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Solar eclipse 2017: Photos from towns in the path of totality

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Fields turned into makeshift campsites

An agricultural field in Madras, Oregon was turned into a campground for total solar eclipse enthusiasts. Photo taken on August 18, 2017.
Rob Kerr/Getty Images

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.

Rural fields became eclipse-viewing parking lots.

Lines of busses brought passengers to tiny towns like Glendo, Wyoming (population 202).

In small towns like Hopkinsville, Kentucky (population 31,000), downtown streets filled with people days before the event.

In Wyoming, the highways emptied this morning as people pulled over to watch the total eclipse.

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.

Elsewhere, air fields became prime viewing locations.

And 360-degree sunsets occurred during the two minutes of darkness in towns like Casper, Wyoming.

In larger cities like St. Louis, people stopped in the street to look skyward during the two minutes of darkness.

The city looked drastically different during the eclipse.

You can really see how dark it got in these time lapses from Lincoln, Nebraska,

and one from Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

In Nashville, crowds gathered downtown despite cloudy skies.

But once the total eclipse started in Nashville, it looked like dusk and the crickets started chirping.

The crowds at Carhenge in Nebraska—a replica of England’s Stonehenge made out of vintage automobiles—were visible from the sky.

The Carhenge crowds were gleeful as the sun came back out.

And everywhere in the path of totality, people cheered, clapped, and cried during the two minutes of darkness as the stars came out.

After the eclipse, cars snarled highways as people headed back home.