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Old 2017-08-23, 16:31   #111
Mysticial
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubslow View Post
Hey that wasn't that far from me!

Also 57 wasn't that bad :P By 20:00 it was nearly clear!
Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
16 hours to get back to Chicago?! I-57 must have been a parking lot!
We made the stupid decision to "wait out the traffic" by heading to Carbondale for lunch and to pick up some t-shirts. So we headed up at 4pm. Didn't get to Chicago until 6am at which we were caught up in the morning rush hour traffic. In the end, we didn't get home until 7:30.

The area just north of Champaign was basically a parking lot since they shut down a lane for construction. It took us around 4 hours to get through 20 miles.

Like seriously who the **** shuts down lanes during expected traffic like this? It's not like the lane was torn up or anything. It was usable.

And it's not like there were any accidents either. It's hard to get into an accident when nobody is moving.

Last fiddled with by Mysticial on 2017-08-23 at 16:39
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Old 2017-08-23, 18:39   #112
kladner
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mysticial View Post
We made the stupid decision to "wait out the traffic" by heading to Carbondale for lunch and to pick up some t-shirts. So we headed up at 4pm. Didn't get to Chicago until 6am at which we were caught up in the morning rush hour traffic. In the end, we didn't get home until 7:30.

The area just north of Champaign was basically a parking lot since they shut down a lane for construction. It took us around 4 hours to get through 20 miles.

Like seriously who the **** shuts down lanes during expected traffic like this? It's not like the lane was torn up or anything. It was usable.

And it's not like there were any accidents either. It's hard to get into an accident when nobody is moving.
Blockage like that is the curse of summer driving.
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Old 2017-08-23, 22:31   #113
Batalov
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mysticial View Post
Like seriously who the **** shuts down lanes during expected traffic like this? It's not like the lane was torn up or anything. It was usable.
Exactly the same thing was happening on I-15 in Idaho. (And nothing was going on in UT or MT.)
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Old 2017-08-23, 22:59   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mysticial View Post
The area just north of Champaign was basically a parking lot since they shut down a lane for construction. It took us around 4 hours to get through 20 miles.
Aha! That explains why I didn't encounter it Next time consider taking US45 instead then? Runs parallel to 57 for most of Illinois, and probably had more than one lane... lol
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Old 2017-08-24, 00:41   #115
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My plan was to get up early Monday and head down I-57 from Champaign to watch the eclipse from Marion, thinking that Carbondale's traffic would be "difficult". As soon as I got onto I-57, I knew I was in trouble since there were LOTS of cars, I would say about 3-5 times normal. Still, it was moving at good speed so I thought it wouldn't be too bad. South of Effingham it started to slow quite a bit and just south of Mt. Vernon traffic came to a halt. After about 10-15 miles of stop and go ( which took over an hour ) I bailed out at the next small town I came to which was Benton. There was a guy in the Casey's parking lot all set up with a camera and a telescope who informed me we would get 90 seconds of totality. As the eclipse neared, the Casey's entire lot filled up with over 100 people and a party atmosphere prevailed. AS the eclipse got very near, there were lots of oooohs and ahhhhhs and a collective gasp when the sun disappeared completely. Interestingly, it didn't seem to get that much darker until we got very near totality. Also, the light had a different quality, as if its spectrum had changed; it seemed more blue. The cicadas started their singing. When the sun reappeared, ( the diamond ring effect ), everyone cheered. A few minutes later, everyone got going and poured onto I-57 for the ride back north. We all went max speed and I got back in less that 1/2 the time it took to get there since we beat the crowd going back. When I got back, someone said that Benton, Illinois was famous for being the home for Beatle George Harrison's older sister for a few decades. He even visited her there before they were known in the states in early 1963.
Next eclipse is April 8, 2024. Mark you calendars !!
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Old 2017-08-24, 04:22   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tServo View Post
My plan was to get up early Monday and head down I-57 from Champaign to watch the eclipse from Marion, thinking that Carbondale's traffic would be "difficult". As soon as I got onto I-57, I knew I was in trouble since there were LOTS of cars, I would say about 3-5 times normal. Still, it was moving at good speed so I thought it wouldn't be too bad. South of Effingham it started to slow quite a bit and just south of Mt. Vernon traffic came to a halt. After about 10-15 miles of stop and go ( which took over an hour ) I bailed out at the next small town I came to which was Benton. There was a guy in the Casey's parking lot all set up with a camera and a telescope who informed me we would get 90 seconds of totality. As the eclipse neared, the Casey's entire lot filled up with over 100 people and a party atmosphere prevailed. AS the eclipse got very near, there were lots of oooohs and ahhhhhs and a collective gasp when the sun disappeared completely. Interestingly, it didn't seem to get that much darker until we got very near totality. Also, the light had a different quality, as if its spectrum had changed; it seemed more blue. The cicadas started their singing. When the sun reappeared, ( the diamond ring effect ), everyone cheered. A few minutes later, everyone got going and poured onto I-57 for the ride back north. We all went max speed and I got back in less that 1/2 the time it took to get there since we beat the crowd going back. When I got back, someone said that Benton, Illinois was famous for being the home for Beatle George Harrison's older sister for a few decades. He even visited her there before they were known in the states in early 1963.
Next eclipse is April 8, 2024. Mark you calendars !!
In my case, we took the planning to get to the place a bit more seriously. We drove down on Saturday and Sunday along Route 66 hitting all the attractions there and stayed the night in St. Louis.

