While the buzz about the 2017 solar eclipse continues to grow in Central Oregon, hotels and campsites in the area have been booked for several years. The epicenter of the total solar eclipse happening on August 21, 2017, is Madras, a quaint little town located 60 miles north of Sunriver.
This event is unprecedented—the last coast-to-coast solar eclipse occurred in 1918, long before our vast network of freeways and automobiles existed. Authorities are projecting that tens, or maybe even hundreds of thousands of people, will flock to cities like Bend, Sunriver, Redmond, and Madras to view the eclipse.
How Can I Prepare for the 2017 Solar Eclipse?
For locals and tourists planning to view the eclipse, two Boy Scout mottos come to mind—be prepared and leave no trace. If you are staying in Sunriver or Bend, and plan to travel to Madras on the 21st, authorities are predicting Highway 97 will be at a standstill. Central Oregon authorities have also ramped up their eclipse preparations like they would for a natural disaster.
Pro tips for locals:
- Sunriver locals need to be prepared for anything; stock up on groceries several days in advance and give a few days buffer around August 21st for things like errands and doctor’s appointments.
- Be sure to fill up gas tanks in all of your vehicles 5-7 days before the eclipse because, in some towns, authorities are expecting long lines. In a worst case scenario, there will be gas and grocery shortages. Be sure to spread the word and talk to your neighbors about how they are preparing, too.
- Tips for tourists:
Get your groceries as soon as you arrive. The Sunriver Country Store is located in the Village at Sunriver, and the Sunriver Marketplace is located at 18160 Cottonwood Road.
- Keep your gas tank as full as possible. In Sunriver, there are only two gas stations in Sunriver: Crossroad Shell gas station is located at 56896 Venture Ln and a Shell gas station is located at the 18160 Cottonwood Road at the Sunriver Marketplace. You’ll have more options for gas traveling 20-minutes north or south on Highway 97 to Bend or La Pine, which has more gas stations and grocery stores.
Eye Safety During a Total Solar Eclipse
We were all taught as young children that it is never safe to look at the sun directly. However, what about during an eclipse—it will be dark after all, right? According to NASA’s website, “When watching a partial eclipse, you must wear solar-safe glasses at all time if you want to face the sun.” Scientists go on to explain that there are several phases, before totality, or the moment when it is safe to briefly remove your eclipse glasses and look directly at the sun. For a more detailed explanation visit NASA’s site.
Sunriver locals and tourists can pick up a three-pack of 2017 solar eclipse glasses at the Oregon Observatory at Sunriver for $5.00 while supplies last.
View The Great American Eclipse in Sunriver, Oregon
The total solar eclipse is a wonderful opportunity for the whole family to learn more about our solar system, the sun, and the moon. Especially young children and scientists, as there won’t be another total eclipse of the sun until 2024.
There is a 68-mile-wide shadow path that not only passes through Oregon but eleven other states as well. Madras may be the line of totality. However, there will be spectacular views of the partial eclipse in places like Bend, La Pine, and Sunriver. Since we already know traffic will be a nightmare, there are several places offering Sunriver bike rentals in the Village at Sunriver. Village Bike and Ski offers a large, new complete bicycle fleet and tourists renting through Village Properties enjoy a 10% discount at Village Bike & Ski Shop and several other retail stores and restaurants.