• The 2017 Eclipse Traffic Nightmare has begun!

    Eclipse traffic or Mad Max?

    Travelers on the way to central Oregon for the eclipse. Or, a still from Mad Max: Fury Road. Hard to tell at the moment.

    The Great Eclipse Migration has begun!   Travelers are already landing at Walmart’s and parking lots across the zone of totality in anticipation of Monday’s eclipse.  This article from the Oregonian is a good reminder to come prepared even if you’re not planning to camp out for the show.  Oregon’s population is expected to grow by over a million people for this event- think about what that will do to basic services and infrastructure- this is going to be crowded like we have never seen!

    Traffic is expected to be awful from the Sunday prior until at least Tuesday morning, so as in any traffic-nightmare type situation please follow some basic precautions:

      • Fill the gas tank before you go! Some stations could actually run out.
      • Take a gallon of water per person per day that you will be gone.
      • Take something to entertain yourselves as you sit in traffic for hours and hours at a time.
      • Consider bathroom breaks- bring a small chemical toilet if you don’t have a place to stay.
      • Non-perishable food because stores and restaurants could be either closed or sold out.
      • Don’t forget your medications and a first aid kit.
      • Make arrangements for any pets you leave at home.  You may be gone for far longer than you think.
      • Bring your phone and miscellaneous chargers!
      • Keep in mind your cell phone may not work if the cell towers get overwhelmed! Take alternative forms of entertainment! A million people trying to stream youtube in Madras probably wont work.
      • Make plans for everything to take much longer than you expect.  This will be a bad time to forget your anti-anxiety medications.
      • Make arrangements to be late or absent from work on Tuesday.  The VAST majority of people who are not camping out will try to get home by Monday night.  Think “Labor Day Weekend” traffic times a gazillion.
      • If you take your pet, bring extra food & water and their water bowl.
      • It may be in the upper 80’s to 90’s for the eclipse and resulting traffic jam.  Be aware that if you don’t have A/C in your car, it’s going to get very hot sitting in traffic. Leave vulnerable people and pets at home where it may be cooler.  This is an amazing event, but it’s not worth the risk to a vulnerable person or a beloved pet’s health or safety.


      Alternative Idea:  Skip the traffic, stay home and watch the whole thing on TV.  It will be the single largest recorded event in history.   I’m pretty sure every single channel will be carrying it live.  Throw an eclipse party, invite your friends over and relax while millions of people sit in traffic. I can think of worse ways to spend the day.


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