Idaho Eclipse O-Rama

We just finished up a nearly 3-week long eclipse gathering with a group of fellow full-timers in Stanley, Idaho. At its peak, the group swelled to 16 RVs, 1 tent, 27 people, 19 dogs, 2 cats…and 1 bird.

Stanely, Idaho EclipseThanks to our friend Marshall who scouted the location ahead of time, we took over a large grassy area on a seldom used forest service road with mountains looming overhead. Smoke from nearby wildfires sometimes obscured our views (including one fire that sprouted up only a few miles away), but on clear days those Sawtooth Mountains were truly something special.

Stanley, Idaho Eclipse
That view!

The gathering may have originated because of the eclipse, but during our time together we did far more than simply wait around for the main event. In addition to everyone’s normal work stuff (no one in our group is retired), there were group hikes and paddles around the nearby lakes, a burrito/taco potluck, a pancake breakfast, a lesson in lock picking, a stitch n’ bitch, leather making demonstrations, trips to the river for fishing and gold panning, off-roading adventures, daily happy hours and happy evenings, group bonding at the hot springs, and of course, that crazy thing that happened in the sky.

Stanley, Idaho Eclipse
Stitch n’ bitch in the tent – Kayaking at Redfish Lake – Lock picking 101 – Potluck night!

On the morning of the eclipse, we all gathered for snacks and drinks while the moon slowly moved in front of the sun.

Stanley, Idaho Eclipse
The whole gang on eclipse day (photo courtesy of Nealy on Wheels)
Stanley, Idaho Eclipse
Do these glasses make us look cool? (photo courtesy of Jeneric Ramblings)
Stanley, Idaho Eclipse
Tim going old school with a homemade cardboard box eclipse viewer

Other than a few people pics, I didn’t take any photos of the sky on eclipse day. I really wanted to experience it fully without worrying about fiddling around with filters or capturing every bit. Besides, even the most incredible photos I’ve seen floating around the Internet don’t even begin to portray how it felt and looked in the moment. As we neared totality, the temperature dropped rapidly, the sky turned an eerie shade of not quite twilight, and in what seemed like a split second, the sun was suddenly completely covered by the moon.

Stanley, Idaho Eclipse

I didn’t cry or have any feelings of life changing clarity, but when I first took off my glasses during totality and saw the dark sun with a bright orange glow radiating around the edges, I’m pretty sure I jumped up and down and shouted, “look at that!”

Stanley, Idaho Eclipse
It’s not often you get to see both a sunrise and a sunset at 11 am (photo courtesy of Drive Dive Devour)

I have to admit, when Tim first mentioned that he wanted to be in the path of totality for the eclipse, it sounded fun, but not like something that we absolutely couldn’t miss. Even as the event got closer and the eclipse hype started circulating around the media, I still thought it would be a cool thing to see, but surely it couldn’t be the highlight of our whole multi-week whole gathering. Well, I was wrong. That two minutes and 15 seconds when the moon covered the sun, the mountains around us glowed and the shadows danced with snakes and squiggly lines was most definitely the highlight of the gathering, and maybe even the highlight of the entire year.

Stanley, Idaho Eclipse
Photo courtesy of Jeneric Ramblings

Can’t wait to do it all again in 2024!

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12 Responses to “Idaho Eclipse O-Rama”

Comments

  1. Bill Bennett

    I hope all took off the glasses before transiting that firewood strewn area. Love your blog. I recommend it to all our Trinity Nuggets RV Club

    Reply
    • Amanda

      The whole area was full of downed wood! Unfortunately, due to dry conditions and a fire ban we couldn’t even burn any of it. Thanks for the kind words and recommending us :)

      Reply
  2. Jeff

    Great gathering with friends and a purpose. I can verify your site was a lot less expensive than a site in Idaho Springs!, where we met with family for a long weekend and the main event’.

    Reply
    • Amanda

      Yup, camping was 100% free! But the amount we all spent in town probably made up for it :)

      Reply
  3. Jodee Gravel

    Looks like the perfect spot for viewing and enjoying fun friends. Yes, the glasses made us all look cool :-))

    Reply
  4. Lori Albrecht

    I love your blog and your pictures are always great. Would you tell us the coordinates of your boondocking spot? Thanks and look forward to your next installment

    Reply
    • Amanda

      Normally we always share our boondcoking spots, but since this one is not listed anywhere (and the neighbors confirmed that typically no one uses it) we all decided to keep it private. However, I can tell you that if you go to Campendium.com type in Stanley, Idaho and filter for FREE you will find a number of boondocking spots in the area. We moved over to one of the areas on the Salmon River at the end of last week and can confirm that it’s a great spot!

      Reply
  5. Marshall

    A great time was had by all! The eclipse was just the icing on the cake. I’m glad I was able to find that location – was getting a bit worried as I scouted the surrounding area and was coming up with nothing that was even close to “this will do”.

    Definitely keeping this location off the radar – we all need to have those spots that are less known, especially in a popular/crowded area such as Stanley. ;)

    Reply
    • Amanda

      It really was the perfect spot. After exploring more around here, I can see that no other place would have worked for us. And yes, no sharing of that special spot!

      Reply
  6. David and Sharon (Two Lanes of Freedom)

    Too Cool!! I think I recognize a couple of those crazy smiles staring at the sun. We were cloud blocked in Colorado :-(

    Reply
    • Amanda

      Oh bummer about the clouds. We were nervous because it had been pretty smokey a few days prior, but somehow we got lucky and had a perfectly clear day for viewing!

      Reply

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