There’s a big show coming to town, and you’d better make plans now, as there’s not much time before the curtain goes up! The good news is that the entire population of the United States will be able to see the opening act. The bad news is that unless you select the right seat, you won’t be able to see the show in its entirety. This hasn’t happened here in the U.S. since 1918, and won’t happen again until 2024! It’s a total solar eclipse, and it’s billed to be a spectacular event which very few people have witnessed before. On Monday, August 21, 2017, at 10:15 AM (Pacific Daylight Time), the shadow of the moon will touch down in Lincoln City, Oregon, making the landfall of what is being referred to as The Great American Eclipse, crossing over fourteen of our nation’s states. It will be traveling at 1,600 miles per hour, and will race in a southeasterly direction for approximately 2,500 miles. It will reach the South Carolina coast at 2:46 PM local time and then continue out into the Atlantic Ocean after two minutes. The amount of time that the sun will be blocked will vary, depending on where you are during the event. The duration will be the longest just south of St. Louis, right in the center of the path of totality. In that spot, the darkness will last for two minutes and forty seconds.
Most people will see it as a partial eclipse. Those lucky enough to be in the 70-mile-wide shadowed swath will see the phenomenon in its entirety. There are approximately 12.2 million people that live within the ͞path of totality,͟ and millions more are expected to make their way into the path before the main event. From Oregon to South Carolina, hotel bookings have skyrocketed. Some hotels are charging as much as $1000 per night! Because of the number of people that will flood into the areas within the path of totality, most of the RV parks are filling up to capacity. That, however, is not an issue for our Cruise America customers. Each of our class C motorhomes is self-sufficient, and can be just as comfortable while dry camping (boondocking) as it can be while in a designated camping park. NOTE: It’s imperative that you remember the importance of viewing the eclipse safely. Look online for viewing glasses. Do not attempt to look at this event without protecting your eyes! Once the sun is blocked out, you have a minute or more to remove the glasses, then put them back on when the sun starts manifesting itself again. A solar eclipse occurs when the sun’s rays are prevented from reaching the Earth because of the moon passing directly in front of it, turning daylight into twilight, dropping temperatures and confusing the wildlife. It needs to be the "perfect storm," however, because the moon must be just far enough from the Earth to be the same size as the sun (from our vantage point). In reality, the sun is four times wider than the moon. In an annular eclipse (when the moon appears smaller than the sun) the sun is not completely blocked out, so we see what appears to be a "ring of fire" around the moon. This is not the kind of eclipse one can see with their bare eyes—ever. However, when a total solar eclipse reaches the point of totality, one can look directly at it without any protective eyewear. But remember, before and after the total blockage, your eyes MUST be protected.
Those who are not in the path of totality will still get to experience a partial eclipse, but the sun will still be bright. It will just appear to have a bite taken out of it. Depending on where you are, you may never even notice that it’s happening. Those of us at Cruise America strongly encourage you to view this spectacular show, sponsored by Mother Nature. And, there’s no better way to see it than while traveling in one of our recreational vehicles. They are self-sustaining, so you needn’t get a hotel. You don’t even need an RV park! However, if you happen to miss the show, don’t sweat it ... there will be an encore performance in April of 2024. So, make your RV reservations now, and enjoy the show!
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