August 21 of this year is a date that many people are looking forward to. There will be a unique natural phenomenon in the form of a total solar eclipse that can be witnessed by people living in 14 states of the continental America, beginning in Oregon and finishing in South Carolina. The last time when America witnessed a totality across America was in 1918, so you can well imagine the sort of excitement that is building up. If you have not already made your plans for viewing the eclipse, then read on:
Preparing For an Experience of a Lifetime
The path of totality crosses the continental United States from the west to the east and in the process passes through Oregon, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Idaho, Wyoming, Illinois, Kentucky, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina, Montana, and Iowa. Within a relatively narrow track of 70 miles, the sun will be completely hidden by the moon for up to 2.42 minutes revealing the majesty of the sun’s corona. The huge coverage across mainland America means that people keen on witnessing the event have a choice of literally hundreds of spots on public land and water, monuments, campgrounds, as well as historical sites.
Decide On a Destination and Book
If you are planning to travel to a favored place then it is high time that you made your hotel or campsite bookings. The process has commenced quite some time ago, and given the sort of interest the event is generating, it may be pretty difficult to find accommodation, unless you are prepared to travel to some of the more distant sites. It may be a good idea to combine the Great American Solar Eclipse with a family vacation at a scenic spot in the mountains.
Refer to the numerous online maps available giving details on the path of totality and find out what else there is to enjoy at a particular spot and make your booking right now. Referring to the NASA website for likely destinations and then using the Build-a-Trip tool on recreation.gov will be of great help in identifying federal sites as well as interesting activities in the proximity. Try and avoid the peak travel dates and attempt to reach your destination a few days before the grand date to avoid congestion.
Hit the Road
If you enjoy driving and the great outdoors, you could try and set out from Chicago right up to St. Louis and then to St. Clair on Route 66 to hit the line of totality and witness the eclipse for 2 minutes 42 seconds, the longest duration possible this time. Alternatively, you can think about driving down the Atlantic coast from New York to Florida and onto Columbia, South Carolina.
There are innumerable spots along the path of totality where you can not only experience the event of a lifetime but also have a great vacation. Time is of the essence and you need to complete your planning and booking right now.