Just HOW crazy is the eclipse viewing going to be?
April 4, 2017 11:45 AM   Subscribe

I was planning to drive with my mother down to see the eclipse in Oregon, but the discussion here has got me rather intimidated. If we stay in Pendleton and try to drive south into the totality area on the morning of the eclipse, are we just going to be stuck in zombie-apocalypse level traffic jam?

I thought we could just drive down on the morning, find a parking lot or someplace by the side of the road, and wait for the Eclipse, but of course many other people are thinking the same thing. My mom's in her 80's and while she's fine with the traveling part, I'm a little worried that massive crowds and chaos and having to fight for a place to park, etc, will make the whole thing so miserable it's not even worth it.

I do already have a reservation at a hotel in Pendleton, so there's that, but is the actual day of the eclipse going to be worth the several-days drive from Seattle, and back again, if we can't even get into the area where it is?

I've never attended an eclipse of any kind so I have no idea what to expect in terms of crowds.
posted by The otter lady to Travel & Transportation around Oregon (4 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Oops, sorry, the "discussion here" should have led to this previous thread: http://ask.metafilter.com/307630/Help-me-watch-Eclipse-2017-near-Portland-OR
posted by The otter lady at 11:46 AM on April 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm probably going to try Eastern Oregon myself, unless I end up knowing someone who has made reservations somewhere.

Eastern Oregon has a fairly low population, so with your reservation in Pendleton I'd map out a route that is unlikely to be taken by people traveling from Boise or Portland and try that.

I don't think anyone can really predict what will happen as far as traffic and parking that day. I've seen near-total eclipses but they did not attract the attention this one has. I'd set up things so you can be comfortable if you are stuck in the car for a while. Bring food, water, etc.

Pendleton to Seattle is less than five hours, so I'm puzzled as to why you think it would be several days drive. If there's some special reason why driving is very difficult for you, you'll probably get better answers if you put that in the question.

I don't know how important seeing the eclipse is to you and your mom, or your tolerance from the usual issues of travel, so I can't give an opinion on whether it's "worth it".
posted by yohko at 5:10 PM on April 4, 2017

I'd suggest you stay in a hotel/motel in the path of totality, or nearer it, such as in Redmond, Prineville, Madras, etc. So if it does get traffic-jammed, you're already there, or have options to drive on several different roads. I'm also assuming you want the eastern Oregon desert, otherwise, I-5 or the coast is closer, has way more hotels.
posted by at at 8:45 PM on April 4, 2017

Wow, my bad. Everythings's booked ('cept I see $1000/night rooms in Lincoln city). You're an hour and a half from Dale, which is in the path of totality. Looks like your room in Pendleton is a great call. You might consider staying on i-84 down to Baker City, and use a traffic app such as Google maps to show any congestion. Partial starts at 9am-ish and totality at 10am-ish, Pacific time.
posted by at at 9:14 PM on April 4, 2017

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