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

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#51 vsteblina

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Posted 24 November 2016 - 10:05 PM

Wondering where one should go at this late date is an invitation to failure, I'm afraid.  All accommodations on the eclipse path west of the 100th meridian (where the drier climate is) have long since been booked and paid for.   Local law enforcement will be out there preventing folks from setting up on roadsides, side streets, private parking lots etc.etc.  Walmart parking lots will be full days before the event.  

 

 

Dave

 

Really....Dave??

 

There are literally millions of acres of public land west of the 100th meridian where you can CAMP without being in a campground.  I think if somebody did a GIS run, they would find that along the eclipse path in the west....there is MORE public land than private land.

 

Yeah, it might be a bit more crowded along the center line of the route, but trust me there will be plenty of places to view the eclipse.

 

Local law enforcement?? I think your thinking cities and suburbs, not public lands.

 

Oh, somewhere in eastern Oregon. Probably on Forest Service managed land.


Edited by vsteblina, 24 November 2016 - 10:13 PM.


#52 Stargazer3236

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 01:50 AM

I plan on traveling by car to Missouri, with my astronomy club, to an observing spot near one of our members old astronomy club near St. Louis. I am taking a two week vacation (most likely three weeks, due to properly spaced days) and going to see the eclipse and carrying with me my complete observing rig both Nexstar 8SE mount and tripod and my ZEQ25 mount for imaging and taking the time to find some dark spots to image from out in the Midwest.

 

I am also including in my itinerary, a few stops to some Air and Space museums along the way.

 

I know that there is a space museum somewhere in Missouri, I plan on going to the Strategic Air Command and Space Museum in Ashland, Nebraska and on my way home, stopping at Wright Patterson Air Force Museum in Ohio.

 

I live just outside Boston, MA and I expect at least a 2000 mile round trip, if not more.



#53 SimonLowther

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 03:38 AM

Plans made concrete now for arriving in Victor ID a few days before for some tramping in Yellowstone and visiting geological sites; then a few days in LA before the trip home.  Bringing wife and two young daughters for an adventure.

 

We did originally plan on a camper van trip from Vegas up through Salt Lake City to Idaho Falls; but have decided to put that trip off for a couple of years to when the little (2 year old) monster is a little larger.

 

We will instead this time fly into LA, then onto SLC and drive the 5 hours north to Victor; then do the reverse home but stopping in Disney Land  and a few other local LA sites (like telescope shops and observatories) for some rest prior to returning home.

 

Just working on the best plan for equipment.

 

Anyone who will be around the Tetons or Victor feel free to drop me an email.



#54 Phillip Creed

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 10:16 AM

 

Another solar eclipse memory: a partial eclipse: one day I was in my front yard (overhung by many trees) noticing all the pin hole shadows getting a crescent bitten out of them, and was rather baffled for a little while before some brain cells clicked in and reminded me how pinholes work.  Mid 90's, I think.

May 10, 1994.

 

This was an annular eclipse that went over much of the U.S., with the path of annularity running just north of Massachusetts.  Obscuration ranged from 85-89% throughout MA.  I remember this one well, as it was the only central eclipse (annular or total) I've seen.

Clear Skies,

Phil



#55 swetzel

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 02:23 PM

My wife and I will be traveling to St. Louis on Friday and will be attending an astronomy event sponsored by the AstronomyCast podcast. They are chartering busses to bus all of us to clear skies on Monday.


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#56 SkyCruzr

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 04:07 PM

I'll be camped somewhere in Nebraska or Wyoming--the farther from people, the better.

That is our plan!  We took a 3000 mile road trip this last summer scouting for our spot(s). Our first choice is somewhere in Wyoming :grin: and we are planning to get there about a week early. That spot is about one mile off of the centerline so we may hop on the ATV to get to center. According to the assorted maps we used, the difference is about 2 seconds. We have a couple of back up sites as well somewhere in Idaho. Was a fun road trip! Saw a lot of beautiful country.



#57 corduroy

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 04:29 PM

Hi All,  I mentioned in a previous post that I will be camping out in Madras,Or for 3 nights/4 days at the Oregon Solarfest.  I have never camped for more than 1 day so I need some advice on power please.  Here are my specifics for power consumption.  I am not really sure how to estimate my total power usage.

