Why is the Eclipse is so Popular?
If you’ve never been in the path of totality for a solar eclipse, you may not realize what all the fuss is about. Very few of us have ever seen a total eclipse of the sun because they occur so infrequently that you are lucky of it occurs even once in your lifetime right where you are standing. But imagine this…it’s the middle of a warm sunny day. The birds are singing and you feel a slight breeze on your face. Then the sky starts to darken…almost imperceptibly at first. In fact, you might not even notice because it’s similar to clouds covering the sun but what you do notice is the hush. The birds stop singing, the air starts to chill and the wind changes. Maybe it stops, or maybe it starts to blow hard. Then you start to notice the darkening sky till suddenly, the light goes out completely…in the middle of the day, the stars come out! If you look toward the sun, all you see is a circle of black where the sun was and an amazing glowing halo around that circle of black (the moon that is covering the sun.) It is eerie, mesmerizing and you are filled with awe, suddenly understanding why ancient people were so terrified when this event took them by surprise.
The Best Show Ever!
Yes, you’ve been to Branson and you know that there are 150 or more shows to choose from but none can compare to experiencing the spectacle of a total eclipse of the sun. It is unlike anything you are likely to experience in your life and the good news is that, if you are staying in one of our Branson Cabins or other Branson lodging, you are close to what the experts call the “Path of Totality.” Click HERE for a great video: http://eclipseguy.com/videos/still-hooked/
Yes, you’ll have to drive about three hours but if you stay in Branson, the sun will only be eclipsed about 93% and that left over 7% will probably not even result in the sky darkening appreciably. Everyone I have ever read who has experienced a total eclipse will tell you “Close is not good enough. You might as well be a thousand miles away. Unless you get into the zone of total, 100% eclipse, you will not get the experience at all.”
Take a look at the “Totality over Missouri” map and you can see how the moon’s shadow crosses over the center of the state. Come to Branson over the weekend of August 19 and stay through till Tuesday. The eclipse is on Monday, August 21st and you can drive to St Clair (right on US 44 out of Springfield) where they are hosting multiple events.
Here’s a map: https://goo.gl/maps/79wVogGaTck It will start at 11:48 am, reach totality (“Lights OUT”) at 1:15pm till 1:18pm and be all over by 2:43pm. That is one of the longest total eclipse periods anywhere in the nation! Although it should only take about three hours to reach St. Clair, you should leave some extra time because there will be extra traffic for this event. Head up early in the morning, have breakfast in St Clair and relax while you wait for the experience of a lifetime!
Protect Your Eyes!
One thing you need to remember, you can go blind looking at the sun without eye protection. During Totality (when the sun is completely blocked by the moon) the amount of light is about the same as a full moon and it’s safe to look (even with binoculars) at the eclipsed sun but ANY OTHER TIME (even with only half a percent of the sun showing) you must use protective glasses or filters. We got ours at Amazon.com but you can get them at Walmart, Walgreens, Target and dozens of other stores. They cost as little as $1 each. Do a google search for “Eclipse glasses.” This is another reason why you need to get into the path of totality if at all possible. Anywhere else and you’ll have to wear the glasses the whole time.
Across the USA
Called “The Great American Eclipse” it is rare to have an eclipse event that spans the entire continent, especially all the way across the USA from Oregon to South Carolina.
Check out the interactive map here: http://xjubier.free.fr/en/site_pages/solar_eclipses/TSE_2017_GoogleMapFull.html
This map shows that the path of totality runs through 14 states and is in easy driving distance from more than half the population of the USA. Thousands of communities are gearing up for festivals and celebrations, expecting thousands to hundreds of thousands of visitors from outside their borders to converge on their location around the date of the eclipse. (The town of Madras, Oregon for example, expects 150,000 visitors to descend on their small community of only 3700 residents!)
No matter where you live, or plan to be visiting on August 21st, you are probably within a reasonable driving distance to a location where you can view this natural spectacle but don’t expect to find any lodging available in most path of totality communities. Just outside those communities, like in Branson, you can find great lodging close enough to drive up to see it. If you live close to the path, check the map above and you can zoom in to see where you can get to easily. One cool thing about this map…you can click anywhere on the map and a data sheet will pop up telling you exactly how much of the sun will be covered and when it will start. Just remember:
- The time noted on the data sheet will be UTC so you will have to subtract several hours from that time to get your local time. (PDT, subtract 9; MDT, subtract 8; CDT, subtract 7 and EDT, subtract 6.)
- If the data sheet says anything other than 100%, you’re not in the right place and compared to totality, anything else will be boring at best.
- And of course…WEAR YOUR EYE PROTECTION except while the sun is completely blocked by the moon.
Lodging in Branson, MO
We truly hope that you will have a fabulous time enjoying this eclipse. And, don’t forget, for the best lodging in Branson, MO, you can’t do better than checking at https://bransonregal.com/rentals. Branson Regal is able to reserve for you almost any vacation unit inside Stonebridge and hundreds if units of all kinds all over Branson. That includes large homes that sleep up to 20, Luxury Villas and, of course, cabins of all sizes (1-Br to 7-Br.) In addition, we can help you get the best prices on golf, show and attraction tickets. No matter what you might want to do in Branson, just give us a holler by phone or email and we’ll make planning your perfect vacation easy.