Saturday was getaway day for Eric Stout and Rachael Rinehart.
“I’m excited to get on the road,” Rinehart said as she packed up the couple’s food supply Saturday afternoon in Tacoma. They’re traveling to eastern Oregon to view the total solar eclipse.
The Oregon Department of Transportation expects the eclipse to be the biggest traffic event in the state’s history drawing about 1 million people to the zone of totality to view the event.
The zone of totality stretches from Salem at 10:18 a.m. to Madras at 10:21 a.m. to Baker City at 10:25 a.m. Monday.
While just a 60-to-70 mile wide swath of central Oregon is within the path of totality, Washington and Oregon officials say that significant backups are expected throughout both states both before and after the short event ends, with potentially hundreds of thousands of people clogging the roadways as they try to drive home or head to airports.
Stout and Rinehart felt like they were running behind, but said they faced a rather normal drive to their evening stop of Corbett, Oregon.
They packed Rinehart’s SUV full of food, water, hiking gear, an inflatable bed, backup power supplies, and cameras to document the event.
“All this for three and half minutes,” said Stout, speaking of the small amount of time the moon will completely block the sun. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”