The motivation there is that St. Louis gave us the most options in terms of weather. There are 4 major interstates out of St. Louis:
  1. West on I70 towards Kansas City brings us directly into totality.
  2. Southwest on I44 towards Lebanon brings us directly into totality.
  3. South on I55 towards Festus brings us directly into totality.
  4. East on I64 towards Illinois.
That last option then splits into 3 more options:
  1. East on I64, then south on I57 towards Carbondale.
  2. East on I64, then south on I57 then get on I24 towards Nashville. The entire path on I24 toward Nashville lies entirely in the totality region. So we could hop out at anytime whenever we found good whether or if we ran out of time.
  3. East on I64, then south on I69 towards Nashville.


When we woke up at 5am, the weather was the same on all routes going out of St. Louis. So we went towards Carbondale Illinois since it had the option to go all the way to Nashville in case it clouded over. By the time we got near Carbondale, the weather looked good, so we setup camp at the first place we found near the centerline - Goreville Illinois.


Needless to say, we didn't plan our return trip very well.
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Old 2017-08-24, 10:56   #117
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Quote:
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Needless to say, we didn't plan our return trip very well.
I daresay you picked the correct half of the trip to plan meticulously!
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Old 2017-08-24, 13:50   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mysticial View Post
In my case, we took the planning to get to the place a bit more seriously. We drove down on Saturday and Sunday along Route 66 hitting all the attractions there and stayed the night in St. Louis.

Needless to say, we didn't plan our return trip very well.
You had some good info about going to St Louis which may come in handy for 2024. It looks like the track thru Illinois will go more northernly so there may be even more options.
Indianapolis is in the totality track. U of Indiana may be the next hot spot.

Ironically, Carbondale had some issues with clouds while we at Benton had a totally clear sky so I really lucked out.
The people from the weather channel at Saluki stadium said they only got a few seconds of totality.
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Old 2017-08-24, 14:56   #119
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I ended up going to South Carthage, TN (several miles east of Nashville and quite close to the center line), where I thought the weather looked more promising than Missouri. Totality was about 2m 39s. I think I checked out of my motel in Elizabethtown, KY around 4am EDT (while my destination area was in CDT), to be sure I'd get down into the totality path before traffic got bad. Traffic was incredibly bad trying to go back north from the totality path afterwards, however. I was finally able to find a motel room (got the last available room at the motel) around 3:15am EDT near Cincinnati.
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Old 2017-08-24, 15:02   #120
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I drove from California to Madras, Oregon, on Saturday afternoon/night, 9.5 hours of driving for 540 miles. Traffic was a little heavy northbound on I-5. Set up at the Oregon SolarTown campsite.

I drove home on Tuesday departing early morning, 9.0 hours driving with minimal traffic.

I've wanted to see a total eclipse since I was 10 years old, and I finally was able to do it 53 years later!

Here's my selfie while observing totality:
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Old 2017-08-24, 23:00   #121
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Ended up Stecoah North Carolina. We got lucky that we found a NASA sponsored event there. $5 for parking and you got a free pair of glasses for everyone in the vehicle. We were headed to Fontana Dam, which was closed. ~2min 25s, weather was beautiful for the mountains, very few clouds that all vanished as the temperature dropped.

The bats came out…
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