Wanderlust Tours

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The Great American Solar Eclipse

There’s a short span of time burned into my memory, roughly 10:18 to 10:20 am. Many of us had turned away from the Sun and Moon to watch the gathering darkness in the west. It did not take long for the temporary night to fall. First, the light left the clouds behind Mt. Jefferson and then the mountain itself. Suddenly, we were in darkness, too, surrounded by a sunset that illuminated the slopes of Mt. Hood to the north. I turned back towards the Sun and was awestruck by the wonder of the corona. That moment, that turn, has been playing over and over in my mind ever since.  -Chaney Swiney, Wanderlust Tours Naturalist Guide

The weekend (and those two particular minutes) that we anticipated for so many months has finally come and gone. If you were lucky enough to find yourself in the path of totality, you know that this moment really was the moment of a lifetime. We are still sharing stories, recalling the magnificence, and wondering how everything turned out just perfectly. 

Months ago we sent a team out to find the perfect spot to camp. What the Wanderlust team found was beyond perfect: we all dreamed of the magic that would take place on this ridge. Some of us have hiked this ridge in the past, many of us have gazed upon it through the window of an airplane on its way out of Redmond. Needless to say, we knew it would be the right place to attend this cosmic rendezvous between Sun and Moon.

With all the behind-the-scenes logistics taken care of and our permits in place, we left our office early on the morning of August 20th to beat the anticipated traffic. Leading a small group of enthusiastic eclipse-chasers to our camp ... 

Nature took heed as totality neared – resemblance to dusk, shadows looked different, breezes dissipated, wildlife took pause, and the temperatures dropped almost a full 13°. Naturalist Guide Danny recorded the temperature every 9 minutes as part of NASA's Citizen Science campaign. By collecting and submitting this data, we were able to observe the effects of the solar eclipse on our atmosphere. Events like this bring people an awareness and appreciation of the value of science, and we jumped at the opportunity to geek-out over sun-planet-moon systems.

"Taking in this celestial event from the best possible viewing location was one of the most unique experiences of my life. The best part? Seeing Mt. Jefferson cloaked in darkness while Hood, outside totality, was lit up like a candle." - Danny Walden, Wanderlust Tours Naturalist Guide

Transfixed by the ethereal vision in the sky, when the precious two minutes passed, your first thought may have been 'when and where is the next eclipse?' Well, the next North American total solar eclipse will be enjoyed by our neighbors to the east on April 28, 2024. If you can't wait until then, try traveling to Rio Cuarto, Argentina on July 2, 2019 for a full 2 minutes and 2 seconds of a totality awesome experience!