The nation is less than a week away from the total solar eclipse, and it's not too late to plan a trip to see it in person.
Here in Northern California, we'll see the skies darken Monday morning, with 80 percent of the sun covered, but just eight hours away in central Oregon, a total eclipse will shroud the landscape in darkness.
While hotels along the eclipse’s path are booked – and have been for months – options are available for people willing to shell out big bucks or haul out their camping gear. Or both.
ABC10 reporter Becca Habegger planned her own last-minute trip and has the following tips to share.
Step one: Eye protection this late in the game
On Amazon.com Monday, eclipse-viewing glasses were either very expensive or or sold out.
Becca then decided to create post on Craigslist, in search of eclipse-viewing glasses.
NASA's website cautions people to look for eyewear that follows an international safety standard. They'll be clearly marked “ISO 12312-2”. NASA recommends people look at the American Astronomical Society’s list of authorized and reputable manufacturers and dealers.
A woman responded to Becca’s Craiglist posting, saying she'd bought extra eclipse-viewing glasses. Her photos show they're from a NASA-approved vendor.
The glasses cost $7, the shipping cost $10 UPS guarantees the eyewear is arriving this week.
Step two: Figure out where to drive to see the total eclipse
NASA's website shows its path.
Two of the cities closest to Sacramento are Albany, Ore. and Madras, Ore.
Madras is just a little bit closer – about 7 hours and 45 minutes compared to 8 hours and 30 minutes - so Becca started searching for options there.
Step three: Where to sleep
Becca plans on arriving Sunday, staying overnight and catching the eclipse, which starts around 9 Monday morning.
Airbnb prices in the area for that one night are - not surprisingly - inflated. You could get two rustic cabins and a fifth wheel trailer for about $3,200.
You could also stay three hours south of Madras for a low price – Becca found an Airbnb room for about $40 - but then you'd have to wake up early and deal with traffic early Monday morning.
Becca wanted to sleep overnight at the site where she’d see the eclipse.
This is where camping comes in.
The city of Madras has done a great job listing local campsites with availability. They range in price from several thousand dollars for a four-day RV site with home cooked meals to $149 for a one-day campsite and parking pass. There were even options as low as $25 Monday afternoon – where somebody could reserve a 10’x20’ spot in a parking lot across from the Madras Municipal Airport. That appears to have sold out by Monday evening. Remaining options are, indeed, running out, as last-minute trip-planners snatch up what’s left.
With many of those options, portable toilets and space on the ground are all you get. Food, water, shelter – you have to pack in yourself.
Becca weighed all the options and found the right one for her. Between glasses ($17), camping ($54) and fuel estimated at fueleconomy.gov ($70), the last-minute trip will cost less than $150, not including food.
Although central Oregon is historically dependably sunny this time of year, Mother Nature is known to throw curveballs, however.
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