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Small Nevada town near Utah state line expecting big crowds for eclipse

Aug 24, 2023, 8:31 PM | Updated: Aug 25, 2023, 2:44 pm

BAKER, Nev. — If you’ve ever been to Baker, Nevada, just across the Utah state line, then you know there aren’t a lot of people who live out that way. But that will change with the next annular eclipse in October.

“On a good day, about 100,” Liz Woolsey said. She is one of those who calls Baker home. She even owns a couple of businesses out there, such as the Stargazer Inn and Bristlecone General Store.

“I am the CEO, the chief enthusiasm officer,” she said with a big laugh.

It is that kind of enthusiastic attitude that will help in seven weeks when Baker just might feel like a big city.“We are going to be welcoming people from all over the world,” she said. She knows there are lots of people who travel for the perfect spot to view a big-time eclipse.

The annular eclipse this Oct. 14 is going to pass right over Baker.

“We have been booked out for over a year. All the lodging in Baker is full,” she said. “Even out in Ely, they just reported that their lodging is now full as well.”

An annular eclipse is when the moon passes in front of the sun. 

It leads to a ring of fire around the shadow of the moon when it is directly between Earth and the sun.

READ MORE: October 2023 annular solar eclipse to pass through Utah

The event is similar to the annular eclipse many people came to see in Kanarraville, in southern Utah, back in 2012. Woolsey is planning a 3-day party for this eclipse with music, dancing, author readings, and lots of food and fun.“Oh, this is a festival in the making, right?” she said with another laugh. “This is something we want everybody to come out and embrace. We have so much public land around us if you want to camp.”Woolsey remembers seeing the total eclipse in 2017. A total eclipse is when the sky goes completely dark, which is different from an annular eclipse.

NASA map shows the path of October's eclipse


 She said it’s a moment everyone should see and feel at least once.“Oh yeah, and that just is still right here,” she said while pointing to her heart. “It is the most amazing experience. And even though this one is a ring of fire, the moon won’t completely block the sun, it’ll be a little ring of fire there, that still is going to be just fabulous.”

It’s so fabulous, it’s going to make little ole’ Baker a pretty big deal.“We’re ready for anything,” she said.

The middle of the eclipse path is also going over Meadow, Marysvale, Boulder, Bluff, and other Utah towns on its way through the state. Those in the middle of the path can expect to see the eclipse last about four and a half minutes.

If you go to see it, make sure you have dark eclipse glasses, so you don’t damage your eyes.

Correction: A previous version called it a total eclipse in one reference; it it an annular eclipse.

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Small Nevada town near Utah state line expecting big crowds for eclipse