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Total eclipse of the sun - prepare for April 8, 2024 (your 'next' chance to travel?)

Total eclipse of the sun - prepare for April 8, 2024 (your 'next' chance to travel?)

Old Jan 14th, 2021, 01:10 PM
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Total eclipse of the sun - prepare for April 8, 2024 (your 'next' chance to travel?)

Make yourselves well aware of the total eclipse of the sun to happen on April 8, 2024 on a path from Mazatlan, Mexico... extending through Dallas, Texas... much of Arkansas (including Little Rock and Hot Springs)... Indianapolis, Indiana... Cleveland, Ohio... Buffalo, NY... northern NY... the northern portions of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine and then most of central New Brunswick and most of Newfoundland, Canada.

Millions of people already live in that path, and even if Covid ravages nearby society between now and then, others can travel but a short distance to see the spectacle.

Here's a link to my early warning on Fodors about the 2017 total eclipse of the sun that crossed America and the subsequent humor, long period of unsurprising apathy, and then general build-up to eclipse day along with significant and potentially useful reports from many in hindsight about how their 2017 eclipse experience went. Included are some useful and informative links of various sorts.


Total Eclipse of the Sun visible in USA - plan ahead for August 21, 2017



Here is a link to a music video filmed during a total eclipse of the sun in 2015, and it represents fairly well the sky scenery you can expect at eclipse time:



There are surely lots of modern and similarly thorough videos taken in 2017 and online for easy viewing, but that 2015 video was somewhat prominent in its significance back when we looked only forward toward 2017.

As was the case in 2017, you'll want to arrange your eventually-upcoming vacations to go and visit uncle Frank in 2023... or put him off until 2025... and maybe build an April, 2024 vacation around seeing the eclipse.


Spots on the center line in 2017 ranged from maybe 2 minutes to 2 minutes and 40 seconds (UNofficially) of the moon completely covering the sun (the light you see behind the moon during totality is out beyond the sun's actual 'disc' itself, and during totality, that light is NOT harmful to the bare human eye.)

Samplings of totality durations for 2024 are as follows.

RANDOM spot in the middle of Newfoundland 2 min. 58 seconds

A spot near to Sherbrooke, Quebec (ON the center line) 3 minutes, 30 seconds

A spot north of Rochester, NY on the shore of lake Ontario: 3 minutes 42 seconds

Central-ish Buffalo, NY 3 minutes 45 seconds

Central-ish Cleveland, Ohio 3 minutes 47 seconds

ON the center line, due south of Indianapolis, Indiana 4 min. 1 second

On the center line, east of Dallas, Texas: 4 minutes, 20 seconds


CENTRAL DALLAS will enjoy a robust 3 minutes and 52 seconds of totality (which is luxurious, compared to the 2 minutes to 2:40 range along the center line for the 2017 event)

ON the center line at the Mexico/USA border: 4 minutes, 28 seconds

ON the center line, east of Mazatlan, Mexico: 4 minutes, 26 seconds


It is my strong sense that it is much more important that you focus ON being extremely near to the center line than it is deciding between two spots on the center line. As a general rule, viewing areas away from significant bodies of water are preferred for the slightly lower chance of clouds obscuring the vision. (the sky and area all around you will still get dark IF you're in the path of totality, but it is much more exciting to see the actual moon obscuring the disc of the sun) I believe that even the least probability of cloudy skies at the center line on eclipse day 2017 was said to be "75% probability of clear weather", so there is a significant chance that wherever you pick will find the eclipse obscured by clouds. When the eclipse wait turns from years to days-and-hours, at that point you may be able to modify your destination to afford lower risk of cloudy weather.


As millions of people learned through experience on eclipse day, 2017... a 90% eclipse is next to nothing relative to "totality". (outside of the exercise that is using your protective eyewear to see most of the sun covered by the moon) So at the very least, make an effort to be within the path of totality, even if not at the center line.

(as a popular 2017 t-shirt said: "Get your ASS to Totality" )



In time, there will be all sorts of driving charts to help you predict people, as eclipse day draws near. Many people will have already viewed the 2017 eclipse recently enough so they are not dead set on needing to see this one, and this one does hit some major population centers, with still other population centers but a short path away.

The crowd (in rural, central Oregon) on Eclipse day 2017 was not overwhelming (once parked... as the parking area was jammed, and the overflow area probably that way too). It was THE single spot where I've seen the most unique U.S. state license plates at one point (in my entire life).

In Dallas, TOTALITY begins at 1:40pm (again, April 8, 2024)

In Indianapolis, totality begins at 3:05pm

In Buffalo, the eclipse begins at 3:18pm


So any time you want to take your mind off of Covid and its 2021 woes... just start contemplating your many options for getting yourself to the Path of Totality on April 8, 2024.


And if you're really bold (or conveniently located)... a fine challenge will be to view the eclipse AND get yourself to Atlanta (for what will hopefully be a night game) as they celebrate the 50th anniversary of what was perhaps the most eagerly anticipated home run in American baseball history. (2 hours of flying time from Dallas to Atlanta) (hmmmmm, maybe view the eclipse from DFW ??)


OK, you have just under 3.25 years to mull this over.




