Eclipse watchers flock to Molalla
A steady stream of cars and bikes could be seen flooding to Molalla Monday morning, where thousands gathered in fields and parks to turn their attention towards the sky. As one of Oregon's cities on the path of totality, Molalla drew eclipse viewers from all over the world.
Check out some of our favorite photos of eclipse viewers at Fox Park and Clark Park in Molalla below.
Matthew Howell, of Istanbul, Turkey, joined his family and friends from Washington and Wisconsin to look upward from a field near Molalla High School.
"It's a good excuse not to go to work," Michael Howell, his dad, said.
In fact, as Josh Howell mentioned, Business Insider ran an article detailing the nearly $700 million in lost productivity as a result of the eclipse. But the Howell family and their friends celebrated the opportunity to pause from work and enjoy nature.
"Should it be so unusual that we take time to stare at the sky?" Michael Howell said. "The stars that we have up there all the time are fantastic, and yet so rarely do we ever look up there because they're always there. It's like the person you're married to who's so fabulous but you don't worry about them because they're always there."
Howell's group had been having an eclipse pun contest earlier.
"It was brilliant," Josh Howell said. "We didn't mean to throw shade on the whole thing…but I think his puns eclipsed mine. Hella had some very glowing descriptions of the whole event. I thought it was a bit of lunacy myself."
Rachel and Gene found themselves hundreds of miles from home as they made the trip from Vancouver, British Columbia to catch eclipse action in Molalla. They arrived in Portland on Aug. 16 and ventured out to Molalla the day of the event.
Gene saw an eclipse in Illinois when he was a child back in the 1950s, so he wasn't new ot the celestial viewing experience.
"I've just always wanted to see a total eclipse of the sun ever since I was little," Rachel said. "I used to read stories about King Arthur and the medieval knights or whatever standing out in a field … and they'd look up and the sun goes dark, and they didn't know what it was, so I thought 'I'd really like to see that.'"
Gene had a comment on the City of Molalla: "It seems like it's a town of working people."
The eclipse went into total obscuration around 10:15 a.m., allowing viewers a break from their protective glasses to take in the view of a truly magnificent sight that turned the day into night and sent some animals into frenzies, while the temperature dropped and the stars came into view for about a minute before the sun began to peak back out.