Grant County will be one of the best spots in the United States to see the coming total solar eclipse. This week's Grant County Gazette offers some tips on find lodging for this event.
The accompanying pictures are this year's Timber Trucker Parade. The Chamber of Commerce contributed a float promoting the eclipse and during the parade hosted a viewing party with cookies, campfires and smores.
If you are planning to stay in Grant County during the eclipse, your choices are: camping, RV parking site, motel, or a space in a private home. As of this writing, Dec. 13, 2016, there are still some openings available in each category, but they are filling up fast so you shouldn't wait. As to where in Grant County is the best spot, I would say that it doesn't really matter. Almost every spot in Grant County except a bit of the southwest and a sliver of the northeast corner is within the zone of totality. An experienced eclipse viewer told me that finding a spot with a good view of the sky at 10:20 a.m. is more important than being exactly under the centerline of the path.
My advice is to find a spot within the zone that fits your needs and budget and plan on coming a couple of days early. That will give you time to scout out the best nearby viewing station. On the topic of one's budget, I can't give you much guidance on rates since they vary widely. Dry campsites (you must bring all water, drinking and washing with you) vary from $25 to $200 per night. I have heard that some motels are asking $500/night. Lodging in private homes can be anything from bare bones to luxury so the prices will vary accordingly. Motels and hotels are, I believe, booked up in the main towns but there may be some spaces in the smaller communities like Monument and Seneca.
John Day is the largest town in the county and this is where the most services will be available: restaurants, laundromats etc. The town has some campsites available, gohere
to reserve one. The city Parks and recreation Department has 30 dry campsites on their fields for $200/night. You can contact the City of Jonh Day
to reserve a space. The Grant County Chamber of Commerce is providing a matchmaking service between eclipse guests and local hosts. They will have this avaiable on their website soon, but until then, here
is the status as of Dec. 14 2016. You can check back here regularly as I will try to keep the list updated until the chamber gets their new site going.
If you want to stay in or near Prairie City, the city maintains a list of available local sites. You can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their Facebook page \"Eclipse in Prairie City, Oregon - Keep it simple\"
The town of Seneca is just inside the zone of totality so you will probably want to head north that morning for the eclipse itself but they still (as of Dec. 2016) available. You can contact the city at email@example.com. If you are thinking of some kind of group event, the city would like to talk to you. And the Seneca Timbers Inn and RV park
still has some openings.
The town of Long Creek is offering spaces on Long Creek school grounds
. As far as I know, The town of Dayville has nothing specific for the eclipse although there is a B&B and possibly some rooms on Airbnb there. Austin, Kimberly and Dale although called towns are essentially one building each. There may be some accommodations in Granite but I currently have no information.
There are various private parties throughout Grant County who will be making space available. You should contact the Grant County Chamber of Commerce
stating your requirements and they may be able to connect you with someone with a suitable space.
It will probably be easier to find accommodations outside the zone of totality and drive into the zone on the morning of the 21st buthere
is what I have to say about that.
If you want to come to Grant County to see the 2017 total solar eclipse, there is still space available but you should make your reservations right away because it is filling up fast. If you have any special questions that you would like to ask a Grant County resident, click through to the next page which is my contact page and I will do my best to help you. You can check back at the Gazette
regularly because I will be updating this information periodically as the eclipse gets nearer.