Need Advice re: Traveling to See the Eclipse

I’m not seeing anyplace in the path of totality that’s served by the St. Louis transit system. As a carless Chicagoan, I was very excited to find a riverboat excursion from the Arch—but it’s sold out. For now, the bus excursion run by Schlafly Brewery seems like my best bet.

I use WeatherSpark to look at the historical averages on things like cloudiness. Carbondale/Southern Illinois has a 31 percent chance of being cloudy that day, making me less than enthusiastic about a solo drive of six hours each way.

Poster Sunny Daze might be a resource. She has a thread going about it…

Try this:

Chicago has lots of Dopers. Someone should start a thread about ride-sharing to the Eclipse.

Gato linked to a thread I started about having Dopers over to my place for the eclipse. You are more than welcome to join if you can get there.

One thought would be Amtrak’s Coast Starlight train, arriving the day before. If there aren’t any hotels left in Albany or the surrounding area, you are welcome to camp on my lawn. I’d offer the house, but I’ve filled it. :o Camping is welcome to anyone.

Check for cheap flights. So many relatively large cities in the eastern US are along the path. I ran a few of these and found available hotel rooms at reasonable rates. Some cities show round trip flights from under $400 from SFO.

These cities may see some boost of tourists, but I doubt hotels will be all sold out like in the smaller towns of the more rural spots in the west like Wyoming.

Airports along/very close to the route include:
South Carolina
Greenville/Spartanburg (GSP),
Columbia (CAE)
Charleston (CHS)

Knoxville (TYS)
Chattanooga (CHA)
Nashville, TN (BNA),
St Louis (STL)
Kansas City (MCO)

And only slightly further off the path are Charlotte and Atlanta, both major airline hubs with some low cost carriers. Might be able to score cheaper flights and rental cars out of them.

I’m going from SEattle over the Cascades and then south. Have a campsite about 2 hours away from the totality zone on the Columbia river. It was all that was available. I plan to get there a day early, get up early and get to the zone. Has to be better than coming down I5

Can I sleep on the roof?

This surprises me. I guess I figured with it being such a widespread event, it wouldn’t have that big an effect on hotel accommodations.

Thank you muchly for the invite. I would need to fly there and that ups the expense a bit. Also, I’m worried about the weather. I think it’s statistically more clear in the West. What do you plan to do if it’s cloudy?

You may need to arrive at the trail-head and begin camping a week early. While dispersed camping is legal, there will be special restrictions in place. Trail-head parking areas could be full days before the eclipse. Then there is the fire danger. Your chosen area could be closed because the fire danger is too high, or even an actual fire.

This is good advice. Anyone planning on driving to the total eclipse zone anywhere along the path should plan on already being in place at least a day in advance.

Roadways on the day of the eclipse are going to look like the ones you see under a hurricane evacuation. Take food, water, gas and anything else you need for a few days.

Stores may run out of supplies, gas stations out of gas. The resources of small towns along the path are likely to be sucked dry and their public utilities maxed out and maybe failing. Until the roads clear and freight can move, which may take a few days. Lincoln City, Or is advising residents to hunker down at home as if preparing for a blizzard with enough supplies for 3-4 days. Population is normally 8,000 people, they are expecting up to 100,000 visitors!! And those poor people are just going to watch the sea fog darken.

I could normally drive there in a couple of hours, on the day of the eclipse I doubt that I could get there at all.

Shrewsbury, which is the end of the line for the MetroLink Blue Line, will be in totality for 1:12. Hop on the #68 bus and you can ride to Webster Groves (1:15) or Kirkwood (1:18.) Take the #46 bus and you can ride to Oakville (1:51.) Not as long as Carbondale, but easy to get to.

Not only that, but you have to take into account the possibility that people will stop on the road itself just before the eclipse. (“They can’t ticket all of us!”) This is pretty much what happened on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge during the fireworks show in 1987 celebrating the 50th anniversary of its opening.

The hamlet of Kelly, Kentucky is sharing their eclipse party with a commemoration of this event.


Eh. Swear creatively where the kids can’t hear me and drink. At least I’ll have good company. :stuck_out_tongue:

Whatya gonna do?

No, roof is really steep. :frowning:

We have recently been in campgrounds in Wyoming and most were booked at least a month ago.

One website I found recommends that eclipse-goers rent satellite phones because cell phone systems will be overwhelmed that day.

All of these dire predictions of apocalyptic gridlock are making me think that seeing a partial eclipse from my porch wouldn’t be so bad. Of course, all those “Great American Eclipse” websites are telling me that if I miss this grand spectacle I’ll be so consumed with regret that I’ll commit suicide. But I suspect I’ll be okay.

Bolding mine. You misspelled “certainty”.