'It was literally cold and dark': Total solar eclipse viewed throughout the U.S.

In the NASA image above, today's total solar eclipse is seen above Madras, Oregon. Photo by Aubrey Gemignani for NASA. Below, our moon blocks out the sun during the solar eclipse in Depoe Bay, Oregon.

Today's total solar eclipse, a rarity for those in its path, has been expected to draw one of the largest audiences in human history, including online and broadcast viewers. Reuters:

"It just kind of tickled you all over – it was wonderful – and I wish I could do it again," said Stormy Shreves, 57, a fish gutter who lives in Depoe Bay. "But I won't see something like that ever again, so I'm really glad I took the day off work so I could experience it."

The last time such a spectacle unfolded from one U.S. coast to the other was in 1918. The last total eclipse seen anywhere in the United States took place in 1979. Some 12 million people live in the 70-mile-wide (113-km-wide), 2,500-mile-long (4,000-km-long) zone where the total eclipse was to appear, while hordes of others traveled to spots along the route.

"It was incredible," said Cheryl Laroche, 57, who with her husband, Rob, joined other observers at Roshambo ArtFarm in Sheridan, Oregon. "It was literally cold and dark. The light was blue."

[The solar eclipse in Depoe Bay, Oregon. REUTERS/Mike Blake]

A jet plane flies by the total solar eclipse in Guernsey, Wyoming. REUTERS/Rick Wilking