 

- No AC available

- 4 days / 3 nights

- 100% DC solution (*with one possible exception below)

- 6 people.  4 iphones, 4 ipads used to lightly surf, check mail, play games & watch movies.

- ZEQ25 mount slewing for 1hr/day, tracking for 12hrs/day

- CGEM mount slewing for 1hr/day, tracking for 12hrs/day

- Lenovo Y700 with a 65W 20V DC power adatper -  this will be used ~12hr/day.   Collecting images at night and doing light imaging + post processing during the day.

- QHY5-IIM USB guide camera, 6hr/day

- Canon T2i DC powered from a 12v to 7v buck converter - 6hr/day

- Canon 70D DC powered from a 12v to 7v buck converter - 6hr/day

- 3x small Dew Heater for AT72 refractor,, guide scope, camera lens - 6hr/day

- 1x large Dew Heater for 8in SCT - 6hr/day

 

I have 2 Jump Start batteries.   A 17 and 26 Amp-hr.  I typically use the 17 Ahr with the CGEM and a dew heater the whole night with no issues.   I use the 26 Ahr jump start with my imaging rig and that lasts ~7 hrs.  So t hese will definately not be enough for 4 days.  I need to add more power or have the ability to recharge.

 

These are the options I am considering:

1) Use the jump start batteries for the phone and tablet charging and other misc/non astro equipment charging.  I hope this would last 4 days, if not I could use the inverter with option 2 or 3 to recharge the jump starts.

plus either 2 or 3:

2) Get a small generator and use that to recharge the jump start batteries during the day.  (then I have to worry about fuel, noise, fumes)

3) Build a solar battery recharging solution.  Not sure how much battery A-hr and panel wattage I would need.

 

Any advice?

 

Thanks

Matt


Edited by corduroy, 30 November 2016 - 05:08 PM.


#58 Ishtim

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 04:38 PM

The wife and I started looking into this in August (~1 year early). We are about 1.5hrs drive from the totality path (near Nashville). I did a little diggingand saw Hopkinsville, KY sits in/near the spot of longest totality and would only add an hour or so to the drive. I got on the web and looked up one of national hotel chains, saw $99/night but couldn't book online. My wife later them called and spoke to the front desk person and said they don't book out that far inadvance, but would talk to the manager and call us back.

A few days later our call was returned and we were told the room would be $900-$1200 per night and there would be a 3 night minimum. I felt violated!

Plan has now changed to a morning drive up and return that afternoon.

#59 prostcj

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 06:06 PM

For those going to Oregon, have you considered the Oregon Star Party? It will coincide with the eclipse. No power, but just about everything else you need and it is a very dark site as well. Not for those seeking solitude though, I think they are planning for over 1000 people.

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#60 DSObserver2000

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 06:16 PM

A nice long drive to Nebraska



#61 mogur

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 08:22 PM

Hi All,  I mentioned in a previous post that I will be camping out in Madras,Or for 3 nights/4 days at the Oregon Solarfest.  I have never camped for more than 1 day so I need some advice on power please.  Here are my specifics for power consumption.  I am not really sure how to estimate my total power usage.

 

- No AC available

- 4 days / 3 nights

- 100% DC solution (*with one possible exception below)

- 6 people.  4 iphones, 4 ipads used to lightly surf, check mail, play games & watch movies.

- ZEQ25 mount slewing for 1hr/day, tracking for 12hrs/day

- CGEM mount slewing for 1hr/day, tracking for 12hrs/day

- Lenovo Y700 with a 65W 20V DC power adatper -  this will be used ~12hr/day.   Collecting images at night and doing light imaging + post processing during the day.

- QHY5-IIM USB guide camera, 6hr/day

- Canon T2i DC powered from a 12v to 7v buck converter - 6hr/day

- Canon 70D DC powered from a 12v to 7v buck converter - 6hr/day

- 3x small Dew Heater for AT72 refractor,, guide scope, camera lens - 6hr/day

- 1x large Dew Heater for 8in SCT - 6hr/day

 

I have 2 Jump Start batteries.   A 17 and 26 Amp-hr.  I typically use the 17 Ahr with the CGEM and a dew heater the whole night with no issues.   I use the 26 Ahr jump start with my imaging rig and that lasts ~7 hrs.  So t hese will definately not be enough for 4 days.  I need to add more power or have the ability to recharge.

