May 16, 2012

Are you traveling to get into the path of the annular solar eclipse?

Here's where you need to go. Get there Sunday.

It's hitting some of the very best national parks and monuments: Arches, Bandelier, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Glen Canyon, Grand Canyon, Great Basin, Natural Bridges, and Petroglyph (which the National Park Service website misspells "Petrolglyph").

Come on, everybody, let's throw a few things in the car and drive. We can do it! Where will you go/would you go if you could? Maybe Great Basin — "in the bull's-eye for the annular solar eclipse."

104 comments:

Scott M said...

Just remember that the best viewing is through high-powered binoculars.

edutcher said...

The Blonde's been to Bryce and loves it there - wants to go back, so feel free to swing by and pick us up.

Mitchell said...

One would ordinarily expect Nashville to be the best place to view a burning ring of fire.

The Drill SGT said...

Canyonlands

I love those John Ford movies

Original Mike said...

I just got a solar filter for my telescope. The large sunspot that spit the coronal mass ejections at us is really spectacular to view. I'm looking forward to the June 5 transit of Venus across the face of the sun.

OTOH, an annular solar eclipse? Yawn. Now, if we were talking about a TOTAL solar eclipse, I'm driving! What time do you want me to pick you up?

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alan said...

Boy. That map sure is helpful. If I lived in the Pacific Ocean. :/

EDH said...

"Are you traveling to get into the path of the annular solar eclipse?"

I had some dreams they were clouds in my coffee
Clouds in my coffee, and...

You're so vain.

I bet you think this post is about you
Don't you? Don't You?

Original Mike said...

I went to the Middle of Nowhere, North Dakota in February to see a TOTAL solar eclipse. They are knock your socks off, spectacular.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I guess we will be sitting on the front yard deck and using a spotting scope.

(After reading Mikes post I realize I need to borrow a solar filter (or go blind) from a friend who is in Africa right now and won't be looking at the event. I thought I'd better amend my post before Mike scolded me.)

We are almost right in the middle of the path and the highlight should be about 6pm our time.

Yay...cocktail hour!! We should have a party.

Patrick said...

"Come on, everybody, let's throw a few things in the car and drive. We can do it!

Man, that's tempting. I love a good road trip, and my kids would love this. this is the kind of thing I would absolutely pull them out of school for. Of course, my kids are youngish, so I'd pull them out of school for pretty much anything. Alas, the world is too much with me. And gas is too damn high.

I just read a (not good) mystery novel set in the Carlsbad Caverns/Lechuguilla park. Maybe I'd go there.

The Drill SGT said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Yay...cocktail hour!! We should have a party.


Those Red Sunsets out west beat the East all to hell... (he tells his NY wif) (upstate, I wasn't stupid after all)

Original Mike said...

I wouldn't scold you, DBQ. Freder says you have, gasp,... guns.

Make sure you know what you're doing when observing the sun, however. It's hard to shoot people when your blind.

bagoh20 said...

I didn't even know about this, but I AM driving to a park nearby. I'm spending 4 days near Sequoia National Park, hiking and white water rafting among the big trees. This will be a nice surprise for for my dogs during a long hike I have planned for that very day. I'm not gonna tell them until it happens. Then I'll pretend Like I made it happen. They already think I'm a god, but this will seal it.

Speaking of trees, the cabin I'm renting has a huge redwood tree right in the middle of the living room, and a stream runs right under the house. It's very cool.

Original Mike said...

The compelling reason to go to the Utah backcountry is the night sky.

Shanna said...

I'm spending 4 days near Sequoia National Park, hiking and white water rafting among the big trees

Wait, so the really big sequoia's are south of san fracisco and the redwoods are north? Or are they all around? (planning a trip but I've never been to california)

Thanks!

pm317 said...

Well, I will be in cold and rainy Paris on Sunday..

'Petrolglyph' LOL.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Sequoias are inland. Redwoods are coastal.

You're welcome. Have fun!

Unknown said...

Do me a favor when you get out to those precious national parks and forests: count the Black-, Native- and Mexican-American faces you see. I bet you see about 1 in 1000.

You will find that our poorer minorities are too busy worrying about putting food on the table, finding education and shelter for their kids to frequent our White National Country Club Parks and Forests.

