by Chris Guld, GeeksOnTour.com
Those of us who travel by RV have the enviable opportunity to be in the perfect spot for the historic total solar eclipse that crosses the United States on August 21, 2017. But how do you find that perfect spot? With an app on your smartphone of course!
App Name: Eclipse2017.org
Author: Eclipse 2017
Price: Free ($2.99 for upgrade to use GPS)
Available for: Apple iOS, Android
Watch Jim and Chris discuss this app in Episode 119 of What Does this Button Do.
Plan your spot now
It’s not good enough to be close to the path of totality, it is a very narrow path where you will see the complete effect. For example, the path crosses thru St. Louis, but you must be in a particular part of town to experience totality. It only lasts a couple of minutes – literally – 2.5 minutes is the maximum viewing time from the perfect spot. You need to be in place before it starts.
The app has “Planning Mode” where you can click on a spot in the map where you plan to be and it will calculate the exact time and duration of the eclipse for that spot. It will also show you on the map how to get an even better viewing experience. On the day of the eclipse, you’ll want to use the GPS mode to give you information based on your actual location. You will need the upgraded app for this – $2.99.
Is a Solar Eclipse worth it?
My answer is a definite yes. I’ve experienced 3 solar eclipses in my life. The first was in Anchorage, Alaska, where my family was living at the time – July 1963. Maybe because of that early experience, my Mom and I understood what a powerful experience it is to witness a total solar eclipse. We appreciated the experience enough to spend thousands of dollars to take two eclipse tours with Wilderness Travel. The first was in the Atacama desert of Chile in November of 1994, the second was in Turkey in 1999. Both times, I cried at the point of totality. There is something primal and disturbing about the world going silently dark in the middle of the afternoon, no matter how much you understand what is happening. It has to be experienced.
Get your special viewing glasses now
You can actually buy the glasses thru the Eclipse 2017 app or on the website. In addition to the app, there is a website that is chock-a-block full of useful eclipse information. See Eclipse2017.org
We found a primo viewing spot!
Using this app, and our Harvest Hosts membership, we found a delightful spot in South Carolina to park our RV and join others in drinking wine and watching 2 minutes and 27 seconds of totality.
See you in the shadow!