Carbondale eclipse viewing meetup?
posted January 4, 2017 8:30 PM   RSS

Posting to gauge interest in a mefi solar eclipse meetup in or near Carbondale IL. The date is obviously set (Aug 21) but the details of the meet up location and any other plans are open to suggestion. I live in Carbondale and plan to have the day off of work so I can help coordinate and facilitate as needed but first I need to know if anyone is interested and what other folks had in mind. posted by metaphorever to Proposed (23 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

The McGee family is planning on a trek to Carbondale and we would be interested! We'll be staying an hour north of the city and plan on driving in that morning, or possibly to Marion (on I-57) or the Shawnee National Forest, if weather or traffic warrants. No concrete viewing plans, although I know (from local astronomy mailing lists) that SIU is having a viewing event in their stadium along with a bunch of educational stuff.

Anyway count us as tentatively in as a mother of three under 8 can count herself in to anything. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:08 PM on January 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

I would love to, but that's a work night (yes, I work nights) and I have no car. Otherwise that would be ALL KINDS of AWESOME! Although, after hearing what I sound like I am not sure you all want to know what I am like in person.
posted by Samizdata at 12:06 AM on January 5, 2017

I would love to part of a MeFi meetup. Since I live far from the eclipse's path, Carbondale is as good a place as any! Metaphorever, thanks for being willing to coordinate.
posted by Sublimity at 4:22 AM on January 5, 2017

I'm considering the trek myself: I'll have to arrange some things in advance, though. Great idea!
posted by pjern at 5:16 AM on January 5, 2017

We are likewise planning a trip to Carbondale, but have not booked -- we're thinking we may stay in St. Louis Friday night, perhaps camp nearby Saturday night, weather permitting, and drive in on Sunday. I've got two small kids in tow, so that's a complicating factor, potentially.
posted by middleclasstool at 5:27 AM on January 5, 2017

Hmmm. I was thinking about doing Hopkinsville (from Louisville) because it's on an interstate. I could maybe add a half hour to be with people.
posted by phlyingpenguin at 5:31 AM on January 5, 2017

I'm a day off on my calendar. We'd hit StL Saturday and either stay two nights and drive to Carbondale Monday morning, or else camp Sunday night.
posted by middleclasstool at 5:34 AM on January 5, 2017

We would be a tentative yes. We have friends in Carbondale and would crash on their floor.

It would be cool to have our own magnified projection device within the group, either from a telescope or an off-the-shelf rear projector, in addition to cheap eclipse glasses and pinhole projectors.
posted by muddgirl at 6:17 AM on January 5, 2017

I'm about 1.5 hrs away from Carbondale.I would love to be a part of the group, especially because my husband will probably have school. I will also know closer to time if we can assist with accommodations.
posted by sorrygottago at 8:40 AM on January 5, 2017

We're actually going to go to the Cahokia Mounds for the related ritual burnings and human sacrifices, but if that doesn't pan out we'll come down to Carbondale.
posted by daisystomper at 10:42 AM on January 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

My cousin's family has a house in Carterville, so I should ask what his family's plans are that day...
posted by stannate at 11:48 AM on January 5, 2017

It sounds like most folks have the right idea about accommodations. I haven't checked or anything but Carbondale doesn't have a whole lot of hotel capacity and there will be a lot of demand so unless you can lock down a reservation soon it will probably be easier to stop over in St Louis or somewhere else and make the last bit of the drive in the morning like Eyebrows and middleclasstool are considering.

I think the main thing I'm wanting to work out is whether folks would rather be a part of a large viewing event or if they would prefer to have a smaller Mefite only gathering.

SIU will be hosting a bunch of stuff on campus (science expo, craft fair, food vendors, viewing stations) Pros: lots of science stuff to learn about, better viewing equipment. Cons: may be hard to find each other in the big crowds, potential tickets and parking expenses

The other option would be to hold the meet up on private property for a more low-key picnic and hang-out style viewing. Pros: free, quieter/more private. Cons: only the viewing equipment we bring, fewer planned/managed activities.

There's also lots of room for a combination of the two since the whole thing should last about 3 hours and lots of the stuff at SIU and elsewhere should be happening all day.
posted by metaphorever at 1:53 PM on January 5, 2017

It looks like there will also be viewing parties at Giant City State Park as well as SIU University Farm, although details on these events are more sparse.
posted by muddgirl at 1:58 PM on January 5, 2017

I'd potentially be interested — that's about a 4.5 hour drive for me, but only slightly farther than some of the Kentucky locations.

For the 2024 one I won't have to travel at all!
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:33 PM on January 5, 2017

My vote would be for a smaller/focused group event. I'd rather socialize with MeFites than fight huge crowds. Bet we could all go in on a bulk order of eclipse viewing glasses or something.
posted by Sublimity at 4:13 PM on January 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Also--since I'm coming from New England, I'd be totally game to bring some regional goodies to share. Maple sugar candies? Bully Boy rum? Maybe get zany and ship out a few lobsters?
posted by Sublimity at 4:23 PM on January 5, 2017

DevilsAdvocate - we could drive together.
posted by pjern at 7:11 PM on January 5, 2017

> Also--since I'm coming from New England, I'd be totally game to bring some regional goodies to share. Maple sugar candies? Bully Boy rum? Maybe get zany and ship out a few lobsters?

Bring a couple cases of Moxie and put some hair on these midwest chests. I may have a friend from the NH seacoast coming in as well.
posted by phlyingpenguin at 8:16 PM on January 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

I don't even know what that is, so maybe I'll get some hair on my chest too!

Since it looks like accommodations are starting to get a little tight in some places along the path, I went ahead and booked a (refundable) room in St Louis for Saturday through Tuesday. It's got two double beds, so if anyone else who is coming needs a place to crash and would like to coordinate on the drive to Carbondale, we can team up.
posted by Sublimity at 3:54 AM on January 6, 2017

I don't know if I can logistically make a trip to Carbondale work (and likely won't until August), but if anyone is passing through StL on the way and wants to couch surf in a somewhat sleepy but very safe neighborhood in the city, I'm happy to offer mine up. Just be cool with my 50-lb (sweetheart) dog.
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:09 AM on January 9, 2017

Oooh yes, this is something I'd like to do, so I'm poking into the thread to mark my interest. I may be interested in sharing accommodation. I'll be coming from the Chicago area. Eeee!
posted by spelunkingplato at 5:56 PM on January 12, 2017

I wouldn't be traveling, but some people have indicated they'd be in the area of Nebraska, so maybe I can get off my duff and host an eclipse meetup if there's interest?
posted by PussKillian at 2:21 PM on January 13, 2017

I'd be for this. Hell, if people were flying into STL I could maybe even give a couple rides.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 10:34 AM on January 16, 2017

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