I bet you see more East Asian Tourists there than any of our taxpaying minorities.

Original Mike said...

@Unknown: Half of all workers, minority and majority alike, don't pay federal income taxes. Just so you know.

Shanna said...

Sequoias are inland. Redwoods are coastal.

Thanks DBQ!

Craig said...

Went to Goldendale for the eclipse in 1979. Has a replica of Stonehenge that was right in the path of the shadow. It was like watching a tee shot from the golf ball's perspective.

bagoh20 said...

Shana,

There are big Redwoods over a large expanse of eastern California from east of San Fransisco in Yosemite Park all the way down to about 3 hours north
of L.A.. The biggest ones are in Sequoia National park in east central CA, but there are also coastal redwoods along the pacific in northern California and Oregon.

I know California government is a basket case, but damn, this is an awesome state in the real world. Incredible in diversity, history, and beauty. Most amazing is the shear scale of of all those things here. We just go big.

Shanna said...

Bagoh, I have never had any interest in visiting California, but a friend wants to go and now that I've been looking around I am really excited about it because it just looks gorgeous! The parks and the coast and the trees (which I have always wanted to see)...I think I could spend a month wondering around.

I've also been watching Grimm and now wish I had time to go to Portland. Everything is so green.

netmarcos said...

They all sound great, but do make a stop in Goblin Valley of you go.

bagoh20 said...

"You will find that our poorer minorities are too busy worrying about putting food on the table, finding education and shelter for their kids to frequent our White National Country Club Parks and Forests."

Bullshit! When I first moved to California, I arrived with $40 dollars and no job. I stayed poor for the next decade, and I still visited these placed even more then than I do now. The national parks are a great equalizer, because you can camp out quite economically as many poorer people do, and they get an even better close up experience with it.

Then you might find yourself walking next to George Clooney, as a minimum wage friend of mine did recently in Yosemite.

You don't know what you're talking about, so stay "unknown".

rhhardin said...

The interesting thing isn't the sun but the sharpening of shadows on the earth, which is very noticeable even in a partial eclipse.

Save the travel money and photograph the neighborhood.

Michael said...

"You will find that our poorer minorities are too busy worrying about putting food on the table, finding education and shelter for their kids to frequent our White National Country Club Parks and Forests."

Hilarious!! Make a little trip to Yosemite this summer and have a look at the "campers." Don't look too hard at some of those guys they could be Crips. Or maybe they are Bloods who think you are sympathetic to the Crips. Either way, be alert.

PatCA said...

What exactly will happen when the eclipse hits, will it look like a regular eclipse?

Michael McNeil said...

It's perfectly possible to see it safely without a solar filter on a telescope. Just put a small hole in a piece of cardboard (i.e., make a pinhole camera) and cast a shadow; or else focus an image of the sun using a magnifying glass.

Original Mike said...

Pat - The moon is at it's furthest distance from the earth, thus it is slightly too small to cover the entire sun. You will see a narrow ring of sun all the way around the moon (assuming you're in the right place on the earth). Because that narrow ring is so bright, you won't get to see the corona, solar flares, Bailey's beads, or the diamond ring effect that you see with a total eclipse.

It still will be way cool, however.

Original Mike said...

@Michael - During a partial solar eclipse once, I was underneath a tree. The leaves of the tree made thousands of little pinhole cameras. On the ground underneath the tree were thousands of little images of the partial solar eclipse. It is possibly the coolest thing I've ever seen.

Michael McNeil said...

What exactly will happen when the eclipse hits, will it look like a regular eclipse?

It will not be dark the way it is in a fully total solar eclipse, as the moon is at the furthest point in its orbit and thus isn't quite large enough to cover up the whole sun. Instead there'll be a thin ring of sunlight surrounding the dark interior of the sun (blocked by the moon).

bagoh20 said...

Here's what a grown up tree house looks like.

Notice the tree going through the roof. It's pretty big: would take at least 3 people with outstretched arms to reach all the way around it inside the house.

Tree House

Unknown said...

Yo Bagoh20 & Michael:

You need to put your money where your mouths are.

I just got back from a grand tour of Zion, Mesa Verde, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, King's Canyon, Sequoia, Death Valley, Organ Pipe, etc. and I counted the minority faces I saw. Result: 4 out of some 4000.

