It was truly serendipitous that we ended up in the Path of Totality in Oregon during the solar eclipse. I have had this 2 month road trip across the United States planned for almost a year now. A couple months ago, a friend asked what my plans were for the solar eclipse. I had looked up where I would be and was delighted to learn I was in the Path of Totality, which ended up being a 70-mile wide path that ran across the United States, starting in Oregon and continuing across to South Carolina. After some momentary freak-outs about where we would stay because there were campsites going for over $500, we found a spot on a family vineyard, the Hauer of the Dauen winery, on Hipcamp, complete with wine tastings and a German breakfast. It was perfect!
While it was really exciting to see every phase of the eclipse happen, watching the light change so weirdly and eerily around us, I can’t lie, seeing the total eclipse was one of the most incredible parts. I had planned on spending the full 2 minutes taking it all in, not worrying about an elaborate camera set up or rushing for the perfect shot during it. Naturally though, I couldn’t help but grab my camera after a few minutes of it happening.
Later in the day, as I scrolled through my Instagram feed, I found it interesting not only seeing other’s visual perspectives of the eclipse, but also their experiences. While I could explain what I felt further, I also thought it would be neat if I reached out to a few people who took some of the images that grabbed my eye and asked them to describe their experience.
Read on to hear about 6 other Instagrammer’s Path of Totality experiences:
“The total solar eclipse was a completely surreal experience. A few minutes before totality, the temperature dropped about 10 degrees Fahrenheit. The sunlight turned to an almost-white color, casting a double shadow. As the moon completely overlapped the sun, daytime suddenly turned to night and the sky turned dark. And yet everything was still evenly lit by the same white light from the outer edges of the sun, creating a day-night fusion. For a brief moment, I was standing in a different realm.” See more of Shunsuke Imura’s photographs on Instagram.
“I was on a ridge below Fred’s Mountain near Grand Targhee Ski Resort and when the eclipse hit. Everyone on the ridge just started whooping and hollering because it was truly epic. You could hear people from all across the mountain range which was one of my favorite parts. I also felt kind of disorientated in a good way after like some internal clock or instinct was kind of thrown off too. It was by far the most incredible experience of my life.” See more of Sam Negan’s photography on Instagram.
“The chance of seeing the eclipse in it’s totality was only part of the entire experience. Knowing that I was participating in something the entire United States was experiencing all at the same moment in time was something special.” See more of Brandon Horobo’s photography on Instagram.
“My friends and I planned for weeks. After a 9 hour drive, multiple days of scouting the area. We picked our location on the little Tennessee river and posted up immediately following sunrise. We waited out the 91 degree heat and at the very last moment, it seemed like the clouds were going to ruin the entire view. The temperature began to drop, and the light began to dim and it was one of the most amazing sights that I have ever experienced. We were all absolutely reeling from the adrenaline and anticipation. It was the quickest 2 minutes and 23 seconds of my life, gone in and instant, but the memory will last forever.” See more of Bryan Minear’s photography on Instagram.
“D-Day had finally arrived. Anticipation and excitement were off the charts. Indescribable, eerie, surreal. Truly once in a lifetime experience! How often can one get in the shadow of the moon?” See more of Vina’s photography on Instagram.
After reading about these experiences, I hope you are ready for the next total eclipse in North America! It will be happening in April 2024. Perhaps we can meet in Mexico? Or Austin? The Finger Lakes? Maine? Toronto? Decisions, decisions.