Where can I find eclipse glasses in Oregon before 9am?
August 21, 2017 3:03 AM   Subscribe

I fucked up and put off eclipse glasses because I am terrible, forgetting I promised my kid we could go. I am currently in the process of trying to be less terrible, currently driving south along I5 to hit the totality in Oregon. Halp. If you know or can think of a possibility, no matter how bizarre, I would love to hear it.
posted by corb to Grab Bag (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best bet would probably be a pinhole camera from a cereal box and a bit of foil and a sheet of white paper at this point. Probably able to get everything from a rest stop along the way, or most certainly from any grocery store you visit.
posted by koolkat at 3:22 AM on August 21, 2017 [5 favorites]

Here in NJ, 7-11 stores had them. You can also try Walgreens. Just make sure they're legit before using them; Google the manufacturer.
posted by dancinglamb at 3:23 AM on August 21, 2017

Fred Meyer?
posted by little_dog_laughing at 3:23 AM on August 21, 2017

Good morning! My local Fred Meyer was all out but you could call around or stop in. They helpfully had a sign on their front window that they were out. And if you get somewhere that there are people, just ask around and see. But a pinhole box would work. Don't forget to look for "shadow bands" that will make the ground shimmer with shadows.
posted by amanda at 3:43 AM on August 21, 2017

A welding mask works, if you have a hardware store handy.
posted by deadwax at 4:27 AM on August 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

Not sure where you would find one these days, and I can't vouch for them all being safe, but I remember opening up the old 1.44 MB 3.5" stiffy disks and looking at the sun through the magnetic sheets that are inside them.

I just googled to see if I could find some safety info for this, and came across quite a comprehensive explanation for alternative filters at: http://www.mreclipse.com/Special/filters.html.

After reading that, if it was me, I would take a stack of 5 CD's, and see if could see the sun at all through it, if not, I would remove one and try again, repeating until the sun is visible, but before it is too bright. For my kids, I don't know - probably find something more official.
posted by Gomez_in_the_South at 4:43 AM on August 21, 2017

You could try Craigslist but make extra sure they aren't counterfeit and prepare for price gouging.
posted by thelastpolarbear at 4:47 AM on August 21, 2017

Since no one else has suggested the obvious last resort, if you view it from somewhere with lots of other people maybe you can switch between looking at someone else's pinhole box and asking to momentarily borrow someone else's glasses.
posted by XMLicious at 4:57 AM on August 21, 2017 [5 favorites]

I agree that if you go somewhere a lot of other people are going, maybe you could make friends and share glasses.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:09 AM on August 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

My friends and I have a couple extra - we're nowhere near you, unfortunately, but we're professors who will be watching from a university; I'm pretty sure if you end up anywhere near science-y people like physics/chemistry professors they'll have spares.
posted by vegartanipla at 5:35 AM on August 21, 2017

A welding mask works, if you have a hardware store handy.

Most welding masks or goggles are not dark enough.
posted by musicinmybrain at 5:59 AM on August 21, 2017 [5 favorites]

Churches. Lots of churches have bought a lot of eclipse glasses. Also McDonald's in some places apparently?
posted by daisystomper at 6:02 AM on August 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm in a Marriott in Portland which will be giving away glasses to guests starting at 9. We aren't in the toltailty but other if you are going by a large chain hotel there's a chance they'll have pairs on hand.

Also I've had multiple people try and sell me glasses on the street, if you are heading to a populated area I wouldn't be surprised if you find some glasses hustlers.
posted by lepus at 6:06 AM on August 21, 2017

Lots of universities have them - mine has them behind the desk in the library. I'd consider calling around.
posted by mercredi at 6:13 AM on August 21, 2017

Great advice here. If your in any sizable town in the totality band, there will be lots of people with glasses. Moreover, the partial phase of the eclipse is boring, so it's unlikely that you'll want to look at it for very long. Totality is the big deal, and you don't need eclipse glasses for it. Just make absolutely sure you know when totality starts and ends. There are good recommendations for eclipse timer apps here. I have this one, which was free and seems really good.
posted by Betelgeuse at 6:25 AM on August 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

We are going to Linfield College in McMinnville, they are having an event and are giving them away starting at 8 am
posted by rockindata at 6:25 AM on August 21, 2017

There is a big church with a huge viewing event on Keubler Road in Salem. Head west off of the freeway for a mile and it is on the right. Tons of tents out there now and they may have glasses. Even if not, it would be a good place for finding sharing glasses.
posted by SLC Mom at 7:18 AM on August 21, 2017

Or, heck. Come to the Cash and Carry parking lot a little further down the road and I'll share mine with you guys. Im waiting for the big event in a green element with liberal stickers on the back window.
posted by SLC Mom at 7:21 AM on August 21, 2017 [7 favorites]

You are all the best! The sanity check of "sweet mother don't even try a store, head for other people" really helped me - I drove straight for Salem and started looking for crowds, and lucked into a glasses giveaway in front of the capitol building. If anyone else is looking for glasses, they have more as of five minutes ago. We are prepared!

(Also thanks so much SLC Mom for that incredibly generous offer!)
posted by corb at 8:15 AM on August 21, 2017 [16 favorites]

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