Well, everyone had been talking about it all year, so we knew we couldn’t miss it! A total eclipse, dubbed “The Great American Eclipse”, as it was visible from a large part of the country.
We would have had a partial eclipse here at home, but thinking that wasn’t good enough, we made plans to make the pilgrimage to Wyoming to catch the real deal. In atypical Delaney-family fashion, we were rather late jumping on the boat here, and almost didn’t find a hotel room. I finally found what had to be the last room in the state at some little unknown motel in Guernsey, Wyoming. But it would do.
It was such an odd little place, that I was nervous the whole trip about whether we had a real reservation! And when we arrived, we couldn’t even find the front desk. Let’s just say it wasn’t set up like a typical hotel, lol! And our room was tiny, but we would have to make do.
We spent a couple of hours exploring the small town, and managed to find dinner without too much chaos. A lot of the restaurants in town would normally have been closed on Sunday, but they were all ramped up for the extra business this weekend.
We tried to go explore the Oregon Trail ruts, but they were already closed when we got over there. Maybe tomorrow. We settled in early, as we were going to be up at dawn the next day, to secure a good place to watch.
Luckily, the weather forecast improved dramatically overnight, and the clouds that had been threatening to block our view never materialized – we had a totally clear, blue sky!
We were headed into Guernsey State park. Despite arriving almost 5 hours early, there were already a LOT of people camped out already. We found a good spot though, even if it was in the middle of a cactus covered field. Pretty view to watch from, for sure.
The hours passed slowly. We wandered around a little, kids played on their tablets. Finally, the partial eclipse started, and after a while, we could start to see a sliver of the sun disappearing behind our eclipse glasses.
As the full eclipse neared, you could feel the excitement building all throughout the field. The temperature started dropping noticeably, a welcome change as it had been getting quite warm.
All at once, it started to look darker across the horizon! As the darkness spread, and an erie twilight settled on us, there were gasps and cheers all around. It was really cool to be watching it with so many other people, and feel the collective awe all around us. It was truly one of the most magical things I’ve ever experienced.
Once the darkness had set in, we all looked up at the sun, which we now didn’t need our eclipse glasses for. Glowing all around it, like a halo, was the corona. It was so beautiful! I couldn’t get a picture to come out though.
it was over all too soon though, and as I was staring at the glowing aura, a sliver of sun peeked back out. We didn’t stay too much longer, and soon joined the throngs of people headed out.
We weren’t in a hurry, knowing it was going to take all day to get back anyway. So we went back over to the Oregon Trail ruts. You can actually see the ruts carved into the sandstone from the wagon wheels passing over it, more than a century ago.
We explored for quite a while, the kids really enjoying the taste of history.
The way back was slow-going. It took more than twice as long as it had coming. In parts of Cheyenne, people were lined up on the overpasses taking pictures and video, likely never having seen this quantity of cars in their state before, lol!
It was definitely worth all the trouble though, and an experience we will never forget!