Whether or not they pay taxes, the wealth of this land is the patrimony of all its citizens, and in any case they pay indirect taxes, like corp taxes.

Our gummint is shameful in most of its policies, and in the case of national treasures, it is more racist than Jesse Jackson.

traditionalguy said...

It slowly gets darker and than it slowly gets brighter over about an hour. That's about it.

But if your life depends upon the sun god's mood or upon the CO2 god's computer models, then I would highly reccommend sacrificing a few hundred million inferior people, just to be on the safe side.

Unknown said...

Bagoh20 & Michael:

Your ignorance of the degree of racism practiced in our national parks and forests is a direct cause of the problem. Check out:

http://www.hcn.org/articles/in-search-of-diversity-in-our-national-parks

then let me know what evidence you have to the contrary.

CyndiF said...

If you can't hit the road, you can watch a live feed from the University of Colorado:

http://cosmos.colorado.edu/sbo/public/live.eclipse.html

Original Mike said...

"Your ignorance of the degree of racism practiced in our national parks and forests is a direct cause of the problem."

Read your article. Even the author doesn't claim racism:

"Despite a successful career, unfettered access to professional opportunities and no practical limitations on my enjoyment of the outdoors, I have always had a terrible feeling that I don't belong."

"It's nothing I can prove, nothing I can bring into a court of law," Spencer said "But there's something else, beyond being an outsider. There's something there."

IOW, it's all in their heads. I can't help them. They're going to have to work this out for themselves.

bagoh20 said...

"
then let me know what evidence you have to the contrary."


You read some black guy complain because he sees racism in the fact that a national park does not look like his neighborhood.

And I get my opinion from actually going there myself all the time.

Dude, it's 2012. Some black guy thinks that something white people like is automatically racist is really, really old news.

Get out of the basement and check it out for yourself, but you'll still miss the eclipse unless you pull you head out of your ass.

jimbino said...

Original Mike & bagoh20,

It isn't a problem that our minorities have no interest in visiting our gold-plated national parks and forests; the problem is that they are paying for them.

There are a lot more faces of color at Disney World, a private park. And if it were also lily-white, so what?--our minorities wouldn't be paying for it.

You sound like a couple of White guys who wouldn't recognize extreme racism until you happened to visit Japan.

bagoh20 said...

Unknown,

I think you are lying about your minority count or maybe even the whole trip.

Regardless, I rarely hear Blacks talk about the outdoors like I do whites. Maybe we should force them through education camps to appreciate it the same. You know, make them more white, so you you'll be happy.

Original Mike said...

"...the problem is that they are paying for them."

Only the rich ones.

rcommal said...

I would LOVE to do something like this, and would even consider dropping everything to go, but it's impossible since we're already scheduled for a cross-country trip for an important family event just a week later.

So, THANK YOU, CyndiF, for the link!!!

Original Mike said...

I've been to Japan, BTW. I didn't look like anybody else there, yet they were unfailing polite. I'm supposed to get a complex over that?

bagoh20 said...

"You sound like a couple of White guys who wouldn't recognize extreme racism until you happened to visit Japan."

Extreme racism? You're kidding right?

The idea that Blacks are overpaying taxes to support Whites is laughable.

BTW, I'm writing this sitting in Compton, CA. - not exactly Whiteyville.

Shanna said...

Your ignorance of the degree of racism practiced in our national parks and forests is a direct cause of the problem

Damn racist forests!

Your article is all vague beliefs by black people that they ‘don’t belong’ in national parks which seem to be based on nothing at all and some lady saying she thought she had to camp out to go but now that Oprah showed her the way she knows better. Since this is clearly all cultural, maybe the Obama’s should have made a point to go to a park instead of Europe/Hawaii/Nantucket.

Patrick said...

Unknown,

My own experience (although primarily with state, rather than national parks) is that users of those facilities tend to mirror what I call the NPR demographic. So, on that account, I agree with you. The story to which you linked does not, however, support your allegation that racism is practiced in the Parks. To the contrary, the author says repeatedly that there are no barriers in the parks, and that any barriers come from the perception that African Americans don't engage in outdoor activities. The article describes some of the lengths the park service is going to in order to increase minority park use.

