Opening up the newspaper this morning (The Advocate - New Orleans edition) I was surprised and pleased to see and read the article "Solar Eclipse Mania" on page 5D.
This article talks about plans, locations (and prices) along the August 21st total solar eclipse path which has it's first shadow touch along the Oregon coast and exits the country along the South Carolina coast. One of the things that the article touches upon is the anticipated influx of people to destinations along the eclipse path and prices of lodging in the eclipse path. For example: hotels in Casper, Wyoming are charging 5 times their usual rates., rooms in Sun Valley Resort, Idaho have been booked for years. (Good thing I booked rooms for John Martinez, Ron Marcella, Jerry LaBauve and me) late last summer in Jefferson City, MO because our room prices have more than doubled. We are locked in at lower prices!
Some towns anticipate that their populations will temporarily double for the eclipse, Carbondale, IL, where the "City of New Orleans" train makes a stop on it's journey from New Orleans to Chicago, anticipates a population jump from 23,000 to 50,000. The 2024 solar eclipse also has Carbondale in it's path so that town will get another population boost in that year. Clemson University in South Carolina expects 50,000 people at a campus event that will feature astronomers and other experts (<<<<<<<? )
We will be in Jefferson City, MO, where I have just learned that a "Pink Floyd" tribute band plans a "Dark Side of the Moon" concert. The Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming hosts a "bring back the Sun" ceremony.
Is it too late to decide to head to the eclipse path? If you are planning to stay at a state or National Park in the path and get a cabin or campground site, unfortunately it is. If you would like to find a motel room and pay the "normal" price, unfortunately you are probably too late for that too. If you are willing to pay a premium price for a room, you may be able to do that but expect to pay high prices. Our rooms were $107 per room back in early September. The same hotel may now be completely sold out, but the last time I checked, the cheapest rooms were over $200 per night. At some places the price of a room is now literally astronomical and people desperate for a room are willing to pay these prices.
Here is what I would do if I were just thinking about going now. I would hold off on trying to get a room. I would wait until about 3 or 4 days prior to the eclipse and then based upon the weather forecast I would settle on a location south of where you want to see the eclipse and find a location there. If no motel rooms are available in a city or town 100 miles south of the eclipse path, I would push out to 150 miles, and if no success there, maybe to 200 miles. You can get to the eclipse center line in about 3 to 3.5 hours from 200 miles to the south. Where we are going we have no guarantee that the eclipse will not be clouded out. We may have to drive 200 miles (or more) to the northwest or to the southeast to find clear skies. By checking the forecast a few days before the eclipse you are in a better position to know where clear skies may be, and you can drive up from your staging area for your destination with the eclipse.
While I could not find the article yet on The Advocate's web site, it has appeared in many newspapers. Here is a link to one of them -
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