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Tillamook Coast Life Blog

Experience darkness on the Tillamook Coast: Solar Eclipse 2017

Itʼs less than 40 days until the Tillamook Coast will go dark for two minutes. At 10:15 a.m. on August 21, visitors and residents between Manzanita and Lincoln City will be able to view a Total Solar Eclipse, the first in the United States since 1979.

In order to see the eclipse, viewers will need to be in the “Path of Totality,” which is a band roughly 70 miles wide. The best viewings will be between Pacific City on the Tillamook Coast and Lincoln City, preferably in a wide open space, such as the beach. Other areas in Tillamook County, north of Pacific City, will have a partial viewing of the eclipse.

According to the Oregon Department of Transportation, “an estimated 1 million visitors are coming to Oregon to view this celestial spectacle. That means traffic backups are inevitable, but preparation ensures a good time for visitors and residents alike.”

ODOT suggests that visitors and residents take care of errands prior to August 21 and carpool with friends and family in order to limit vehicles on the road.

Want some memorabilia to remember the event? The City of Rockaway Beach is selling “I saw the solar eclipse in Rockaway Beach” t-shirts at City Hall for $15. The Tillamook Creameryʼs gift shop is also stocked with Solar Eclipse souvenirs.

And, donʼt forget to pick up your eclipse viewing glasses that are available for free in local Tillamook County businesses. You’ll definitely want an official pair—even powerful sunglasses won’t cut it. Looking at the sun (eclipse or not) is a huge risk to your eyes; the light can cause permanent damage. Keep the special shades on until even the last sliver of the sun is obscured by the moon. Then whip them off and enjoy the two minutes of night sky overhead!

After starting on Oregon’s Coast, the eclipse’s path tracks across the United States, eventually leaving off the shore of South Carolina. People will want to get into the Path of Totality, as a full eclipse is tough to catch! To see another one within Oregon’s borders, you’d have to wait a few hundred years. Eclipses do happen every few years, but they’re not visible from the same spots every time. Some space enthusiasts are “eclipse chasers” and travel the world to see the astronomical events regularly. This may sound nutty, but many say their first experience of a total eclipse was so awe-inspiring, they couldn’t resist the opportunity to catch it again and again.

And maybe one reason for that is how fleeting each eclipse is… The 2017 eclipse will cross Oregon in about ten minutes, and it will cross the whole country in only an hour and a half. It’s a brief window, just a few moments each of us gets to experience at a time, but most people will agree it’s more than worthwhile and definitely lives up to the hype.

To book lodging visit tillamookcoast.com and click on Places to Stay.

For even more info, check out our Total Solar Eclipse page.

A Picture of Chelsea Yarnell
Chelsea Yarnell
Chelsea Yarnell is a freelance writer and editor living on the Oregon Coast. She studied journalism and writing at George Fox University, before becoming a sport editor and eventually editor of the Tillamook Headlight Herald. When she’s not writing, she enjoys substitute teaching, coaching cross country and track, and remodeling houses with her husband.
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