April 8, 2024 American Eclipse Meetup

 

Experiencing a total solar eclipse. A sight like nothing else.

Photo ID: 685097869 (muratart/Shutterstock)

The weather cools, the wind shifts, and the sun dims – almost like a storm is coming. Animals get anxious, and shadows begin to change in unusual ways. And then totality arrives. The sky is dark enough to see stars, with a blazing corona around the sun. In every direction, the horizon is a sunset. Truly, one of creation’s greatest wonders  (only very specific configuration of the moon’s orbit allows a dramatic eclipse).

The path of totality on April 8, 2024 passes over Texas with a long duration. We could find a  near Dallas to watch the eclipse – mind you, there’s no reason we can’t travel to the path of totality, and we will likely need to be mobile in case of the cloud cover moving in. However, we need to be fairly close as the roads will likely be packed.

Unlike normal meetups, this is not on a weekend, as I cannae change the laws of physics, Captain. I’m anticipating travel to the area on Friday, then events on Saturday and Sunday – Sunday evening is the final planning session for the eclipse with weather reports and such.  Monday the 8th is all about the eclipse, as there is a fair amount of interest in the partial eclipse.  I would strongly recommend waiting until Tuesday to head out, as the roads will be jammed.

Speaking of jams, hotels in the path are booking rapidly.  I would be open to renting a house or other options. We need to make a decision quickly. (I’m thinking absolutely no later than the end of September – preferably sooner.)  Please respond if you are interested, and any advice on finding a place to stay is welcome.  I have a ton of friends interested in attending, and I will be watching hell or high water.

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  1. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    https://www.eclipseglasses.com/collections/eclipse-glasses-stock?page=1

    If we got enough interest, we could even get Ricochet brand Eclipse glasses.

    I’m hoping @iwe comes dressed as a priest of Sol Invictus / the Unconquered Sun.   We can have @saintaugustine denounce him, just like old times.

    • #1
  2. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    I’ll probably be in San Antonio with one of my sons. The other lives northwest of Dallas, but I figure more chance San Antonio will have clear skies.

    • #2
  3. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    I laughed, long and hard. Thank you!

    • #3
  4. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    We’ve reserved a place near Fredericksburg/New Braunfels. Not sure exactly where or how many bedrooms, but when we looked into it a couple of months ago, the prices were already getting ridiculous (over $1k per night for a room!). We managed to get a relatively good deal when we made the reservation a month or two ago. If you’re even thinking about going, I suggest reserving a place today. Or considering camping.

    If we have extra room we’ll offer it to a Ricochetti in need, but I think some of Little Miss Anthrope’s Texas friends will be joining us from more distant parts of Texas. 

    Would love to meetup with some of y’all!

    • #4
  5. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    We saw the eclipse in 20178, and I’m planning on traveling  to see it next April.  Texas is definitely on my radar based on the fact that historical weather trends indicate it’s the most likely to have clear skies.

     

    We were on vacation in Wyoming in 2017, stayed the night before in Gillet, about 140 miles north of the totality zone.  Drove down early the next day, had no problem finding a place to park once we hit the city we were looking for  (Orin,WY along I-25).  Getting out afterwards was a bit more problematic…

     

    Also, if you can’t get in to the path of totality, you’re really missing out.  The difference between a total eclipse and a partial eclipse [even in the high 90% range] is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.  There’s a reason people spend thousands of dollars and travel between contents to see them.

     

    • #5
  6. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    We saw the eclipse in 20178, and I’m planning on traveling to see it next April. Texas is definitely on my radar based on the fact that historical weather trends indicate it’s the most likely to have clear skies.

     

    We were on vacation in Wyoming in 2017, stayed the night before in Gillet, about 140 miles north of the totality zone. Drove down early the next day, had no problem finding a place to park once we hit the city we were looking for (Orin,WY along I-25). Getting out afterwards was a bit more problematic…

     

    Also, if you can’t get in to the path of totality, you’re really missing out. The difference between a total eclipse and a partial eclipse [even in the high 90% range] is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. There’s a reason people spend thousands of dollars and travel between contents to see them.

     

    We were in Nebraska for that one. It was awesome! And we had the added bonus of seeing Carhenge while we were there.

    • #6
  7. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    The totality passes right over my house here in Western New York. I’ll have a houseful of space-freak friends, most of whom will be camping out, with telescopes and cameras. Thales of Miletus might have thrown a party on his predicted eclipse day, but it’ll have nothin’ on us.

    • #7
  8. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    The totality passes right over my house here in Western New York. I’ll have a houseful of space-freak friends, most of whom will be camping out, with telescopes and cameras. Thales of Miletus might have thrown a party on his predicted eclipse day, but it’ll have nothin’ on us.

    There’s a total eclipse in 2099 where the centerline of the totality passes aboutg a quarter mile from my workplace.

    I don’t think I’ll still be around* for that one though.

    *in both senses of the phrase.

    • #8
  9. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    The totality passes right over my house here in Western New York. I’ll have a houseful of space-freak friends, most of whom will be camping out, with telescopes and cameras. Thales of Miletus might have thrown a party on his predicted eclipse day, but it’ll have nothin’ on us.

