By Jeremy Kirkendall
My wife and I went on a 3 week road trip to a few National Parks before we ended up in Eastern Oregon, not too far from Boise, Idaho. We lucked out with the wildfire smoke clearing the night before the eclipse and enjoyed clear skies for the entire event. As totality approached the temperature dropped about 15 degrees and everything started to look very strange in such a dim light in the middle of the day. Looking through my ED80 with a white light filter we were able to observe multiple sunspots disappearing as the Moon made its way across the Sun. Even at 99.9% obscured there was no sign of the Moon unless you had eclipse glasses on. The second totality started it was like someone flipped a switch and the Sun was instantly dark. The corona was easily visible to the naked eye along with Bailey’s Beads and a solar flare.
I picked up my 15x70s and was able to see a huge amount of corona extending well beyond the sun in every direction, I had to move the binoculars around quite a bit as they filled the entire FOV. I managed to only snap a few wide angle photos with my DSLR as I focused on trying to watch the eclipse, though they turned out to be pretty underexposed. In reality it was more like a dusk with a 360 degree sunset and one planet was visible, but I did not see any stars. Seeing totality was the most incredible thing i’ve ever seen in my entire life and I highly recommend traveling to the path of totality for the 2024 eclipse. Even at 99.9% obscured it was nothing compared to totality. Every single person that I know who saw totality is making plans to see the next one, which will be about 4 1/2 minutes long at its peak.