MADRAS, Ore. – If there’s one thing central Oregon has in abundance, it’s open space. And that’s a good thing for the total solar eclipse that’s due to sweep through the region on Aug. 21.
Even though hotel rooms are sold out anywhere that’s even near the 70-mile-wide zone of totality running across the state, there’s still a good chance of finding an enterprising landowner who’ll rent you a camping spot.
But if there’s one thing central Oregon doesn’t have a whole lot of, it’s four-lane highways.
That’s likely to be an issue for the hundreds of thousands of eclipse-chasers who are expected to swarm into towns like Madras, Prineville, Mitchell and John Day. Or maybe not.
“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.