Here’s what time we arrived in Salem. We left at 3:30. There was traffic all the way, but not significant slowing. Mostly my driving was in the 50 mph range.
In all my planning, I forgot to think about parking. Happily, we grabbed the last space in front of the State Library, paid for a full day of parking, and headed out to the capitol grounds. There we set up our space. There was one other group on the lawn when we arrived–it turns out we were there before the park opened. That was probably why all the other people were still hanging out at their cars. Then we both fell asleep.
Time stamp: 5:52 am
Matt’s sleeping setup.
Here we are more awake. 6:27am.
I made breakfast pizza for our trip. Breakfast pizza was AMAZING! Thanks, Cooks Illustrated for creating such a delightful concoction of ingredients. My work-mate mentioned that there would be a special postage cancellation at the capitol, so soon after the 8 am capitol opening time, I went in search of it. This is Helen, who not only works at the post office, but also designed the special cancellation. I bought commemorative envelopes from the gift shop and a sheet of eclipse stamps, plus some postcards and headed back outside to do some on-site corresponding. (Sadly, I took pictures of none of this, not the many postcards, or the special envelopes, or the special cancellation.) You can do a Google Image search though, which is more fun, because you get to see cancellations from across the country.
Look at these amazing stamps! They change color when you apply heat!
I also couldn’t resist the pressed penny machine.
Here we are in our glasses. 9:09 am. The eclipse has begun! When you put on those glasses, everything went black, except the sun. Hence the not-great framing. Notice how many more people are around us. They kept coming.
These two were among my favorite of our neighbors. While most people, myself included, would put on the glasses and then take them off, look around, do other stuff (write letters, postcards) and then check back in with how the eclipse was going, these two put on their glasses and kept them on.
The stamps in the sun!
Our nearest eclipse neighbor to the left. He had a lot of cameras going. There were a lot of cameras in general. The fountain in the background came on early in the morning. Overheard: “I work at the capitol, and that fountain is never on!”
My favorite young viewer.
Improvising filters for the phone cameras. 10:03am.
And then it got colder and colder. I put my sweater back on. And then it was dark. Total eclipse. These are photos I took on my normal camera on the auto setting with no filter. I zoomed and pushed the shutter button. I’m thrilled they came out so well. 10:18 am.
The cold was surprising to me. Also surprising was how it didn’t really get dark. This is mid-eclipse. It was more of a dusk, than of a midnight thing.
Back to the sun/moon thing.
What it looked like without zooming.
So many cameras!
I think this one is my favorite.
Totality is over. Seeing the huge difference between 99% and 100%, I was very glad we made the journey.
Time stamp: 10:29 am. I was very surprised how soon after totality people packed up and left. There was still another hour of eclipse. Ten minutes prior, this was full of people. My work colleague was among the early leavers. It took her only two hours to get home. This was a far shorter trip than we had.
Some eclipse supplies.