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  1. Default First time solo traveler from CA to OR for the eclipse

    Hey everyone,
    I'm taking a road trip from San Jose, CA to Albany, OR during the eclipse weekend for the "Great American Eclipse" of 2017 - they make it sound so dramatic lol. Anyways, I have never done this before and have never travelled by myself this far. If anyone has any tips, anything at all would be greatly appreciated. I was super excited at the beginning and feeling quite adventurous, I still am, but as the date of my departure from SJ gets closer I feel a bit paranoid and scared though I have no intentions of backing down from this. I think seeing this total solar eclipse is worth it and it will really mean a lot for me to experience it. Plus, i think the solo travel is going to be a good experience too. My entire family has been apprehensive about this and I get where they are coming from but I think as long as I take the right precautions and am extra careful everything will be fine. I have never done anything this adventurous and risky before and have always been one to stay within my comfort zone but I think this is a good opportunity for me to grow and experience new things. I am already 19 and I know some people have done even longer road trips at a younger age. Any advice on this will be really appreciated, thanks!

    + also this trip will be approx. 9-10 and 1/2 hrs. at most so it's not like i would have to be stopping at a crappy gas station in the dead of the night. the sun will be up for most of my drive as I'd be leaving very early in the morning

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A long weekend ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    I understand your families concerns and admire your determination in getting 'out there', we all want to spread our wings at some point (or at least most of us) and it's obviously your time. The first thing to recognise is that this is going to be a long day on the road and is not going to be anywhere near the 9 hour mark and you should think of the 10.5 hours as a bare minimum or else the last couple of hours are going to be tough mentally and that can lead to fatigue. You need to stop and stretch and hydrate etc regularly throughout the drive, but at times that can be done when you fill with gas and take a bathroom break. Not all trips are perfect, you may have congestion and construction delays which will add more time to your day and the excitement you feel at the start may wear off towards the later stages as you realise this is a work like drive. The mileage you need to cover is right on the limit of what we would recommend an experienced driver do in a single day and as a parent I would actually be more relaxed about the whole thing if you were to leave a day earlier and spend a night in a decent Motel on the way, perhaps around the 400 mile mark and make it more of an adventure with a 'cushion of time'. Letting them know of your whereabouts when you stop and letting them know your safe will help ease their mind and will likely offer you a bit of security knowing they are 'there'. You have not mentioned what vehicle you will be using or it's age and condition but it should be fully checked over to make sure the brake and tyre condition etc are safe and that your fluids are topped up and it's mechanically sound. If not already, it will be worth considering joining a motoring organisation such as AAA.

    Another thing you don't actually state is whether this is a 'long weekend' trip. If you are planning on driving there and spending one night while witnessing the eclipse and then turning around next day and doing another 600 mile drive, then yes this really is too much to do and you need to rethink as safety would be an issue.

    Enjoy your adventure and stay safe.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Missouri


    I do hope that you've had your reservations in Albany for a long time. We stayed there overnight on our recent trip, and upon discussion, the hotel clerk stated that every hotel/motel/B&B/airbnb had been sold out for the Aug 19-20-21-22 dates for well over a year. (We were at the Phoenix Inn Albany.)


  4. Default

    Thank you!
    This will be a long weekend trip as I will be leaving on Friday at 4 am and plan to be there Friday afternoon. I haven't gotten my car checked yet, it is a 2002 Honda Civic and I never had any problems with it. Though I will get it checked sometime this weekend.

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