Looking for lodging near the path of totality of the Great American Eclipse? Check out Pulaski County USA!
By Laura Huffman
When I was youngster, 35 years or so ago, I read Illustrated Classics Editions’ version of Mark Twain’s “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.” All these years later, I can’t tell you much about the classic novel. But, I can vividly describe the scene that Twain painted of Hank Morgan, a time traveler, being tied to the stake to be burned alive as King Arthur commanded. Hank, having remembered the date of the solar eclipse from his history studies, and realizing that the knowledge can save his life, threatens to black out the sun if the flames creep closer. As the flames get closer to consuming the hapless hero the sky darkens and King Arthur relents. Hank is released from the stake and the sun is released from the inky blackness that had enveloped it. Hank goes on to enrich the Kingdom of Camelot and torment Merlin, the magician, for the remainder of the novel.
In 2017 not many people on the planet would be fooled by Hank’s threat to black out the sun. Quite the opposite. People across the globe have been planning for August 21, the date of “The Great American Eclipse” for almost a year or more. Missouri, known as the “Show Me State” is expecting millions of travelers to descend on the cities, towns, and villages that are located in the path of the solar eclipse. The closer an area is to the center line- the longest duration of darkness (almost three minutes in some locations!) the more crowded you can expect it to be. Many Chambers of Commerce, Tourism Bureaus, and civic organizations are planning festivals, parades, and other events for the expected millions of visitors.
As the word continues to spread more and more hotels, motels, Airbnb’s, and campgrounds are filling up. Some locations have already announced that ALL of their rooms are booked and reserved. Don’t let this discourage you from making your eclipse plans. Pulaski County, home to Fort Leonard Wood, offers over 3,400 rooms and is less than 70 miles from the path of the eclipse! Cuba, nicknamed the “mural city”, will be dark for over a minute and a half, and is only 45 minutes west of Saint Robert on Interstate 44. Sullivan, which will have two and a half minutes of totality, is just an hour west on Interstate 44. Jefferson City, the capitol of Missouri, will experience 2 minutes and 29 seconds of totality and lies only 71 miles north of Saint Robert via Highway 17 and Highway 54.
Don’t miss the Great American Eclipse August 21st (it could save your life someday if you accidentally time travel like Hank!) and enjoy Pulaski County’s hospitality before heading to your astronomical adventure! Book your room today!
Make a long weekend of it by exploring and floating Pulaski County USA! Home to heroes, history, and Route 66!
*Drive times may vary on the day of the eclipse. Be prepared for congested roadways and increased travel times.
*Never look at the partial phases of the eclipse without proper eye protection.