Smilin' Jack said...

Not to be a wet blanket, but I've seen an annular eclipse and there's really not much to see. If you didn't know it was going on, you probably wouldn't notice. If you look through a filter or project the sun's image all you see is a bright ring. Yawn.

jimbino said...

Original Mike,

You don't seem to understand the idea that national parks and forests do not belong to the government; they are the patrimony of all citizens, including all those fighting for food, education, safe neighborhoods, public transportation, etc, who you don't think pay for them.

As far as racism in Japan goes, try marrying a Japanese there and having a mixed-race kid, looking for a job and applying for citizenship. Even Koreans who've been there for 80 years are severely disadvantaged. And to add insult to injury, we entertain 100x as many Japanese citizens as we do our minorities in our national parks and forests, for which they pay only a paltry entrance fee.

Ann Althouse's post is from a successful White woman who is inviting her White country-club friends to our national parks and forests, where they won't be bothered by any minority citizens.

As I write this, I realize that I'm pissing in the wind, since almost nobody but complacent White Boys read or post comments to this blog.

Original Mike said...

What, exactly, do you propose to "fix" the racism in our National Parks and Forests?

Original Mike said...

"Ann Althouse's post is from a successful White woman who is inviting her White country-club friends to our national parks and forests, where they won't be bothered by any minority citizens."

Wow. Who's the racist?

jimbino said...

Shanna,

Redwoods can be found all the way from Big Sur up the CA coast to Oregon. They are also numerous in the Sierras, though of a different species. The most spectacular are the Coastal Redwoods of Northern California.

http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/shirley/sec2.htm

The sequoias are limited to a small area in the Western Sierra Nevada, inland in CA.

Though limited, you will see more giant sequoia than Americans of color in Yosemite, King's Canyon and Sequoia National Park, where I just counted ZERO among around 3000 visitors from many nations.

Michael McNeil said...

Not to be a wet blanket, but I've seen an annular eclipse and there's really not much to see.

Galaxies, star clusters, and comets are hard to see (even much harder to see) too — that doesn't mean that they can't be very exciting when one does see them, knowing what they are.

Folks nowadays expect a laserium light show or else they're bored. It's your expectations that are faulty, not the show.

Original Mike said...

"Not to be a wet blanket, but I've seen an annular eclipse and there's really not much to see."

Yeah, it's kind of an intellectual thing, rather than a spectacular display, but it is exciting. Same with the transit of Venus coming up. I'm hoping it's clear that day.

jimbino said...

Mike,

The fix to the racism in our spectacular and golden public lands is to sell them to Walmart or Disney. (Maybe Facebook or Apple?)

Maybe even sell them to Ted Turner or John Malone, who actually know how to raise buffalo and maintain the land without imposing taxes on inner-city Black folks or Native Americans in reservations.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39522825/ns/business-real_estate/t/leading-us-private-land-owners/#.T7PxuVJjYSU

There is far less racism in Walmart and they don't charge the folks who don't shop there to finance or support their establishments, unlike BLM, the Park Service and the Interior Dept.

Original Mike said...

You're putting us on, right?

Rusty said...

A solar event we can all enjoy. Venus will make a transit of the sun sometime in early June.

Original Mike said...

"A solar event we can all enjoy. Venus will make a transit of the sun sometime in early June."

Unfortunately, here in Wisconsin, we'll only see the beginning of it before sunset.

Shanna said...

Thanks, jimbino. I'm thinking we might have to decide between redwoods and sequioias on this trip, and that it will depend on geography as much as anything. I think I'm more interested in going to northern california than the southern parts but I still need to spend a lot of time researching (and playing around with mapquest!).

rcommal said...

Jimbino: So, what are you advocating? Selling the parks? Higher user fees? What? I'm not really getting your point here. Should Althouse or other not go to the parks because black people don't go? What is it that you want?

Other than to hijack this thread....

paul a'barge said...

Great Basin.

Just north of Las Vegas. Awesome, undeveloped. On the way to Utah.

rcommal said...

You know, this blog and its discussions are mostly political, or at least politicized, or so it seems to me (and why not, given the interests and inclinations of most of the commenters). But I really enjoy postslike this one, which are a nice break--a breath of fresh air, if you will--every now and again, and I like to read about others' adventures and outside interests. For that reason, it's a real bummer, to me, to see a thread like this one veer in this direction. So deflating. Just my two cents. And now I'll shut up.

