Planning to go see the total eclipse?
Maybe leave the coffee at home, because those bathroom-break spots could be tough to reach.
The Oregon Department of Transportation expects 1 million visitors for the Aug. 21 eclipse. The “path of totality” will cross over our neighbor to the south, offering the best chance of witnessing up to two minutes and 40 seconds of complete darkness in the daytime.
Some of ODOT’s tips if you plan to drive down in the total traffic jam:
– Arrive early, then stay put for the eclipse, and leave late after it’s done
– Carpool, please
– Plan for a long trip with plenty of water, food and gas
– Have a destination (good luck with that one if you don’t already have one)
– When driving, pay attention to the road, not the sky
– Expect traffic changes, like restricted turns, in heavy congestion
So basically, you know, prepare for the end of the world.
In fact, Oregon leaders say you should plan to be able to survive on your own for 72 hours, as you would prepare for a disaster or emergency.
Washington State Department of Transportation staff remind us, too, that unless it’s an emergency, you shouldn’t be pulling over onto the shoulder — and watching the eclipse is not an emergency (although the consequences of parking a hot car on dry grass might create one).
Another tip: Don’t forget legit solar glasses. Nothing would be worse than getting down there, then not being able to safely watch the event itself.
You can find some road trip games to help pass the time at www.heraldnet.com/tag/street-smarts.
Feeling more partial to a partial experience? You can see a partial eclipse from home.
And while nothing can beat the real thing, you can also catch NASA’s four-hour live-stream event “Eclipse Across America: Through the Eyes of NASA” via www.nasa.gov/eclipselive — with your very own private bathroom just a stroll away.
Reach Street Smarts at firstname.lastname@example.org.