All eyes on the sky: The eclipse in Kittitas County

August 21, 2017

Kittitas County residents and visitors took in a celestial show this morning, watching as a partial eclipse darkened in the sky.

The sun was 94.5 percent obscured in Kittitas County when the partial eclipse reached peak around 10:22 a.m. The weather cooperated with clear skies.

While many residents headed to Oregon to the path of totality, people who stayed were still able to experience the phenomenon.

In Ellensburg, several families shared eclipse glasses and pinhole viewers made out of cereal boxes as they watched the solar eclipse from outside the Hal Holmes Community Center.

Inside the center, people watched NASA’s livestream eclipse coverage, set up for public viewing.

“We wanted to bring our community together,” Hal Homes Manager Kim Holland said. “This is an awe-inspiring natural event.”

This is Holland’s third eclipse. Her first eclipse was the 1979 eclipse, which she saw while living in Nevada. Although she was young, she remembers making a pinhole viewer out of an oatmeal box. Holland saw her second eclipse in 2011 in Bali.

Owen Hite, who turns 2 in September, saw his first eclipse today at Hal Holmes, peering through eclipse glasses and looking through a cereal box pinhole viewer.

His mother, Yae Hite said Owen was excited when she told him they were going to go look at the sun. She said he knows that the sun is a star.

“When I told him, he smiled and started singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” Hite said.


About 50 people gathered on Craig’s Hill to watch. Larry Sharpe, his wife, Linda, and his granddaughter, Jocelyn sat in the back of their SUV.

“I don’t actually remember where I was specifically in town during the last eclipse,” said Sharpe, who has been an Ellensburg resident for 53 years. “We decided to come up to Craig’s Hill to get a higher point. We live down in Grasslands so we figure this would be a better place to watch.”

This was Jocelyn’s first solar eclipse in her lifetime and said she was excited because she has never seen one before.

Not only was the eclipse a popular spectacle for Ellensburg residents but also those traveling from Seattle.

The Allen family made their way over Snoqualmie Pass on Sunday because they did not want to risk watching the eclipse with any cloud cover.

“We thought we would have a better chance viewing it here and we love the heat,” Tim Allen said.

The Allen family was staying at the Holiday Inn and got viewing advice from the hotel that this was the highest point in Ellensburg.

As the spectacle was happening, Gina commented on the temperature dropping.

“Do you feel that change?” she asked.


When Matt Krzycki last saw an eclipse, he was 10 years old and looking out of a homemade cardboard viewing device. This time around, Krzycki viewed the eclipse on University Way from behind the 400mm lens of his camera. While Krzycki said he would have liked to go to Madras, Oregon and join the thousands of other people there, he simply couldn’t still be at work and make it happen.

Krzycki live streamed a video of the eclipse to his company’s Facebook page. GoodSide Studios specializes in live streaming and Krzycki says that by live streaming the eclipse, he wanted to show people how easy it can be.

“I wanted to make the point that you can live stream from anywhere with any camera,” he said.

Krzycki started GoodSide to make quality live streaming affordable for everyone. He says there are often two extremes, people shooting shaky videos with cell phones and big expensive equipment shooting things like concerts, but hopes his company can offer people a middle ground.

The live stream on GoodSide’s page has been viewed over 4,000 times from as far away as California.


In Pasedena, Calif., the eclipse is about 63 percent. For the Warner family, that just wasn’t enough.

Since they were visiting a relative in Seattle, Bob, Jane and their son Travis made the trip over Snoqualmie Pass this morning to make sure they could catch a glimpse of partial solar eclipse and avoid any clouds that might be lingering on the West Side. The family left Seattle at 5 a.m., and arrived in Roslyn a few hours before the main event.

Travis was adjusting a video camera with a makeshift solar filter covering the lens, and just after 9:09 a.m. started capturing images of the eclipse.

“My thing was I didn’t have any time to do anything,” Bob said with a laugh. “Photographic filters were all sold out throughout the entire U.S., so I thought, ‘Nah, I’ll just take one of these things off the glasses and stick it on.’”

The family also had regular eclipse glasses, as well as a cardboard box with a pinhole that could be put over their head and capture the image of the eclipse on the inside of the box.