Original Mike said...

"a breath of fresh air, if you will"

Racist.

F said...

I'm south of Reno and not going anywhere. It should be fairly good here.

I was on the tennis court in Nairobi for the total eclipse in -- when was it, '74 or '75? First the birds stopped chirping. Then it began getting dusky. They so dark we had to stop playing. Great stuff! Especially the quiet birds.

Shanna said...

You have to admit though, rcommal, that the idea that the forests themselves are racist is highly amusing.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I just got back from a grand tour of Zion, Mesa Verde, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, King's Canyon, Sequoia, Death Valley, Organ Pipe, etc. and I counted the minority faces I saw. Result: 4 out of some 4000.

Whether or not they pay taxes, the wealth of this land is the patrimony of all its citizens, and in any case they pay indirect taxes, like corp taxes.


So, why didn't you rent a mini van or small charter bus and pick up a handful of disadvantaged minorities and give them the thrill of a lifetime to see those places that YOU just enjoyed.

I bet you would have changed the percentages, all by your little lonesome if you had.

What? Can't put your money where your mouth is?

circadianreflections said...

If I could I'd go to Canyonlands, but I'm going to NV with friends. It's a 4 hour drive to get to our viewing place, but we'll be able to view totality there.
I have been practicing with my solar filter for awhile and hope I don't screw up the shot! ")

Are you traveling to view it Ann?

Original Mike said...

Personally, I don't go to parks much. Too many people. I like the National Forests.

Michael McNeil said...

A solar event we can all enjoy.

Those who think an annular solar eclipse is boring (not me!) will be that much more bored by the transit of Venus.

Original Mike said...

"I have been practicing with my solar filter for awhile and hope I don't screw up the shot! ")"

I photographed the 1979 total solar eclipse. I screwed up the exposure badly; way overexposed. But, due to internal reflections in the lens, that overexposure resulted in, down in the cornor of one frame, a little, nicely exposed image of totality.

Original Mike said...

Film was a lot less forgiving than digital.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I counted the minority faces I saw. Result: 4 out of some 4000.

Yep. That's what I do for fun on my vacations. Count the minority faces. I have several little clickers that have designated buttons for Black, Hispanic, Asian and a big pink one for obvious Gay and Lesbians (lumped together).

Right. Uh huh. That's what normal people do on vacation. Divide people into racial groups and count them. Sooooo much fun!

/facepalm. That was sarcasm for the benefit of unknown and hatboy.

Michael McNeil said...

I'm thinking we might have to decide between redwoods and sequioias on this trip….

In my view the majesty of an old-growth coast redwood forest (e.g., Humboldt Redwoods State Park) is far more magnificent and moving than the scattered Sequoia groves up in Yosemite (though Yosemite itself is very worthwhile).

Original Mike said...

"Those who think an annular solar eclipse is boring (not me!) will be that much more bored by the transit of Venus."

I want to see the black drop effect.

Shanna said...

In my view the majesty of an old-growth coast redwood forest (e.g., Humboldt Redwoods State Park) is far more magnificent and moving than the scattered Sequoia groves up in Yosemite (though Yosemite itself is very worthwhile).

Humboldt is one of the places I was looking! I would like to go to Yosemite as well, though. It just depends on how much we can fit in (I'm not sure how much time she's going to want to spend looking at trees :) Although she did suggest some for real hiking so who knows?

Original Mike said...

"Galaxies, star clusters, and comets are hard to see (even much harder to see) too — that doesn't mean that they can't be very exciting when one does see them, knowing what they are."

I get especially excited over the faint fuzzies, but it is an acquired taste. Most people's excitment starts and stops with Saturn. Jupiter is an easy sell, too.

PatCA said...

Thanks, guys, it sounds interesting. I'll be in my yard watching!

Original Mike said...

Clear skies, Pat!

John Lynch said...

I'm almost in it. Having seen an annular eclipse before, it's nothing special. You wouldn't notice if you weren't told about it.

The Drill SGT said...

Shanna said...
Bagoh, I have never had any interest in visiting California, but a friend wants to go and now that I've been looking around I am really excited about it because it just looks gorgeous!