 

These are the options I am considering:

1) Use the jump start batteries for the phone and tablet charging and other misc/non astro equipment charging.  I hope this would last 4 days, if not I could use the inverter with option 2 or 3 to recharge the jump starts.

plus either 2 or 3:

2) Get a small generator and use that to recharge the jump start batteries during the day.  (then I have to worry about fuel, noise, fumes)

3) Build a solar battery recharging solution.  Not sure how much battery A-hr and panel wattage I would need.

 

Any advice?

 

Thanks

Matt

WOW! You better hope they find a way to get AC to the camping sites. They said they are working on it. Generator use is usually discouraged at events like this, especially in the expected crowded conditions. Solar chargers are too slow to do you much good unless you have some really gigantic ones. Since you plan on using power during the day anyway I don't see how they would help much. By my calculations you'll need at least 100 amp hours of power just for the laptop for 3 days. Even with 2 batteries of 100 amp hour capacity each I believe you'll run out before the third day with all you want to power. Good luck!



#62 Vesper818

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 11:31 PM

Well a few weeks ago, we decided to plan ahead, and book a couple of nights to sandwich the eclipse between two 8hour drives. We reserved and paid for a room in a motel in north central Oregon through Booking.com. I called the motel the next day, to confirm a nonsmoking room, and was told they had been sold out a year ahead, and the referral site had oversold us. Not only the eclipse, but several huge music festivals going on that week.
Research showed nary a room to be found in Oregon. We are not really campers anymore, and can't travel further from northern California.
So post some pics here..

#63 bobcat83

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 12:44 AM

I have a group of friends who are coming from all over the USA to a group campsite (reserved within an hour of the earliest we could reserve it, a year in advance, by a USFS employee who is one of my friends - even so, we only got our second choice of campsite location as someone else had reserved our first choice within the first minute) outside Baker City OR in the zone of totality but slightly off the center line.  We have the campsite from Friday until Tuesday morning. We'll set up camp and spend the weekend hiking and relaxing, then have a high probability of good weather for observing on Monday morning from a lakeshore that ensures us an unobstructed view.  I have two travel-size telescopes including solar filters, so hopefully we will get some nighttime observing in as well as the eclipse, and I have eclipse glasses for the gang already purchased.  We'll be the ones in lawn chairs out on the lakeshore!  I am the only astronomy hobbyist in the group, but we are all avid campers, hikers and nature lovers.  During totality, I'm not going to mess with trying to photograph, or interpret for my friends, or anything but just try to take it in for myself for the two minutes.

 

I've only ever seen partial solar eclipses, so this will be awesome!  I vividly remember in early elementary school in Ohio, being sent out onto the playground at school with two index cards, one of which had a hole punched in it, to use as a pinhole projector to watch an eclipse - and looking at the records this must have been the eclipse in March 1970 when I was in second grade.



#64 joelcindyclark

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 01:22 AM

We've booked a campsite located in the totality just outside the Grand Tetons in Wyoming.  Motorhome will be set up for several days there, with my three main scopes (two refractors with solar filters, and my H-Alpha) all aimed up.  Not sure if I'll use one to capture pictures or just enjoy the moment by looking at all three.

 

My husband/kids will be with me, along with my sister/her family and possibly a good friend/his family.  I've bought 25 eclipse glasses to pass out, perhaps to other campers as well. 

 

I vaguely remember the total eclipse through my hometown in Washington back in '79, and am giddy with excitement for this one.  Although I was just six, I remember how dark the skies were and it's what got me hooked on astronomy.  I truly hope that this event will trigger the same passion in at least one of my kids.

 

-Cindy



#65 EverlastingSky

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 03:20 PM

Assuming the clouds are absent (a big question mark) I get to see a nice big notch out of the Sun up here in Vancouver Canada. That will have to be good enough. The idea of traveling down into the USA somehow and getting a passport to enter... gimme a break. How dare Totality not come to me? I mean, really, my complaint letter is almost done, who do I send it to again? :lol:



#66 Bryguy

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 05:36 PM

Heading down to Nashville, which will give me a few hours drive time East or West depending on the weather.  We'll be arriving Friday night to get situated for a possible traffic scramble on Monday.  I prefer a larger venue for when people callout safety times like bailey's beads and the few seconds before the end of full eclipse.  However, watching from a vineyard or distillery sounds really nice too.



