Thursday, August 31, 2017

Total Eclipse and Trip Wrap-up

We made it to the Dubois, ID rest area about 3 hours before eclipse totality to stake out our spot. The place was packed with people who had spent the night (we should have thought of that) but we were lucky to find a parking place. Less than an hour after we got there the sheriff was stopping more people from coming into the rest area so we were glad we got there early.

The totality event was amazing. We took lots of photos, but the camera didn't capture the fine details that were visible in the corona. There were also some very interesting details on the moon that were visible to the eye but didn't get captured on camera. We think it was rays of light shining between craters and mountains on the moon's surface. What surprised us most was how cold it got, and how dark it was during totality. The event was everything it was billed to be, and was definitely a highlight of our trip and something we will always remember.

After the main event, we waited about a half hour for the traffic to clear before we started south, intending to get just north of Salt Lake that evening. When we got on I-15 the traffic was heavy but moving fine. However, once we got a few miles north of Idaho Falls it came to a dead stop. For the next 60 miles or so it was stop and go traffic (actually very little go and lots of stop). It took us about 5 hours to make 60 miles. Glad we didn't have to stop for gas or anything as the towns were in total gridlock. Once we got south of Pocatello the speed picked up a little but would come to a halt at every interchange as lines of cars merged. We finally shut it down for the night in a rest area south of Pocatello. The traffic going by was bumper to bumper until well past mid-night. Even when we left in the morning the traffic was very heavy and it stayed that way all the way to Salt Lake.

After the eclipse we basically made a bee line for home, stopping for one night in southern UT and one night just north of the Mogollon Rim about 150 miles from home. The scenery in southern Utah and northern Arizona is always amazing, especially with the blue skies and white puffy clouds that are usually present. We were really surprised with the condition of the forest south of Flagstaff as it was very green and looked very healthy. Actually, it was the healthiest forest we saw on the whole trip. We guess the monsoon was good to Arizona this year.

A few status from the trip:

Miles driven: 5407

Days on the road: 30

Nights in RV parks: 7

Nights in state/province/territory parks: 17

Nights boondocking: 5

Lowest gas price: $2.129/gal (Chandler AZ)

Highest gas price: $4.70/gal (Enterprise NWT)

Average miles/gal: 9.28

Cost per mile: $0.31

Trailer tires replaced: 1

During the middle of totality.  Fine detail in the corona was visible but didn’t get captured by the camera. 


The last second of totality


Lots of other people decided the Dubois ID rest area would be a good eclipse viewing place.  Glad we got there early!


Just south of Page AZ


Looking off toward Marble Canyon south of Page AZ



A very healthy forest south of Flagstaff AZ


Track Logs:

Day 27 - Aug. 21, 2017, 234 miles driven


Day 28- Aug. 22, 2017, 425 miles driven


Day 29- Aug. 23,  2017, 265 miles driven


Day 30- Aug. 24,  2017, 141 miles driven


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