1 June. Best day iof the year in Yosemite. The whole rim of the valley is covered with volunteer waterfalls

Original Mike said...

Hey! If Governor Moonbeam sold Yosemite to WalMart, I bet that would bring in some coin!

Michael McNeil said...

I get especially excited over the faint fuzzies, but it is an acquired taste. Most people's excitment starts and stops with Saturn.

So much the worse for them. A big part of the problem (in addition to their false expectations) is the kind of telescope people typically buy: over-powerful with too narrow a field of view. Such telescopes are already too constrained in view-field to see the entirety of wide, dim, dispersed objects like nearby galaxies or star clusters (the Andromeda galaxy, for instance, is eight times wider than the full moon), and when one adds high magnification (the greater the magnification the dimmer the image), not only does one see only a small proportion of it, but an already dim object fades to near invisibility.

The solution is to acquire a good pair of light-gulping astronomical binoculars, or what's known as a rich-field telescope (a wide field of view together with moderate magnification).

Original Mike said...

I chose a rich-field telescope for my first scope for that reason. Hpowever, there's both an upside and a downside. Bottom line is, a man needs more than one scope.

Michael McNeil said...

Hey! If Governor Moonbeam sold Yosemite to WalMart, I bet that would bring in some coin!

Yosemite is a national park. It would have to be President Moonbeam.

Original Mike said...

Obama won't miss it. He never goes there.

Carnifex said...

I've done the eclipse thing a couple of times in my youth. I wouldn't mind taking the grandkids out to see it, but the oldest one would resent being away from the computer, and the youngest one is too young to care. I'd like to take them to all the places I went, but their parents are at best hillbillies. Just the culture they grew up in.

My wife likes to drive places, but just for the solitude, she doesn't care much for people. So we'd go touring, and I would pick the destination, and she would drive. Her idea of going to the Grand Canyon was to drive along one side of it. She did get out to actually look at it once. I am an inveterate tourist. I can go to the strangest places and have the best time finding the most outlandish foods or shops or people.

As far as minorities enjoying the out of doors, it's a cultural thing. I know families of black people that like to fish, a few that like to hunt, but nowadays, the younger generation wants their MTV.

Bryce canyon IS spectacular, and Zion is great if you want to do a mini me version of the Grand, but if I was going to a spot for a total eclipse, I think I'd chose the astrobleme in Arizona...the one from STARMAN.

Ps. The day we did Bryce, it had snowed a foot the night before. I took amazing pictures of the red hoodoos with white caps on them, with tinges of green from the evergreens, and the sky blue as a cornflower.

Carnifex said...

PPS

The astrobleme is privately owned... I saw no abundance of minorities there either. I did see them though. Maybe if some people wouldn't make a big deal out of them going to places like the parks, they would feel less singled out when they did go?? Maybe??

The family unit went to a Powwow in Ocala once...advertised to draw tourists, I can live with that. We were watching the dancers, and then we sort of wandered away. A couple of children ran past us in mufti, they had been dancing. One said the the other "I need a quarter to get a coke", and the other replied "S'okay. I got one". AS they went on their way my mom turned to my dad and said(and I am not making this up) "They sound just like Americans!" My mom has a special kind of innocence.

Original Mike said...

A pow wow is where I got to eat dog.

circadianreflections said...

Original Mike said, "
I photographed the 1979 total solar eclipse. I screwed up the exposure badly; way overexposed."

I've been metering for the sky and locking that in then putting on my Solar Filter. It seems to be working.

I'm more concerned with tracking it!
I'm just using my DSLR and tripod. No tracking device. ")

This will be the first time I'll try to photograph an Annular Solar Eclipse so I'm sure I'll make mistakes, but I'm looking forward to it. I'm not sure if I'll be able to photograph the Transit. I may not get off work in time to do it.

Good luck to you!

Original Mike said...

Good luck to you.

I'm currently not set up for photography. Just visual.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I have never had any interest in visiting California, but a friend wants to go and now that I've been looking around I am really excited about it because it just looks gorgeous!

The northwest coast/Humboldt is the best for the Redwoods and spectacular scenery along HWY 1. The bad news is that it isn't really very easy to get to and would take you many days of driving on somewhat winding and on the coast rather scary roads no matter which direction you approached it from.

