In the shade of the moon

Thanks to a recent Vox article, I made last-minute plans to go to McMinnville to experience the eclipse in totality.

After dropping Suzi off at work early in the morning, I traveled back roads over the hills and through the countryside to McMinnville. Because the traffic was light, I continued further south to Independence.

Surrounded by a bunch of other excited eclipse watchers, we applauded as a scientist explained what we were about to see. A man yelled, “First contact!” as the moon edged against the face of the sun and we donned our solar safety glasses to take a look. Clearly, he could see first contact projected from his telescope better than we could see just looking at the sun.

As the moon continued to slowly move across the sun, I went and looked through a small refractor telescope with a solar filter, then looked closer at the small reflector telescope projecting the sun’s imaged onto a screen.1 We made pinholes with our hands to project crescents onto the cement and went over to some nearby trees to look at their shadows on the sidewalk.

About an hour after first contact, two minutes of totality happened! It was both darker and lighter than I expected. Lighter, because it felt like dusk where I was able to take a selfie and darker because we could see planets and stars. Amazing!

I didn’t try to take any artistic pictures having only a smartphone and a point and shoot. I’m sure the internet is filled with many awesome shots and videos. I’m looking forward to finding them.

Standing in the shadow of the moon.

A post shared by Brent Logan (@instablogan) on

Of course, my selfie ended up on Instagram.

After totality, many started to leave even though Portland band Idle Poets started to play. That seemed like the right time to stick around. The show wasn’t over.

I saw a couple looking intently in the “wrong” direction and went over to “helpfully” tell them where the eclipse was still happening. Instead, they showed me that Venus was faintly visible if you knew where to look.

Another hour after totality and it was over.

Or maybe it’s just begun. I can see why some chase eclipses around the globe. I’m looking forward to seeing my next one.2

How was it for you?

Update: I started searching YouTube and found a video filmed where I was. It’s great to hear the crowd. Can I get an OMG?

Totality 2017 Solar Eclipse, Riverview Park, Independence Oregon

  1. For some inexplicable reason, my small reflector telescope I used for the 2010 Venus transit remained in my attic. 
  2. Next time, I’ll know better what to bring: solar eclipse sunglasses, hat, regular sunglasses, sunscreen, sunscreen chapstick, camera with medium to long lens and photographic solar filter, telescope rigged to project the image or with a solar screen, lots to drink, folding chair, umbrella. I probably wouldn’t bring all the gadgets, but it’s nice to have the reminder list to be able to decide. 


Going downhill at Mt. Tabor

Wednesday means Mt. Tabor. Unfortunately, longboarding is just not the same thing without Jamison. Little buddy!

I did some runs from the bottom third or so. It’s the most efficient considering run length vs. return walking. And it does eliminate the risk of all but one blind corner, a good thing when skating alone.

The views are spectacular! My photography and the time of day don’t do it justice.


Charlottesville, in their own words

Charlottesville: Race and Terror – VICE News Tonight on HBO

Lest there be any doubt what the white nationalists1 believe and what their goals are. This is not a “many sides” issue.

And a couple more links:


Jamison’s first day of school 2017

Jamison’s first day of school this year is a different sort of first — he’s taking a year out of his engineering studies and teaching eighteen or so 6th graders in the Marshall Islands. This is a picture of Jamison in his classroom.1

I know Jamison will do well. Those of us left behind, I’m not so sure about.2 Thanks to Google’s Hangouts, we’ve already conferenced our distributed family.

Go get ’em, Jamison! We’re proud of you.

  1. Thanks to Jamison for providing this selfie and his permission to post it here. 
  2. I’m not talking just about Suzi. Here it is Wednesday, Mt. Tabor is calling my name, and I miss my longboarding buddy. 


East Lake Family Vacation

This past weekend, for the third summer in the row, we all1 visited East Lake. Thanks to Kristi and Troy, we had an abundance of kayaks, a canoe, and a “relaxation station” to play with. Matt and Erica brought another canoe and a stand-up paddleboard. We all brought our swimsuits and sunscreen, though many didn’t use the latter enough.

Miska, Gilly, and Mousse enjoyed playing fetch and swimming in the water. Unfortunately, the beach was tough on their paws. We’re going to need to find a solution for that next time. Does anyone have positive experience using dog booties?2

Some went to the obsidian flow nearby and everyone went to Paulina Falls. Every evening, we went to the beach to watch the sun set. The Whitewater Fire near Jefferson made a smokey sunset our first night, but slight winds from the east cleared up the rest of the weekend. The final night, the sunset was so intense that none of you will believe I didn’t edit the photo.

Of course, it was a great opportunity for a jump shot. The photo was a happy accident created by my holding down the shutter on my smartphone while others snapped away with their DSLs. One of my shots coincided with someone else’s flash and everyone in the air. Of course, that called for an animated gif. Heather and Gilly posing mandated another. ;-)

Lots of family, a few dogs, and hot weather made for a fun time. I wonder — will next year make four?

  1. I think we ended up with 20 of us — and 3 dogs! 
  2. If you haven’t done so, you must search for dog booties videos on the internet. High-stepping fun!