According to surveys of campers, hiking is the most popular activity they engage in. Taking in the sights of nature and enjoying a little bit of physical exercise can be an amazing thing.
Especially when that hike takes place during the last solar eclipse for 600 million years.
All across the nation, people are getting ready for the eclipse, with some of them flocking to camping sites along its predicted path. Hotels are booked entirely and lodging is nearly impossible to find.
One of the states predicted to be most impacted is Oregon, which is nearly sold out of hotel rooms. The state may have a lot of space, but it doesn’t have enough to spare.
And that’s not even taking into consideration the state of the highways, which is likely going to form issues for the hundreds of thousands of people chasing the eclipse through small towns.
“The bad thing about it is that nobody knows how bad it’s going to get,” said Terry Hansen, park host for Round Butte Overlook Park, just west of Madras, a small town in Oregon.
The fear of the many, many people swarming over the state, looking for places to camp and supplies to do it with, has officials worried. They’re worried about road jams, gas stations, and food stores being packed, and the Governor is authorizing the National Guard to get involved.
Gov. Kate Brown is authorizing the usage of six aircraft and 150 soldiers and airmen to be on standby to assist in any way they can.
The state is expecting some million tourists to visit for the eclipse, the first total eclipse to occur since 1979, and the last for another 600 million years. Locals have been told to stock up on water, gasoline, groceries, and all other supplies needed. They are also recommended to just hunker down for days before and after the event.
J.R. Brooks, president of the Jefferson County Tourism Group, believes that this will drive up prices immensely for the tourism industry, bringing in millions.
“There are some people charging $1,500 a night,” Brooks said about some of the state campsites.
And as the eclipse day nears, these prices are expected to keep escalating.