North America · 7 Days · 16 Moments · August 2017

Oregon Eclipse Adventure 2017

23 August 2017

A lovely day coming home. Left Cranbrook only to stop a short time later to take in the mountain view with the stream. Wanted to play in it but it was too far down. Always overwhelmed by the sheer power of nature evident at the Frank Slide. One of the interpretative boards said "If you were standing right at this spot at 4:10 a.m., you would have been fine unless you had a weak heart". What an understatement of the event that wiped out a chunk of the town and covered a river. Enjoyed the drive through the gorgeous srea of Hwy 22 to Turner Valley. Played leap frog with a semi-trailer overtaking him 3 times while he passed our parked car twice between Cranbrook and Calgary. Finally arrived home to a quiet and empty of humans house. Sat down to have a long snuggle with the furry family members. Had a great 4000 km road trip with Mom listening mostly to 50s and 60s music and making memories. But as always so glad to be home. 💕 Now awaiting Alister's return and his stories.

22 August 2017

Great to be back in Canada!
Did some more shopping in Spokane before heading to Coeur d'Alene. What a cute town! Very similar to Victoria with the lovely flower baskets. Enjoyed lunch in the park then a dip of our feet in the lake. So refreshing and the sand was hot. Would have been a great place to send the day! However we pushed on through Bonner's Ferry and Sandpoint (where Alister and I stayed a couple years back). And of course we had to go through more road work before leaving the USA. We came across the border with no problems (we must be profiled) 😁. Yikes! More construction in BC. Finally found a room for the night in the 3rd hotel we tried. Dinner at Dennys and then sleep time. 😪. And things are cheaper as a senior citizen-hotel rates and dinner. I like this part.

21 August 2017

Now, what should have been a great ending to this awesome day, with a bit of driving, some shopping and then dinner and a swim ended up in a 10 HOUR drive to Spokane (should only take 4)! We knew to be patient with the exodus of people leaving the path of totality but CRIPES! The line never ended and never went slow - it only crawled FOR MILES! They even had the National Guard out to help direct traffic. In the picture of what seems to be just a guardrail actually has a long line of traffic going down (another) hill in the background. Look for the teeny tiny cars. And some road crew personnel outside of Pasco sent us down the Columbia River alternative route. Not sure if he was playing a joke but it literally took 3 hours to travel 10 miles! At least the sunset was colourful in the smoky sky. Got to the edge of Spokane (we think) and grabbed the first hotel. Enjoyed a glass of wine with Mom to celebrate today and off to a long night's sleep.
After breakfast we checked out a few more spots and decided to stay in Prairie City (more of a puddle stop) which was very cute with lots of nice and excited locals! Visited the local store "Quilts and Beyond". They had created a number of Dresden plate quilts with the sun as the centre in honour of the solar event. Chatted with travelers from San Francisco and others from Texas. Hearing that I had seen 5 eclipses already they were wondering how I had chosen the same spot as they did. "Good weather, pretty sightings and on the highway for a quick change of plans if needed." They came with many gadgets to cast the sun's crescent shape. The best was the pizza tray! I was happy not to be further west as the fire smoke hung beige and low over the hills.
Not surprising, there has been constant, but spread out, traffic since our departure from Burns at 3 a.m. We stopped part way to look at the DARK sky to show Mom the Milky Way. No dark adaptation needed 😊. Despite traveling slower in the dark, we arrived in John Day before 5 a.m. so stopped at a restaurant for hot water for my tea and a coffee refill for Mom. Split a breakfast, the food portions are truly large in America - we have only split meals or ordered starters. Love the attention given to the eclipse in so many details

20 August 2017

Enjoyed some shopping, surprise surprise, in Bends before going to the very quaint town of Sisters, on Anna's suggestion. Loved the fabric/quilt shop called The Stitching Post. Had a picnic in a local park before traveling back to John Day through Redmond. Everyone we encountered has been so sweet. Many are excited to see the eclipse and to get back to their quieter lives. Didn't expect to hear so many people with accents especially given how close they are to Canada.
Drove to Bends and saw a prehistoric river with no water but lots of pretty scenery.

19 August 2017

The roads were long in Oregon. Enjoyed lunch by a cute waterhole and spoke with a guy from California who came to see his first eclipse. Was impressed we came from Canada! Met a couple from Port Angeles, Washington near the covered wagon. It was her 1st but his 3rd eclipse. He saw one in Mongolia. Mom told them Alister was there. When they asked if he was going to hear some throat singing, they were surprised to hear "yes". Even moreso when they said they had seen the movie "Genghis Blues" and I explained that one of the band members was leading the Tuva tour. Small world! This is the site in John Day, Oregon we would like to view facing East. It was already crowded with RVs so not sure there will be room for us come Monday morning.
Just some of the signs we have seen regarding the upcoming eclipse 😊.
Enjoyed some sights in Idaho. Stopped along the Oregon Trail for a one sided history lesson and the view. Then at Twin Falls at Snake River which was a long way down. Saw the State Capital building in Boise.

18 August 2017

Came across a HUGE sunflower field with the mountains in the background. Even saw a tin man and thought of Uncle Doug : ) Legally went 130km/hr! Had lunch along the highway in past Helena, briefly visited pretty Idaho Falls before stopping in Pocatello for the night.
Left Waterton Lakes National Park in glorious sunshine this morning before crossing the Canadian / USA border into Montana. Had a nice chat with the customs official about the eclipse. He recalled seeing one when he was in grade 3 in approx 1962 using multiple layers of negatives. DON'T DO THAT NOW! Montana is very hazy as is most of NW USA.

17 August 2017

Arrived in Waterton Lakes National Park sooner than we thought so Mom and I visited the Prince of Wales Hotel. After settling into our overnight accommodations, we had to go to the lake and try out the water - not too cold. Then we went for a hike a Red Rock Canyon. Felt so good to walk! Dinner and a glass of wine before an early bed. Off to the USA in the morning! And yes, we have our passports : )
Beginning the trip!