Ensconced in Woodhead Park again, awaiting the eclipse - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-08-2017, 09:54 PM   #1
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Ensconced in Woodhead Park again, awaiting the eclipse

I returned to Woodhead Park, Idaho today to await the solar eclipse. The park is just within the path of totality, so I will get about a minute of darkness here, though I may drive farther south on eclipse day.

I didn't know what to expect, so I arrived at the beginning of the 14-day stay window. I thought I'd see the place populated by other science nerds with time on their hands, as this is a first-come, first-served campground. But it's almost empty-- I bet there are no more than five RVs in the 124-site campground. The campground host for my loop said one other person had asked about staying for the eclipse, and he didn't think the place would fill up. I have no idea, as I was reminded again that others don't think the way I do.

It's $16 per night with electric and water hookups, $14 if you're 60+. So if you're in the region and are thinking about a place to camp for the eclipse, this may be it.
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:19 AM   #2
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I agree the solar eclipse really makes it difficult to judge all the "normal" rules. I scouted a BLM campsite near Casper, WY. On a tuesday it was empty. zero, no one. So that tells me it has no normal weekday use, I assume it fills on weekends. Its first come, first serve.
So, my plan is to arrive on Wednesday the 16th, about 5 days prior to the eclipse. Is that too late? I assume the place will fill to overflow by the weekend. But how many folks are out there that will boondock for 5 days just to get a spot?

All guesswork. If I arrive 5 days prior and BLM boondock CG is full, man I will have under-estimated by a long shot.
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:22 AM   #3
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Plus, I was figuring for any given location, where is the traffic going to come from? For something like St Louis, MO, they could fly in from around the world, or fly to Chicago and drive down. But who would fly to Casper? Not many. So, it seems the traffic to Casper is basically going to be CO, MN, MT. Mostly Denver.

Looking at a map, it seems Idaho is out now a site for out of towners, who would fly to Portland and stay in that area. So, it seems only the "local region".

But, who knows? we shall see.
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:21 AM   #4
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Plus, I was figuring for any given location, where is the traffic going to come from? For something like St Louis, MO, they could fly in from around the world, or fly to Chicago and drive down. But who would fly to Casper? Not many. So, it seems the traffic to Casper is basically going to be CO, MN, MT. Mostly Denver.

Looking at a map, it seems Idaho is out now a site for out of towners, who would fly to Portland and stay in that area. So, it seems only the "local region".

But, who knows? we shall see.
So, I heard an estimate yesterday that some 500,000 people are expected to the Boise area for the eclipse. I have no idea where that number came from, but it seems HIGHLY unlikely to me. We're only hosting 2 out of towers ourselves and anecdotally haven't heard too many friends mentioning visitors for the big event. I did notice the hotels are either full or asking one arm and two legs to stay. We're just a hair south of the totality band so we're planning a short drive north Monday AM.
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:06 AM   #5
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People intending to boondock on BLM land in eastern Oregon / western Idaho will have to deal with temperatures approaching 100 degrees, so I think after a day or two of that they will be looking for a site with hookups.
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:08 PM   #6
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Animal sacrifice?

I ate dinner tonight in Midvale, Idaho, south of Cambridge and very near the centerline of totality for the eclipse. I asked the waitress if they were ready. She said Midvale has only 150 people, and the state told them to expect 5-10,000 for the eclipse. People have been calling with questions. One caller wanted to know the best location to conduct an animal sacrifice during the eclipse. They told the caller we don't do that here, and um, are you bringing the animal? No, the caller replied, we'll "find some".

The waitress' family owns cattle, and now she thinks she will have to miss work in order to guard her cows.

Still only a few RVs in Woodhead Park, fyi.
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Old 08-16-2017, 12:34 PM   #7
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Update

According to camping neighbors who counted RVs while taking a walk around Woodhead Park this morning (Wed. 8/16), there were twelve RVs in the park. The park has 124 sites, and is first-come, first-served with water and electric for $16 per night.

We will get only 54 seconds of totality here during the eclipse. That's not much but it beats nothing, and there is the option of driving farther south on the big day to find a spot with a longer period of darkness. And to sacrifice a cow or something.
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Old 08-17-2017, 03:06 PM   #8
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According to camping neighbors who counted RVs while taking a walk around Woodhead Park this morning (Wed. 8/16), there were twelve RVs in the park. The park has 124 sites, and is first-come, first-served with water and electric for $16 per night.

We will get only 54 seconds of totality here during the eclipse. That's not much but it beats nothing, and there is the option of driving farther south on the big day to find a spot with a longer period of darkness. And to sacrifice a cow or something.


I'll be curious how full it gets by E-Day. Woodhead was our first weekend trip this spring after getting our Escape home in April. The Idaho Power parks are some of my favorites.


