The total eclipse of 2018 was nothing short of epic. Eclipse fanatics and first-timers alike sought a viewing position close to the line of totality (where a total eclipse could be experienced). Our vacation road trip happened to cross the line and turned a 20 hour drive into an adventure.
New reports about potential gas and food shortages along with traffic grid lock had us concerned but caused us to find our inner ‘prepper’. Having our truck camper mitigated the food and lodging aspect but increased anxiety due to the 10 mile per gallon consumption rate.
As we drove through eastern Oregon the day before the eclipse, we began seeing National Guard posted at interstate exits and fields full of cars and RVs. Weeks ahead of the eclipse we reserved a parking spot in a similar field in Madras, Oregon where we would be situated within feet of the line of totality.
Arriving in Madras it was immediately evident something was going to happen. There was a July 4th feeling combined with a major sporting event sense of urgency. We managed to fill our gas tank and pantry at the local Safeway before navigating to our parking spot. We reserved a car/truck parking spot for a fraction of the price of an RV parking spot. We’ve found it convenient to have a truck camper since it’s somewhat of a chameleon. We can parallel park and claim we are a truck or use the RV parking and claim we are an RV. In this case, the parking attendant looked up at our camper and then the truck and waved us to the car parking area. Score!
There were thousands of cars surrounding the one truck camper, ours. Funny, we had photographers use our roof ladder and others who took pictures of Husvagn. People were camped in and on their cars. We slept in our beds 😉 Oh, I almost forgot. Another huge benefit of the truck camper is the bathroom especially in this situation. There were a mere dozen port-a-potties for 5000+ people. One dad, out of desperation, asked if his 4 year old daughter could use our facilities since the line was hours long. We caved.
The eclipse was a surreal experience starting a couple hours before. People emerged from their cars some in alien character. We took our position with viewing glasses. I feel like I’m leaving out twenty pages of detail with the following statement… it was AWESOME! Which part? All of it. Before, during, and after. It’s an event we will never forget and can only hope to experience again.
As we drove away from the line of totality we didn’t mind the traffic induced slowness. Instead, we Googled the dates for the next total eclipse and marked our calendars.