In Aroostook County, the place potato farms abound and practicality is paramount, tales like Mr. McGlaun’s solely add to the overall wariness. It doesn’t assist that the eclipse will happen throughout northern New England’s notorious mud season, when the thawing earth turns into tire-sucking muck, heightening considerations that unsuspecting drivers “from away” will get caught on rural roads and must be pulled out.

Additionally not serving to: reminiscences of the final main inflow, in August 1997, when an outside live performance competition by the band Phish drew 65,000 followers to a former air pressure base in Limestone, a city of 1,500. Locals who had scoffed at attendance projections had been caught off guard when the crowds materialized, inflicting visitors gridlock and emptying grocery retailer cabinets. (“Like locusts,” one county resident recalled.)

Conditioned by many years of inhabitants drain, some once more doubted predictions of crowds when discuss of the eclipse started two years in the past. That’s when Houlton’s eclipse committee sprang into motion, convincing the city that it wanted to start out planning — and capitalizing on the truth that it will likely be the final American city within the path.

“The most important problem was individuals not taking it critically — saying, ‘What’s the massive deal, it’s three minutes of darkness, who’s going to return right here for that?’” stated Johanna Johnston, a lead organizer of the city’s eclipse occasions. “We wanted to elucidate that it’s not like something you’ve ever skilled, and it’s a chance to indicate what we are able to do and what we now have to supply.”

Many companies have seized the chance. Ivey’s Motor Lodge in Houlton obtained its first eclipse reserving in 2022, its supervisor stated; when the lodge realized what was occurring, it tripled its charges for the nights across the eclipse and tightened its cancellation coverage. Most space inns are absolutely booked for the occasion, however Ivey’s nonetheless had vacancies earlier this month, probably as a result of it was charging $650 per night time.



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