#67 Jwemes

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 06:15 PM

Whoa!   What a concept!  Watching the eclipse from a vineyard or distillery!  Which leads me to my newest regret---that there's no distillery near where I'll be for the eclipse.     But wait!  Isn't there another totality coming in a few years?  Does Texas have any distilleries on the path of totality??   I'll bring my own glass! :D

 

Clear, Dark, and Steady,

 

  John W  (Wickenburg, AZ)


Edited by Jwemes, 06 December 2016 - 06:15 PM.


#68 kfiscus

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 06:52 PM

There's a vineyard at Pawnee County, Nebraska (center line)...  They've (the whole county) been preparing for visitors on 8-21-17 for over 4 years now.



#69 Jim T

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 08:00 PM

Missouri and Illinois have several wineries that will be showcased on this eclipse.  Many wineries along the path, including Missouri's biggest winery spot, Hermann MO. (2'30" - with bathrooms and WINE!)

http://visithermann....solar-eclipse/    It is a very German-community. Still working on plans though.

 

Among the most advanced in Eastern MO, planning-wise, is Perryville MO, and local wineries to boot (2'35") :

http://www.cityofper...enter/View/1172

 

St Clair has a lot of work yet to do, and will probably use their airport.  (2'39")

http://www.stclaireclipse.com/  Several small wineries in the area, they all need to light a fire under their xxx.  Still, I like this spot, and nearby areas as well.

 

The Boston ATMs pretty much took over the Les Bourgeois winery in Rocheport near Columbia MO (2'38"). A wedding there that day as well. Many wineries near St Charles MO and St James MO have yet to really get on-board, but they are more in the 2min vs 2'40" areas anyway and I expect them to cater more to locals.   Tiny Boonville MO (2' 39") is not far from Rocheport.  Check out http://www.schoolhou.../dormitory.html

 

More gets developed as time goes on.  Slackers always work out plans late!

 

Half of St Louis is in the shadow, the other half is not.  Lots of hotel rooms and other entertainment within a few hours of centerline.  All depends on the weather, but I-70 between St Louis and KC is a pretty good road.



#70 mkothe

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 11:32 PM

I will take the family on an RV trip (first time for us!) from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone/Grand Tetons. For the nights before and after the eclipse we have a reservation at the KOA in Dubois with a campsite by the river. I was on the waiting list there and they called me the first day they were taking reservations and were already halfway booked by then! I also have the RV and camp sites in the national parks booked as well, just need the flights and a night or two at Dinosaur National Monument.

:jump:

 

I will probably bring my 4" refractor if I can manage with whatever we need to take for the kids etc., but am planning to not use it for the eclipse. I figure it will be busy enough soaking it all in and managing the kids to not want to fiddle with the scope then. I made solar filters for my 15x50is and have eclipse glasses. the scope will be used for the night sky.

 

Hope to see some of you there!

Michael

 

  



#71 rockethead26

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 12:45 AM

Our hotel in Jackson, WY post eclipse for three nights booked last August cancelled our reservation yesterday saying that they were no longer going to be open during the time of our stay. This is code for "we've cancelled everyone's reservations and raised the prices". We had booked thru Expedia and got the cancellation thru them. The email notice said that to make up for the hardship we could pick one of three choices listed below, and in red ink "at no additional cost to you". Well, my wife spent almost two hours on the phone after choosing one of the options trying to work out the details. First, they made the new booking and then charged our card an additional $250. How is that "no additional cost"? My wife went thru two agents and two supervisors before they agreed to credit the charge back. No one there knew why the email said what it did.

 

At least our vacation is back on track.

 

I bet this is going to happen a lot over the next few months.


Edited by rockethead26, 07 December 2016 - 08:38 AM.


