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Oregon Eclipse Festival | Eastern Oregon's Music Scene | Robert Michael Pyle


A team builds one of the two portal structures that bookend the Solar Temple at the Oregon Eclipse Festival.

A team builds one of the two portal structures that bookend the Solar Temple at the Oregon Eclipse Festival.

Aaron Scott/OPB

Oregon’s Most Audacious Eclipse Festival Comes Covered in Glitter - 2:42

Next week, the “State of Wonder” team is taking a road trip to track eclipse preparations across the state. We’ll talk worst-case scenarios with planners in Lincoln County, hit an exhibition of sun-centric art at Oregon State University, and check in at Warm Springs and Madras, where they’re preparing for perhaps the biggest influx of people.

Listen for updates from the trip every day next week on “Think Out Loud” at noon.

But First, we visit Big Summit Prairie in the Ochoco Mountains, where a temporary city is being built to host some 30,000 attendees from around the world. The Oregon Eclipse Festival promises to be one of the most audacious eclipse events in the country with 400 musical acts, lectures and workshops galore, art installations both profound and whimsical, a floating bridge and enough glitter to make a drag queen blush.


Mexico ‘91: Two Oregon Writers Look Back on Another Eclipse - 6:48

We checked in with two Oregon writers who witnessed the same solar event 26 years ago: the total solar eclipse that passed over Mexico. In honor of this year’s eclipse, both writers are working on new stories based on what they saw in 1991. Octaviano Merecias lives and writes in metro Portland, and his story focuses on the unexpected birth that happened on his family’s farm during the eclipse. Meanwhile, the writer, designer, photographer and translator Ivonne Saed watched the ‘91 event from Mexico City.  


Tylor Ketchum and his brothers have been playing Wheatstock since they were kids. Now they return as headliners.

Tylor Ketchum and his brothers have been playing Wheatstock since they were kids. Now they return as headliners.

Aaron Scott/OPB

Tylor & The Train Robbers Headline at Helix’s Wheatstock Festival - 15:56

Music runs thick in Tylor Ketchum’s family. Growing up in Helix, Oregon, he formed a band with his younger brothers before making his way to Boise, in search of a broader music scene. His brother Jason followed, and they formed the band Tylor & The Train Robbers, taking inspiration from an infamous 17th century train robber in their family tree, Black Jack Ketchum.

Tylor & The Train Robbers have performed their blend of outlaw honky tonk and gritty Americana around the Northwest and released their debut album, “Gravel,” earlier this year. On Aug 19, they return to Ketchum’s hometown in eastern Oregon for the homegrown music festival Wheatstock.


The historic OK Theater sits in the heart of Enterprise, OR, population 1,900.

The historic OK Theater sits in the heart of Enterprise, OR, population 1,900.

courtesy of Darrell Brann

Playing Concerts in Rural Oregon? At One Theater in Enterprise, Big-Name Artists Say “OK” 21:13

When Darrell Brann bought the OK Theater in Wallowa County, he knew it wasn’t a no. 1 destination for big touring bands, or really, touring bands of any size. But Brann has used small-town charm to lure in some really big names, and it’s not just a success for him — it’s helping his whole community.

The OK Theater’s upcoming lineup includes Phoebe Hunt & the Gatherers on Sept. 6, the Victor Wooten Trio on Oct. 3, and the Del McCoury Band on Nov. 30.


John Yeon helped create state parks up and down the Oregon coast, national parks in Washington, and buildings throughout the Northwest.

John Yeon helped create state parks up and down the Oregon coast, national parks in Washington, and buildings throughout the Northwest.

Marian Wood Kolisch

“Quest for Beauty” — John Yeon’s Architecture on Display at the Portland Art Museum - 28:53

You might be more familiar with the work of John Yeon than you realize. His imprint is everywhere, from houses in the Columbia River Gorge to the trees in Portland’s Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

An architect, landscape designer and conservationist, Yeon is the subject of two new books and the exhibition “Quest for Beauty” at the Portland Art Museum, open through Sept. 3. Critic and writer Randy Gragg edited both books and curated the exhibit, and he joined “Think Out Loud” host Dave Miller to discuss Yeon’s life and work. Listen to the full conversation here.


"The Artist's Studio" by Christos Koutsouras at Imogen Gallery through Sept. 5.

"The Artist's Studio" by Christos Koutsouras at Imogen Gallery through Sept. 5.

Christos Koutsouras

Sailor-Turned-Painter Christos Koutsouras at Astoria’s Imogen Gallery 37:41

The Greek sailor-turned-painter Christos Koutsouras’s life sounds like it was ripped from an old-fashioned adventure novel: growing up on a famous Grecian isle, sailing around the world as a deck boy, studying painting in Germany, and finally moving to the Pacific Northwest.

These days, Koutsouras paints big, tumultuous landscapes. His newest show, “Venetian Red for Despina,” runs Aug. 12–Sept. 5 at Imogen Gallery in Astoria. It’s all about Big Red, the iconic fishing building and net shed that perches precariously on piers out in the Columbia River and has served as a studio to a number of local artists including Koutsouras.


Robert Michael Pyle

Robert Michael Pyle

David Lee Myers

Nature Writer Robert Michael Pyle is Not Quite a Bigfoot Believer - 45:04

In 1990 the entomologist Dr. Robert Michael Pyle went into the woods looking for Bigfoot. Well, sort of. Pyle isn’t a Sasquatch hunter; he wasn’t even really a believer. But he spent several months trekking through a region of the Southern Washington Cascades known to be prime Bigfoot habitat.

That journey became the book “Where Bigfoot Walks: Crossing the Dark Divide.” It first came out in 1995, and now Pyle has updated it with new research and findings. Pyle joined OPB’s Geoff Norcross to chat about the updated book, and the land that inspired him.

To hear their full conversation, click here.

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