Craters of the Moon: Total Eclipse

August 25, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

I received a call from a friend who invited me out to Idaho for the eclipse. I had never been to Craters of the Moon or see a total solar eclipse, so it seemed like a great opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. I spent the day driving from Wyoming and arrived just in time to make one trip around the park to get my bearings, watch the sunset, and scout a few locations for some night shots.

20170818-jwf-777120170818-jwf-7771NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170818-jwf-778320170818-jwf-7783NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170818-jwf-7822-Edit20170818-jwf-7822-EditNPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170818-jwf-7833-Edit20170818-jwf-7833-EditNPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170818-jwf-7891-Edit20170818-jwf-7891-EditNPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170818-jwf-7908-Edit20170818-jwf-7908-EditNPS / Jacob W. Frank

The following morning I drove out early for sunrise and hiked up the Inferno Cone. I was fortunate to be the only person up there and had a great 360 degree view.

20170819-jwf-791320170819-jwf-7913NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-791920170819-jwf-7919NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-792120170819-jwf-7921NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-792520170819-jwf-7925NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-792820170819-jwf-7928NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-793420170819-jwf-7934NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-794520170819-jwf-7945NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-795820170819-jwf-7958NPS / Jacob W. Frank

After sunrise, I hiked explored around the Spatter Cones area and eventually the Wilderness Trail for a few miles to bird before it got too hot.

20170819-jwf-799620170819-jwf-7996NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-800220170819-jwf-8002NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-805020170819-jwf-8050NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-807120170819-jwf-8071NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-808220170819-jwf-8082NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-808720170819-jwf-8087NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-811820170819-jwf-8118NPS / Jacob W. Frank

Once the heat picked up, we headed to the caves to explore and find some shade.

20170819-jwf-815220170819-jwf-8152NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-817320170819-jwf-8173NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-818520170819-jwf-8185NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-821220170819-jwf-8212NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-822420170819-jwf-8224NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-826120170819-jwf-8261NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-829820170819-jwf-8298NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-830520170819-jwf-8305NPS / Jacob W. Frank

After a few hours in the cave we headed back to camp to take a nap and relax. Once it cooled off again we headed back out to explore more trails and take sunset photos.

20170819-jwf-834220170819-jwf-8342NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-834420170819-jwf-8344NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-835920170819-jwf-8359NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-837020170819-jwf-8370NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-837120170819-jwf-8371NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-839220170819-jwf-8392NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-841120170819-jwf-8411NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170819-jwf-843920170819-jwf-8439NPS / Jacob W. Frank

The next day was the big day for the eclipse. We did another sunrise hike before driving a few miles from the park into the path of totality.

20170820-jwf-848420170820-jwf-8484NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170820-jwf-849020170820-jwf-8490NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170820-jwf-849920170820-jwf-8499NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170820-jwf-850020170820-jwf-8500NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20170820-jwf-851720170820-jwf-8517NPS / Jacob W. Frank
I wasn't really sure what to expect. I have seen a handful of partial eclipses so I thought I knew what I was in for, but I was wrong. Once we were in the shadow of the moon and I was able to take my sunglasses off it was so surreal. There was a 360 degree sunset. Bats and nighthawks started flying around and the temperature dropped by at least 20 degrees, almost instantly. I tried my best to take photos but at the same time watch with my eyes because I knew it might be something that I never see again. 20170821-jwf-899620170821-jwf-8996NPS / Jacob W. Frank

After a couple short minutes, the sun started to reappear behind the moon and it was time to put our glasses back on. We were literally yelling and high fiving each other with all the excitement. I can still feel the goosebumps I had as I am typing this up. 

"The Diamond Ring" after totality 2017"The Diamond Ring" after totality 2017

Overall, our trip to Craters was spectacular and I would love to go back with more time to spare. The fact that we also had the opportunity to see this rare celestial event made it that much more special.


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