There has been a crazy amount of hype* around the upcoming total solar eclipse, with daily updates of estimated visitors to Oregon (now at 1 million!), announcements of National Guard readiness, tales of preparation at local hospital emergency rooms, in addition to the reminders to essentially prepare for the Zombipocalypse: have a full tank in your vehicle, take lots of water and food, have an emergency kit and a communication plan for your family, be prepared for no cell phone service, and have a stash of weapons readily available**.
I will admit that I’ve been more on the side of the Grinch or Scrooge about the eclipse. I mean really— it’s two minutes of darkness. I get more than that every night. And as for the Zone of Totality***, seriously, my fellow Oregonians: in the grand scheme of things 99% is pretty darn close to 100%. You don’t need to trek to the coast or eastern Oregon to get the PERFECT viewing spot.
But perhaps I was mistaken.
The other night I saw this TED talk and my view has completely changed. It’s only twelve minutes. Do yourself a favor and watch it. Really. Go ahead. I’ll be waiting right here for you when you get back.
So, am I right?
After watching that talk, for the first time I thought, “Maybe it would be worth getting to that absolute 100% Zone of Totality to see the eclipse.”
And then I saw the local news with all of the arm-waving and ZOMG EVERYONE IS COMING AND IT WILL BE A DISASTER.****
Guess I will have to settle for watching a 99% solar eclipse from the comfort of my back yard. With snacks, drinks, and a greater appreciation of our place in the universe.
*I’m understating this.
**Okay, maybe they aren’t saying that last one, but you know it’s implied.
***Doesn’t that sound like something out of Superman?
****There is already a 15 mile traffic backup in eastern Oregon. Granted, it’s for an electronic music festival being held out there through the weekend (“The Global Event of a Lifetime” per youredm.com), but still.
And will you get to Wilsonville on Friday? And will Tuesday still be a disaster traffic wise? I’ll go out with my wine glass (hey, it’s gonna be dark enough) and watch the sprinkler water the lawn. Might have to raise my head once or twice to see what’s going on. Mostly plan to listen for changes in the birds singing.
Smiles all around, we will enjoy our holiday!
Keep the tea hot, if we run out of food, we’ll be over your way.