Wed, Aug 23, 2017
Central Oregon was a popular place to see the eclipse. And why not? The likelihood of a clear sky was somewhere in the upper 90%. The highest across the path of totality.
In the days leading up to the eclipse, there were plenty of doom and gloom traffic forecasts but that didn’t happen (except at the entrances to the festivals). Reason is that people came in over a three or four day period.
But then the post eclipse crowd hit the road and all hell brook loose. Highway 97 that connects Madras and Bend to Interstate 5 was jammed. Since we planned to use the same route, we knew we could be in trouble. But boy, we had no idea.
On Tue morning, we made it exactly 78.3 miles during the first four hours of nonstop driving. A mere 19 mph on a highway with a 65 mph limit. And no crashes to slow things down. Congestion, pure and simple. Yuck.