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Eclipse- Road Trip to the Dark Side of the Moon

A noteworthy event- The Great American Eclipse 2017

Here is my experience of the days leading up to and during the solar eclipse in Jackson Wyoming.

Only a few months ago, a client of mine selling her property in Molalla Oregon, requested to keep her property for additional 2 months after closing; so that she could enjoy her last days on the homestead for this phenomenon. When I told a buyers agent that my client requested these two months, they scoffed and said “The eclipse isn’t even coming through Oregon.” I thought little of it at the time, but this eclipse was a quite a big deal AND the other agent clearly didn’t know about the eclipse. My husband and I made plans with a few out of state friends to view the eclipse from Jackson Wyoming. I really didn’t know what to expect. Here is my experience of the days leading up to and during the solar eclipse.  We made an event of it- Total Eclipse Party. I couldn’t have imagined a better weekend being with friends, 360 view of the Tetons, 50 acres to roam, and a once in lifetime opportunity. *Its worth noting that playing ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ by Pink Floyd adds to the phenomena and mood during the eclipse.

Thursday August 17th

Road trip begins(12 hours to go). Headed I84E towards the Dalles. The news warned major traffic on the roads leading up to Eclipse day- so we got a head start. We got pulled over by state trooper near Pendleton for “spending too much time in the left lane”. Not speeding, but getting ready to pass a semi-truck… I think the state trooper was bored. We joke about a 30 second rule in the “fast lane”. From that point on, we agreed that the folks hanging out in the fast lane need to get the heck out of the way. With no prior camping reservations, because we didn’t know when or where we would arrive that evening- we found a KOA as a potential camp spot. We arrived just before midnight and the tent camping was full, so we took our pick of empty RV spots. On the honor system, we pushed $27 for a 6 hour rest in our two man tent.


Friday August 18th

We were back on the road before the KOA office even opened up.  Next stop Idaho Falls to see if we can grab some Eclipse SWAG at Fred Meyer. They are sold out of the T-shirt I wanted, but Starbucks is cashing in with a Solar White Mocha. On our way out, we see an “Eclipse Expo” and stop in to check out the excitement. We pay $5 and get free shirt for buying a ticket. We’re walking around for 10 minutes looking for all the “eclipse” art, gear, memorabilia… and there is none. This a tupperware, face painting, local craft expo. Truly disappointed! What a sham… but I bought some cheap leggings and called it cool.

Traffic in Idaho Falls was slightly congested. But in all, it seemed average for weekend summer traveling. From there we headed to Victor Idaho and made our way to the top of the mountain pass into Jackson. Check out the amazing view!

We arrived to Jackson at Whispering Pines just after 2pm. We thought this was going to be a cabin… much more in fact. It is an amazing piece of architecture.Whispering Pines is a custom designed log cabin that took three years to build. The property spreads across 50 acres with a private pond, guest house, and 3 outdoor fireplaces! We were in heaven. The backyard was Teton National Park. I was so in awe of the view, I didn’t get an exterior shot of the home. Keep scrolling down to see a few photos of the interior.

Saturday August 19-20th

Adventure begins on Jenny Lake. The line to get into Teton National Park is long… and the parking lot is full to take the boat across the lake. We swooped in on a parking spot and walk right up to the dock. Unfortunately, many of the trails were closed off for repair, but we got a great view from lower inspiration point!  We also saw a mother bear and her cubs sleeping. The trail was too packed to get a good hike in. A lot of travelers have planned to view the eclipse from the Tetons. I’ve seen the photos- it would have been an amazing experience from up there!

We drove out of the park through Teton Village and through Jackson Hole. Again… traffic wasn’t as bad as the media made it out to be. Our local friends said it was similar to an average 4th of July. We made it back to Whispering Pines and took a ride on the ATV through the property to see if we could find some wildlife.

Monday August 21st

Next time I’ll be more prepared. I want to capture every moment. But for my first solar eclipse experience, it was unfiltered and raw. We started the morning with a walk around the property. Erik and Sarah lined up the chairs in the best viewing location. We made a pitcher of Moscow mules and had shots of moonshine ready for us. My clever husband had a playlist ready. In the video below, you’ll see a clip of him filming the start of the eclipse and ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ playing in the background. A large group of people, from 3 yrs old to 70 yrs old- we came together to watch this phenomena. You’ll see in the first video, the sky is a silver grey as the light began to change and the environment cooled down. It wasn’t like a typical dawn or dusk. It had an iridescent quality to it. As the moon began to cover the sun it got cooler and cooler. When we hit totality, I did a 360 video from my phone. Up above was dark, the ground was dark, but the horizon still lit up and put off an amazing glow. Stars came out, that you wouldn’t typically see during the day and for a brief moment- you could glimpse at the eclipse without your filtered glasses on. A day I’ll never forget! I’m counting down my next eclipse… April 8 2024. I really can’t thank my friends enough for the wonderful weekend in Jackson.


See more photos on my instagram!




Julia Robertson | Broker licensed in Oregon & Washington | 541-505-1111



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