ECLIPSE | COMMUNITY
The town of Howe, Idaho, population 220, saw an unexpected spike in visitors leading up to the eclipse. Gathering around the park next to the Little Lost River Community Center, visitors from China to Holland and all corners of the United States were welcomed as they parked RVs and set up tents the night before the eclipse.
For about 24 hours, a small village of eclipse-enthusiasts formed overnight, sharing stories of previous travels and bringing out telescopes as they settled in to their temporary home. Residents of Howe welcomed these transients with open arms. Facilities at the park were checked on during the evening, stocked with toilet paper provided by both the community center and these temporary residents, a hose was tapped for fresh water, and a breakfast for the following morning was quickly organized by the town. For donation only.
The morning of the eclipse, those who had been part of this temporary community overnight saw a flux of new travelers descend into the park. Some members of the original group stayed put, others left to head to previously-determined viewing points.
As one community separated, others popped up. The roads surrounding Howe had been littered with cars looking for the perfect viewing spot for the eclipse. Even in the most remote spots, families and travelers found each other once again, sharing the extraordinary eclipse experience as a community from near and far, even for a temporary time.
(Howe, Idaho, August 20-21, 2017. © Jenna Schoenefeld.)