We first heard about the total solar eclipse in April, when Gordon misread the date and we almost drove up to Idaho four months early. We had a good laugh about the misunderstanding and decided we should plan a trip in August. The closer we got to the actual event, the more dire people’s predictions got.
Tiny towns in the path of the eclipse warned residents to buy all the food and gasoline they needed now, before rabid eclipse chasers came to town to start looting. Transit workers published articles warning travelers to plan an extra 1-16 hours to get anywhere on major north-south freeways. And hotels and campgrounds alike inflated their prices up to 10x the normal going rate.
The doomsday predictions discouraged some, but we decided all the mayhem would give us the perfect chance to do a dry run of an actual apocalypse or major disaster (without any real peril or hell fire).
So, like the procrastinators we are, we waited until the night before and then did some prepping. We’re not strangers to the idea of emergency preparation. Mormons are pretty good at teaching people to store food, water, and other essentials just in case. But for this short-term apocalypse, we decided pork rinds and water bottles were more appropriate than wheat buckets and powdered milk.
We stocked up on snack food (including spray cheese, obviously), tinned protein (like Vienna sausages and tuna fish, which were always in my parents’ food storage), water bottles, tortillas and cheese for engine compartment quesadillas, and all the makings for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We figured even in the worst case, it wouldn’t take us more than a few days to navigate the roads full of angry travelers, so we were in no danger of malnutrition or scurvy.
We also brought sleeping bags and pillows for sleeping in the back of the van if necessary, the Harley Davidson Ride Atlas for finding cool things to see on the way, and some eclipse glasses and welding helmets for optimal eclipse viewing.
I have to say, all those doomsday preppers put in way more time, but we feel pretty prepared for this whole eclipocalypse thing.