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Old Jan 14th, 2021, 01:45 PM
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It has been on my road trip list since the last eclipse because it goes right through my old home town in southern Ohio and the length is something like 4 minutes!! If I remember from what I read then it is a HUGE swath as compared to the last one. Now all I have to do is live that long!!
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Old Jan 17th, 2021, 08:22 AM
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For the 2017 eclipse I was on the center line on the top of Sutton Mountain near Mitchell Oregon. I found the geocache up there and put in a special trackable eclipse geocoin. My wife is from the Rochester area and we do still have a friend in the area that would let us stay. Our travel from Oregon would be on Amtrak on the California Zephyr to Chicago and the Lake Shore Limited to Rochester.
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Old Jan 18th, 2021, 07:08 AM
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In 2017, we went up to Clarksville, TN, which was in the path of totality. Our son lives there, and one of his friends had a business downtown. A bunch of us experienced the eclipse from the rooftop there, and it was spectacular. One memory I will never forget is after the eclipse - the shadows thrown by the leaves on the trees that continued an odd shimmer for a bit even past totality.

We would love to view the next one, if we can manage.
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Old Jan 19th, 2021, 11:03 AM
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We were watching the 2017 Eclipse at the Old McDonald's Farm north of Chattanooga TN. Unforgettable experience. As I say, 97% of the WOW factor happens during the last 3% of the TOTAL Eclipse. Partial one cannot compare. Would love to experience this again!
This is one of the pictures taken by me with my DSLR camera there:


Photo by AndyG5056
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Old Jan 20th, 2021, 09:37 AM
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LOL - just imagine being around in ancient times, and having no idea that an eclipse was going to occur, and then experiencing THAT happening right over head.


* of course your idea of TIME had much to do with that long-stationary ROCK sitting nearby, and you'd mastered the shadows it cast, relative to how much light was left in your day.

(plus there was more pressure to race out somewhere and hunt up some food - cuz they didn't have "Door Dash" - and your cave didn't exactly have a 'door' either)


For the time being, just go sit in your Covid room, and dream about the places you COULD go for viewing the April 8, 2024 eclipse. The hours and minutes of today will probably go by more quickly if you keep your many alternatives open at this time... and you could have categories for your eclipse efforts contingent upon how society is then interfacing with the Covid epidemic.


My earliest ideas dreams... are to target some spot in New Brunswick... OR figure out a way to watch the eclipse (at the Dallas airport) and then fly to Atlanta for what I hope would be a NIGHT baseball game.

In early April I just might be able to stand the Texas heat.



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Old Jan 20th, 2021, 01:36 PM
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Thank-you northwestmale for getting me organized to see it back in 2017!
It was something I wanted to do but I’m a procrastinator so when I ran across your reminder that got me researching.
We traveled to Tennessee and to experience it , it was magical!
Everyone should make this a priority to see the eclipse on April 8, 2024- a Saturday
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Old Jan 22nd, 2021, 10:12 AM
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Well, OK... suddenly MY priorities might be different with today's passing of Hank Aaron.

Celebrating his home run 50 years later won't be the same without him there to be honored.


BUT, for some of us, eclipse date is really easy to remember, given the historic moment precisely 50 years before it.

RIP Hank Aaron, (who spoke often about how challenging it had been to endure the racism combined with what is appropriate reverence for Babe Ruth and (one of) his own record(s), often beginning with "you don't know what it was like..." - and that's right, wedidn't know... But at the same time, Hank Aaron didn't know what it was 'like' to be a little kid who cared about the monumental moment there for the viewing (with 'Nerf' basketball in hand for shooting hoops in the hallway between Hank's at-bats). (one in no way offsets the other, but hopefully plenty of people over time got to tell Hank in person just how meaningful the moment on April 8, 1974 had been to them, as young people having been able to watch something so special).

Few remember Aaron's 755th and last home run, and hopefully even fewer remember Barry Bonds' last home run... but it was that "715" moment on April 8, 1974 which still could rank as the greatest moment in U.S. Major League Baseball history.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2021, 02:01 PM
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He was a great man--and I hate pro baseball!!
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Old Jan 26th, 2021, 12:32 PM
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I have been thinking about the 2024 eclipse since I stupidly left Nashville two days before the one in 2017 (where I lived) to go to NYC (where I also lived) and only had 70% totality!!! I am going to take my niece and nephew and we are planning to go to Northern Vermont, although I think Rochester sounds good too with the longer times. Thanks for reminding me, and I look forward to your future reports!!!!
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Old Jan 28th, 2021, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Skiergirl View Post
I have been thinking about the 2024 eclipse since I stupidly left Nashville two days before the one in 2017 (where I lived) to go to NYC (where I also lived) and only had 70% totality!!! I am going to take my niece and nephew and we are planning to go to Northern Vermont, although I think Rochester sounds good too with the longer times. Thanks for reminding me, and I look forward to your future reports!!!!

The longer periods OF totality are NOT as significant when deciding AS would be the difference between witnessing "TOTALITY" vs not doing so.

(I know you already sense as much, but when you are there in Totality with your niece and nephew in 2024... it will become personally obvious to a depth that few life-lessons get to pierce)


This far out, when nobody has committed themselves... to know the time periods for Totality is somewhat useful as a factor in choosing a spot... but nothing matches the importance of being at least SOMEwhere within that wide, shaded band of 'totality' on April 8, 2024.


(the group of hundreds around me at Painted Hills, Oregon (think "remote, rural... scenic... and hot... but crowded with people who really cared, for this one event" ) were of an amazing combined spirit for approximately 2 minutes of totality... the ooohs and ahhhhhhhhs were very much appropriate, and nobody was outstandingly stupid in their appreciation. I WON-der if 4 minutes would have tested everybody's ability to FOCUS and remain calm so as not to hinder the excitement of the moment for others nearby. (Maybe I don't want to be on or near a crowded Dallas freeway for 4 minutes of totality, and I don't think 4 minutes would have assured "double the fun" of two minutes)

Just make (any) "Totality" the priority... and bargain upward after that, if you think it wise.
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