That Time My Birthday Was Eclipsed by ... the Eclipse

Saturday, September 09, 2017

So the whole country decided to throw a party for me this year. Woot!

Yep, I'm one of the lucky ones who happened to be celebrating a birthday at the same time we all collectively stopped in our tracks to gaze at the sun. For one brief moment we forgot about all the crazy.

I celebrated by hitting not one but two national parks. First stop: Lassen Volcanic National Park. What's that, you say? Oh, only the awesomeness of steam vents and sulfur and bubbling springs without the crush of people at Yellowstone.

We hiked around Manzanita Lake. I stopped to sit on a log and paint.

Manzanita Lake at Lassen Volcanic National Park

Direct to watercolor, no sketching first, in a Hand Book Field Watercolor journal.

Then we trekked to Bumpass Hell. The back way, involving a steep, muddy hike, because the easy trail was still closed. Because of snow. In August!

It was exhausting, but so worth it. This painting doesn't really do the scene justice, but it's the best I could eke out with what little energy I had.

Bumpass Hell at Lassen Volcanic National Park

We drove onward to Crater Lake National Park. Sadly, we could barely see it because of the smoke from all the wildfires. We spent the night in the town of Jacksonville, Oregon, near Ashland. It has a very lovely downtown.

Jacksonville, Oregon downtown

For the main event, we went to Roxy Ann Winery in Medford, which was hosting a viewing party. Yes, we didn't see totality, but ~90% while sipping fresh-from-the-orchard peach mimosas? Yes, please!

Eclipse watching at Roxy Ann Winery, Medford, OR

Austin (or Cleveland?) 2024, here we come!

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