Might I suggest you go to Monterey, Pacific Grove (where my family lives) Carmel by the Sea, Big Sur (go to Nepethe for lunch). You can see some Redwoods and do some hiking either in the woods or along the beach. More easily accessible, easier driving, better weather (the north coast can be very foggy...well...so can PG too I guess). Lot's to see in a more compact area for a visitor with limited time.

I would hate for you to come to California and be bored, driving, driving,driving.

Michael McNeil said...

There are only a few isolated groves of redwoods in California's Monterey County. The southernmost full-blown redwood forest is in Santa Cruz County on the north shore of Monterey Bay (about 80 miles south of San Francisco) — however, it's only an adolescent forest (though certainly beautiful enough) since it was mostly cut down a century ago to rebuilt San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake.

Along the northwest coast of California are the truly magnificent old-growth redwood forests; nor does one have to drive along highly-twisty state Highway 1 to get to them — U.S. Highway 101 through there allows efficient progress — just make sure you get off the main road every now and then to take what's known as the “Avenue of the Giants” (i.e., the old road) in order to see the trees to best advantage.

jimbino said...

This would be a great time for your space-cadet governor to sell off CA parks and beaches to Walmart, Ted Turner or the Chinese.

You'd get funds to pay down the debt caused by the inflated wages, health care and pensions of all those gummint functionaries, then you could can those functionaries, and you could end up with facilities that actually attracted a good mix of real Americans.

Michael McNeil said...

This would be a great time for your space-cadet governor to sell off CA parks and beaches to Walmart, Ted Turner or the Chinese.

The chance of the legislature (or a referendum) authorizing that is zero, regardless of how bad the budget crunch is.

Shanna said...

I would hate for you to come to California and be bored, driving, driving,driving.

Heh. That wouldn't be best. The tentative plan is to fly into sanfran, stay for a couple days then rent a car and roam around, staying wherever. Big Sur was on my question mark list.

Thanks to all the CA folks for the hints and suggestions!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

People in the West and in California have a different view of driving than most folks that I know from the Mid West and East areas.

We think nothing of getting in the car and driving 300 to 400 to 500 miles in a day. A 6 to 7 hour non- stop drive is not a big deal at all. We routinely dive 200 to 300 miles round trip just to go shopping. Drive several hundred miles for absolutely no reason at all.

Friends from the Midwest are appalled and shocked at the distances. In fact we rarely say the distance in miles but in time. I takes me 6 1/2 hours to get to Pacific Grove from my house if I get a drive through meal at McDonalds. Stop for lunch...add another hour.

It would take you at least 5 1/2 hrs of straight through truck driver stamina driving to get from SF to Eureka, and you still aren't there yet. I would give myself at least 7 hours to make the trip if you want to stop and eat and pee.

Original Mike said...

People in California must have iron butts.

Amy said...

I must be tired. Had to read the headline a couple times before I realized it said "annular"...

Shanna said...

We routinely dive 200 to 300 miles round trip just to go shopping.

I'm from the south, so I don't know where that puts me :)

I've been mapquesting distances from here to there in California to try to get an idea how long it will take, but I know nothing of the traffic patterns, how fast you can drive, etc.. Mapquest seems to indicate that humbolt is 4 hours from san francisco, and 150 miles from big sur, and 4 hours from yosemite. Of course, these all seem to be in different directions. Man California is big.

I can get anywhere in my state from my house in 3 hours or less.

Original Mike said...

Wu-Who! Over 100 posts on a solar eclipse thread!

traditionalguy said...

In the West the next town is frequently over the mountains and down into the next valley. So dating takes them a 3 hour drive each way. She better be pretty.

Point of interest: Fort Bragg takes exactly 6 hours from Atlanta.

Kevin said...

I live about 10 minutes from Petroglyph and drive past it every morning. Best view in Albuquerque will be from Sandia Crest, 5,000 feet above the city. Sunset there will be later, which means seeing all of the annual. Provided we don't get what we did tonight - clouds about an hour before sunset on the western horizon.

Leslee said...

im staying at home at that time :(
too bad. will just wait for the next eclipse,and to have a better look at it i guess ill be on high ground perhaps?

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