During the entire month of August, while camp hosting at Smith Rock State Park, park staff were preparing for the influx of visitors that would descend upon the park during the solar eclipse on Monday, August 21st. They’ve actually been prepping longer. When we arrived, we were required to sit in their weekly meetings about their plans. In my previous post here, I wrote about why I would not be photographing the solar eclipse. My husband and I were committed to fulfilling our duties as Welcome Center hosts. There was no way I wanted to fool with my camera trying to capture the event and take the chance that I could miss the experience of seeing it with my eyes.
The Morning of the Solar Eclipse
The day of the eclipse, I could hardly sleep. I was up early so I asked Mike if he wanted to open the Welcome Center early. The park manager wanted us to open the center on Monday, even though that wasn’t our regular day working there. The hours for August are Thursday through Sunday, 8:00am – 1:00pm. We ended up opening at 6:30am. The park would not allow cars into the park until 5:30. We knew we would get a lot of visitors in the center who would want to buy eclipse memorabilia or annual park passes while they were waiting for the start of the eclipse. Turns out we were right and many people came in before and after the eclipse.
My husband and I were allowed to close the center during the eclipse. We were able to wander around and watch things unfold like everyone else. It was so surreal when it hit totality and the sounds of cheers from the spectators, began bouncing off the canyon walls. It was incredible to experience the drop in temperature as it became darker and darker. It was nothing short of amazing. It was definitely an experience I won’t soon forget.
My husband & I have now resumed our travels in our RV and we have left Central Oregon. We made the decision that we would take a break from spending our summers as camp hosts for Oregon State Parks. I’m especially anxious to get back to taking pictures while visiting and staying at beautiful places.
I can’t say for sure where I’ll end up during the next couple of months just yet, but I hope to blog more about my whereabouts to keep you more up-to-date on my travels. Stay tuned!