Portland, ORE (AP) – John Hays drove up from Bishop, California for the total eclipse in Salem, Oregon, and says the experience of seeing it become night at 10:30 a.m. will stay with him forever.
He watched from a deck overlooking the Willamette Valley and the foothills of the Coastal Range. He says it was amazing to look across the landscape.
He says: “The crescent moon shadows became thinner and thinner. That silvery ring is so hypnotic and mesmerizing, it does remind you of wizardry or like magic.”
Meanwhile, Todd Hoover of Tacoma, Washington, camped out at a park on the outskirts of Salem. He says he tried to describe what he saw in a text message to his parents, and just couldn’t.
He remembered feeling the temperature drop as the moon further shielded the sun’s rays: “It was pretty intense.”
But now that the show’s over, it’s time to worry about getting home.
Interstate 5 near Salem, Oregon, had bumper-to-bumper traffic almost immediately after the solar eclipse reached its maximum level of awesome. Traffic was also heavy heading from central Oregon to Portland.
The Washington Department of Transportation said in a tweet: “Returning from Oregon now? Good luck. It’s really nasty.”
The Oregon Department of Transportation has spent days warning eclipse viewers to stagger their departure times, and not all leave at once.