    There’s a total eclipse in 2099 where the centerline of the totality passes abong a quarter mile from my workplace.

    I don’t think I’ll still be around* for that one though.

     

    *in both senses of the phrase.

     

    Elon will have something to allow you to download your intelligence into a telescope by that point. I can think of worse things. 

    • #9
  10. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    So just some info if you are thinking of traveling to the Texas Hill Country for the April Eclipse.  We started planning for the eclipse in 2019 (serious).  The best estimate is that our area will have around 1.5 million people show up.  There are no more portable restrooms for rent anywhere here.  We have discouraged people from renting out open pasture space because of the odds of insufficient water and sewage unless they reserved water and portapotties a long time ago. We are stockpiling water and MRE’s in case people get stranded.  Since the event is on a Monday, we expect the crowds to be bad all weekend traveling here.  Our biggest concern is if the weather is cloudy to the northeast, people will try to travel to where the weather is clear.  In that event trying to travel on Monday will probably be a really bad idea. No matter what, almost everyone that went someplace to view the eclipse will want to leave as soon as it’s over.  I highly recommend staying over Monday night.

    We are doing some practice exercises in a few weeks.  We are really concerned about the unknown unknowns.

    As much as I’d like to see the eclipse, I’m hoping for total overcast.

    • #10
  11. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Tex929rr (View Comment):
    As much as I’d like to see the eclipse, I’m hoping for total overcast.

    Then you’ll just have a million and a half angry people instead of happy people.

     

    • #11
  12. Mad Gerald Coolidge
    Mad Gerald
    @Jose

    I plan to be in either Dallas or more likely Tyler, Tx for this.  I have family who will put me up.

    • #12
  13. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Tex929rr (View Comment):
    As much as I’d like to see the eclipse, I’m hoping for total overcast.

    Then you’ll just have a million and a half angry people instead of happy people.

     

    But I won’t have the extra half million.  If I get really lucky, they will drive west and not be my problem. 

    • #13
  14. Painter Jean Moderator
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    I’m definitely interested, Omega!

    • #14
  15. The Other Diane Coolidge
    The Other Diane
    @TheOtherDiane

    I hope this meetup is a huge success!  I have personally sworn off traveling to see total eclipses but will look forward to hearing how it goes for all of you.

    We were in the direct path of the 2017 total eclipse and I still happily wear my commemorative tee shirt. Hotels in the region filled up early and we were excited for months to know that it would be occurring right over our NC mountain home.  And on that incredible day in 2017 scientists from NASA and Europe came to the nearby Pisgah Aeronautical Research Institute to do research on the total eclipse too.

    So how did it go?  The partial eclipse was beautiful….and then it clouded up and rained and we missed the total eclipse completely.  I’m pretty sure the PARI scientists couldn’t see a thing up there during the total eclipse phase either.  We live in a temperate rainforest, so the rain that fell wasn’t unusual for that time of year, but we were still a wee bit disappointed.  I do sincerely wish you all clear skies and fine total eclipse viewing for your meetup, though!!

    • #15
  16. Steve Fast Member
    Steve Fast
    @SteveFast

    Are hotels still available?

    • #16
  17. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    We saw the eclipse in 20178, and I’m planning on traveling to see it next April. Texas is definitely on my radar based on the fact that historical weather trends indicate it’s the most likely to have clear skies.

     

    We were on vacation in Wyoming in 2017, stayed the night before in Gillet, about 140 miles north of the totality zone. Drove down early the next day, had no problem finding a place to park once we hit the city we were looking for (Orin,WY along I-25). Getting out afterwards was a bit more problematic…

     

    Also, if you can’t get in to the path of totality, you’re really missing out. The difference between a total eclipse and a partial eclipse [even in the high 90% range] is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. There’s a reason people spend thousands of dollars and travel between contents to see them.

     

    We were in Nebraska for that one. It was awesome! And we had the added bonus of seeing Carhenge while we were there.

    I was in Kansas visiting family for that one and drove up to Beatrice to see it.

    I’m interested in a meetup. Dallas wouldn’t be too far of a drive from Albuquerque.

    • #17
  18. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    I saw a total solar eclipse along the Columbia River gorge but I don’t remember what year it was.  Sometime in the mid-70s, must have been.

    Meanwhile, two things:

     

     

    • #18
  19. Chris O Coolidge
    Chris O
    @ChrisO

    • #19
  20. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    Steve Fast (View Comment):

    Are hotels still available?

    I believe so, but we will need to act soon.  My goal is to find a decent sized town in or near totality.

    I’m waiting to hear if anyone has any suggestions – maybe an area they are more familiar with.  I figured that if we are somewhat close to a larger city, that gives us stuff to do on the weekend.

    • #20
  21. Steve Fast Member
    Steve Fast
    @SteveFast

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    Steve Fast (View Comment):

    Are hotels still available?

    I believe so, but we will need to act soon. My goal is to find a decent sized town in or near totality.

