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

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Mar 18th, 2014, 06:08 PM
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Total Eclipse of the Sun visible in USA - plan ahead for August 21, 2017

At the risk of it being too early to point this out, the first TOTAL Eclipse of the Sun visible from the continental U.S. in what will have been 38+ years will happen on August 21, 2017. (THREE years from now)

The band of 'totality', where you can witness near darkness for just less than 2 minutes will stretch from the Oregon coast across central Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, northeastern Kansas, Missouri, southern Illinois, western Kentucky, east-central Tennessee, northeastern Georgia and the center of South Carolina.

I speak from personal experience (though not much) when I assure you that a mere 10% of the sun is still a LOT (aka "too much") of sun and light - so if you're going to make any effort, you need to seek a viewing point in the band of totality, which you can find, in blue, at this web link:

http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEatlas...Eatlas2001.GIF

TV coverage of a Total Eclipse of the Sun from 1970 can be found at this YouTube Link...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OW_Y29zfH0I (Part 6, much of which is taken from Halifax, Nova Scotia, in considerable darkness, is quite awe inspiring) (here is a link directly to part 6 - which begins with some ancient play depicting primitive humanity's sense of Solar Eclipses http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZP9Rd5rdfg )

The Eclipse will begin on the Oregon coast shortly after 9:00am and move eastward fairly steadily, with the brief window of totality taking all of eleven minutes to cross the state of Oregon west-to-east, beginning in the neighborhood of 10:15am PDT.

This will be just the 2nd Total Eclipse of the Sun visible from the western U.S. mainland since 1945, and the first since 1979... but given its central path across the continent, this total eclipse places itself within the range and potential plans of a vast majority of the U.S. population, fully half of which won't even have been alive during the last Total Eclipse of the Sun visible from the U.S. mainland.

Maybe it isn't too early to plan now to go see Europe in 2016, go see uncle Fred in 2015, and save 2017 on the Calendar for positioning yourself and others in your family at some point across the wide band from which the Total Eclipse of the Sun will be visible on Monday morning, August 21, 2017.

There will be another such Total Eclipse stretching from Texas to Maine in 2024, but the next one in the western USA outside of a tiny snippet of N.E. Montana won't happen until 2045.

Just be aware... at the very least...
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Mar 18th, 2014, 06:15 PM
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How do you know this? Are you a witch?
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Mar 18th, 2014, 06:20 PM
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I'm busy that weekend.
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Mar 19th, 2014, 09:05 AM
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I gotta check hobo's reviews of Kansas motels and then book my room.
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Jun 15th, 2016, 09:24 PM
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There are still 431 days, and counting, to make plans.
http://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/

But for those interested, some lodging in the path of totality is fast selling out.
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Jun 16th, 2016, 08:06 AM
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Good to know. Thanks for bringing this up. I'd love to use it as an excuse to travel.
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Jun 16th, 2016, 08:37 AM
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Thanks to the original OP, which is where I first learned about it.

Most websites do not accept reservations this far out, but calling the hotel directly seems to work. Expect some high prices, even in off the beaten path locales. Good luck.

In July 1962, at age 12 I saw a total eclipse in Maine, an astonishing sight! Looking forward to this one, in Wyoming.
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Jun 16th, 2016, 09:01 AM
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Sky rockets in flight, afternoon delight. . . .
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Jun 16th, 2016, 09:17 AM
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This is a BIG deal, apparently. When it was written up in our local paper a few months ago, they interviewed a Bed & Breakfast owner in a small city just north of here. She kept getting reservations for those few days, years in advance, and had no idea why until she researched it--there are some (many) traveling from all over the world for this event!
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Jun 28th, 2016, 11:30 PM
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(Original OP here)

Just last week I went to central Oregon to, uh, research where perhaps I might decide to be, during the eclipse.

The challenge is that it is soooooooooooooooo difficult to predict people.

HOW busy will the roads be that morning? And how many people will be driving like maniacs thinking they can out-sprint a few clouds?

70% probability that the weather will be clear, but it will feel disappointing on some levels if it isn't clear. (of course it will still get dark... for about two minutes


I can't quite talk myself into buying a spot at a Madras, Oregon camp ground/fairgrounds... and of course all of the hotels and motels are booked solid.

At what hour would one need to get up and get to the center of the eclipse zone to assure being there by 9am or 10am?

Should I drive on the interstate to a place in the center of the zone, yet well to the east of where I thought I might want to BE at crunch time... OR should I meander on smaller roads, and pray that a traffic jam doesn't ruin it?

What a riot !!

