The Great American Eclipse 2017

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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). As there were reports of heavy traffic over the weekend, we decided to drive overnight on Friday. Reached the site on Saturday by noon.

We did our set up, scouting the location that day. 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. However on Sunday evening clouds started rolling in. By 8 PM it was 100% covered. However, we went to Mitchell town to check for the forecast next day. I had no cell signal (T-Mobile) so tried a local church. The pastor of the church was kind enough to give us wi-fi password. We confirmed beyond our belief that it was going to be 100% clear the next day! Fingers crossed!

The next day – as forecast suggested there were no clouds. One final check at our set up and script. Everything was as per plan. 9:07 first contact was a non-event. We had seen annual eclipse so we were expecting a similar experience. As of 60-70% temperature started to drop. Cool breeze followed. There were few wisps around and we were getting nervous about they spoiling the totality.

At about 80%, we started to see the shadow bands on the ground. We heard bird calls as perhaps it was unsettling them as to what was going on? It was beginning to get unreal from that point of time. We had never experienced anything like that before. Then the totality hit (C2). We simply can’t describe those 2 minutes 6 seconds in words. They say it is an experience to have and we vouch for that!

After C3, it was almost over. We watched the sun through Coronado PST we had and also invited neighbors to view the sun. 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. Started the evening of Monday. However, 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. Reached the Bay Area on Tuesday morning.

Here are some raw pictures but they never do the justice to the experience. For those who missed it, please please prepare for 2024 it is worth an item for the bucket list (as that was mine!)

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