Solar Eclipse

This summer our humans were going to United States to watch the Solar Eclipse on August 21st. A Solar Eclipse happens when the Moon moves in between the Sun and the Earth, and the Moon covers the Sun and casts a shadow somewhere on the Earth with total darkness! We were invited to join our humans, and we were all excited. The solar eclipse would make landfall on the west coast in Oregon and the shadow would travel east across America.

Part 1: From San Francisco to Silverdale.

Part 2: From Silverdale to San Francisco.

Remember to watch our video of this trip: Solar Eclipse 2017




Part 1: From San Francisco to Silverdale, WA

Dublin, August 2017

Finally, the day had come! Excited, we packed our gear and headed for the airport. We'd be flying with Aer Lingus as per usual.

Roger and especially Sam enjoyed the lounge in terminal 2 and watched some of the transatlantic aircraft.
"And the coffee is for free in here?" Sam asked.
"Ah, yeah" Roger replied. "Now, it's not like the VIP lounge, but it'll do..."

Click each photo to enlarge




Iceland, August 2017

Our flight path went over Iceland and we could see the large volcano Snefellsness on the west coast. McBear was all excited as he had planned our route so we'd be following the "Volcano Alley" up along the Pacific coast in America...




Greenland, August 2017

Then we reached the east coast of Greenland and could see glaciers and icebergs everywhere.




San Francisco, August 2017

After a 10 hours flight we finally reached San Francisco and stayed for the night at the Hampton Inn. Sniffy, the smelly dog, was with us and he was excited to be travelling with the famous Travelling Bears.




Korbel, California, August 2017

The next day we headed north and crossed the Golden Gate bridge - which was hardly visible due to fog and clouds. We then met up with friends of our humans in Nicks Cove on the coast. They took us to the Korbel Winery near Santa Rosa.




Korbel, California, August 2017

Korbel Winery actually makes famous champagnes. Tom was all excited as he discovered a 1 meter tall bottle of champagne.
"I'll stay here for a little while..." he said. "The two of you can catch up with our humans outside...




Ukiah, August 2017

We arrived our hotel in Ukiah. We had rented a Toyota Yaris. It was a great car to drive, however, it was a bit small: one suitcase in the boot, the other one squashed between the seats...
"It's getting crammed in here!" Roger was giving out. "We are not letting our humans have one inch of the backseat, no way!"
"Well, I prefer that to getting squashed in a bag in the boot..." Tom pointed out. "Everything out of the bag is 5 star to me!"




Ukiah, August 2017

We found our room and unpacked our gear - there was actually quite a lot! McBear had gathered an impressive collection of scientific equipment for studying the solar eclipse.
"McBear, are you sure you know how to put things together?" Roger wanted to know.
"Of course!" McBear replied. "I wrote the manuals!"




Napa Valley, August 2017

The next day we were going to explore the Napa Valley. At first, we headed north to Calpella to find highway 20 to Napa Valley, but we ended on a dirt track up a mountain. Damn! We went back and found Napa Valley. There were wine and wineries everywhere, wow!
We stopped in Yontville for wine tasting. Tom said it was lovely wine.
"If for some reason we can't return to Ireland, I'd be happy to seek refuge in Napa Valley," he said.




Sonoma Valley, August 2017

Later in the afternoon we reached Sonoma Valley and visited more wineries. Here were are at Landmark Vineyards studying the wine in the field. Tom announced the wine was severely great. We managed to bring him safe back to the hotel...




Leggett, August 2017

We went north west along Highway 101. At Leggett we stopped to see the nearly 100 meter tall Douglas tree called The Chandelier. At the bottom a tunnel has been carved through the tree, so a car can drive through! Our humans tried it as well, wow!




Philipsville, August 2017

Near Philipsville, on highway 254, we drove along the "Avenue of the Giants" to see some of the mighty Sequoia trees in the area.




Philipsville, August 2017

Roger climbed a tree.
"This could make a pretty nice home for a tree climbing bear", he stated. "Actually, it could make up an entire bear village!"




Eureka, August 2017

After a long day of driving we finally reached our hotel: The Best Western Humboldt Bay Inn in Eureka.




