28. Eclipse Lessons Learned

My eclipse adventure took place in Dawson Springs, Kentucky, just northwest of Hopkinsville – the point of maximum totality.  We had a few seconds less totality there, but the friendly crowd in the village square was in the hundreds rather than the tens of thousands as in Hopkinsville. 
It was a great opportunity to view the potential for emergencies from the inside, and I was impressed by the resiliency of the infrastructure – except, of course for the Interstate Highway System! 
 
Cellular service was impacted by the influx of visitors.  Video and photos were slow, if they arrived at all.  Text messages and even voice calls seemed little affected, so I chose to not remove my handy Government Emergency Telecommunications Service card from the car.  
 
Fuel and food were readily available despite warnings to top off tanks beforehand and bring your own meals.  There were few traffic issues on the way to the path of totality, but the trip back was another story entirely.  We took three hours to get from Louisville to Dawson Springs and over six to return to Louisville afterwards!  Should you ever need to evacuate a city in a hurry, consider using state routes or back roads to get away, as Interstate Highways first and U.S. routes next become temporary parking lots. 
 
On the way back to Louisville I spoke to no less than four different amateurs on 146.52 simplex.  My girlfriend was so impressed with the help they offered that she is finally considering a ham license! 
As an additional note, all of District 3 will be in the path of the totality of the eclipse occurring in 2024