For Western new Yorkers looking to visit the area of totality for Monday’s Great American Eclipse, if you haven’t already started planning, one expert says you’re running out of time.
Hotel bookings, space on the roadways and ideal locations to camp out will all become harder and harder to find with each passing day until August 21st.
Alan Friedman, Buffalo’s resident astro-photographer, is getting ready to execute his own plan that’s been in the works for almost 2 years.
“[It’s] my first commitment to go do it, because you've got to travel to see a solar eclipse, and I've not made the commitment to do it,” Friedman laughed. “I do 98% of my work from my back yard, 15 feet from my back door."
He’s headed to Kentucky, closer to a small city that’s going to be right along the eclipse’s line of totality; but even with his food, rooming, and location locked in place, he’s mentally prepared to start finding backup plans in a moment’s notice.
Early weather forecasts show several cities along the path of totality could be in store for unfavorable weather, forcing aggressive eclipse-viewers to look for alternatives quickly.
"You've got to bear in mind that there are going to be millions of other people trying to do the same thing,” said Friedman. “One of my suggestions is Google Map where you want to go, and then find a different way to go."
Friedman's journey will take 5 or 6 days, and while he says there's a potential for everything to go off smoothly, he admits it wouldn't be a bad idea to make plans similar to those before a major weather event: plenty of water, plenty of food, and a full tank of gas in your vehicle.
"Think of it like a giant fireworks display: you don't want to be the last one there and the first one to leave.”