Driving cross country in late August


Jul 5th, 2017, 12:18 PM
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Driving cross country in late August

My daughter and I are driving from ny to Reno Nevada and were thinking of taking rt 80, but now we want to see the lunate eclipse along the way! We leave catskill ny on 8/19 early morning and the eclipse can be seen in Kansas City on the morning of 8/21. Any suggestions ? Maybe take rt 70 to kc and then head north to rt 80 at Denver ? Thanks!
snapshotdcc is offline  
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Jul 5th, 2017, 12:27 PM
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Do realize that accommodations in the path of the eclipse is largely full and there are warnings all over about the traffic. Many people have booked more than a year in advance.
janisj is offline  
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Jul 5th, 2017, 01:10 PM
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Why is janis spreading so much panic??

Anyone can peruse Expedia right now and find tons of rooms in the Kansas City area for less than $100 for the coveted night of August 20, 2017.

Furthermore, "traffic" for those going east-to-west, or west-to-east, IN the path of totality won't likely be noteworthy except in the event of clouds not yet foreseeable.

Somebody randomly traveling from NY to Reno during that window of time should definitely target the path of the eclipse as a reward for their fortunate timing.

Missouri is doubly good for having two large cities, each within a short distance from the path of totality.

Snapshotdcc, be clear in your understanding that the eclipse does NOT center ON Kansas City, MO.

The wise move would be to drive perhaps 50 miles from KC, MO to get near to the center line of the path of totality when the moment arrives.

That's the point where you have to worry about traffic... you'd want to get up and go, perhaps before dawn, on that Monday morning, to beat rush hour, and avoid as much of the eclipse traffic as possible. Bring provisions to occupy your time during the morning hours, hoping that you get to the path of totality and then just wait.

For an example, I selected the small town of Gower, MO, which, according to the website below, will find the partial eclipse beginning at 11:41am.

Totality, in Gower, MO, begins at 1:07pm, local time, for the relatively long period of two minutes and 38 seconds (that's the duration during which it will get dark outside as the moon fully crosses the sun's path).

Go to eclipse2017.org for better understanding of the specifics, but know in advance that you'll want to view the eclipse from very near to the blue line on the following map:


(what state you're in doesn't matter as much as does being near to the blue line - for maximum totality still of about TWO MINUTES total!!

As for general suggested paths for your travel, it might be most effective to travel due west as much as possible on the first day of your journey, and wait until the last day to duck down into the eclipse path.

The idea of getting from Catskill to KC in 48 hours time, while doable, also seems rather pressured when combined with wanting to be well-positioned for Monday morning.

This is the rare total eclipse of the sun with a broad range of viewing positions. It isn't some island in the north Atlantic, onto which thousands of people want to descend all at once.

There is a wide range of options for everyone, but it still wouldn't hurt to guess correctly as to just what everybody else is likely to do.

MAYbe the move is to spend Sunday (8/20) night north of the strip of totality (but NOT near to a large population center which would fill the roads all around you on Monday morning)... and then dip down from the north, rather than compete with KC traffic heading north to the center of totality.

At any rate, I can see you trying to drive, say, 640-ish miles on your first day on the road, but I cannot really imagine you chancing another 640 on the 2nd day, AND certain to get a good night of sleep before the eclipse on Monday mid-day.

It could happen, but you may not want to bank on it.

I think instead I might target the eclipse from a more eastern spot, perhaps needing to go farther south for it.

Maybe something more in the range of Nashville to St. Louis for the eclipse would better match your plans?

The great news is, that you have all of these variables, but the challenge is to find reason to make you pick one of them! (randomly)
NorthwestMale is offline  
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Jul 5th, 2017, 01:46 PM
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Panic?? nothing in my post was panic-filled (nor in bold. There have been warnings re traffic over the entire area.


among many others . . .
janisj is offline  
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Jul 5th, 2017, 02:38 PM
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Route 80 doesn't cross Denver, and it is 'way north of where you'd like to be anyway.
From NY take the PA turnpike to I70 to Denver--Straight shot.
Instead of Kansas City, TRY and I do mean TRY to get a room in Columbia MO. It is right in the center of the eclipse.

You do realize that on that day you will be staying in whatever town you are in during the morning. In Columbia it will be about 10AM but the eclipse will have started at 8 and will not be over until 12. There are also going to be an immense (and I AM being the rioter here) number of other human beings also on the road or staying in Columbia to see the eclipse. Traffic on the interstates will be GREAT that day.

If you opt for Columbia, a university town, you might check to see what arrangements they are making. They may have dormitory rooms open and they may be opening their stadium for people to view. This is being done in Carbondale, Illinois, another university town in the path of totality.
Gretchen is offline  
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Jul 5th, 2017, 02:43 PM
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My times are 'way off. Totality is around 1PM, but the partial eclipse starts 2 hours earlier.

But the road you want to be on is I70 and it goes straight through Columbia--it is about 2 hours east of KC At least you don't have to get off the beaten path.

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