Wait, are they? You might think that people from all over the country have already descended in droves upon the areas that are in the path of Monday's total solar eclipse. They are lined up, nestled in their spot, fighting tooth and nail to have the best spots. If you think this, well:
We're not saying that this isn't the case in the eastern part of the country. We have no idea. Nothing has really been reported yet to us, from that part of the country.
So is all the hype going to be overdone? Could this be a bit of a non-event? Could this be another Y2K? ????
We will have to see. Meantime, from personal experience, we can tell you that Stanley, Idaho is WIDE OPEN as far as places to stay right now. There are so many spots to be had!
However, it's eerily quiet. Not just in Stanley, but in other areas as well. Want proof? Ok.
Long Creek, Oregon: Friend and full-time RVer Peter Milliron of FaithTheFinalFrontier is staying somewhere around here for the total solar eclipse. He got there on Tuesday, and as of today, Friday, only three other RVs have shown up. He says "there are at least three different wide open areas of a few acres each that campers could be in" on the road he's found.
Ketchum, Idaho: Our Friends Dave and Kelly are there now. They are staying on public land and they mentioned that "It's quiet near us. Definitely not anything I would describe as crowded." Boom. Look Here on Campendium.
Huntington, Oregon: Here's an RVer parked in Huntington, Oregon. She says that there is almost no-one around and there are lots of good spots there along the snake river, all for free! This was reported on Thursday evening. I replied to this comment and she said to be careful on this road along the Snake River. Sometimes one-lane only, and a steep drop-off. Otherwise, all good and just look at the place! Gorgeous...
Stanley, Idaho: Like I said earlier, it's wiiiiiide open, folks! You have Camp Addict as your personal witness. We are here. There's a giant field about 6 miles west of Stanley on Valley Creek Road. It's not listed on Campendium or FreeCampsites.net. It's ready to take people. It looks like the city has it set up so anyone can park there in the grassy area, previous spot used or not.
Literally, X marks the spot. That whole field is open for campers. Only 3 or 4 RVs are there now. They have garbage containers and also porta-potties. There's even a BBQ trailer there as well for those who don't feel like cooking! Plenty of spots on other BLM or Forest roads. It also boasts FANTASTIC views of the Sawtooth Mountain range! That huge field to the left is totally empty still.
Madras, Oregon: Now, HERE'S a place that is already getting packed. Well duh! This is where the Oregon Solarfest is taking place. They have 5,500 campsites, 500 of them being RVs. Yes, they are sold out. Fellow Xscaper friends of ours are there.
Yesterday the lines got pretty crazy to pull into the place. Friend and full-time RVer William Trinkle of TrinklesOnTour said they waited 3 hours in line to get in yesterday. But that's to be expected- It's an official event, and people paid to be there. When people pay, they show up. Don't expect every area to be like this one. This is the place you will see in the news. Don't be scared off by seeing this.
Look at part of yesterday's line of arrival (Thursday). Photo courtesy of Oregon State Police
Highway 21 From Stanley, Idaho To Idaho City, Idaho: Camp Addict Kelly drove this road yesterday (Thursday) in the morning and the evening. There were many spots to be found along this road, many beside a creek or river. No, there weren't any additional RVs parked in any of the spots on the drive back. One would expect people to start arriving this evening and tomorrow (Saturday) We shall see.
Jackson, Wyoming/The Tetons: Well now come on. THIS is a spot that is ALWAYS crowded this time of year. You have to expect that it's going to be a madhouse, starting already. Marissa, of Less Junk More Journey is there right now. She said this about Upper Teton View... (A VERY coveted spot all year around) "We knew this would be the perfect location to view the eclipse, but this place is not a secret. People have already been here over a week locking in their spot and many others are driving by all hours of the day looking for a spot to squeeze in. We have already been told a group of 40 tents are showing up on Sunday to the already tight views." Yikes! But, that goes with the territory.
We just heard from some ex full-time friends who were just at the Tetons that the powers that be are either shutting down Shadow Mountain down, or are strictly limiting the stay to 2 or 3 days. Don't expect to go to a very popular destination (The Tetons) at this point and get a good spot!
Craigslist: Oh, here's a goldmine, if you are looking for a paid spot. MANY people have rented out farmers open land across many states, and they are providing 3-night stays and such for a fee. Some provide toilets, some don't. Check out Craigslist if you want to go and don't want to hunt for a boondocking spot. It's just as good as dry camping at a State park.
Finding Boondocking Spots
How does one go about finding boondocking spots? The best two resources are Campendium.com and FreeCampsites.net. It's very easy to do if you use Camp Addict's Guide To Boondocking. We show you how to find them with easy video tutorials showing step-by-step methods of looking for a spot.
Again, currently, as of Friday the 18th of August, there are PLENTY of spots to be found! Get out here asap and beat the incoming crowds.
Still Not Sure You Want To See The Eclipse?
Well, unless you're up there in age, it's not necessarily the last full eclipse you will ever get to see in this country. There are a few more coming up in the not-too-distant future. If you are anywhere CLOSE to the path, you may as well do this if you can.
Check out this Ted Talks clip of a man who now chases full solar eclipses around the world. That's how spectacular it is to him!
It's the only time you can see the sun as well as some planets in the sky, together. Pretty cool.
Camp On and go see the eclipse, Addicts!
UPDATE: Camp Addict strikes again! The crowds (OUTSIDE of any official gathering) were next to nothing for the eclipse in the totality path. Stanley predicted crowds of 30,000. It was nothing like that. Maybe 2K showed up!
The field we mentioned had a handful of daytrippers. Nothing more. The eclipse was an AWESOME event to see in the path of totality! We highly recommend making plans to be in the path of the next one coming up in 2024. : )