With only 26 days remaining until the Total Solar Eclipse on the Oregon Coast, it’s time to make sure you have all your bases covered while visiting Rockaway Beach.
First on the list: pick up a “I saw the solar eclipse in Rockaway Beach” t-shirt at Rockaway Beach’s City Hall. They’re selling for $15 and supplies are limited.
While you’re there, don’t forget to grab your eclipse viewing sunglasses for free.
Now that you have your glasses and something to wear, remember these essential tips and fun facts for getting through the first total solar eclipse to occur solely in the United States since the country was founded:
What time is the eclipse, again? The eclipse will occur across the continental United States on Aug. 21. The moon’s shadow first hits land north of Newport, Ore., at 10:15 a.m. Pacific time. However, you will want to give yourself plenty of time to get to wherever your viewing spot is.
What is the path of totality? Any area that lies directly in the shadow of the moon is referred to as the path of totality. In this case, the path of totality begins off the Oregon Coast and spans 3,000 miles to South Carolina.
Is Rockaway Beach in the path of totality? No, not quite. The path of totality is about 70 miles wide, and the best views on the Oregon Coast will be from Pacific City south to Lincoln City. However, Rockaway Beach will still get to see a partial viewing of the eclipse.
Why is this a big deal? Well, if you’re living in the United States, this is likely the best chance to see a solar eclipse in your lifetime. So if you’re within driving distance of the path of totality (and an estimated 7 million Americans are) it might be worth it to make the trek over for this phenomenal celestial event. Just make sure you come prepared, and with a plan.
Wait… Prepared for what? Prepare for traffic – and lots of it. 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. According to the Oregon Department of Transportation, “an estimated 1 million visitors are coming to Oregon to view this celestial spectacle.” Prepare for this influx of traffic and don’t get caught unaware. To help imagine what it might be like, ODOT spokesman Don Hamilton said to think of it as football day on i-5 when both the Ducks and BEavers are playing at home. Now multiply that by 10.
Fortunately, ODOT has already made preparations to keep the roads as clear as possible and halt all construction work that day.
Do I really need to wear sunglasses? Absolutely – but not just your regular run-of-the-mill sunglasses. You need to be wearing eclipse-watching glasses the entire time you are looking at the sun. You don’t want to give your eyes a sunburn, which is literally what can happen.
If you happen to be watching from the path of totality, wear your glasses until the moon completely blocks the sun. Then you can take your glasses off to see the spectacle and the sun’s corona. However, totality will only last about two minutes and you want to be sure you have those babies back on your eyeballs before the sun starts to come back.
And remember… If you’re visiting Rockaway Beach or any other of the coastal villages along the Tillamook Coast for this event, to please be respectful – and patient – while you’re here. Drive with caution and pick up after yourself. Together we can make sure this is a fun, once-in-a-lifetime experience for everyone.