Many Sacramento area residents will be among the hoards traveling out of state to see the total solar eclipse next week
The 'path of totality' sweeps an approximate 77-mile swath across Oregon proceeding along a southeastern path into Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina.
The closest viewing sites for our area will be in Oregon, which is where Ted Swift is going.
For Swift, a Department of Water Resources scientist, it will be his second total eclipse. Part of his reason for braving the crowds is to give the experience to his wife and two children, who have never seen one.
“They’re pretty excited, especially the 16-year-old, who’s into astronomy too,” he said. The family had previously viewed a partial eclipse in California in May 2012.
His saw his first total eclipse as a teenager in Washington state in February of 1979.
“We didn’t have to travel very far – it was probably tens of miles to get on a hill,” he said. “…It was pretty amazing. The difference between 99 percent and 100 percent is really dramatic.”
Seeing the dramatic spectacle of a total eclipse gave him a glimpse of what the ancients, who had no idea what was happening, must have felt. Like many people, he was moved by the experience and looks forward to reprising it.
In the 1979 event, he recalled cattle in the fields thinking it was nightfall and moving toward their barns. As the light grew dimmer and dimmer, and the temperature dropped, the Cascades began to turn pink with an Alpine glow, then suddenly vanished as the moon shadow devoured them.
“If you can get up on a hill, you can see the shadow coming toward you,” he said.
He said this time, he has done some research and has a list of some of the bright stars and planets that should be visible during totality, rather than simply gawking at the amazing sight as he did as a teen.
“I’m going to give myself time to gawk as well, but I’m going to geek out part of the time,” he said.
Sacramento resident Jeff Raimendo plans to go for his first total solar eclipse experience.
Raimendo, a political and public relations consultant, made plans several months ago to fly in. He is fortunate to have family in Oregon to stay with.
It’s an experience he’s long wanted to have, and he’s very excited about the trip.