On the bright side, central Oregon is quite pleasant.


Who knows? Maybe I should just make it my goal to hang out at the Dairy Queen in John Day, Oregon during the eclipse...

I could have a(nother) banana split there...



Or perhaps the John Day Fossil Cliffs would be just the ticket...



(maybe I should just stay home... and wait for the one here, in 2169 ) (LOL)
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Jun 29th, 2016, 08:12 AM
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Thanks NorthwestMale for the reminder! I have a good memory of the 1979 eclipse as I was in 3rd grade in Southwest Montana and our entire grade school prepared and went outside for the eclipse.

Now I'm living in Chicago area and looking forward to taking my young kids to see their first eclipse so I better get to planning where we will try to go!
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Jun 29th, 2016, 08:42 AM
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The path of totality for this eclipse is long and thin, which means it will be quick as eclipses go. Two minutes of totality in Oregon and 160 seconds at its longest (halfway between St. Louis MO and Nashville TN) according to sites. But still well worth the effort imo if you've never seen one.
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Jun 29th, 2016, 11:40 AM
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Hi NorCal_Jo,


I think, that if I had kids, the first thing I'd tell them about their first eclipse is how incredibly distant in time their 2nd, and 3rd eclipses will likely be.

Unique about eclipses, is that when historic scrolls/records are found, telling stories about (just when the world was thought to be ending, and the sky surely falling-in soon after)(aka - it got dark in the middle of the day... today's scientists can pinpoint exactly just how long ago those records/scrolls must've been created. So much else is mere theory and guesswork, but the rarity of a total eclipse of the sun is such that it can be more confidently pinpointed.
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Jun 29th, 2016, 01:32 PM
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Yep, my DH has already lectured the kids on rarity of this situation and last summer got them all fired up at least until he explained it was still 2 years away which to a 6 year old is unfathomable amount of time

As much as I would love to be in the Tetons for this, I suspect getting lodging is going to be impossible so more likely a road trip to Carbondale!
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Jun 29th, 2016, 02:42 PM
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I think your kid might like to know another total solar eclipse will occur (directly over Northern California no less) on August 12, 2045. Totality will be around six minutes, three times longer than this one.

http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEplot/...2045Aug12T.GIF
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Aug 30th, 2016, 08:06 PM
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Rooms filling up FAST!


Anyone who is even thinking about traveling somewhere to view the eclipse might do well to make rental car reservations THIS far out (it seems many places will 'only' take reservations up to one year in advance, and we're now 50 weeks away from the eclipse to be seen in a small 'strip' of land that goes coast to coast in America).

Most of the hotel/motel rooms IN the strip of totality have likely been booked for years, so many will need to get rooms 75-200 miles away and then drive-in before the eclipse (which begins just after 9:00am Pacific Time, on the Oregon coast, and moves eastward fairly swiftly from there). (So driving in, out west, may be best done in total darkness)

I saw that nearly every room in Stanley, Idaho is sold out for the coveted night of August 20, 2017... but I did see ONE "Days Inn" at Bend, Oregon offering rooms for $629 (!!!!) that night!

(the problem being that Bend isn't even in the band of totality!! )


I'd be wonderfully content if ONLY I could predict all of you...
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Aug 31st, 2016, 04:08 PM
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Further perusing Expedia, for hotel vacancies... and larger areas like ST. Louis, Nashville, and Columbia, SC have a good number of rooms still available at reasonable prices.

Saw another Days Inn somewhere asking $550 for that one night, and stating that they "only have 5 left" (at that price).


But many of the smaller cities and towns along the path are clearly on the verge of being sold-out. (I only looked at places IN the path of totality... and of course you can stay slightly outside of the range of totality, and then drive in on the day of the eclipse (easier the farther east you are, along the eclipse's path through the U.S.).

Suffice to say, IF you are interested in being in the path of totality on August 17, 2017, get a hotel reservation soon!
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Aug 31st, 2016, 04:26 PM
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Aug 31st, 2016, 07:50 PM
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We booked rooms in North Platte, NB, last week. All of the better hotels were booked so had to settle on a Comfort Inn.
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Aug 31st, 2016, 10:05 PM
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We settled on Riverton, Wyoming, booked a small family run motel a couple months ago. Then we plan to continue on to Cody and Yellowstone after the eclipse.

The Hampton Inn wanted $500+/night as I recall, minimum 3 nights. But that included a dinner and dance party, a BBQ, all breakfasts. More stuff than we wanted but sounded like fun.

Don't forget to order your eclipse glasses and gear!
http://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/store/

Amazon also has the glasses.
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