Oregon has long been predicted to be a scene of major eclipse traffic jams, and even by Sunday, that was proving to be true: The Oregon National Guard was called in to Madras, a small agricultural city in the sunny part of the state, east of the Cascades.
Traffic was at a standstill for hours Sunday afternoon, gridlocked as well more than 100,000 people flocked to this small, pleasant town of 7,000.
Madras, pronounced like glad or sad — not like the plaid fabric or the megalopolis in India — sits on the centerline of the eclipse's path of totality.
Marcos Peñaloza-Murillo is a scientist with the soul of a poet.
He's an atmospheric physicist from Venezuela, and he's here in Salem, the state capital of Oregon, to study how a total solar eclipse affects the planet.
On Sunday afternoon, fewer than 24 hours before the Great American Eclipse will sweep across the United States, Peñaloza-Murillo took a small group of students to the top of a brick building at Willamette University in Salem to check on a spindly weather station.