How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

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weltschmerz
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How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by weltschmerz » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:24 pm

How far would you consider driving to see the Aug 21 eclipse? I have never seen a total eclipse before, and after looking at the map of future total eclipses in the US, there's only a few opportunities left in my lifetime:

Image

Have any of you ever seen a total eclipse? Is the 2 minutes of totality worth it?

I live in Southern CA, so it would be a significant drive for me (about 950 miles each way). I would probably head up I-15 to the Idaho Falls area. I would probably evaluate this decision about 4-5 days before the eclipse, to make sure that the skies are predicted to be clear. If it is clear, then I think that Idaho or Wyoming will be ideal for viewing. The roads are never very busy in those areas, but even if they are clogged due to eclipse viewers, I imagine traveling at night will still be viable.

I don't mind the drive, I would do it over a couple of days, and I don't need a hotel room. Instead, I just "stealth camp", usually in Home Depot parking lots or in forested areas. I have a sweet traveling set up that I used on a trip earlier this summer. My SUV has deeply tinted windows, so I can sleep back there quite comfortably. I bring a cooler stocked full of food and beverages. When you aren't paying for hotels, you can go travel at a much slower pace and enjoy the trip.

Maybe I am crazy for considering such a long trip for only 2 minutes of total eclipse. What do you think?

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by hightower » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:31 pm

We're driving about 5 hours each way to see it. Making a little weekend camping trip out of it. From what I hear, it's worth it. People travel from all over the world to see these. They're no small event apparently. It will be my first one.

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by TravelGeek » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:39 pm

Never seen one. I briefly considered going to northern Australia a few years ago when I read about their eclipse. A quick search revealed zero hotel rooms. Of course I wouldn't have gone just for the eclipse.

This time I am traveling about 15 miles :)

If I like it, I might make plans for a repeat in 2024. I just checked my calendar, and unfortunately I already have a conflict for the 2045 date ;)

Thanks for sharing the map!

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by David Jay » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:43 pm

I am driving about 4 hours, from an 80% coverage to full eclipse area.
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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by Nicolas » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:44 pm

We're driving six hours each way to see it, our first. So can't say whether it'll be worth it or not, but didn't want to pass up this chance. We managed to secure a hotel reservation at our destination for two nights. That should help with avoiding traffic.

Some people cross oceans to see them. If you're willing to travel internationally there are more total eclipses coming than just the ones listed in your graphic. The list may be found here --> https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... st_century

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by weltschmerz » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:46 pm

TravelGeek wrote:If I like it, I might make plans for a repeat in 2024. I just checked my calendar, and unfortunately I already have a conflict for the 2045 date ;)
What are you doing in 2045? I hope you don't mean what I think you mean...

It is strange to see that map and realize there are only a few chances left in life to see one of these. The 2024 one looks doable, in fact many of the people in the US that miss the 2017 one will get that 2024 one (such as the whole Northeast). But the 2044 and 2045 ones...that's almost 30 years away! The future is promised to no one. Even if I am around to see them, I'll be pretty old and may not want to travel. So this current one and the 2024 one are pretty much it. I'd hate to miss out on something truly spectacular.

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by Nicolas » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:51 pm

The Dan wrote:
TravelGeek wrote:If I like it, I might make plans for a repeat in 2024. I just checked my calendar, and unfortunately I already have a conflict for the 2045 date ;)
What are you doing in 2045? I hope you don't mean what I think you mean...

It is strange to see that map and realize there are only a few chances left in life to see one of these. The 2024 one looks doable, in fact many of the people in the US that miss the 2017 one will get that 2024 one (such as the whole Northeast). But the 2044 and 2045 ones...that's almost 30 years away! The future is promised to no one. Even if I am around to see them, I'll be pretty old and may not want to travel. So this current one and the 2024 one are pretty much it. I'd hate to miss out on something truly spectacular.
Could you go to Iceland, Spain, Argentina, Chile, or Portugal? If so there are more opportunities in the coming years. The map above is just the USA. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... st_century
Last edited by Nicolas on Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by nisiprius » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:51 pm

1800 miles. Wish me luck on the weather. In 1963 I drove 200 miles to Maine for the eclipse mentioned in a couple of Stephen King's novels but encountered broken overcast before and after totality--and total overcast during totality. At a highway rest stop, I think I convinced a guy that it might be worth the trouble to take a day off from work and drive the necessary fifty miles he needs to drive to visit family who live within the path of totality.
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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by weltschmerz » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:51 pm

Nicolas wrote:Some people cross oceans to see them. If you're willing to travel internationally there are more total eclipses coming than just the ones listed in your graphic. The list may be found here --> https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... st_century
Are people crossing oceans because the eclipse is so amazing, or are they just using it as an excuse to travel somewhere? Probably a bit of both. If people are willing to fly here from all over the world to see it, then it is probably worth me driving a few days to see one.

