Your last-minute eclipse survival guide. Throw your stuff in the car and go

A sign warns drivers of traffic delays Thursday on westbound state Route 16 in Tacoma.
A sign warns drivers of traffic delays Thursday on westbound state Route 16 in Tacoma.

You’ve read the stories about eclipse traffic headed to Oregon.

And you still want to go? Read on. Consider this your last-minute, gotta-get-there-or else guide.


With up to 1 million people expected to descend on Oregon for the eclipse, The Oregonian on Thursday published its guide of roads and their issues, with an assist from the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Among the expected trouble/high-traffic spots listed that would be of interest to those coming from the South Sound between now and Monday:

▪ Interstate 5 from Portland to south of Eugene. Especially Monday, and probably slow going Saturday and Sunday.

▪ All of U.S. 101. The narrow, curvy road can be tricky on the best of days. All it takes is one wreck and you’re stuck.

▪ U.S. 26 from Portland to Madras. The tiny town is at the heart of the path of totality, and its eclipse page (they’ve had some time to prepare) offers a link to traffic cams.

Madras also has a travel FAQ, which offers this: “If you can’t get here days before, at least plan to arrive Sunday night, park in one of the Park & View (’daytripper’) lots and nap in your car until morning. If you end up parking on the street, please don’t block fire hydrants and don’t block driveways.”

▪ U.S. 97 from Interstate 84 to Bend. According to The Oregonian, “A route from Washington to Madras, and part of an alternative route for traveling Portlanders, U.S. 97 isn’t likely to fare much better than U.S. 26.”

▪ State Route 18 from the coast to state Route 22 junction. This goes to coastal towns in the path of totality.

▪ State Route 58 from U.S. 97 to Interstate 5 (Willamette Highway).

▪ U.S. 20 from I-5 to U.S. 97.

▪ State Route 126 from U.S. 20 to U.S. 97.

▪ State Route 22 from state Route 18 to the U.S. 20 junction.


Any chance of lodging?

The Oregonian offered a list of last-minute listings for those with some serious money to burn. At this point, you’re looking at $4,200 for a third-floor apartment in Salem. Really.

Airbnb, which still had 3 percent of its Oregon listings available Thursday for booking a stay Sunday through Monday, reminds customers to read previous community reviews before booking, and always communicate and pay on its platform.

“You should never be asked to wire money or pay another user directly. In fact, if you are, we advise you to report this behavior to us right away,” Airbnb responded via email to The News Tribune.

If you get to your listing and something’s not right or it’s not as advertised, immediately contact Airbnb customer service for help.

“In advance of this historic event, we have put together a dedicated event team so that our hosts and guests have the best and safest possible experience,” according to Airbnb.


This is not a procrastinator’s paradise.

Toby Getsch, who runs 4x4WKND Adventure out of West Seattle, offered this advice: “My gut says, “Don’t go if you have not prepared already.”

He also notes that most people won’t follow that advice.

“Plan for many delays and add lots of time,” he added.

Remember, “Everyone wants the same thing you do. So bring a full extra day’s worth of supplies.”

Main item to bring: water. And a tent, if you’re optimistic.

Hope you have your 10 essentials packed and ready and a parking lot picked out for overnight car camping. (No parking alongside of highways or roads.)

Oregon State Parks’ website offers a list of places you can stay outside of state parks if you don’t already have reservations.

“We don’t have any first-come, first-serve or walk-in sites in the path of totality the nights of Aug. 18-20,” according to the website. “You will be turned away if you go to a park in or near the path of totality without a reservation.”

And, although cannabis is legal in Oregon, some of the camp listings note that you must comply not only with state laws, but with federal as well — meaning they don’t want to see or smell your epic pot stash.

Madras has a list of campgrounds at McMenamins offers a list of its sites with special day-of events at its Oregon properties, if you can get to those sites.

Last but not least, we turn to an online camping guide created for Coachella fans. Some extra things to consider taking along:

▪ Pedialyte powder (To avoid dehydration.)

▪ Watermelon and frozen grapes.

▪ Trail mix.

▪ Face wipes or extra washcloths.

▪ Hand sanitizer.

▪ Toilet paper.

▪ Sleeping bag and air mattress with battery-powered pump.

▪ Flashlights and extra batteries.

▪ Sunscreen — a must-have for the sunny days, except for a certain couple of minutes on Monday.

Debbie Cockrell: 253-597-8364, @Debbie_Cockrell

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