Eclipse fever has swept the country, as millions of Americans watched a solar eclipse that traveled across the entire United States for the first time since 1918.
For the hundreds of towns in the path of “totality,” the sun was completely blocked out by the moon for two minutes and a partial eclipse was visible for about 1.5 hours. Experts predicted that up to 7.4 million people will travel to see the eclipse in the path of totality, and early reports from this past weekend are confirming these figures.
In the days leading up to the eclipse, gridlock plagued highways as thousands of people traveled to Madras, Oregon, and other eclipse boom towns located from Oregon to South Carolina. Local news stations in Bend and Prineville in Oregon have also reported long lines and empty gas tanks.
But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the eclipse phenomenon were the crowds of people gathering to see the eclipse. Fields and backyards became makeshift tent sites, with thousands up people waiting for their chance to gaze skyward. In larger cities like St. Louis and Nashville, people stopped in downtown streets for the celestial event, while others gathered on rooftops.
We’ve rounded up the best images and videos from social media of what it looked like in towns in the path of totality, from Oregon to South Carolina. This story will be updated with more tweets as needed.
Curious what the solar eclipse looked like in the biggest cities in the U.S.? Check out our photo roundups from Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Detroit, Austin, and New York City.
Camps in the path of totality started filling up last week.
Aerial photos show thousands camped out at the Big Summit Eclipse event near Prineville, Oregon. https://t.co/oBWITcqeTO pic.twitter.com/H5xVzvf4xL— ABC News (@ABC) August 21, 2017
Camping is already filling up in Madras. #2017eclipse pic.twitter.com/jEL8RSD4Qs— Tim Robertson (@TimRobertson56) August 18, 2017
Sunset at @Oregonsolarfest Tomorrow the Sun will meet the Moon in the skies over #Madras for #Eclipse2017 pic.twitter.com/rx2SVkJYMb— Chasing Atlantis (@chasingatlantis) August 21, 2017
Me and my 5,500 neighboring SolarTown campsites are all set for #Eclipse2017. #drone #Madras pic.twitter.com/h4Uab1JSq5— Eric Betz (@ericbetz) August 20, 2017
Rural fields became eclipse-viewing parking lots.
Just one part of the #Eclipse2017 crowd in #Glendo. pic.twitter.com/fTGeIUzI5v— Deb Stanley (@7NEWSDeb) August 21, 2017
Lines of busses brought passengers to tiny towns like Glendo, Wyoming (population 202).
@TheTakeaway @wpunj_edu #eclipse2017 estimates are 100,000 people in #Glendo pic.twitter.com/89BeP6IaqE— Jason S. Kendall (@jasonskendall) August 21, 2017
In small towns like Hopkinsville, Kentucky (population 31,000), downtown streets filled with people days before the event.
The first campers got here at 1AM this morning! More than 19 countries represented in #Eclipseville & we're just getting started! @LEX18News pic.twitter.com/ivyKArMoOp— Claire Crouch (@clairecrouch) August 18, 2017
In Wyoming, the highways emptied this morning as people pulled over to watch the total eclipse.
People in Wyoming are picking random spots along the highway under crysltal- clear sky! #eclipse2017 pic.twitter.com/NMCY1UBfEi— Ellen Bacca (@ellenbacca) August 21, 2017
Carbondale, Illinois experienced the longest total eclipse at 2 minutes and 40 seconds. Eclipse tourists flocked to the town and even filled local football fields.
And we have totality in #Carbondale. It is quite dark. #Eclipse2017 #wsjeclipse #wsjphotos pic.twitter.com/Z1rPCqYBeo— Quint Forgey (@QuintForgey) August 21, 2017
Elsewhere, air fields became prime viewing locations.
Now I know why people travel the world to see a Total Solar #Eclipse2017 ...speechless pic.twitter.com/DCwvUBNcg6— Matt Alvarez (@MAlvarezFOX17) August 21, 2017
And 360-degree sunsets occurred during the two minutes of darkness in towns like Casper, Wyoming.
Crowd cheers during totality in Casper, Wyoming. 11:43am. #wyomingeclipse #cnneclipse #caspereclipse pic.twitter.com/SFe4aKH9D5— Ben Von Klemperer (@VKtrue) August 21, 2017
In larger cities like St. Louis, people stopped in the street to look skyward during the two minutes of darkness.
YOU GUYS!!! #eclipse2017 #stl pic.twitter.com/Vs5JAI9vIz— Gateway Arch (@GatewayArchSTL) August 21, 2017
The city looked drastically different during the eclipse.
St. Louis.— J.J. Bailey (@TheJJBailey) August 21, 2017
Once at 11:30
Once at about 1:18#EclipseDay #STL pic.twitter.com/6HyMcnbtjA
You can really see how dark it got in these time lapses from Lincoln, Nebraska,
Time lapse of #eclipse2017 from the parking garage at 10th and Q streets, Lincoln, Nebraska. pic.twitter.com/zK0q0IdN28— kevin_abourezk (@LJS_Abourezk) August 21, 2017
and one from Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Timelapse video shows Jackson Hole, Wyoming, go from light to dark and back again during today's total solar eclipse https://t.co/oM1X9EhrT6 pic.twitter.com/6fXqRkzrJN— ABC News (@ABC) August 21, 2017
In Nashville, crowds gathered downtown despite cloudy skies.
It's getting weird on Lower Broadway! #eclipse #Nashville pic.twitter.com/Md7VBGS9jR— Tennessean (@Tennessean) August 21, 2017
But once the total eclipse started in Nashville, it looked like dusk and the crickets started chirping.
The Nashville eclipse is over.. interesting to hear the crickets start chirping when it became dark. #Eclipse #SolarEclipse #Nashville pic.twitter.com/gSHM4cxfOD— Dave McGuire (@TheDavidMcGuire) August 21, 2017
The crowds at Carhenge in Nebraska—a replica of England’s Stonehenge made out of vintage automobiles—were visible from the sky.
Crowds building up at Carhenge for the eclipse. pic.twitter.com/aiqgk1sDP9— Miles Buskirk (@mbuskirk5) August 21, 2017
The Carhenge crowds were gleeful as the sun came back out.
The sun comes back out after the total solar eclipse is done crossing over Alliance, NE. https://t.co/q3jBRYgob2 pic.twitter.com/5LUoN0GjfY— ABC News (@ABC) August 21, 2017
And everywhere in the path of totality, people cheered, clapped, and cried during the two minutes of darkness as the stars came out.
Folks cheering as totality arrives! #Eclipse2017 #EclipseOverClemson pic.twitter.com/135Rwg76RN— The Tiger News (@thetigerCU) August 21, 2017
Here's what it was like when totality happened. I didn't know what to focus on, but the little girl at the end, Manali, is me in my heart. pic.twitter.com/aGj1mTwBLD— Lizzy Acker (@lizzzyacker) August 21, 2017
After the eclipse, cars snarled highways as people headed back home.
Cars crawl on Oregon highways as extensive traffic hits the state immediately following the total solar eclipse. https://t.co/UZmxiIzrWE pic.twitter.com/BhbkOxrFh6— ABC News (@ABC) August 21, 2017