Across the region, from the Oregon shores to atop buildings in downtown Spokane down to southern Idaho, people gathered to see the first solar eclipse over the United States since 1979.
‘Two become one’ as moon eclipses the sun in Manito Park wedding
As the light grew long, shadows deepened and the world took on a hazy hue, Nathan Mauger and Connie Young said, I do.
The couple, who live in Hong Kong year-round, flew to Spokane to get married at Manito Park on Monday. At 8:30 a.m., on the morning of the total solar eclipse, they recited vows they’d written and sealed the ceremony with a kiss.
After the ceremony the wedding party of about 15, donned darkened glasses and watched the eclipse alongside roughly 50 others in the Manito Rose Garden.
Shawn Vestal: Eclipse anticipation was intense in Weiser, Idaho. Then reality hit.
Through a protective lens, the sun became a dense orange crescent. The sky dimmed strangely, as though a dome of shadow were filtering down. For a few seconds it seemed as if time had slipped its leash, set free by the combination of surreal natural phenomenon and intense anticipation.
“I’d say at this point we’ve got about one minute,” one man called out to the crowd gathered on the lawn at Weiser High.
“No,” a woman corrected him. “Eight minutes.”
“Eight minutes? Are you serious?”
And then, from father away: “It’s five minutes or so. I think.”
A lot of people had been eagerly waiting. The Great American Eclipse, which laid a swath of midday darkness Monday from sea to shining sea, had been attended by epic expectations and hype, and this town of 5,500 on the western border of Idaho had been the subject of both. Now that the moon had almost completely covered the sun – now that totality was almost here – the crowd’s fidgety impatience was palpable.
That disappearance of that final sliver of sunlight – the difference between the partial eclipse that appeared in Spokane and the total eclipse that occurred throughout south-central Idaho – was taking seemingly forever.
In downtown Spokane, the eclipse brought wonder and an eerie sky but no big moment
The light dimmed, the air cooled and the solar eclipse showed its growing crescent in shadows cast by leaves.
For a moment, as people turned their eyes sunward, or stared at their pinhole projections on the ground, or wondered what everyone was looking at, the world slowed down. Traffic calmed. Jackhammers stilled. People gathered on sidewalks.
Downtown Spokane workers stood in awe, all facing the same direction on a sunny patch of sidewalk, passing visors back and forth like some sort of contraband. NASA-approved contraband. A lot of “wows” were heard.
Clearly, it wasn’t a typical Monday morning.
Bananas, cats and cookies come into view as eclipse watchers crowd bleachers at EWU’s Roos Field
Pulling his cardboard eclipse glasses tight around his face, Cole Cullen squinted at a crescent of sun and counted down the minutes.
From his vantage point in the football bleachers at Eastern Washington University, the 8-year-old wanted to see the sun when it was most obscured at about 10:30 a.m. Monday.
“It started out looking like a cat,” he said, matter-of-factly explaining how the points of the crescent looked like ears. “And as the moon started coming in, it started looking like a banana!”
Cullen and his mother were among hundreds who piled into the bleachers at Roos Field to watch the historic solar eclipse. Observers in Cheney witnessed the moon block out nearly 91 percent of the sun’s surface, causing a noticeable drop in temperature.
Oohs and ahhs in Oregon town park as day turns to night in mid-morning
This small Oregon town of just under 9,000 did little to promote itself as a destination in the path of totality, and by Sunday afternoon, residents weren’t sure what to expect during the eclipse.
But come Monday morning, a thousand people had filled the city’s Fox Park to attend a celebration put on by the public library. People waited in line for Tang and Moon Pies, made crafts and waited for the sky to grow dark.
The eclipse dazzles inside Oregon’s totality
On the center line in the path of Monday’s total solar eclipse, the two minutes and six seconds of darkness passed far too quickly.
The sun disappeared behind the moon, plunging this central Oregon lake and its visitors into a strange twilight at 10:22 a.m.
The last seconds before totality was marked by a bright burst of light caused by sunlight streaming between mountains on the moon.
Hayley Olson, who made the trip from Spokane, described that last moment as if sunlight was being sucked into a diamond ring.
“It was like nothing I’ve ever seen,” she said.
Many hours driving to St. Anthony, Idaho for 2 minutes of totality - ‘totally worth it’
When the last bright bit of light disappeared through the dark eclipse glasses and the sun winked out – turning the day dark – everybody in the park cheered. What had been baking-hot sun had gradually gotten cooler and cooler, and now, all of the sudden, it was dark – and cold. No one was left in the water, where earlier happy kids and parents had been splashing and frolicking.
And the shrinking sliver we’d all been watching through our eclipse glasses had completely disappeared – there was just darkness there. Instead, as we all took off our glasses, we saw a black disk in place of the sun, surrounded by a bright, clear-white corona; points shot off it at the upper left and lower right.
And two minutes and three seconds later, when the first tiny bit of the sun’s sliver suddenly appeared and we blinked from night to day, everyone cheered again.
In Olympia, state workers view 95 percent totality with glasses, welder’s mask, pinhole cameras
Eclipse watchers started gathering on the Capitol Campus lawn around 8:30 a.m., while the full sun was rising over state office buildings to the east. Some came from a few blocks or a few miles away while Danielle Vukovich and Corbin Cronic drove from Woodinville, Washington.
Coverage was only going to be about 91 percent of totality in Woodinville and they wanted to come down to where it was about 95 percent, Vukovich said as they settled down in a giant lime green inflatable lounger with their eclipse glasses, the domed Legislative Building behind them.
Eastern Washington players stay focused during eclipse
While the rest of the country was staring off into space, the Eastern Washington football players were a focused bunch Monday morning.
That went double for the Eagle offensive players, for whom nothing cast a bigger shadow than the memory of Saturday’s lackluster scrimmage: 12 possessions, zero touchdowns and far too many mistakes all around.
When quarterback Gage Gubrud lofted a perfectly-thrown touchdown pass down the left sideline to wide receiver Nic Sblendorio, it drew a cheer from the bleachers, where a crowd of 500 was settling down for the main event. At 10:27 a.m. the eclipse hit its peak and the stadium speakers blared out Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”
Excitement, awe fill Silverwood’s eclipse party
When Josie Montgomery told her mom that a solar eclipse would occur on her 15th birthday, her mom was skeptical.
“She said, ‘You can’t believe everything you read on Facebook,’” Josie recalled.
But Monday morning, the Spokane teen was sprawled on a blanket on a grassy field at Silverwood Theme Park, watching the eclipse through solar glasses. Her mom and her dad and a friend were with her. They watched the sun shrink, until only a sliver remained.
“I think this stuff is cool,” Josie said.
In Lincoln City it was a quiet eclipse weekend – until it was over
Through the weekend, bartenders, ice cream vendors and restaurant owners waited for the crowds of eclipse watchers who were supposed to descend on the beach community here. But it was almost as if no one came.
Locals called it a “ghost town” and traffic on U.S. Highway 101 flowed smoothly.
There still were vacant hotel rooms Sunday evening.
Monday morning about an hour before the eclipse began people wrapped in blankets began walking down to the beach. Some lit small bonfires, others trotted in spot trying to keep warm in the cold haze.
Dutch Brothers Coffee recalls eclipse glasses
Dutch Brothers Coffee is warning customers that free eclipse glasses it distributed should not be used.
“We purchased these glasses after receiving certification of ISO compliance form the manufacturer,” Dutch Brothers said in a Facebook post. “Further investigation has led us to question this certification.”
Anyone who received free glasses at a Dutch Brothers can return them for a free drink.
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