Eureka, August 2017

We were going down town for a fine dinner at a fish restaurant, The Sea Grill. McBear was looking forward to salmon. It turned out that the hotel had a limousine available for us.




Eureka, August 2017

"How appropriate!" Roger said as we sat in.
"Wonder if the limo even have a freezer for ice cream..." McBear was pondering.




Highway 299, August 2017

Next morning we left Eureka and headed east on Highway 299. We stopped to get a selfie.




Highway 299, August 2017

Just as we had finished lining up for our selfie, we spotted a bald eagle right above us! Wow, a genuine, water proof bald eagle! There were actually several of them in that a couple of fledglings were learning how to glide up and down with the updrift.




Mt. Shasta, August 2017

At the end of the day we reached Mt. Shasta, a massive volcano in northern California. We stayed for the night at the Best Western.




Highway 97, August 2017

We left Mt. Shasta and headed north on the Interstate 5. Then we turned north east on the Highway 97. As we headed on, we went through many forest areas where fires had raged. Later in the autumn we learned in the news that more fires had raged, and wineries in the Napa Valley were hit hard by flames! Much of it possibly due to climage change.




Oregon, August 2017

Having crossed the border, we now found ourselves in Oregon for the first time. Before we left, more people had stopped to take selfies at the border sign, "Oregon welcomes you".




Crater Lake, Oregon, August 2017

Crater Lake in the south eastern part of Oregon had for long been on our list of things to see. It's an amazing crater of an extinct volcano. The scenery and the colour of the lake is absolutely fantastic.
We wanted to have a selfie with the lake as a background, but the sides of the crater were very steep, and one of our humans was afraid we'd slide down and get lost, so... no selfie!




Redmond, Oregon, August 2017

We stopped for the night at the Best Western in Redmond.




Oregon, August 2017

As we cruised northward we saw more and more posters announcing the great American solar eclipse.
"Do Americans make ice cream?" McBear asked our humans from the back seat.
"Oh, I'm sure they make ice cream!" was the answer.
"But... are there any ice cream makers here in Oregon?" McBear tried again.
"Oh, I'm sure there are ice cream makers in Oregon!"
"McBear," Roger whispered, "I'm afraid our humans don't get it..."
"Can we stop somewhere for icecream?" Roger asked loud. "McBear wants an icecream - he just doesn't want to admit it because he's on a diet..."

McBear got his ice cream.




Oregon, August 2017

On the way we also saw more and more volcanos: Mount Jefferson, a pointy thingie sticking up among the mountains in the west. Straight ahead the pointy peak of Mount Hood slowly increased in size as we got closer and closer.
McBear was blissfull both because of the volcanos but also because every mile there was another 18 wheel lorry to be admired.
"Wow, there's a Peterbilt! Wow, there's a Kenworth! Wow, there's a Freightliner!" we could hear him constantly.
"One more wow, and he can hitch hike to Washington!" Roger was thinking.




Vista Point, Oregon, August 2017

We stopped at the Vista Point east of Portland to watch the beautiful scenery along the Columbia River.
Our humans bought ceramic mugs for us at the Vista Point shop.




Mt. Saint Helens, Washington, August 2017

When the volcano Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, 300 meters of the top of the volcano blew off and created the largest landslide ever recorded in history. McBear had long wanted to see the crater. We stayed for the night at the nearby Best Western in Castle Rock.
We were now in Washington, the state - not the city.




Chehalis, Washington, August 2017

Next morning we headed north on the Interstate 5. After around an hour or two we had got severely coffee thirsty. McBear demanded a coffee break at a decent cafe. Thank God we had reached civilization: Starbucks originates from Seattle in Washington, and Starbucks cafes are dotted in towns everywhere.
We used our new mugs to dip into our humans' mugs to fill up our own mugs.




Silverdale, Washington, August 2017

Then we reached Silverdale just east of the Olympic National Park in the north west of Washington. We checked in at the Best Western for the night.




Silverdale, Washington, August 2017

In the evening we began preparations for the solar eclipse and tried out our special solar eclipse glasses.




Read the second part of our trip: from Silverdale to San Francisco.



# Teddy Bears
# Travelling
# Bears
# Bear stories
# Volcano
# Washington

Check out the map of the west coast of America.





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