Cascade family opening up their ranch to eclipse watchers

The Holmes family plans to provide entertainment to campers at their ranch.

CASCADE - People from all over the world will be making their way to the Idaho this August for the 2017 solar eclipse -- a spectacle expected to last less than a couple of minutes.

Hotels along the path of the solar eclipse are filling up fast, if not already full.

One family in Cascade is offering an alternative.

The petting zoo at the Holmes Family Ranch may actually overshadow the solar event.

It's just part of the entertainment the family is providing when they open up their land to dozens of campers this August hoping to catch a glimpse of the eclipse.

The Holmes Family Ranch is spread out over five acres, which they say is more than enough space for several dozen eclipse-seeking visitors to park their RV or pitch a tent.

Shay Holmes has been prepping her property for the past couple weeks.

"Everything on that other side of the dirt is going to be for tents. Then all of this area out here is good for RVs." Holmes said. "They can line up along there and make a couple of rows depending on how many we want to have, and then we will probably bring the port-o-potties over here somewhere.”

Camping at the Holmes Ranch isn’t free, but they aren’t trying to get rich off this event either.

“I have shopped around a little on the eclipse website and Craigslist and some of the prices are really high, and we are really more interested in dealing with regular people, so we are really trying to keep our prices at the bottom of the barrel,” Holmes said.

At the Holmes Ranch, $50 per night for tents and $100 for RVS will get you more than a camping spot to watch the eclipse.

Along with access to outhouses and well water, there will be plenty of entertainment.

“We’re going to do a petting zoo, so we will put all the animals, miniature horse, goats, rabbits and we will put them in this lot for kids to feed grain to the donkey and alpacas, that will be a lot of fun especially if there are kids. It doesn’t have to be just about the eclipse,” Holmes said.

Lt. Jason Speer with the Valley County Sheriff's Office says he has no problem with folks opening their private land for camping, but they need to plan ahead.

“They need to ensure proper access for emergency vehicles, not just an area wide enough to get a pickup, we need the ability to get a fire truck or an ambulance, they need to provide sanitation, some type of port-o-potties devices,” Speer said.

Speer says the county is estimating 10,000 to 15,000 visitors will come to see the solar eclipse, and an influx of people is something officers here are prepared for.

“The last ITD count I heard for 4th of July was around 60,000 people that come up to our county for the Fourth and that does nothing but prepare us for these bigger incidents,” Speer said.

To get the word out to incoming sightseers, the Holmes family is advertising their camping sites on Craigslist.

“We have gotten a little bit of interest and we don’t need a lot more, just a handful more people and we will have our hay money for the winter,” Holmes said.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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