    I’m waiting to hear if anyone has any suggestions – maybe an area they are more familiar with. I figured that if we are somewhat close to a larger city, that gives us stuff to do on the weekend.

    We should be on a major highway so that we can travel quickly the day of, to find a cloudless area. In or near a big city, we’ll get stuck in traffic. Farther southwest (i.e. Texas) is better because the odds of clouds are lower. San Antonio and Dallas-Fort Worth are the big cities along totality, but there are medium-sized cities that also have a lot to offer.

    • #21
  22. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    We’ve rented a 3-bedroom Airbnb in Gruene, which is an historic district in New Braunfels (pop. 99k). It’s in the Hill Country in a small city between San Antonio (40 min) and Austin (1 hour) with plenty to do nearby. Famous for its dance hall and Schlitterbahn water park and Germans (no kidding). And it’s right on the edge of totality. Fredericksburg (pop. 11k) is in the center of the path of totality and is an hour and half away. 

    Our one and only previous trip to Texas with the kids was in this area. We had a great time and are looking forward to going back. Not trying to persuade anyone and I’m not sure you could find accommodations even if I could. But, if you end up anywhere nearby, we’ll try to meetup with you at some point. 

    • #22
  23. Katie Koppelman Coolidge
    Katie Koppelman
    @KatieKoppelman

    I definitely want to go!  I’ve never gotten to experience an eclipse before, not even a partial one. 

    • #23
  24. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Some of us can look at the sun whenever we want to.  :-)

     

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1314857-REG/

    • #24
  25. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    Steve Fast (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    Steve Fast (View Comment):

    Are hotels still available?

    I believe so, but we will need to act soon. My goal is to find a decent sized town in or near totality.

    I’m waiting to hear if anyone has any suggestions – maybe an area they are more familiar with. I figured that if we are somewhat close to a larger city, that gives us stuff to do on the weekend.

    We should be on a major highway so that we can travel quickly the day of, to find a cloudless area. In or near a big city, we’ll get stuck in traffic. Farther southwest (i.e. Texas) is better because the odds of clouds are lower. San Antonio and Dallas-Fort Worth are the big cities along totality, but there are medium-sized cities that also have a lot to offer.

    If you would, please read my post above.  Don’t plan on traveling the day off.  We expect every major highway to be overloaded, particularly if there is bad weather predicted further east.  We are working on where we stage emergency equipment based solely on the difficulty of traveling that day.  If you travel to a cloudless area you could easily end up stuck there overnight.  If you still want to try it pack camping gear and lots of food and water.  We are telling locals to treat it like a flood or snow event where you get stuck at home for a day or two.  

    • #25
  26. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    Steve Fast (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    Steve Fast (View Comment):

    Are hotels still available?

    I believe so, but we will need to act soon. My goal is to find a decent sized town in or near totality.

    I’m waiting to hear if anyone has any suggestions – maybe an area they are more familiar with. I figured that if we are somewhat close to a larger city, that gives us stuff to do on the weekend.

    We should be on a major highway so that we can travel quickly the day of, to find a cloudless area. In or near a big city, we’ll get stuck in traffic. Farther southwest (i.e. Texas) is better because the odds of clouds are lower. San Antonio and Dallas-Fort Worth are the big cities along totality, but there are medium-sized cities that also have a lot to offer.

    If you would, please read my post above. Don’t plan on traveling the day off. We expect every major highway to be overloaded, particularly if there is bad weather predicted further east. We are working on where we stage emergency equipment based solely on the difficulty of traveling that day. If you travel to a cloudless area you could easily end up stuck there overnight. If you still want to try it pack camping gear and lots of food and water. We are telling locals to treat it like a flood or snow event where you get stuck at home for a day or two.

    And the more people who get there in electric cars, the worse it will probably be.

    • #26
  27. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    kedavis (View Comment):

    And the more people who get there in electric cars, the worse it will probably be.

    You just gave me something to add to our plan.  That is now a known unknown.  I can just see a bunch of Teslas stuck in Ozona or Sonora.

    • #27
  28. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    And the more people who get there in electric cars, the worse it will probably be.

    You just gave me something to add to our plan. That is now a known unknown. I can just see a bunch of Teslas stuck in Ozona or Sonora.

    Glad to help.  :-)  So, does that mean bringing some portable generators and extension cords?  Probably need the special plugs for different cars too.

    • #28
  29. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    And the more people who get there in electric cars, the worse it will probably be.

    You just gave me something to add to our plan. That is now a known unknown. I can just see a bunch of Teslas stuck in Ozona or Sonora.

    Glad to help. :-) So, does that mean bringing some portable generators and extension cords? Probably need the special plugs for different cars too.

    I look forward to pushing dead EV’s off of the highway with our apparatus.   Might have to put soft bumpers on the grille guards to we don’t scratch (our) paint.

    • #29
  30. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    And the more people who get there in electric cars, the worse it will probably be.

    You just gave me something to add to our plan. That is now a known unknown. I can just see a bunch of Teslas stuck in Ozona or Sonora.

    Ooh! The raw material for Tesla Ranch.

    • #30
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