This last weekend I decided to jump on the hype bandwagon for the lunar event of the year. Glendo, Wyoming was the closest spot to me to achieve a total eclipse and I figured since it was a smaller town the traffic may not have been as bad(I was way wrong there).
Our plan was simple, we go to a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater first, then drive straight from there because nobody will be driving to Wyoming at midnight and we could skip the ridiculous morning traffic. The show went great, it was Die Antwoord and they are nothing if not a ton of fun. Plus, Red Rocks is easily one of the coolest venues on this planet, if you get a chance go to a concert there trust me.
The drive to Wyoming after this was remarkably smooth and traffic free. It gave us a bit of a sense of security. We arrived in Glendo at about 2am and crashed for a few hours of sleep only to be woken up periodically by a train…
The eclipse site we chose was their local grass field airport. They had food trucks, shopping stands and what seemed like plenty of space available for everyone. People were social and friendly and it offered a good sense of a common goal.
I gotta say the themed food was on point as well.
When the eclipse started it was pretty exciting, everyone got into it. However, as I’m sure it is obvious, photographing an eclipse is a tedious process that I did not consider.
Once totality was achieved though people went crazy. Thousands of cheers, everything went dark, it was pretty overwhelming. You see an eclipse in movies or shows and you think it could gets exaggerated but not at all. When the lights go out and you can only see the moon outline there are definite feelings of awe and a bit of helplessness. The next eclipse will be in 7 years, it is never too early to prepare I’m sure.
Once totality ended, things took a bit of a turn…
The road was immediately packed with cars. The traffic was unimaginable. Over the course of the day I witnessed road rage, fist fights, and general traffic debauchery like I had never imagined. It took us 3 hours to get back to the highway, then another 9 to get back home from what is normally a 3 hour journey. There was nothing anyone could do to avoid this traffic besides not participate and just stay an extra day. That would have been the wise move but as many hotels had high markups we decided to skip it because “How bad could it be?” As it turns our pretty fucking bad. The eclipse was a remarkable experience but take off more time than just the single day for it and get a nearby hotel room, the extra cost is totally worth it. Wyoming did what it could but they just did not have the infrastructure to handle this amount of people all at once.
Overall though nothing takes from the feeling you get when you hit that totality point, it is remarkably cool and overwhelming. You must plan ahead thoroughly for traffic but otherwise it is one of the simplest and grandest experiences a person can get with a good dosing of their significance in the universe.
Cover photo credit to Eclipse Guy