BEFORE YOU GOEclipse chasers from around the world are expected to come to Oregon to see this rare astronomical event. The path of totality spreads across a relatively rural area of the state that isn’t used to such large numbers of visitors. For this reason, it’s important to show up with accommodations booked and ready with a plan. Here are some tips to ensure a good time for all.
RESERVE ACCOMMODATIONSHotels and campsites have been booked for months and even years. If you don’t have lodging reservations already, consider staying farther from the path of totality.
BE PREPARED FOR TRAFFICMany small communities have only one road leading in and out. These will inevitably get backed up, making traffic a real problem. To reduce congestion, plan to arrive at least one full day, and ideally several days, in advance of the event. Avoid traveling into the path of totality on the day of the eclipse, August 21, 2017.
BRING A MAPYou may encounter spotty cell phone and GPS reception in rural Oregon during the eclipse. The increase of cell phone usage will overwork services and make connections tougher. Know where you’re going, and don’t expect to rely on your phone or online maps. You can order a highway map online at TravelOregon.com.
FUEL UPMost service stations won’t allow drivers to pump their own gas, so sit back and let the attendant do it for you. Expect long distances between gas stations in rural areas, so calculate your fuel needs in advance.
PACK PROVISIONSThere are a limited number of restaurants in some of Oregon’s beautiful, remote places, and these eateries may run out of food. Make sure you have picnic supplies, snacks, water and anything else that will help you stay happy if you can’t find a meal.
BRING ECLIPSE GLASSESTo watch the eclipse safely, everyone will need eclipse-viewing glasses, which block harmful light from damaging your vision. You can get complimentary glasses at welcome centers around the state.
CARRY SOME CASHThe ATMs in these small to medium towns won’t be accustomed to dispensing so many bills. While most services in Oregon take credit cards, there are places in rural areas that only take cash.
PREPARE FOR SUN AND HOT TEMPERATURESTemps can reach over 100 degrees in summer, especially at inland destinations. Pack hats, sunscreen, ice water or whatever you can to help beat the heat.
ACT LOCALOregonians are pretty nice. Smile, say hello, wait your turn at stop signs and enjoy the journey as much as the destination. While you’re there
LEAVE NO TRACEWhen traveling around Oregon, it’s important to practice “Leave No Trace” ethics, which includes leaving sites as you found them, disposing of waste responsibly, respecting wildlife and being considerate of other visitors.
DON’T TRESPASSMany public buildings and private properties are not able to accommodate visitors. Make sure you are not trespassing.
WILDFIRE PREVENTIONAugust is peak wildfire season in Oregon, so please be vigilant about extinguishing and disposing cigarettes. Know fire risks and respect fire restrictions, including campfire bans. Avoid parking or driving on dry grass, as your vehicle can spark a wildfire. In many areas, drivers are required to carry a shovel and fire extinguisher or gallon of water in their car.
AVOID EXCESSIVE WASTEConsider packing large water containers and refilling them with tap water. Oregon’s water is some of the best in the world, so there’s no need to buy bottled water.