Location: 17 miles north of Mitchell, OR. 44 44 09N 120 0 23W
We were at a private ranch (converted into a temporary viewing site with RVs/Tents). There were reports of heavy traffic over the weekend, so we decided to drive overnight on Friday. We Reached the site on Saturday by noon.
We set up and scouted the location that day. I did my photography dry run on Sunday. This was our first eclipse so everything had to be automated for us to be able to enjoy the eclipse without touching our cameras (except removing filters during totality!)
Everything was going as per the plan. On Sunday, however, evening clouds started rolling in. By 8 PM it was 100% covered. We went to Mitchell town to check for the forecast next day. I had no cell signal (T-Mobile) so we tried a local church. The pastor of the church was kind enough to give us the wi-fi password. We confirmed (unebelievably) that it was going to be 100% clear the next day! Fingers crossed!
The next day as the forecast suggested there were no clouds. One final check at our set up and script. Everything was as per plan. The 9:07am first contact was a non-event. We had seen an annular eclipse so we were expecting a similar experience. As soon as the sun was 60-70% covered the temperature started to drop. A cool breeze followed. There were a few wisps around the horizon and we were getting anxious that they would spoil the totality.
At about 80%, we started to see shadow bands on the ground. We heard bird calls as the local wildlife began to become bewildered. From then on, it began to get unreal. We had never experienced anything like that before. Then, the totality hit (C2). We simply can’t describe those 2 minutes and 6 seconds in words. They say it is an unforgettable experience and we can vouch for that!
After C3, it was almost over. We watched the sun through the Coronado PST and also invited neighbors to view it too. C4 was almost a non-event again.
Due to traffic expectations, we decided to stay back a bit. We had to be back by Tuesday due to my sons’ school. We started the evening of Monday. However, we heard that traffic was backing up quickly on the west side of Mitchell, so we decided to head east instead and came south through 395. We reached the Bay Area on Tuesday morning.
Here are some raw pictures, even though they never do the experience justice. For those who missed it, please please prepare for 2024! It is a must see event for anyone’s bucket list, as it was for me!