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So what's your "Game Plan" for the Solar Eclipse 2017?!

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#1 Daniel Guzas

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Posted 03 November 2016 - 01:16 AM

Just wondering what you all have planned for this event that, from what I hear, is something one should not miss as any cost!.  I'm interested in your general logistics, drive or fly, camp or hotel, contingency plans if the weather does not cooperate etc....

 

I'm not intending on this topic be a discussion on equipment or the debate on "safe solar" viewing.. Just want to hear what your transportation / lodging plans are and any anticipated detours you may take while you are in the area..

 

Ill share what I have so far with you all..

 

OK...The plan is for my wife, daughter, and I to drive from Boston... teardrop camper in tow and be ready to go West or more South East depending on the short term forecast. We plan on a "target" area that stretches from Jefferson City Missouri to Charleston South Carilonia. I have booked 3 RV campsites.

 

1st site near Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
2nd site near Knoxville, Tennessee.
3rd site near Columbia, South Carolina.

 

All these sites are within the path of totality. With the exception of site #2 which is only 20-30 mins drive to the centerline.

 

My master plan is on day 1 drive from Boston to either Pittsburgh PA or Washington DC. All depends on which area is forecasted to get the best weather. So go South or go West will be the first decision.

 

From there (day 2) is a decision tree to go from Pittsburgh PA to the Evansville Indiana area. OR if the weather is favoring the eastern portion of the path, Washington DC to either Knoxville TN area OR Columbia SC area.

 

Once we are all set up at one of our RV sites (Sunday Afternoon the 20th) all eyes will be on the forecast for Eclipse day the 21st. I figured from each of the possible locations I could drive East or West 2-3 hours if need be on eclipse day if the clouds will be overhead at the site we chose. Hopefully we won't have to drive at all that day but I wanted to make sure that I had a plan even for Eclipse day.

 

I have the 3 sites already confirmed, booked and paid for. But the teardrop trailer has just been ordered and we should get it April/ May next year. So plenty of time to practice driving with a trailer. Car is all ready with new hitch, brake controller, and trailer wire harness just awaiting the trailer itself.

 

I have to say this has been a labor of love to put this all together. Just the mapping alone took tons of time to get right. And that didn't even include the research of the potential RV parks we wanted to consider. But it all seems to have fallen into place. I'm sure it will get further refined (may decide to take 3 days to drive down instead of 2 to make it not so tough on our 2 year old). But at least I know where we need to be for the day.... and have a solid plan to give us the best shot of seeing this. I just hope we don't get some sort of monster storm that sit and spins while covering my whole coverage area.

 

Below is a map I put together using Google that I have been using as my master document noting campsites and routes. Totality or Bust BABY!!

 

 

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#2 kfiscus

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Posted 03 November 2016 - 03:15 AM

I vote totality.  Bust is BAD.

 

I'm leading a caravan of 3 (?) coach buses from southern Minnesota to Pawnee County, Nebraska.  It hosts centerline, towns that will have had 5 years of prep, accommodations, and access to interstates 80 (W-E) and 29 (N-S) in case of clouds.


Edited by kfiscus, 03 November 2016 - 03:18 AM.


#3 MarkGregory

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Posted 03 November 2016 - 04:29 AM

Heading to South Carolina. Already booked my hotel room and started buying solar viewing glasses/shades from Rainbow Symphony to pass out if there is a crowd. Hope there is a crowd, that will make the event more memorable. Mark



#4 RussL

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Posted 03 November 2016 - 06:00 AM

Anyone coming to Columbia, SC should check out the SC State Museum (scmuseum.org). There will be observing outside in front of the building for the eclipse. Also, inside is the Robert B. Ariail collection of historic telescopes as well as the Alvin Clark 12-3/8" refractor. Check their website for details. I worked there for thirty years.

Myself, looking forward to meeting CNer Doug Culbertson and his wife who will be in town then, and see what plans we come up with.

#5 MarkGregory

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Posted 03 November 2016 - 06:56 AM

Anyone coming to Columbia, SC should check out the SC State Museum (scmuseum.org). There will be observing outside in front of the building for the eclipse. Also, inside is the Robert B. Ariail collection of historic telescopes as well as the Alvin Clark 12-3/8" refractor. Check their website for details. I worked there for thirty years.

