PSA: The Great American Eclipse of 2017


Book your travel this week. Accommodation and Transportation is filling up fast.

If you don’t want to do the research, book a flight to Portland, OR (PDX) on Saturday or Sunday, back on Tuesday. Get a rental car and book a hotel in Portland or close. On Monday, get up at 5am, check the weather, and drive to the closest area inside the path of the eclipse that promises a cloud free sky.

What’s going on?

The Great American Eclipse of 2017 is happening August 21st. The moon will completely cover the sun for a bit over 2 minutes. If you want to see it, you may need to plan ahead.  It will be like this:

The next one in the US mainland will be August 21st, 2017, around 10:30am. 12M Americans just have to s step outside and hope for a cloud free sky. If you are one of them, block your calendar from 9am to noon. The rest of us has to travel. Check now if you can take the day off. Your kids may already be back to school.

1. Decide Destination

Find out where you want to go first. Distance to where you live, and expected weather are the main criteria. Madras, OR is a good location if you live in Silicon Valley, as it’s close and typically has good weather in August. (If your company has an office in Portland, a visit there is worth a shot, too. The visitor desks will be busy.)

2. Book Accommodation and Flights – now

Hotels are sold out out along the path. Expect to have to drive an hour or two on the day of the eclipse, and expect traffic jams.

But there is an opening coming this week (week before 2/19) for Federal Campgrounds that take reservations 6 months in advance. These sites will go fast. Portland still has some reasonable priced flights, mostly because there are so many flights from Silicon Valley to Portland. But flying to, say Redmond, OR, costs $800 already…

More Information

For Geeks

This guys computed the irregular shadow using elevation models of the Earth and the Moon and created an amazing video. The practical impact of this level of details is minimal, as you want to be in the middle of the shadow anyway, not at the edge. But it’s awesome.


Solarfest is the local even in Madras, OR. Their Facebook page has more updates than their Web site.

National Eclipse

They have some background information and some nice maps on their site.

Next Chances


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