Dawdle: Total Eclipse Plans

While lazing around to recover from my fall, there has been plenty of time to think about our upcoming camping trip and major event: The Total Solar Eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017.

The weather forecast shows a chance of rain in our greater southeast region for the weekend. Current projections are 50%-60% scattered rain with light winds for the campground Friday through Sunday, while Monday’s odds improve to partly cloudy and 20% rain.

It will be our first camp out in such damp conditions. Running the air conditioner will help control humidity when inside of Lily, our Vistabule Teardrop Trailer. Back up will be a DampRid Hanging Moisture Absorber found at a local Home Depot.

As a future precaution, when Lily is in storage, we plan to buy DampRid’s Disposable Moisture Absorber with Activated Charcoal for RVs because it is refillable. Click here to go to the DampRid website to view their products.

I have also been thinking a lot about how to set up the campsite to keep us relatively dry. We are still camping novices, figuring out what to do as we go along.

Image: Empty Campsite

The Empty Campsite
(Photo courtesy of reserveamerica.com)

For this trip we have a huge curved pull-thru site. The parking area is 52′ long and 13′ wide. It adjoins the “living area” which is 40′ long and 11′ wide. Both areas are gravel. There does not appear to be any problem with staking shelters in the combined 40′ x 24′ space. The electric and water posts are at center along the outside of the parking area. The fire ring is centered towards the opposite side, halfway into the living area. The picnic table is movable, though we don’t expect to use it.

Image: Model of a camp setup

Modeling a camp set-up

I made a rough scale model to work out different camp set-ups. Then, saved photos of the best configurations to my iPad. The models are laid out as if the pull-thru is straight, though it is actually curved. That should not make much difference in this case. We shall see.

I was considering a number of situations.
1. If the sliver of lake view is not blocked by large RVs, angle Lily to take advantage of that view between the other campsites.
2. To avoid tripping hazards along our walk areas, watch placement of staked lines for the shelters.
3. Also, keep the electrical cord and water hose under the Vistabule, out of walk areas.
4. Remember to work around the stationary fire ring.
5. Allow space for walking areas on both sides of the Vistabule when shelter side walls are used
6. When not using the side walls, think about best views.
7. For muggy hot weather, control the sound level of the outside fan so that its noise does not disturb other campers.
8. Think about how to secure our campsite items when away.

A major consideration is also being worked out for an Autumn outing, when we return to the same campsite. There will be a group gathering in another area of the campground. Visiting back and forth with the rest of the Teardroppers means we want to take advantage of our large site by keeping space clear for visitor parking.

Naturally, we will not know how plans from the model will work out until we get to the campsite. Between rain drops, we may be spending some time entertaining ourselves by moving shelters around.

For August 21st, all thoughts go to the Total Solar Eclipse!

Image: Total Solar Eclipse Path Over SE Tennessee

Total Solar Eclipse Path Over SE Tennessee: 8/21/2017
(Photo courtesy of US taxpayer money at eclipse2017nasa.gov)

Our campsite is along the outer edge of the eclipse, north northeast of Chattanooga, TN with 99.94% of totality.

However, sadly, I have read that even 99.9% is not the true experience of totality. Plus, a scientist warned that on maps the southern boundary of the path of the eclipse’s totality are wrong (even NASA’s), from a football length to a mile off. Much of the width of the band for seeing the Total Solar Eclipse is closer to 69 miles wide than 70.

Many schools in the region will be closed. It is expected that most of the population of Tennessee, plus hoards of visitors (like us) from out of state, with be making their way to festivals and viewing sites. So, I studied online maps in an effort to find potential quiet spots. Our plan is to enjoy a festival in the morning before heading out to a less crowded afternoon viewing spot.

We will have a couple of days to look around the surrounding area before the big event happens. Could simply decide that the .06% gain is not enough to get us up and out of the campground into traffic, but that is doubtful.


2 thoughts on “Dawdle: Total Eclipse Plans

  1. I’m totally amazed at the research you do when planning your trips. It is essential that you do as much advance investigation as possible yet you also learn more as you experience each venture and store that knowledge for future use.
    Enjoy your trip. Have fun and be careful.


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