Myself, looking forward to meeting CNer Doug Culbertson and his wife who will be in town then, and see what plans we come up with.

RussL, glad you posted your note. We booked a room in Greenville, but I was thinking of driving to Columbia if there was an event planned.  Sounds like their definitely is. Museum also sounds good. We will hopefully have our grandkids and they might also like that. 



#6 RussL

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Posted 03 November 2016 - 07:13 AM


Anyone coming to Columbia, SC should check out the SC State Museum (scmuseum.org). There will be observing outside in front of the building for the eclipse. Also, inside is the Robert B. Ariail collection of historic telescopes as well as the Alvin Clark 12-3/8" refractor. Check their website for details. I worked there for thirty years.

Myself, looking forward to meeting CNer Doug Culbertson and his wife who will be in town then, and see what plans we come up with.

RussL, glad you posted your note. We booked a room in Greenville, but I was thinking of driving to Columbia if there was an event planned. Sounds like their definitely is. Museum also sounds good. We will hopefully have our grandkids and they might also like that.

You might also check out Daniel Observatory at the Roper Mt. Science Center in Greenville.

#7 hm insulators

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Posted 03 November 2016 - 09:13 AM

I've got friends who live near Branson, Missouri and I was going to stay at their place and use it as a base of operations for catching totality.



#8 Zamboni

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Posted 03 November 2016 - 02:02 PM

My astronomy club has a section of Glendo Reservoir State Park in Wyoming reserved for several days of camping around the eclipse. Right on the centerline and in a dark grey zone with favorable weather patterns that time of year. It's about a 4 to 5 hour drive. Hope to have my homebuilt 6" travel dobsonian finished well before then.

#9 Cotts

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Posted 04 November 2016 - 09:15 AM

A group of 22 of us have booked an entire hunting lodge in Eastern Wyoming - comfortable rooms, food.  There are decent roads east and west from there if we have to 'chase' the eclipse due to weather..

 

Bonus: we will have two nights there before the eclipse in VERY dark skies so, Star Party!!

 

Dave



#10 TotalEclipseCAE

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Posted 04 November 2016 - 02:17 PM

Hi everyone! I'm one of the folks running the "Total Eclipse Weekend Columbia, SC" campaign here in Columbia, South Carolina. I just wanted to fill you in that tons of attractions, cultural institutions, restaurants, shops, etc. will be hosting eclipse-related events for the entire long weekend leading up to the Aug. 21 big show. We'll be gathering info over the next few months on what will be offered to the public on our website, http://www.totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com. (We'll start to add events closer to Thanksgiving.)

 

With 2m 36sec of totality, Columbia, SC is the 2nd largest city in the path of totality (Nashville is largest), and it's got the longest totality on the East Coast for a metro area.

 

The City of Columbia, multiple local CVBs, the SC State Museum and and our local minor league baseball team, the Columbia Fireflies, have teamed up to make this campaign happen, so it's an all-hands-on-deck type of effort!

 

Think a space-themed matinee by the S.C. Philharmonic on Sunday; a weekend of astronomy programming and a big NASA exhibit at the SC State Museum, as posted above by RussL, with a big viewing event the day of; a huge public art initiative all around Columbia; a midday baseball game at the award-winning new Columbia Fireflies stadium at 1:05pm on the day of the eclipse, so that attendees can watch the eclipse from their seats, cold beers in hand; tubing and canoeing adventures down the Saluda and Congaree rivers; ticketed boat parties on Lake Murray; pure nature in Congaree National Park, an amazing old growth forest 15-min drive from downtown (for those excited about seeing the nocturnal wildlife come out in the middle of the day); and tons more.  

 

Thanks and lmk if you have questions about anything! We're super excited to be a big host city for this! 

Tracie

Total Eclipse Weekend, Columbia, SC

[email protected]<script data-cfhash='f9e31' type="text/javascript">/* */</script>

http://www.totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com

 

tse-ins_1080x1080-post-01 - Copy.png


Edited by TotalEclipseCAE, 04 November 2016 - 02:18 PM.


