In Boise, Table Rock Eclipse Viewers Satisfied With (Almost) Totality

Aug 21, 2017

Monday's solar eclipse was at about 99 percent of totality in Boise. About 250 people in the Capital City took in the unique experience at the top of Table Rock. Some set up their chairs and blankets on the east side of the hilltop, facing the Boise River Wildlife Management Area as the moon slowly moved across the sun.

Alison Espindola and her eight-year-old son Cannon had made special eclipse glasses using paper plates and the proper store-bought filters.

“We talked about what eclipse means and just what’s happening and why it’s special. We also watched a video about what can happen if you look at it without the glasses,” says the Boise mom.

“Yeah, I don’t want my eyes to be set on fire," chimes in her son.

Allen Williamson is with a private security company hired by the city to control traffic and make sure that everything goes smoothly.

“I actually thought it would be crazier than this, it’s pretty quiet," he says. "Everybody’s pretty mellow –they came up here early and now they’re just waiting for the eclipse to happen.”

Julia Swart came up to the spot with her dog, Maya. She lives in Boise, but has property in Weiser – one of the small towns that experienced the eclipse in totality. Swart jokes about a missed opportunity to make some money in Weiser:

“I should have rented out my backyard!" she laughs.

Julia Swart with her dog Maya before the eclipse reached near-totality in Boise.
Credit Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Swart – who is 59 – says she feels like the eclipse is a kind of spiritual experience as much as it is a scientific one.

“Even if it happened often I would be up here all the time, but once in a lifetime – definitely.”

As the moment of near totality happened, on-lookers became quiet as the air became cooler and the sky darkened.

After it was over Cannon Espindola comes up with a pretty delicious description of what the sun and moon looked like for those brief minutes.

“It looked like a cookie that was being eaten from the inside out," he says.

The next total eclipse will happen in the United States in 2024 – though the path of totality won’t pass through Idaho.

As the sun was nearly blotted out by the moon, the sky became darker and created a sunset effect all around Boise.
Credit Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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