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Old 08-17-2017, 04:17 PM   #9
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The Idaho Power parks are some of my favorites.
Indeed. Everything is clean and in working order. Another camper told me the Idaho Power parks are the best maintained campgrounds he's been in, and I'd have to agree. I bet it's really nice here in the springtime, when it's cooler and the landscape is green.

As of this afternoon (Thursday) there's still relatively few sites occupied. The campground host expects people to start coming in on Friday, but actually nobody has a clue.
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Old 08-17-2017, 04:58 PM   #10
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Indeed. Everything is clean and in working order. Another camper told me the Idaho Power parks are the best maintained campgrounds he's been in, and I'd have to agree. I bet it's really nice here in the springtime, when it's cooler and the landscape is green.

As of this afternoon (Thursday) there's still relatively few sites occupied. The campground host expects people to start coming in on Friday, but actually nobody has a clue.
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Old 08-17-2017, 07:41 PM   #11
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Keep us updated, it's like the next chapter of a series.

If my Escape had AC I'd be heading down but we have a senior dog who doesn't do well in the heat and I don't either.
Took it for granted in my Casita, didn't use it lots but when you need it you need it,
Looking into AC is on the to do list but it seems to be quite pricey.
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Old 08-17-2017, 09:04 PM   #12
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You'd need A/C in Woodhead Park; it got up into the low 90s today. We had rain last weekend that cooled things off from the high 90s last week, but now the temps are starting to climb again. The sky is clearer, though-- less haze from the wildfires.
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Old 08-17-2017, 10:05 PM   #13
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More eclipse drivel

https://www.theguardian.com/science/...n-weiser-idaho

Weiser is about fifty miles from Woodhead Park, via highway. I've been there, since it has a laundromat and barber shops. Although it's small, Weiser isn't that far from larger towns and I-84 to the south.

On Wednesday I visited Mann Creek Park, which is almost right on the center line for the eclipse. I saw a trailer with a banner that said "Emergency Communications" so I stopped to talk to the owner, Bill, a ham radio operator. He told me that he was there as an emergency comms station for the event, and that there were other stations in neaby Midvale and Cambridge (I think). On Monday there were be a ham stationed every two miles on US 95 from Midvale to Weiser. Bill said police have told them that they expect a 4-6 hour backup from the lake to Weiser, a distance of fifteen miles. I don't quite believe it will be that bad, but like everyone else I have no idea.
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Old 08-18-2017, 09:09 AM   #14
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Woodhead campsite report for Friday morning, 8/18

During my morning walk I saw 21 RV campsites occupied out of 124 available. Most of these people appeared to be fisherman with boats plus RVs or tents.
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Old 08-19-2017, 08:46 AM   #15
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I say let's be clear about all this eclipse insanity.... and stop the insanity. There will be no backups, tie-ups, pile-ups, major congestion, or any of them bull-shipping predictions of incontinence caused by masses of eclipse-watching maniacs stacked to watch the sun and the moon pass by each other. The reality is no one really cares that much about this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Life goes on regardless, as it always will, until it don't.
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Old 08-19-2017, 09:11 AM   #16
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I say let's be clear about all this eclipse insanity.... and stop the insanity. There will be no backups, tie-ups, pile-ups, major congestion, or any of them bull-shipping predictions of incontinence caused by masses of eclipse-watching maniacs stacked to watch the sun and the moon pass by each other. The reality is no one really cares that much about this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Life goes on regardless, as it always will, until it don't.
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Old 08-19-2017, 11:14 AM   #17
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Woodhead campsite report for Saturday 8/19

This morning there are 17 campsites occupied out of 124 available. The fishing must not be any good.
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Old 08-19-2017, 12:03 PM   #18
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Idaho Power even tweeted yesterday they had lots of space in their Hells Canyon campgrounds. Guess that didn't fill them up. Alas, camping isn't in the cards for us this weekend.


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Old 08-19-2017, 11:27 PM   #19
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More people came in tonight. Some are tent campers and I saw one pop-up trailer. A large Class A motorhome driving through was the quietest large vehicle I've ever heard. That thing could sneak up on you.

The town of Cambridge has deployed porta-potties on the sidewalk ("by Honey Dippers of McCall") and the Forest Service had an information booth set up today on Route 71 south of Woodhead Park. They were giving out flyers with Forest Service rules and stickers "for the grandchildren". Like everyone else, they had no idea what to expect. Gas has gone from $2.62 / gallon in Cambridge last week to $2.75 today, but it's still available.
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Old 08-20-2017, 12:03 AM   #20
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Keep those reports coming Mike.
I've seen all sorts of stories on how to protect your eyes by viewing the eclipse indirectly; pin holes and colanders casting images of the sun. I'm going to watch it indirectly, on CNN.
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