#11 eastwd

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Posted 04 November 2016 - 02:22 PM

We have many partly to mostly cloudy days here in Tennessee in late August around mid-afternoon.  That's what concerns me.  In addition to looking at historical cloud cover charts (like most of the places in the U.S. that lie within the path of totality, average cloud cover here is in the 30 to 40% range that time of year), I've been visually checking the skies in Nashville in mid to late August for the past couple of years between 1 and 2 p.m. local time.  What I typically saw were lots of puffy summer cumulus clouds and fewer patches of blue sky than I'd like. Two and a half minutes of totality will zip by a lot faster than those clouds will loll along.  Not trying to be negative, just letting folks who are considering traveling here know what I've observed so they can plan accordingly.  My current plan is to try to watch and photograph the eclipse from a friend's property near Clarksville, TN, but there's a significant risk the sun will be visible in one spot and obscured in another spot just up the road everywhere along the path in TN, KY, and IL.  



#12 Feidb

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Posted 04 November 2016 - 02:34 PM

I got asked this the other day at our semi-annual event at Furnace Creek in Death Valley.

 

My answer?

 

Not a thing.

 

Could care less. If the weather is good that evening of the event, and it's on a Saturday (I don't even know what day it's on), I'll go out deep sky observing, oh, that's also if the moon is down by then. If not, I'll be elsewhere engaged, I'm sure.

 

Just like all other eclipses, meteor showers, satellite passes, and even for the most part, comets, not my thing. Oh, add the Messier Marathon to the list.

 

I applaud those of you that really get into this and go through all the trouble and expense to be there in the moment though. That takes dedication.



#13 RussL

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Posted 04 November 2016 - 02:50 PM

Thank you, Tracie (above), for the info about Columbia, SC. Glad to see the whole city in on it. Please keep us updated on any other news of happenings in the area.

#14 kfiscus

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Posted 04 November 2016 - 02:54 PM

I got asked this the other day at our semi-annual event at Furnace Creek in Death Valley.

 

My answer?

 

Not a thing.

 

Could care less. If the weather is good that evening of the event, and it's on a Saturday (I don't even know what day it's on), I'll go out deep sky observing, oh, that's also if the moon is down by then. If not, I'll be elsewhere engaged, I'm sure.

 

Just like all other eclipses, meteor showers, satellite passes, and even for the most part, comets, not my thing. Oh, add the Messier Marathon to the list.

 

I applaud those of you that really get into this and go through all the trouble and expense to be there in the moment though. That takes dedication.

I'll respond with the maximum deference and tact possible:

 

You really should at least consider seeing a total solar eclipse, at least one, especially one that comes somewhere near you.  You will be changed forever and for the better by the experience.

 

Since we're talking about a total solar eclipse, the rare covering of ALL the dangerously-bright parts of the sun by the new moon, we're talking about a daytime event.  The sun and moon are seemingly joined in the sky for those few minutes, seeming only seconds.  All life forms in the outdoors experiencing totality react in some way to the SUDDEN darkness.  Plants, animals, everything reacts.  My hair stands up on my neck (I've seen 2 totals).  People begin to emit random noises, birds and insects become confused.  Fish and marine mammals completely alter their behavior.  Please consider joining the universe in its convulsive "Wow!"...



#15 mogur

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Posted 04 November 2016 - 09:34 PM

"if the moon is down" LOL. :foreheadslap:


Edited by mogur, 04 November 2016 - 09:34 PM.


#16 hottr6

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Posted 05 November 2016 - 03:38 PM

Given that more than 100 million people live within one-days drive of the path of totality, what do you think the chances are of traffic jams on main feeders as people head to the path within 24 hours of the event?



#17 hottr6

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Posted 05 November 2016 - 03:42 PM

 

 

 

Since we're talking about a total solar eclipse, the rare covering of ALL the dangerously-bright parts of the sun by the new moon, we're talking about a daytime event.  The sun and moon are seemingly joined in the sky for those few minutes, seeming only seconds.  All life forms in the outdoors experiencing totality react in some way to the SUDDEN darkness.  Plants, animals, everything reacts.  My hair stands up on my neck (I've seen 2 totals).  People begin to emit random noises, birds and insects become confused.  Fish and marine mammals completely alter their behavior.  Please consider joining the universe in its convulsive "Wow!"...

