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Oregon is Ready for Solar Eclipse: Travel Experts' Tips

Published 09/29/23 at 5:07 a.m.
B
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

(Oregon Coast) – Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) says it is ready for the upcoming annular solar eclipse on October 14, and its green spaces offer some of the best viewing. (Photo courtesy NASA)

Areas along the south Oregon coast (where it hits first) and inland are getting set for record numbers – basically anything the public can throw at the state parks.

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“Visitors to parks within the path of annularity will watch the moon partially cover the sun, which creates a ‘ring of fire’ because the moon appears slightly smaller as it passes,” OPRD said.

JR Collier, deputy of Statewide Operations, said staff all over the state are ready to help visitors view the eclipse safely, even though this one hasn't created the massive buzz that 2017's event did.

That's partially because this isn't a total solar eclipse like that one, instead with the moon covering up the vast majority of the sun for about two or three minutes. The path of annularity (full effect) is fairly large, covering Gleneden Beach down to Bandon, and then La Pine down to the Valley of the Rogue as it passes inland. Areas like Brookings, Bend, Eugene and even Portland will get a striking partial eclipse, which will make for great photos.

It touches down on this continent first on the south Oregon coast, at around Reedsport at 9:13 a.m.

As of earlier this month, all areas along the path of the eclipse are reporting lodging openings.


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Collier also emphasizes that safety is crucial while observing an eclipse.

“A limited number of free eclipse glasses will be available at Oregon State Parks on the day of the event,” he said.

Use ISO 12312-2 certified solar filters, he advises, avoid damaged filters, and consider projection methods. The eclipse glasses from the 2017 event are expired and shouldn’t be used.

See various eclipse events and deeper science at Oregon Coast Beach Connection. The Great, Big Solar Eclipse Coming to Oregon Coast First: Events, Hotels, Travel Advice, Science

Travel Oregon still recommends reserving lodging early as that is likely to sell out.

More Tips from Travel Oregon:

Be prepared for traffic: Many small communities in the path have only one road leading in and out. These could get backed up, making traffic an issue. There are also home football games on eclipse day in both Corvallis and Eugene, which will add to potential backups on I-5 and in those urban areas. To reduce congestion, avoid highways and other popular attractions in the path of the eclipse. Plan to arrive at least one full day, and ideally several days, in advance of the event — and don’t attempt to travel home immediately after the eclipse. If possible, avoid traveling entirely in the path of annularity on October 14, 2023.

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Bring a map: Cell phone and GPS reception can be unreliable in rural Oregon. The increase of cell phone usage will overwork services and make connections tougher. Know where you’re going, and don’t expect to rely on your phone or online maps. Order a highway map online at TravelOregon.com or pick one up at a Welcome Center.

Fuel up: With long distances between gas stations in rural areas, visitors should make sure to calculate their fuel needs.

Pack provisions: There are a limited number of restaurants in some of Oregon’s beautiful, remote places, and these eateries may run out of food. Stock up on picnic supplies, snacks, water and other essentials in advance.

Don’t forget to use eclipse glasses: To watch the eclipse safely, viewers will need eclipse-viewing glasses, which block harmful light from damaging vision.

Carry some cash: The ATMs in many small-to-medium towns are often limited in funds. Most services in Oregon take credit cards; however, there are places in rural areas that only take cash.

Prepare for variable weather: Fall in Oregon can bring dramatic swings, particularly at elevation where it could be snowing. Visitors should check forecasts and be prepared for all types of weather.

Be respectful. Don’t trespass: Always respect private property boundaries. Stay on public land, be kind to local communities and wildlife and don’t tread on sensitive habitats.

Wildfire Prevention: Wildfires are a serious threat in Oregon, so visitors should be vigilant about extinguishing campfires and properly disposing of cigarettes. In addition, visitors should be aware of fire risks and restrictions, including campfire bans. Avoid parking or driving on dry grass, as vehicles can spark a wildfire.

Avoid Excessive Waste: Consider packing large water containers and refilling them with tap water. Many places in Oregon enjoy excellent tap water, so there’s no need to buy it bottled.

Pro Photo Tip: Instead of trying to capture images of the eclipse, capture shots of family and friends, as well as the shadows and trees that may look different during the event. More from Travel Oregon https://traveloregon.com/plan-your-trip/events/how-to-experience-the-annular-solar-eclipse-in-oregon/

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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