Aeromoe's Version of Joe Orman's Naked-Eye 100 List


Number5: Solar Eclipse, Total





It's no longer a question. There is an answer. I was in Glendo, Wyoming on August 21, 2017.


After ancticipating the "big event" for seven years I was ready to get on with observing the total eclipse of the sun of 2017. I'd been thinking about eclipse day literally every day during the past seven years. I know that sounds a bit crazy but it is true.

In the beginning I thought about going to southern Illinois to view this event. My reasoning was twofold: (1) Be near the longest amount to totality and (2) Be near the "crossroads" of the 2017 and 2024 American eclipses. As some point a year or two or three later I was talking to my buddy Martin Marlow and he said: Wyoming! The seed was planted.

In early 2017 I pitched the idea to my sister in Denver. I'd fly up for the weekend and we'd plan on driving north into the path of totality. Weather would definitely dictate where exactly we would go the big day. Interstate 25 connects Denver with Casper Wyoming and on a normal day it is about a 4-hour drive. However, the very small town of Glendo, Wyoming is an hour closer to Denver on I-25 and is actually closer to the centerline of this eclipse. So Glendo became a "focus city" several months out from eclipse day.

When the Sky and Telescope August 2017 issue came out the thought of travelling to Alliance, Nebraska became somewhat appealing to me. The thought of visiting "Carhenge" as well as possibly a drive with less traffic congestion was high up there.

The weekend before eclipse weekend I flew up to Denver to visit my sister and make sure everything was kosher. Since several other family members were planning on travelling to Denver with me I decided to rent a minivan at home and make the drive to Denver. This would also make it possible for me to transport my gear with me versus flying with what I could pack on a plane.

I invited my sister down from Denver to make the drive back to her place with me. I picked her up at the airport after work on Friday August 18th and we made our way to the rental car agency. My minivan was waiting for me so I called the rental place in Denver to cancel that minivan I'd held in reserve just in case plans went sideways. After packing the gear at home we headed out for Denver. We made a dinner stop before leaving town to visit my daughter and her family.

Friday was a very long day and I had to get some shuteye. We stopped somewhere along I-40 east of Holbrook...probably at the Navajo Travel Center...to get some shuteye. We awoke around dawn and hit the road again. I made this photo of the moon prior to sunrise. It would be the last time seeing the moon until we were witnessing its' backlit form during the total eclipse.

According to the Virtual Moon Atlas, the moon was 26.82 days old and 8.7% illuminated.



This sign was north of Pueblo Colorado on I-25. Photo made Saturday 19 August at 2:31pm MDT.



A little bit later while Sister was driving we saw this southbound coal train. These trains originate in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming.



Watching the weather closely on eclipse weekend it was clear (no pun intended) Wyoming would be the place to be.

Come eclipse morning my sister and I were up at 2am to make the drive to Glendo, Wyoming. My daughter and her mom had gracefully bowed out of the eclipse road trip the night before. Oh well...

We joined I-25 west of Greeley about 3am and