Eclipse News

2017 Total Solar Eclipse: Got Plans?


If not, you may want to start formulating some.

In the past few weeks I have interacted with hundreds of folks at home shows in Des Moines, Nashville, St. Louis and Kansas City regarding their plans for the Big Show.  I have heard tales of extended families descending on their homes near the Central Line, organized bus trips with their churches and schools, and people planning to plop their lawn chairs in the backyard.  I was told of large tour groups from Europe and Asia that are fully booked down to renting the football field at local high schools.

All of these people got plans.

By a ratio of at least 5 to 1, however, eclipse chasers eager to participate have no idea what they are going to do or plan to simply wing it.  I did my best to guide these folks into the shadow and up to the line using maps and books and conversation, but I am a single dawg.  What I did try to leave them with, was that between those already in the path of the moon’s shadow and those planning to migrate to it will be counted by the tens of millions, from the Oregon coast to the South Carolina shoreline.  Get plans.


Americans and their guests wishing to plant themselves before the oncoming shadow fall into three general categories:

  • Homesteaders:  These are the lucky folks with homes, apartments, ranches and other properties that are already in the shadow, some closer to the Central Line than others.  The rest of us are dependent on their generosity and invitations to their eclipse parties.  You may have a relative, friend, old roommate or former business partner in the Homesteader clan…contact them, right away.  Invite yourself, if you must.  Here you will get a front row seat with convenient parking, cold adult beverages and Q on the barby.


  • Day-Trippers:  These folks are lucky too, in that they are close to the zone and can get there in a few hours.  Hopefully, they know a Homesteader.  If not, they can get close to the line in time to claim their spot before the partial eclipse begins, have a rousing time, and be back home in time for a late supper.  Folks in Portland, Boise, Denver, Des Moines, Omaha, Little Rock, Columbus, Raleigh and thousands of other cities and towns are Day-Trippers.  Planning and cost are manageable, with only gas and food (and parking/concessions at the Big Eclipse Events) to be reckoned, you won’t even need a Quicken file or a spreadsheet.


  • Eclipse-Chasers:  Homesteaders have to plan their parties and Day-Trippers their destination and route, but it is the Eclipse-Chasers that require the most help and support.  An eclipse destination must be determined, lodging arranged, possibly flights and rental cars, and coordination of family and friends along for the journey.  They don’t know  anyone in Casper or St. Joseph or Carbondale or Hopkinsville and may be intimidated by the thousands expected at these locales.  They have heard the tales of fully booked hotels and campgrounds, from Oregon straight on through to South Carolina.  They cringe at the inevitable gouging they know lies before them and worry for their wallets.

You may wish to experience the eclipse with thousands in one of the “hot spots” like Hopkinsville or St. Joseph; you may lean toward a quieter experience with your Homesteader host or a gravel road in Nowheresville, like yours truly did in 1979; or, you may wish to be a true Eclipse Chaser, getting close to the zone and ready to pivot, should the c-word (clouds) make a mess of your original scheme.  Whatever gets you through the night,  its alright.

What you do not have to worry about is getting the information you need to formulate your eclipse plan of attack.  Right here on this website, Odie’s Eclipse Maps and the soon-to-be-unveiled Odie’s Eclipse Info Center will guide you to your destination and link you to the festivals, astronomy clubs, town events and much more happening in your chosen area.  Each are eclipse-chaser-friendly tools that will get you to a wealth of planning information in just a few clicks.

What would we do without Odie?


I saw it written and I saw it say,                                   Pink moon is on its way,                                                  None of you stand so tall,                                         Pink moon gonna get you all.                                        

© Nick Drake, “Pink Moon”, Pink Moon, 1972                                   Warlock Music, LTD.



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