 

I've seen the same behavior at night launches of the Shuttle, when night turns to day for a couple of minutes.



#18 bunyon

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Posted 05 November 2016 - 05:19 PM

Given that more than 100 million people live within one-days drive of the path of totality, what do you think the chances are of traffic jams on main feeders as people head to the path within 24 hours of the event?


Very, very high.

#19 kfiscus

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Posted 05 November 2016 - 05:59 PM

It's going to be a unique freak show.  The shadow is thousands of miles long and is crossing (at least in the midwest) a huge grid of roads.  People will have options.  Last-minute arrivals will be nerve wracking and IF there is a cloud problem, look out...



#20 JimMo

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Posted 05 November 2016 - 08:17 PM

I've been talking about this eclipse since it was so far in the future that everyone would just roll their eyes at me when I told than of my plans to see it.  I will be with my family in Yellowstone the week before the eclipse and we will catch it on our way home.  We booked rooms in Rapid City, SD and will drive the 2.25 hours the next morning to the centerline in northern Nebraska.  I doubt there will be any traffic to speak of as we plan to observe it in the middle on nowhere.  I will map out a tentative observing location when we get closer to the date, but I doubt we will have to worry about it as the area is sparcely populated.  

 

My original plans fell though as I was trying to reserve a cabin in the path of totality near Grand Teton NP, but I think the new plan is better because we won't have to deal with the crowds that will be in the National Parks that weekend and that there was only one route to the east to use if you had to travel due to clouds.  I will also be doing some nighttime viewing during the trip so it should be a lot of fun for me and my brood.    


Edited by JimMo, 05 November 2016 - 08:18 PM.


#21 mogur

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Posted 05 November 2016 - 08:39 PM

Given that more than 100 million people live within one-days drive of the path of totality, what do you think the chances are of traffic jams on main feeders as people head to the path within 24 hours of the event?

I'm doing 48 hours. I hope that's enough!



#22 Alex McConahay

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Posted 05 November 2016 - 10:19 PM

These threads about the eclipse have become so frequent and so long (here and elsewhere), I do not know if I have said this yet.....but......

 

Consider the time of day. This eclipse will be in the middle of the day. The sun will be high. There is not much of a way to get a good horizon picture (like the Grand Tetons), etc. and the eclipsed sun in the same field of view. Yes, it is always nice to be in one of the most beautiful places in the world (Jackson Hole area). But, really, no reason to be there on eclipse day.

 

Some people may prefer to be alone. Others would prefer to be in one of those places where they are having an "eclipse event." Sure, there will be more to do at the eclipse event, but heavens help you if you need to split from there to get out from under a sudden cloud. Everybody else at the festival will be hitting the road at the same time.

 

Get yourself wherever you have a good east-west mobility in case a cloud develops. Otherwise. Just be someplace comfortable, know where the bathroom is, have some sunscreen and a pop up tent, and enjoy your day.

 

Alex



#23 Alex McConahay

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Posted 05 November 2016 - 10:39 PM

I figured that if 100,000,000 people are within a mile of the center line on August 21, 2017, each person may occupy an area of approximately 1378 square feet.

 

Man, am I bored.

 

Alex



#24 jrbarnett

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 12:02 PM

I'm thinking of flying into either Portland or Bend a couple of days early with an astro buddy or three, picking up a rental car, hitting Ashland or Bend or both for some recreation, then heading out to eastern Oregon, mainline, arriving in the wee hours of the morning of the event, setting up, sighting tight, observing the eclipse, then road tripping back to California to drop off the club mates and the rental car.

 

We were thinking of combining it with a dark sky observing week, but it is just too much of a hassle.  I think this calls for tactical rather than strategic thinking.

 

Regards,

 

Jim



#25 hottr6

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 12:48 PM

 

Given that more than 100 million people live within one-days drive of the path of totality, what do you think the chances are of traffic jams on main feeders as people head to the path within 24 hours of the event?

I'm doing 48 hours. I hope that's enough!

 

My thinking as well, but because I am driving north on 25 through Denver, I may advance to 72 hours.

 

I figured that if 100,000,000 people are within a mile of the center line on August 21, 2017, each person may occupy an area of approximately 1378 square feet.

That's one person every 40'!  This joint is going to be crowded.




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