Is Maine Ready to Deal with All the Solar Eclipse Fanatics?
2017 was the last major solar eclipse we saw in Maine.
As impressive as it was, it was nothing like what folks probably experienced in other parts of the country where they were in the "path of totality", as it's called. This is the thin band where the eclipse will be most intense, and have it's longest duration. This time around on April 8th, the path goes directly through Maine.
Central/Eastern/Northern Maine will see it best. From Jackman to Houlton, the best views will be in this area. And as you may, or may not expect, the amount of people descending on this region will be pretty crazy. Hotel rooms are already gone, short term rental options are disappearing, and the prices for all of them are going through the roof.
These parts of Maine will be buzzing with people and activity.
A man currently living in Maine, but who was living in Idaho during the 2017 eclipse, shared his experience on Reddit. He offers that the biggest hurdles to face are more related to infrastructure than anything else, and all the day to day activities will be more deeply impacted than folks might realize.
For instance, things like cell service and internet become extremely slow. With all the extra people concentrated in a small space, it could really bog down local towers and servers. Of course, we already talked about the impact all this will have on hotels and such. You won't be able to find a place to stay, likely.
Traveling will be loads of fun.
With possibly tens of thousands of extra people crammed into a fairly centralized area, everything will seem a bit more tense. Especially with people coming from all over the country. There will likely be some cultural differences. People will be shocked when they get up that way and find it's normally a slower pace.
To that point, traffic will be insane. Locally, and on the highways. People in Idaho were taking twelve hours to make trips that would normally be two or three. Plus, imagine what local traffic will be like on the main roads in the various small towns. It's going to be like Los Angeles rush-hour traffic.
Let's not forget about how the weather may play into all this, too.
It's the beginning of April in Maine... There's a solid chance that it could be snowy, rainy, foggy, or just about anything in between that day. What the OP did point out was that even if it's cloudy and rainy, it'll still be a pretty cool celestial event anyway. It will still get dark and ominous, and add an element of uneasiness.
These are all the things we kind of look forward to with an eclipse... For things to behave in a fashion that's out of the ordinary. Sort of like when there's lightning at night that lights up the whole sky like it's daytime.
Certainly, all this will be super cool. But if anyone thinks it's going to be a totally normal piece of cake, you're probably wildly wrong. But for now, we'll just have to wait and see...
Maybe we should additionally warn the tourists about running into these folks...
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