Nine Tips for The Great American Solar Eclipse
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August 21, 2017, is the first time in 99 years that a total solar eclipse will travel coast to coast across the United States of America. This rare phenomenon is causing Monday, August 21 to be one of the highest days people are taking off from work and school to travel to see the Great American Solar Eclipse.
Being based out of New Orleans, I will travel just under 600 miles so that I will be in the path of totality. Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia are all states that are part of the path of totality. All of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, will experience a partial eclipse.
The Eclipse begins at 10:15 am in Oregon and will last about two hours throughout the United States. The total eclipse will last anywhere between under two minutes to two and a half minutes.
Top 9 things to do to prepare for the Great American Solar Eclipse
1. Book your hotel
If you haven’t booked your hotel already, do so now! Hotels, Air BNBs, campgrounds, cabins and wherever people like to stay are quickly filling up. In fact, some lodging booked up over two years! I am staying with two IHG Properties – The Holiday Inn Express Nashville Downtown and Candlewood Suites Clarksville.
2. Figure out where you are going to watch the Eclipse
The best thing about this Great American Solar Eclipse is that everyone who is in the path of totality will want to experience this. Of course, you could technically just step outside of your house or hotel room for two hours to watch the solar excitement, but being in a festival type surrounding will make it that much more fun. I plan on attending the All-American Solar Eclipse Party by the Old Glory Distilling Co. The tickets include live music, food trucks, special edition cocktails, a 15’X15’ VIP space on the lawn, a limited edition of Solar Shine, a t-shirt, Parking pass, and Eclipse Viewing Glasses.
3. Get your glasses
For when the sun is not entirely blocked by the moon (totality) it is too dangerous to look directly into the sun. Starting on August 1, 2017, Warby Parker will be giving away a pair of eclipse glasses to each person who visits their local store. Make sure you grab a pair and protect your vision! In fact, Warby Parker is also throwing a party at their Nashville Store because it is in the path of totality!
4. Protect your Camera and Telescopes
Since you are protecting your eyes, make sure you buy a lens filter for your camera. The last thing you want to do is ruin your camera (or eyes) because you were trying to snap a photo of the eclipse. In fact, I would brush up on some technical skills (I am!) before going out in a large event and shooting.
5. Buy Your Eclipse Shirt
There is nothing more exciting than wearing a shirt with the city and date declaring the Solar Eclipse. I have a couple of shirts that I have my eye on. Make sure when you purchase a shirt that has either the city and the date on the shirt.
6. Buy a National Eclipse Post Card & Stamps
There are postcards and stamps that you can buy online to commemorate this event. A great souvenir to give yourself is to write a letter on the post card and mail it from the local post office! That way you will have some exciting mail when you get home!
7. Be prepared for things to get weird
The one thing I’m not sure I’m fully prepared for is being in total darkness in the middle of the day. I’ve never experience a partial or total solar eclipse, and I’m anxious to see stars in the middle of the day. From everything I’ve read, animals get a little wonky, people get a little crazy, and things just get weird!
8. Read everything you can about the Eclipse
I’ve joined a couple of Facebook Groups and followed National Eclipse on Twitter. The more you know about the Eclipse and your viewing area, the better prepared you will be!
9. Have fun and tell your friends
Tell all your friends about the eclipse! If they cannot take off of work, they can at least block off their calendar and go outside to view this natural phenomenon. The Great American Total Solar Eclipse is science at its finest!
August 21 is actually my mother’s 63rd birthday! Every year we always make a trip to celebrate our birthdays, and this year we decided we wanted to see the Great American Solar Eclipse. We actually found out about the Eclipse only 11 months ago while we were in the Grand Tetons.
I am flying out to Nashville, Tennessee and spending the weekend in bouncing around Clarksville and Nashville. I was able to secure one night in Nashville and three nights in Clarksville. I booked our hotel in Clarksville because it was a significantly cheaper. Also, Clarksville’s length of totality was slightly longer than in Nashville – 2 minutes and 18 seconds versus 1 minute and 57 seconds.
I haven’t finished planning out the rest of the weekend since it is mom’s birthday I am letting her decide some of the activities. I’ve never been to Nashville and haven’t been to Tennessee in at least 15 years.
The next Solar Eclipse that crosses the United States is in 2024, but that eclipse travels from South to North. The next eclipse that may be close to New Orleans won’t be until 2078 – when I am 91!
Are you taking off anytime to see the Great American Solar Eclipse? If so, where are you planning to watch?