Thursday, 13 August 2015

Pre-Eclipse 2017 Road Trip: I-80+ Nebraska

While I-80 offers a run through the umbral path it does always not track on the central line where one can experience maximum duration. That means you need to leave the main highway.

I-80 through Nebraska with eclipse path
Fortunately there are several very good options. Between Grand Island and Lincoln you can go south on several routes to get to the central path. And between Grand Island and North Platte you will find the same. Here is the map link where you can zoom in and out to find routes.

Looking at Overpass options
We checked a couple of the side routes. Most are paved roads with no services. You could drive out one of these and hope to find a friendly land owner who will let you use their place for the eclipse.
There is room for maybe four cars.

Do not count on just pulling aside at the exits. Most have No Parking signs on the ramps and it will not require too many cars before things are quite crowded on the small side roads. Local authorities may not be amused. So don't count on that as an eclipse viewing location.

Parking along the exit ramps is not permissible.
The long quiet roads of Nebraska are beckoning. While exploring the area we loved the extensive corn fields and rolling land. The people are friendly and if asked in advance, are happy to host eclipse chasers. What they may not tolerate well are people just showing up on eclipse day.

Please be polite and use only those areas designated for eclipse chasers (there may be a small fee). Racing around trying to avoid clouds is not recommended. Check the weather reports the day before and make arrangements to move if needed. If you are just showing up, look for other eclipse chasers already set up and ask if you can join them. You might be lucky and find an international group or a group of local enthusiasts.

South on SR103 towards Crete Nebraska
"Free balling" it through the country side on eclipse morning is not a recommended activity. There will be busses of tourists, caravans of cars, and who knows what else. Our experiences driving through the country are expected to be quite different on eclipse day.



...More random thoughts about TSE2017 to follow...

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