August 21, 2017 Oregon will be right in the path of the total solar eclipse at about 10:19am. While the best viewing spot will be in Salem, it’s OK if you want to stay in Portland for the big moment. Most known campsites were completely sold out a while back. The State Fair Grounds will be hosting a Solar Fest; all 5,500 spaces were sold out long ago. Many farms, vineyards of the Willamette Valley, and even our State Capitol Mall are in on hosting activities for the big day. Some family farms may still have rustic camping options available, but if you are going to go this route, make sure you come prepared with water, food, and the ability to survive should Oregonians cause a little havoc with our unique ability to massively shut down activity for such an awesome rare occurrence. FYI to say traffic will be horrid, is an understatement – think zombie apocalypse, or two inches of snow in December.
We will likely have at least a million tourists descend upon us. We’re excited. We love cool people who enjoy science, so this is going to be fun for us! If you are looking for events (the celebration is starting on the 18th and running through the 21st, here is where to look first.
If you want to stay here in Portland, then stay right here. We should enjoy a 99.4% eclipse. Where should you go if your front yard or back yard isn’t your first choice? Anywhere on the waterfront. Seriously go walk outside there will be thousands of downtown offices taking a break, employees walking out on to the bridges and out to Tom McCall Waterfront Park and enjoying. Bosses, please do yourself a favor, pre-order NASA approved glasses at www.amazon.com look for American Paper Optics, Rainbow Symphony, Thousand Oaks Optical, or Beader Planetarium manufactured glasses with the “ISO” label. They must also reference #12312-2, not be pre-used, warped, or damaged. A box of 25 will likely cost you about $25-35, if you buy today.
If you want to go to Pittock Mansion, or other optimum viewing sites, plan to go very early. Remember the park grounds open just before sunrise if you aren’t hiking in, you may not get a parking spot if you go later than that.
Cheers to the sun and the moon and everyone coming together right here in Oregon!