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Santa Barbara Hikes

Photos from Eclipse, August 2017

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Tony and I drove to Madras, Oregon to see the Eclipse. We took several days and visited redwood state parks in California, Fish Lake Resort in Oregon, Crater Lake and finally arrived in a little town called Culver without any traffic problems. We stopped there for ice cream and saw a flier advertising space to rent in a farm field so we called up and paid for two nights of dirt and a porta-potty for $95 a night. It was less than a lot of people were paying and our field had only one other group the entire time. Coincidentally the other group was also from the Santa Barbara area.
Our farm field was right on the edge of a canyon that reminded me a lot of Hat Creek Rim in northern California on the PCT.
Cattle were nearby.
We found a nice place in the small city of Madras called Wild Bleu. They had craft beer, lawn games and a food truck. Great place!
Tony's chilling at Wild Bleu near where someone drew "Apaceclipse" on the wall.
We were there two nights before the eclipse so we went to explore. This is the tent city at the airport that they called "Solar City."
We were grateful our field had only one other group. It was more peaceful and quiet.
These are terrible pictures taken as we drove by. Hopefully they sorta capture the huge amount of people. There were people camped here and in farmers' fields everywhere. They knew that the whole world, or at least all of California, would try to come here. It was in the absolute center of the totality and in the rain shadow of the Cascades so guaranteed to have clear skies. They were ready for us with plenty of camping and toilets, people selling t-shirts and snacks in town, businesses open even on day's they normally were closed and just general good cheer all around.
After exploring ground zero, we went to explore Cove Palisades State Park. We were surprised to see a giant canyon with basalt cliffs that looked like Devil's Postpile and a river at the bottom like the Grand Canyon.
We went in search of a good hike and found one from the bottom up with a loop on the rim.
We climbed up to the rim where it was flat.
This is the Crooked River. I think the Deschutes River also joins somewhere nearby.
It was pretty hot so we took a rest in the shade. When we got back to our car, we discovered we were parked near a swimming area so we spent the afternoon swimming and sitting in the shade. We also took a pay shower at the campground in the State Park, which felt good, especially with our super-low-budget travel style.
Back to the Wild Bleu for a second evening.
While here I talked to a man who drove 3000 miles all the way from Homer, Alaska to see the eclipse. He seemed pretty excited to see it and to be in the company of so many hippies. Is it only hippies and the like who come to see eclipses? Because everyone we met had that kind of vibe. Everyone everywhere we went was so nice. Nobody waved any confederate flags at us or anything like that.
Back to our campsite, there was a great sunset so I took too many pictures of it. We had a nice view of Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Hood was more in the distance.
I got this card at the swimming area at Palisades Cove but it pretty much didn't work very well. Maybe a bigger hole or something would help. By this time I think the eclipse was about half way. With no trees to throw shade I missed being able to see all the little moons in the shadows.
It was already starting to look sort of wierd. I thought maybe I would take pictures looking out to capture how weird it was looking. I'm not sure it shows.
I thought I'd try taking a picture through my eclipse glasses. It obviously didn't work. This would have been a crescent shape it if it had worked.
A series of everything looking weirder and wierder, but it kinda doesn't really show.
This last picture the sun had only the tiniest little sliver left. It looked so weird, like nothing I'd ever seen before. It was starting to get cold and it just seemed weirdly dark, like the sun was so weak.
This is the actual eclipse. I couldn't take a good picture with a point-and-shoot so I didn't try. As soon as I could no longer see anything through the eclipse glasses, I tore them off and just stared at it with my bare eyes. It was so beautiful and nothing like I had imagined it would look. All the professional pictures in the world show it so black and so big and so bright. My own picture shows it so bright. But it was not bright or big. It was the same size as the sun always is. It was small. Instead of a yellow light, the sun was a black hole in the sky. Surrounding the pure black was an amazing fringe of silvery hairs that spread out a great distance. It was amazing and so beautiful. The most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. To think those silvery hairs, the corona, is always there, but we can never see it. I wish that we could.
I took pictures of the surroundings. It wasn't dark like night. It was more like the light when the first stars come out. There was dusk or dawn in all directions on the horizon. It seemed so wierd and sort of disorienting. We could see Venus but I didn't notice any other stars.
The eclipse at our location lasted about 2 minutes and 3 seconds. I tried another picture, just as bad as the other.
It was dark enough to feel like night. It was also cold enough to put on a jacket when earlier it had been a warm noontime summer day.
And then suddenly it brightened. I threw on my eclipse glasses to see the diamond ring! It lasted only a split second. Then the tiny sliver of sun grew into a crescent and eventually full again. Even the tiniest bit of the sun showing was bright enough to make it look like daytime again instead of night. It was an amazing thing to see. Even the 60 mile traffic jam afteward, in which we crawled 20 miles in 4 hours, was worth it. I'm so glad I was able to see it.