Eastern Oregon Total Eclipse: a Journey Through Time…and Space
August 18-21, 2017
It’s a rare opportunity to witness a total solar eclipse in your own backyard, but that is what we have on August 21. But to give us the best chance of viewing, we have built a custom, three day weekend feature two wonderful resources in our community, Professor of Physics Robert Reynolds and Tyler Nordgren ’91, professor of physics at the University of Redlands (Reynolds was Nordgren’s advisor at Reed). We will be spending the weekend on a private ranch just north of the John Day Fossil Beds. Tyler is serving as the NPS’s astronomer for this event and will be giving talks both at the park and at the ranch. We planned the excursion before learning about Tyler’s role with the park service, so you might say the stars aligned nicely for us!
If that is not enough to whet your appetite, here are some other highlights in store for participants:
- Journey Through Time Scenic Byway—this is the scenic route that will take us through the towns of Moro, Shaniko, Antelope, Fossil, Spray, Kimberly, Dayville, Mt. Vernon, and John Day.
- Hiking around the Fossil Beds’ Clarno Unit—of the three units that make up the National Park, Clarno has the prime areas for hiking.
- Digging for fossils in the town of…Fossil. Right behind the high school, and a new vein rich in fossilized ferns, seeds, and leaves was just uncovered.
- Swimming in a local favorite spot on the John Day River.
- Learning about the geology of the area at the Sheep Rock headquarters of the Fossil Beds.
- Exploring the chinese community’s history in the area at the Kam Wah Chung State historic site in John Day
Our base for this adventure will be the Diamond Hitch Mule Ranch just south of Kimberly. We have some prime camping spots picked out on the property, and our hosts promise gourmet meals including a Sunday gala with a chuck wagon. We’ll camp under the stars along the John Day River at the base of Wedding Cake Rock. We might even hear the elk bugling at night.
- Friday evening, August 18: Opening reception and talk by Robert Reynolds
- Saturday, August 19: Departure from Reed (8:30 a.m.). Drive through Columbia River Gorge. Hiking in Clarno. Fossil Digging. Mingling. Music. Merriment at Diamond Hitch Mule Ranch. Copnversations withRobert Reynolds and Tyler Nordgren.
- Sunday, August 20: Optional Activities: Explore John Day and the Kam Wah Chung. Swimming. John Day Fossil Beds. Tyler Nordgren Talk. Festive dinner.
- Monday, August 21: Potential departure for prime eclipse viewing (or we stay put). The big event! Return to Portland via Mitchell, Madras and Mt. Hood.
Cost: $395 includes transportation from Reed, “glamping” reservation, all meals (Friday reception through Monday afternoon), interpretive talks. Tents, camping gear are extra.
Minimum group size: 14 (minimum must be reached by March 31, 2017)
Maximum group size: 75