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by runner3081 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:54 pm

Honestly, zero miles. Doesn't really interest me.

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by skjoldur » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:55 pm

I am driving about 650 miles to see it (one way). I think the '2 minutes' thing is a bit dismissive, although of course it's true.

The duration is not really going to be a measure of how spectacular or worthwhile the experience is. But since I've never seen one, I won't know until after. But I like traveling anyway, so what's the downside, 2 minutes that could have been slightly more awesome in the middle of an otherwise enjoyable trip?

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by roymeo » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:55 pm

I'd "turn around".

(turn around bright eyes)
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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by jabberwockOG » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:57 pm

I do my utmost best to avoid giant crowds so I might actually take a trip away from the area if I lived right in it and I knew we would be inundated by the herd.

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by littlebird » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:02 pm

When I was much younger my spouse, kids and I drove from the mid-Atlantic to Nova Scotia. It was an awesome experience (nothing at all like a partial, or even an annular), and is safely tucked away in my memory to be taken out and enjoyed all over again when a reminder occurs, as it has now.

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by ResearchMed » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:02 pm

The Dan wrote:
Nicolas wrote:Some people cross oceans to see them. If you're willing to travel internationally there are more total eclipses coming than just the ones listed in your graphic. The list may be found here --> https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... st_century
Are people crossing oceans because the eclipse is so amazing, or are they just using it as an excuse to travel somewhere? Probably a bit of both. If people are willing to fly here from all over the world to see it, then it is probably worth me driving a few days to see one.
People are mostly traveling for the eclipse, to a "totality" area.
If they want an excuse to travel, there are plenty of others (like any old birthday or anniversary.... come to mind :happy )

We are flying a few hours, and spending a long weekend, in Nashville, so there are also other things to do.

We had originally planned to fly to Oregon, and get ourselves to the Madras area, until we learned that the traffic was expected to be such that we'd almost need to spend the night before in our car rather than in the closest motel we could find (and that was still in 2016!), because of the expected crowds and limited roadways, etc.
That started sounding less and less appealing, though if we were younger, the adventure would have been much more appealing.

We might have another chance with Iceland, and then perhaps New England, but age might interfere with some of that travel.
IF we get a great, clear sky view in 10 days, we'll be *very* happy, and satisfied in terms of chasing others.

But be careful about traffic, in terms of your plans.
It's impossible to know if those horrible traffic predictions will come to pass, but if they do... best to be prepared.

ALL reports we've read indicate that 'totality' IS worth the travel.

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by TravelGeek » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:04 pm

The Dan wrote:
TravelGeek wrote:If I like it, I might make plans for a repeat in 2024. I just checked my calendar, and unfortunately I already have a conflict for the 2045 date ;)
What are you doing in 2045? I hope you don't mean what I think you mean...
Well, I can't vouch for the reliability of the online calculator I used, but it appears I have a 50% chance of being dead in 2045 :shock: :beer

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by Nicolas » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:07 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
The Dan wrote:
TravelGeek wrote:If I like it, I might make plans for a repeat in 2024. I just checked my calendar, and unfortunately I already have a conflict for the 2045 date ;)
What are you doing in 2045? I hope you don't mean what I think you mean...
Well, I can't vouch for the reliability of the online calculator I used, but it appears I have a 50% chance of being dead in 2045 :shock: :beer
Then you'll be on the outside looking in. :)
Last edited by Nicolas on Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by weltschmerz » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:41 pm

Well shoot, now it looks like I have an event scheduled for Saturday August 19th. I could still drive all the way up to Idaho in 1 day (Sunday), but I fear I would be too wiped out to enjoy the eclipse on Monday morning. I think I'll just wait for the 2024 event. I have family directly in the path of that one, and from some of the replies in this thread, it sounds like the eclipse is a memory best shared with friends and family.

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by Tycoon » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:59 pm

I've seen a few of them, lunar and solar. I wouldn't travel to see one.
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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by Quickfoot » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:00 pm

I live in Boise,ID so I'm not going to have to travel at all. They are expecting hundreds of thousands of people to come to the state, personally I wouldn't travel more than 20 miles to see it. Hotels were all booked a couple years ago I guess.

