My family and I had an eventful set of trips in August that took us across the country and back to the Eastern Oregon desert to witness a total solar eclipse at totality.

Photograph of the Total Solar Eclipse at totality taken near Terrebonne Oregon.

Our adventures began with a trip to Minneapolis, Minnesota where my wife and I lived just after we were married in 2003.  It had been ten years since we had visited our old haunts. We had a great time taking our two-year old daughter to see our first home and  to visits with old friends.  Of course, we took her to our favorite eating establishments too such Maria’s Cafe, where Kiana enjoyed people watching through the large windows while feasting on eggs and pancakes.

Black and white portrait of a toddler eating pancakes and eggs at Marias Cafe in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

We also took the time to visit our favorite parks.  She splashed in puddles at Powderhorn Park. Relaxed in the gross near downtown St. Paul. And put her feet in the mud of the Mississippi River where we gave tribute to our old pup at her favorite dog park.

Portrait of a toddler splashing in a puddle at Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Portrait of a toddler in a colorful outfit sitting in the grass at a park in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Portrait of a toddler sitting in the Mississippi River in Minneapolis Minnesota.

The time passed quickly and before we knew it we were on an airplane for a short visit the grandparents near Cleveland Ohio before flying back to Oregon for a much anticipated total solar eclipse.  Soon after landing in Portland, we grabbed our camper trailer and drove south to the Crooked River Ranch, near Terrebonne Oregon.  Crooked River Ranch was almost in the center of the zone of totality and we are fortunate to have a good friend who lives there who allowed us to camp on his property.  The night before the eclipse, our daughter enjoyed running around the area, picking up sticks, and playing in the evening sunlight.

Portrait of a toddler with a stick playing at sunset in Eastern Oregon.

I expect the total solar eclipse to be amazing. What I didn’t expect it to be was beautiful.  As the moon passed in front of the sun it seemed as if the entire world hushed and just took a minute to be at peace and in awe of this blue marble we call home.

Photograph of the Total Solar Eclipse at totality taken near Terrebonne Oregon.