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Survived Eclipse Road Trip

I kept thinking- is this insane? (yes)

But decided that if I only had 6 weeks/months etc to live I would STILL want to see the eclipse if it was at all possible. I've been slowly getting better so decided to risk it.

Of course we didn't make lodging reservations 3 years ago. Backcountry camping on the many acres of public lands in the eclipse path? Yes, before I got sick that would have been the way. Staying with friends who live near the path of totality? Nope, too draining. Drive to the part of the eclipse path nearest our house? Ha, way too much traffic!

So, we figured out what could work. Got reservations 90 minutes from path of totality...90 INTERSTATE minutes. (most of path in Oregon was in backcountry/ 2 lane twisty highways). In the little town we used to live in.

Drove 6 hours to get to hotel. The first time I've been farther than 17 miles from my house in... 8 months.

Wow, it's a big world!

Did NOTHING all evening in the beautiful quiet dark air conditioned room. Tried to eat dinner in hotel restaurant- nope too tired for that. Back to bed.

Got up at 4 am to hydrate like crazy. In car 5 am. 90 minute pilgrimage over the mountains and down the mountains, in the predawn caravan of headlights. Managed to get to designated viewing spot (which I chose because it has BATHROOMS) in time to actually get IN. (very lucky as there were some people who camped out all night for the privilege).

Able to watch everything / get to bathroom/ zonk out in shade 100 meters from car.

It was absolutely worth it. I let NASA and the rest of the country take the photos.

Made it back to hotel, fortunate to avoid worst of interstate jam by waiting and then taking backroads.

Completely tapped out. Wondering why I didn't bring more CRASH BUSTER type aids. (brain fog). Fortunately I could look up the CRASH BUSTER lists on Phoenix Rising!

What can you buy in a rural supermarket? Spouse brought back extra COQ-10, coconut water and.... baking soda. The 1/4 tsp baking soda in a glass of water REALLY HELPED. It was almost magical.

Did NOTHING all evening in same room. Did NOTHING in the morning until (spouse got us all) packed up.

Survived road trip back thanks to
- Aggressive electrolyte solution constantly while not actively in the car
- Backup electrolytes in the car too
- Baking soda to the rescue!
- Dietary deviation ie gelato when the heat got too much (popsicles or even plain ice would have been better but my brain had overheated and there was the gelato place right there..)
- Back country road deviation and regular monitoring of state patrol & traffic reports on way home
- Saying NO to any extra "fun" thing on the trip even though it meant not visiting dear friends in the town we stayed in
-Bringing healthy food staples in cooler so processed food kept to a minimum

Now it's the Day After and its clear that this is a minimal activity day. Tomorrow, the rest of this week might be too. That's okay. I'm super fortunate that I'm not at dreaded Energy Zero state.

It's so funny to be back on the Same Couch looking out the window at the Same View that's been keeping me company for 6+ months now. Sword ferns, cedars, rhodedendrons dry but still very green. Surreal to have seen all those high desert mountains and plains, wide open skies, sagebrush country... become indigo all around me. Grateful I was there and grateful I'm back.

Comments

Wow, you went through a lot, but how wonderful it must have been to have experienced the full eclipse. Where did you go?

I'm in Austin, TX, and we had just a partial eclipse with 70% coverage, but it was fantastic, and I'm so glad I saw it.

I had screwed around and not tried to get eclipse watching glasses until 4 or 5 days before. I swear there was not an available pair in town! Luckily, there was an extra pair for me at my husband's office.

In 2024 Austin will be in the path of totality. Hope it doesn't coincide with South by Southwest. We'll be mobbed!

My sister was visiting in the South and drove to Nashville to be in the path of totality. She said the birds stopped singing, and the crickets quit chirping. I wonder if animals feel discombobulated during eclipses.
 
Went to Eastern Oregon, and fortunately did have glasses
We were in a pretty high and remote place- all we noticed were deer mice out and about - but apparently they are nocturnal so even that was pretty cool
Austin in 2024!!
 

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