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by J295 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:05 pm

15 minutes ... down to my old office for an Eclipse party ... we live in one of the sweet spots ...

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by weltschmerz » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:08 pm

roymeo wrote:I'd "turn around".

(turn around bright eyes)
I agree with you Roymeo, you should not look directly at the eclipse. Very damaging to the eyes. Make sure to get approved viewing glasses, or use a pinhole projector to follow the eclipse progress.
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Oh wait a minute...I see what you did there!

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by livesoft » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:09 pm

I've seen solar eclipses. The problem with traveling to see the eclipse is that one has to hope the weather and especially clouds cooperate. It is not a given that people at a sweet spot will see the eclipse.

How many are going on one of those airplanes to see the eclipse?
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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by Kenkat » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:22 pm

I am traveling about 4 hours to see it. 2024 will be much closer, only about 45 minutes.

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by Church Lady » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:26 pm

I would travel as far as I can drive to and fro without booking a hotel room. That rules this eclipse out.
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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by hicabob » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:32 pm

The partial eclipse is pretty cool too which I think all the US will experience without travel. Just being outside and seeing it dim, then get bright again if nothing else. I have a few of those 99.999% blocking viewing glasses (cardboard with plastic film insert) which make the sun look like a dim bulb.

This pinhole camera thru the trees effect is interesting ...
https://petapixel.com/2012/05/21/cresce ... r-eclipse/

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by itstoomuch » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:05 pm

Front yard. Salem Oregon.
Sister is going to see it at land fall, Pacific City OR.
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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by bayview » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:35 pm

I lived through the one that was in the (guessing here) late nineties or so. It was pretty cool --everything felt very "wrong." One interesting thing was how all the birds and insects went silent long before the light dimmed.

I live a bit north of totality this round, but I will head down to the parking lot at its peak to enjoy. :beer

--we're already getting traffic advisories for the area, recommending that viewers arrive long before the sun's transit, bring water, fill up tanks, etc. They don't mention using restrooms early on, but I will. :D
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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by kinetic2255 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:02 pm

You can stay home and type in a bunch of zip codes into this cool tool:
http://time.com/4882923/total-solar-ecl ... d=sr-link4
I spent a little over a half hour doing this at work today, TGIF

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by Whakamole » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:13 pm

Seattle is 92%. Close enough.

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by nisiprius » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:13 pm

If you are not going to travel to see totality, but are in an area where you will be getting a partial eclipse... I've seen a partial eclipse where the sun shrank down to a small crescent. THAT's not, IMHO, such a big deal--it's cool, like seeing a full-circular rainbow, or a seriously good meteor shower (only one I've seen fitting that description was the Leonids in was-it-2001?), or the transit of Venus (saw it in 2004, clouds in 2012... well, that's that for MY lifetime). Worth spending some effort to see, but not a great big deal.

However, in addition to eclipse glasses, you should spend a little time before the eclipse familiarizing yourself with the way the shadows of e.g. your hands look normally in sunlight on a clear day, and with the way dapple patterns under trees look, and you should take the time to cut a little hole in a piece of cardboard or aluminum foil and see what a pinhole image of the sun looks like. When the sun turns into a thin crescent, it doesn't seem all that dark--it's creepy because it's like a heavy overcast but there's no overcast! But if you've paid attention to what shadows normally look like you'll seen that they've all turned weird. Your fingers cast shadows like talons or claws. And under the trees you'll see dozens of little crescent-shaped spots of light where you'd normally see rounded spots.

If you have a pair of binoculars, any pair, any binoculars, spend ten minutes before the eclipse learning how to do "eyepiece projection." The trick is aiming and focussing them. You'll see instructions on line, it's easy enough, you basically point the binoculars at the sun and point the eyepieces at something that can serve as a screen, anything flat and even. (DO NOT NOT NOT look through the binoculars). But aiming them and focussing them is tricky. You have time to figure it out during the eclipse itself but a little practice beforehand makes all the difference.

Speaking of weather and disappointment... someone was telling me about some scientific expedition, may even have been Captain Cook's, that was all set up to observe the transit of Venus but they got there just a few days late and missed it. So... they took a deep breath, shrugged, and stayed there, waited eight years for the next one.
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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by Crimsontide » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:41 pm

I'll watch it on T.V.

