On July 13, a Jefferson, Ore., man named Jim Baxter made an announcement.
"We have decided to convert our massive hay fields into a campground," Baxter declared. He said that he would offer 292 campsites in the fields, a short distance from Interstate 5, during the weekend of the August solar eclipse at $499 for three nights. "Our Oregon eclipse camping area will see the longest total eclipse in the entire area, over two full minutes of totality!"
That might seem like a steep price to sleep in a hay field, even if it does come with sunglasses, a horseshoe pit and "possibly a food truck or two." But by eclipse standards, it's a bargain.
A glance at Airbnb shows Oregonians jacking up prices across the state. Here are three of the lodging offers currently available on the short-term rental website.
Backyard tent space with access to shower, Wi-Fi and phone charger.
Nightly rate: $750
Sales pitch: "Backyard tree-lined space for the urban edge camper who wants to be near one of the highest peaks in the 'line of totality' eclipse path!"
30-by-50-foot campsite, on a hill with a three-story observatory.
Nightly rate: $800
Sales pitch: "Other places are charging over $2,000 for four people camp spots AND you're ONLY on a wait list."
A "shared room" where two guests can sleep on a fold-out sofa. Usually rents for $30 on Airbnb.
Nightly rate: $770
Sales pitch: "If you wish to have your meals in the home, just let us know in advance and you will dine with the owner(s) at no additional cost."