We learned very quickly that there is no amount of preparation that will ever have you completely ready for a total eclipse.
After being smoked out of our original shooting spot near Mt. Jefferson, we were faced with a tough decision. Either stick around and hope that the smoke passes or head further east and look for a new plan (risking traffic amongst festival goers and others looking for a spot to hunker down). We finally settled on the Painted Hills just east of Bend...a location that we were interested in shooting anyway. Everything seemed to face in the right direction and it was clear of smoke for the time being.
After a long day of driving, we were able to secure a campsite for the night and decided to crash early...We knew there was a big day ahead of us. We woke from our campsite at midnight and made our way up the hill to claim our spot about 2 miles out. We were greeted by a few others looking to shoot, but most of the crowd wouldn't ascend for another 8 hours or so.
I lined up a shot, set a timer, and patiently waited for the moon to slowly swallow the sun. And then it happened...
What I saw next left me absolutely speechless. The colors on the painted hills slowly turned to a greenish yellow. The shadows begin to shift and split in two. In the distance, the animals begin their calls to turn in for the night. The entire horizon shows off in a complete 360 degree sunset (or sunrise?) that lights up the smoke that you just escaped. The corona burns bright. Truly one of the most humbling things I imagine you can experience on this planet. This is how you cap off an epic adventure. Until the sun and the moon meet again...