National News

Eclipse elicits tears and cheers from passionate watchers in Oregon

Posted August 22

— Some people were speechless while others couldn't contain their emotions at seeing the solar eclipse in Oregon.

Thousands of people packed the state to be the first to view the eclipse in the path of totality. Even those outside the direct path of the eclipse were overcome by what they witnessed.

"It was really awesome and I loved it so much," said 15-year-old Zoe Lugosi, who attended a watch party at OMSI in Portland.

OMSI hosted two parties, one in Portland and another in Salem.

The Salem event had a sold-out crowd of thousands of people, including NASA astronaut Don Pettit.

Pettit, who grew up in Silverton, said he hopes the eclipse will serve to stress the importance of math and science for many kids.

"I hope that young people can see there's something beyond just rock and roll, get curious about learning what's going around you, and to really have an understanding of what's going on around you, you have to have a good background in math and you have to have a good background in science," he said.

Some people said the experience of seeing an eclipse gets better with age, so what better place to watch it than at a winery.

Eola Hills had people watching the eclipse from among the grape vines.

"I saw one in 52, but I was a little younger then and it's a lot more awesome when you're older," said Tom Hughes.

From the start of the eclipse craze, people have circled Madras on the map. Scientists identified it as one of the best spots to watch the eclipse in the U.S.

The tens of thousands of people who flocked to the small town in central Oregon were not disappointed, even with traffic issues around the area.

"It was totally worth everything," said one woman watching in Madras, as she wiped tears away from her eyes.

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