#72 Stacyjo1962

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 01:12 AM

Just now planning (arghhhh)...but most likely will rent an RV and pick a place.  Got boss's grandchild and friends, she tends to plan at the last minute, but I have a plan...major camping, even on a road side or contacting a private property owner...we shall see...



#73 Cotts

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 07:52 AM

 

Wondering where one should go at this late date is an invitation to failure, I'm afraid.  All accommodations on the eclipse path west of the 100th meridian (where the drier climate is) have long since been booked and paid for.   Local law enforcement will be out there preventing folks from setting up on roadsides, side streets, private parking lots etc.etc.  Walmart parking lots will be full days before the event.  

 

 

Dave

 

Really....Dave??

 

There are literally millions of acres of public land west of the 100th meridian where you can CAMP without being in a campground.  I think if somebody did a GIS run, they would find that along the eclipse path in the west....there is MORE public land than private land.

 

Yeah, it might be a bit more crowded along the center line of the route, but trust me there will be plenty of places to view the eclipse.

 

Local law enforcement?? I think your thinking cities and suburbs, not public lands.

 

Oh, somewhere in eastern Oregon. Probably on Forest Service managed land.

 

So a person can just drive onto a piece of 'public land' (National Forest, Park, Grassland?) and just plop a tent or an RV wherever they please?  Uncleared site.  No toilet facilities, no water, no electricity?.      It's the west in august so I'll bet no open fires either.  There are vanishingly few eclipse goers who will be able to camp in this fashion..  The vast majority of eclipse chasers will need a hotel, motel, campground, RV Park, B&B etc. and these are all booked.

 

As for 'local authorities' - State Troopers (not tied to any sort of urban place) will keep major roadsides free of vehicles - "move along, boy!"  

 

And picture the fun if all the eclipse chasers in Eastern Wyoming have to drive to clear skies in Western Nebraska at 6am on eclipse day.   On, basically, one highway with no clear destination at the other end of the journey ("we'll find a spot somewhere, honey....") 

 

Not to mention what has happened to Jim and his 'reservations'.  

 

We're all going to have some stories to tell, that's for sure...

 

Dave



#74 Cotts

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 07:56 AM

Our hotel in Jackson, WY post eclipse for three nights booked last August cancelled our reservation yesterday saying that they were no longer going to be open during the time of our stay. This is code for "we've cancelled everyone's reservations and raised the prices". We had booked thru Expedia and got the cancellation thru them. The email notice said that to make up for the hardship we could pick one of three choices listed below, and in red ink "at no additional cost to you". We'll my wife spent almost two hours on the phone after choosing one of the options trying to work out the details. First, they made the new booking and then charged our card an additional $250. How is that "no additional cost"? My wife went thru two agents and two supervisors before they agreed to credit the charge back. No one there knew why the email said what it did.

 

At least our vacation is back on track.

 

I bet this is going to happen a lot over the next few months.

Sorry to hear this, Jim.  Hope your plans are solid now.  As for the loud, red quote from your post, just the tip of the iceberg, I fear.....

 

Dave  



#75 rockethead26

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 08:42 AM

 

Our hotel in Jackson, WY post eclipse for three nights booked last August cancelled our reservation yesterday saying that they were no longer going to be open during the time of our stay. This is code for "we've cancelled everyone's reservations and raised the prices". We had booked thru Expedia and got the cancellation thru them. The email notice said that to make up for the hardship we could pick one of three choices listed below, and in red ink "at no additional cost to you". We'll my wife spent almost two hours on the phone after choosing one of the options trying to work out the details. First, they made the new booking and then charged our card an additional $250. How is that "no additional cost"? My wife went thru two agents and two supervisors before they agreed to credit the charge back. No one there knew why the email said what it did.

 

At least our vacation is back on track.

 

I bet this is going to happen a lot over the next few months.

Sorry to hear this, Jim.  Hope your plans are solid now.  As for the loud, red quote from your post, just the tip of the iceberg, I fear.....

 

Dave  

 

Yeah, Dave, we're good to go for now, thanks. As to the ability to camp anywhere, that's true here. Almost all forest service/BLM land has 7-21 day camping limits unless posted otherwise. You can pull of a forest service road and set up anywhere you'd like. No facilities required!


Edited by rockethead26, 07 December 2016 - 08:43 AM.



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