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by jeff1949 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:04 pm

itstoomuch wrote:Front yard. Salem Oregon.
Sister is going to see it at land fall, Pacific City OR.
Ditto.......Salem that is. :D

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by purpleKatz » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:05 pm

Guillaume Le Gentil is the guy who waited 8 years to see the transit of Venis....and missed it again! Talk about unlucky...

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by TeamArgo » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:32 pm

I have been looking forward to this eclipse since 1998. I am driving about 10 hours from Florida to a campground in a small town just off I-75 north of Chattanooga, TN. I have never seen a total eclipse, but have seen several partials up to about 90%. One person who has seen both says that seeing a partial vs. a total is like the difference between giving someone a quick kiss vs. marrying them.
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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by FedGuy » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:23 am

I guess I just don't see the point of travelling to see something I'm not supposed to look at.

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by miles monroe » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:27 am

i live an hour from 100%, but i'm not going to drive there. to be honest -- if i'm in the house when the eclipse starts i won't even go outside to look at it.

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by EddyB » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:46 am

My zip code will see 99.8% eclipse. I could travel 10 miles for full eclipse, and about 40 miles to be right in the center of the path of total eclipse. Unfortunately, this will be in a fairly rural area that has been touted as a great place for denizens of some major metro regions and others on the west coast to see the eclipse, so traffic is expected to overwhelm our roads. Is there any appreciable difference between what I'll get at home and what I'll get 40 miles away, in the middle of the path of totality?

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by catdude » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:49 am

I live 40 miles from Madras, which is smack dab in the middle of totality, and I'd love to make the trip, but I read in the paper a few days ago that officials are estimating that the trip up Route 97 will take SIX HOURS. Forget it!
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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by westcoast » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:09 am

Luckily out my backyard this time,will be awesome.

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by JBTX » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:18 am

DFW is in path of 2024? I think I'll wait. Not going to pull kids out of school to go to this one.

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by StevieG72 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:33 am

My backyard.... more likely will watch it from my couch on tv.

I would like to see the Northern Lights and will likely travel to do so at some point.
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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by munemaker » Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:56 am

I once flew my Lear Jet up to Nova Scotia to see a total eclipse of the sun. That's about 650 nautical miles.

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by digarei » Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:48 am

2800 kilometers and about the same number of dollars.

once in a lifetime... quite possibly
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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by wrongfunds » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:58 am

FedGuy wrote:I guess I just don't see the point of travelling to see something I'm not supposed to look at.
You win the internet! I will have to watch it on the 110" projector in the basement :-)

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by Kenkat » Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:41 am

FedGuy wrote:I guess I just don't see the point of travelling to see something I'm not supposed to look at.
When the eclipse is total, you can look without eye protection.

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by Tamarind » Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:59 am

I'll be traveling about 4 hours each way (250 miles). I live in a 90%+ area and could see totality closer but my dad and uncle and fiancee and I are all nerds for naked eye astronomy (usually only possible at night!) and uncle lives very close to the totality center line. So he's hosting a party and I'll get to see family, have a couple beers, float in the pool as well as watch. If it's cloudy I'll still have fun and watch it on a screen.

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by SpringMan » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:09 am

Will stay at home which will still have 75%-80% total assuming no clouds. Need to procure the proper glasses or won't look at the sun.
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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:14 am

Tamarind wrote:I'll be traveling about 4 hours each way (250 miles). I live in a 90%+ area and could see totality closer but my dad and uncle and fiancee and I are all nerds for naked eye astronomy (usually only possible at night!) and uncle lives very close to the totality center line. So he's hosting a party and I'll get to see family, have a couple beers, float in the pool as well as watch. If it's cloudy I'll still have fun and watch it on a screen.
Floating in the pool while watching...!!

If you end up with clear skies... what a perfect arrangement!
And even if cloudy, it will still be a terrific way to experience the sudden darkness, etc.

Enjoy!

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Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Post by MnD » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:22 am

Been planning for about 18 months. we are doing 200 miles each way for 4 night camping trip in a state campground and lake near Glendo, WY that is directly under the center-line of totality. We have multiple friends with multiple boats coming so we may be out in the lake in a flotilla during the event if the lake isn't too rough. Campground has been completely booked for 6 months filled up within days of when the reservations were opened. We are driving back on the 22nd - I hear the drive back to Denver from Wyoming on the afternoon of 21st is going to be a nightmare.

We always try and do at least one long camping trip every summer and we are renting a teardrop camper to try out in anticipation of buying one next year when we retire, so the trip is multi-purpose. But still excited about the main event. :beer

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