What you need to know about August's solar eclipse
Maybe everyone traveled to Oregon last week, are waiting for Monday, or are staying put for Monday’s eclipse.
Interstate 5 from Tacoma to Olympia was a breeze Sunday morning before 9 a.m.
Travel was uneventful, with no traffic jams to speak of near typical bottlenecks, either at Joint Base Lewis McChord or near or around Portland. However, electronic signs on the interstate southbound in Washington told of the eclipse coming Monday. In Oregon the message turned to warning drivers not to park on the side of the road, a request that no doubt will be broken once totality nears.
In Lacey, a handful of passengers were waiting at Amtrak’s Centennial Station for the Coast Starlight, ready for eclipse chasing.
One passenger received a “loaner” pair of eclipse glasses from another passenger. Others were wearing eclipse souvenir T-shirts.
On the train, most were headed to the path of totality, where some of the stops on the Amtrak train are.
In Albany, a check of Interstate 5 showed light traffic. The area hotels showed full parking lots.
There was still room for tents at the Oregon state fairgrounds in Salem, though — at least as of Sunday afternoon.
In Estacada, Ore., the invasion was not what it was billed to be.
“It’s nowhere the traffic I expected,” said Portland General Electric employee Margaret Kuhn.
Kuhn was working the reception desk at Promontory Park on North Fork Reservoir, just south of Estacada.
All 46 campsites are booked. The campground itself sits right on the line that defines the northern edge of the so-called zone of totality.
Kuhn, who is “super excited” about the eclipse, says everyone she has spoken with is here for the eclipse.
She even has eclipse glasses to hand out.
Estacada might not be seeing the crowds it feared — or hoped for — but it’s still busy.
“It’s been non-stop for the past three days,” the Chevron gas station attendant said Sunday afternoon. “I’ll be glad when the eclipse is over.”