Friday, August 04, 2017

Smoke in My Eyes. Total Eclipse Thoughts

As the date for the total eclipse of the sun approaches, the state's worry over it seems to ratchet up. We are in the path of totality.  My little town is in its path.  A million people are expected to visit Oregon to see the eclipse.

 We have congestion problems in Oregon.  Our population has grown exponentially it seems, especially in Portland creating massive traffic jams that are a permanent part of life now.  We are being warned to be prepared to "shelter in place" the weekend of the eclipse, as there may be many problems, not the least of which may be jammed up impassable roadways, when too many cars try to traverse them.  And wrecks and road rage happens.

Fights, fueled by alcohol and crowding are anticipated too.  Injuries, drug overdoses, illness, (perhaps foreign viruses carried in by overseas tour groups) even an abnormal number of lost hikers, drunken campers and rattlesnake bites are apparently in the preparedness plans of local hospitals.  Seriously?

Some of us are taking these warnings as over reaction and with skepticism.  That many problems, on one weekend?  No way.  But just in case, I plan to have my car gassed up and lots of cat food on hand.

Other than that, the voyeur inside me, is curious to see if the mayhem predicted will actually happen.

We may get aced out of a good eclipse view however, by something completely out of our control:  smoke!   We are covered in a haze of it, last few days, mostly from forest fires burning clear up in Canada.   It's a misery in the valley, combined with Oregon's own fires, creating more smoke and the valley's grass seed industry, currently in fazes of plowing up the dirt in dead dry fields, for replanting.  This time of year, with all that dirt in the air, always produces misery for me, without the add in of smoke.  The dirt in the air seems to settle on my eyeballs so they feel like sandpaper.

Our air is currently dirtier than that in the vast human colonies of L.A.  Our air quality is worse currently than that of Beijing!  Now that's bad!

You don't want to be a runner right now.  You will just breath those unhealthy particulates deep into your lungs.  So hang up the jogging shoes and pull out the couch and the chips and slouch out.  It's healthier!

The heat wave, that produced temps in the valley of 107 degrees for a couple of days is over I think.  Except we're supposed to be above 90 for the next week and on.    The heat and the smoke and the dirt from the don't want to be here now. So watch the eclipse in some other state of totality because the haze covering the valley, from the smoke and the dirt and the heat, may just keep you inside anyway, watching it on TV.


  1. Your air quality is worse than Beijing!!!! Gob and smacked.
    Look after yourself.

  2. The impression I had of Portland before reading your blog was that it was a very civilised, vibrant and artistic city with great public transport, where the focus for transport was walking, cycling and public transport. It seems not to be so.

  3. Another friend in your area posted a beautiful sunrise and said the colors were due to the poor air quality. So sorry for you! Yuck. Makes my boring little 'burb more appealing. Take care!