That’s right, this past Monday I drove up with my pup, Montague to see the total eclipse in Glendo, WY. It’s a two hour drive (when there is no traffic) to get there from Fort Collins, and they have a lovely state park that I figured would be the perfect spot. We left at 3am Monday morning, and while there were a good number of cars on the road, we made it to the Glendo State Park before 5:30am. They were parking people in a field, with a thick woods between the parking area and their reservoir. After a nap in the back of the car until about 8am, we trekked through the woods to find an almost empty beach by the reservoir.
We set up lawn chairs and hung out, watching the birds and Monty ran around a bit, enjoying the lake and playing a little catch. The eclipse itself was an absolutely amazing experience. I had no idea what to expect, and it was beyond any expectation I could have had. I actually got a little teary-eyed when totality happened, and we could look directly at the moon with the sun’s corona shining around. It was beautiful. Totality was stunning, and the darkness it caused was astounding. The temperature also dropped over 20 degrees in a rather rapid manner which was pretty eerie!
Below are my photos, and I included the totality photo from NASA since I didn’t bother taking a photo while it happened since it was only two minutes. I also took a video to try to capture how quickly the darkness came and went as it all when down.
The wildlife, and Monty as well, definitely reacted to the eclipse. As the eclipse started, a lone deer ran frantically down the beach. We also saw a pack of coyotes on a nearby hill running somewhat scattered. The only birds we had seen or heard before the eclipse was a small flock of geese and two seagulls in the reservoir. Right before totality, as the darkness was coming on and the temperature had dropped almost 20 degrees, birds started coming out of the trees to do their dusk activities. We also spotted a major increase in insect activity close to totality as well.
The drive home was the real adventure, though. While it usually takes two hours, and driving up that morning was only 2.5 hours, the return drive took over 10 hours that afternoon. Luckily we had packed a cooler with drinks and food, and with good A/C we were able to keep Monty as cool as possible in the summer heat. We also spotted 26 different license plates on the slow crawl home.
All in all, it was an amazing experience that I would definitely do again! The next total eclipse for the United States will be in 2024, running from Texas to Maine. Mark your calendars and I’ll see you out there!