream of his.  We homeschool… what an amazing educational and just generally incredible family trip?!  There was never a real possibility of not working things out best I could.

None of that was a guarantee though.  We’ve been checking long term forecasts since it was possible to be checking, and reading more and more about the masses of people and traffic tie ups heading into the path of totality.  Craziness.


Eclipse 2017:  Arrival

We landed in Portland, Oregon yesterday, and were greeted kindly by the city.


I don’t know how it’s even possible, but 7pm the night before the eclipse, from Portland to Albany, there was very light traffic.  We sailed right down to our hotel, pulled in, parked, and were kind of stunned it was that easy!

We asked at the front desk if there was anywhere people were going to see the eclipse – besides just anywhere you can see the sun.  She shrugged and pointed across the street, a little further down the block, and said that park was probably the easiest thing to do.  And it was!

Katie poised for Totality. Eclipse 2017 totality photos
Katie poised for totality.


Eclipse 2017:  Our Field of View

Silly Family Photo Time. Eclipse 2017 totality photos
Silly Family Photo Time

I don’t know whether it was worth going to one of the “Eclipse Events” that were all throughout the path of totality.  We didn’t even try, and I had no desire to be crammed in with all of humanity somewhere all day.  The little town park, with ball fields on one side, was wonderful.  The picture above is of KatieRose just as totally started to hit – and you can see how sparse the crowd was.

From the first encroaching of the moon, to the beginning of totality, was an hour and 13 minutes of very slow action.  While we definitely watched on and off, and Katie took a zillion photos and some video (Go <<HERE>> to see Katie’s channel and the video.) We also just sort of entertained ourselves.  Weird family pictures, lounging around, applying sunscreen.  Scott’s theory is actually that the most common injury coming out of the eclipse will be sunburned faces!

Lydia looking so cool while she lounges. Eclipse 2017 totality photos
Lydia looking so cool while she lounges.


Eclipse 2017: Photo Win

I love photography, and was hoping to get some good photos.  In the end, it was KatieRose, with her little Canon SX710HS that kicked eclipse-photography’s butt.  She held her camera with the eclipse glass filter over the lens, and photographed her way through the event.

KatieRose's unbeatable Eclipse Photography Strategy. Eclipse 2017 totality photos
KatieRose’s unbeatable Eclipse Phtography Strategy.

And the payoff, is pretty incredible:

Eclipse 2017 totality photosEclipse 2017 totality photosEclipse 2017 Sliver


Eclipse 2017:  Totality Stuns

Hands down, the highlight was totality.  The temperature started dropping about 15 minutes before it hit, and slowly at first, light dwindled.  People started taking off sunglasses (worn when NOT looking directly at the sun – eclipse glasses were worn for any an all sun-gazing), putting on jackets, and more and more quiet spread through the whole field.

Be sure to check out our Katie’s YouTube video of the trip and the Eclipse <<HERE>>

When totality hit, the sun winked out quite quickly.  We looked around, and it was like twilight.  Gasps rippled and built in the crowd until applause spontaneously erupted, then cheering and whistling.  It was incredibly powerful.

Our viewing field at totality.  Eclipse 2017 totality photos.
Our viewing field at totality.

And again, KatieRose ruled the photos.

Eclipse 2017 totality photosEclipse 2017 totality photos

We just soaked it in during the 2-ish minutes of totality.  Gasping, sometimes talking over one another in hushed tones.  Laughing and a lot of “Oh. My. Gosh.” and other exclamations.

Then, as totality was coming to an end, Katie captured the Diamond Ring effect…

Eclipse 2017 totality photos
Diamond Ring effect at totality.
Eclipse 2017 totality photos
Diamond Ring as totality ends.

The whole experience was unreal.  Beautiful, chilling, adrenaline producing.

It may have been stressful putting it all together, but before we were even leaving the field, Scott looked at me and said, “I had been thinking that since we saw this one, we wouldn’t worry about traveling to see the eclipse in 2024.  But after seeing this, we are absolutely going.”

No arguments here.

Please share our fun with your friends (the buttons are just below) and Please Follow Us (top right of page) for updates as Katie puts together more photos and video! 😀

More Family Photo Fun. Eclipse 2017 totality photos
More Family Photo Fun


Solar Eclipse 2017 Totality


19 thoughts on “Eclipse Totality Travel

  1. Glad somehow this ended up in my Facebook feed. Loved seeing your blog on the Eclipse and that you pursued your husband’s desire to witness this in person. Wish I had!!!

    1. I’m glad it wound up in your feed, too, Judi! I think I’m have a wonderful little boom here, and I have to that the eclipse – and the 16-year-old who rocked the Canon point-and-shoot for that!

      I’m really glad I pursued this, too. Ired hard to understand how 2 minutes are worth all this planning and travel, but it really was just amazing.

      Thanks for stopping by! ❤

    1. Oh, Catherine! I’m so sorry! Where will you be in 2024?? It’s happening again, loathing from Texas through upstate New York. It’s worth it!

  2. What a great family memory! Loved the photos. Have you read “Total Eclipse,” by Annie Dillard? That essay makes me long to see one, so maybe Ken and I’ll catch it in 2024. Her best line: “Seeing a partial eclipse bears the same relation to seeing a total eclipse as kissing a man does to marrying him.”

  3. Looks like you got a good spot to see it especially since it wasn’t so busy – it must’ve been so magical so see the sun disappear like that. The diamond ring is breathtaking!

  4. Wow! You got some awesome shots!! I myself was too north of the eclipse so I didn’t get to see it but thanks for letting me in on a glimpse of what must have been a moving experience! You got the best seats! lol

  5. Oh my gosh, I’m totally going to plan a trip to New York for the 2024 eclipse now after seeing these photos!! Here in South Dakota, we had a thunderstorm the day of the eclipse so were unable to see anything so I’m very grateful for all of these eclipse posts 🙂

    1. Nice! It must have been crazy living in Oregon during the days around the eclipse. The news articles about traffic and people pouring into the area were crazy!

      It was amazing, getting to be there to see the eclipse. It was better than I had ever expected it would be. We are already talking about the next one. I hope you get to go see it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.