24 Aug 2017 Eclipse in a Photographers Dreamland, Wyoming!
I will start with the most important line from the entire article!
If you have never been to Wyoming, no words can describe how beautiful, breathtaking, dangerous, wonderful, and mesmerizing Wyoming is! Just go there!
Ok. Now that’s out of the way. Let me elaborate of how my coverage of the 2017 Solar Eclipse from Casper, Wyoming went.
I have been planning and thinking about this event for over 5 years. I narrowed it down to two possible locations; the Smoky mountains or The Grand Tetons. I visited the Smoky Mountains three weeks ago and was going to pick that place. It was so beautiful!!
Change of plans….
I saw news stories about the eclipse the week before and saw estimates on how many travelers are expected to travel to see the eclipse by state and Tennessee and North Carolina were at the top of said list. Right then I changed the location to the Grand Tetons in Wyoming.
Grand Tetons, eh?
The Tetons hold a special place in my heart for reasons that ultimately lead me to change my life for the better! (You can read about my journey here). So when I changed the destination I was not upset at all. But I have never been there so there was a sense of uncertainty. But I have an iPhone, I should be able to find anything I need there. I’m good!
The lack of Cell service
One thing I never expected is the lack of cell service. I am VERY lucky that I decided to bring along my GPS on this trip. I needed it. There was very little service outside of the cities. Even some of the cities did not have cell internet service at all. The first night in Wyoming I slept in on top of a mountain… You can do things like that there. I found an abandoned field at 8900 ft that I pulled my car into. It was amazing!
Yes, I slept in my car for 4 nights.
Whats wrong with that?? Cheapest hotels in Wyoming were $200/night because of the eclipse! My car is free…. you do the math. Then I could spend the night ANYWHERE I want including on top of a mountain! Alone.
The second day I made it to my mountain! It was speculator! I would need at least a month to explore all I want to in Grand Teton National Park! It is a VERY large park. After hitting the popular spots I wanted to I headed to Casper. I spend the night on the side of the road.
I arrived in Casper about 1 ½ hours before the eclipse. I found me a Walmart (I feel safe in Walmart parking lots) and I scored! There was TONS of RVers there. My kinda people. I found me a nice little spot and pulled in. I made friends with the people around me as I set up. Seeing the eclipse was incredible! The sky got dark and cold. The wind picked up and there was a sunset all around the horizon! Beautiful!! I took pictures and and videos but also enjoyed it as much as possible. The ride home… not so much.
53 miles in 11 hours
You read that right. There was an insane amount of traffic! With no cell service. No way to get updates. 500,000 people (thats how many residents Wyoming has normally) were leaving at the same time! NOT FUN!
If you have never been to Wyoming, you are missing out on some really beautiful mountains! PLEASE GO THERE NOW!