Total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 - predictions

Discussion in 'Sky photography' started by Dan Robinson, Aug 13, 2015.

  1. Clarence Bennett

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  2. Elaine Spencer

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    OK, I'm pondering where we (husband, daughter and I) ought to go to view the eclipse. We live within what is, under normal conditions, a 2-3 hour drive from the closest points along the totality path (roughly from COU to MDH). We should, at least in theory, be able to leave home before sunrise (4-5 a.m.), get to the path in plenty of time to get situated, see the eclipse, and be home by dinnertime. However, these are not likely to be "normal" conditions if tens or hundreds of thousands of people are streaming into the totality path and clogging major interstates such as I-55 and I-70. I don't even want to think about what traffic conditions in and around STL will be like. Plus, we'd prefer a less crowded viewing venue outside of the major cities where all the bus tours and hardcore eclipse buffs are headed.

    With that in mind, I am currently contemplating two possible broad target areas that seem to be a bit "off the beaten path" but still close to the centerline: Monroe, Randolph and NW Jackson counties in IL, including the towns of Waterloo, Kaskaskia and Pinckneyville (but NOT Carbondale, which is sure to be a zoo); or Callaway, Montgomery, Warren, Franklin and Gasconade counties in MO (including Fulton and Hermann). Obviously, the closer to the centerline the better, but I'll be happy with any location that gets at least 2 minutes of totality. What are the non-interstate road conditions like in these areas, and how quickly would we be able to move from these locations if necessary due to cloud cover?
     
  3. Brian G

    Brian G Member

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    Tough call. There are a lot of winding roads in these off-the-beaten-path areas. There are limited river crossings over the Missouri, Mississippi, and Meramec Rivers so that's something to keep in mind. Honestly, my initial thought was Hermann, MO as well. For me that's easy because I already live along Hwy. 94 in St. Charles. And I agree with you regarding the concern about the traffic on the interstates. I could see MO-94, MO-100, US-50, and US-67 being problematic as well especially on the east side of the eclipse path towards the STL metro area. The best advice, which it sounds like you don't need, is leave early and get to the centerline. At least you'll be in the path of totality and won't miss out even if you do get stuck in a traffic jam. As long as the clouds stay away I'm confident you'll get a show. I'm less confident about how long it'll take you to get home though :)
     
  4. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
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    The Illinois side is flatter and has an abundance of county roads to help spread out the crowds and get you in and out with fewer bottlenecks. I'm planning on somewhere south of Sparta, IL away from main highways, possibly farther south if traffic allows (Chester if somehow there are no crowds). The Missouri side is hilly (aside from the Mississippi River floodplain), has more trees, less roads and less through-routes to get in and out. More importantly, most of the roads on the Missouri side are winding two-lane blacktop without adequate shoulders for parking. On the Illinois side, with few exceptions it's possible to take secondary county roads all the way south from I-70/I-64 and avoid all of the state highways and interstates, and parking anywhere on the side of the road is more realistic.

    For instance, this is a possible route south to the center of totality from my place that takes the "back roads" all the way to Chester, aside from the one bridge across the Kaskaskia River near New Memphis. And there are countless other routes available, too.

    https://www.google.com/maps/dir/38....0x887635eb9b870f97:0xab8df33f7d4fad6b!1m0!3e0
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    #54 Dan Robinson, Mar 18, 2017 at 11:01 AM
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017 at 11:14 AM
  5. Elaine Spencer

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    Thanks Dan! With that in mind, I've booked a hotel room for the night before in Salem IL, to shorten our trip to the path by a couple of hours. (Was hoping for Mt. Vernon but they are getting booked up even though they are not quite in the path.) It looks like we could head south or west of there on any road and be well within the path in a couple of hours.
     
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  6. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
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    Now would be a good time to pick up eclipse viewing glasses, Amazon has 5 and 10 packs for less than 20 bucks.
     
  7. Marc R. O'Leary

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    Ran across this today. For you in MO, this seems like a neat opportunity. It would appear they are right near the path of totality (Boonville, MO), and for $50, getting free guaranteed parking , glasses and a couple beers seems like a damn good deal compared to trying to find a roadside spot not socked in. And after the show, go see giant horses. Sounds like a win win to me, just wrong state for me.

    https://www.etix.com/ticket/p/4200393/solar-eclipse-party-boonville-warm-springs-ranch
     

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