Town looks up to the eclipse

Cory Slater (back) and Signe Burke (from left) of Seattle, are joined by Michelle Champagne and Kris Moe as they watch the eclipse about 30 minutes from totality.
By: 
Ethan Brogan

Early Monday morning, just as the sun was peeking over the horizon, a trove of vehicles poured into Glenrock. Travelers from all around the U.S. and as far away as Europe congregated en masse to do one thing you were never suppose to as a child, stare at the sun.

The Glenrock Library dished out free eclipse glasses for safe viewing and even set up a filtered-lens telescope for viewing before totality occurred. What began as 10 people outside the library quickly became
more than 125 as they anxiously waited for the sky to darken and the diamond ring to appear.

Farther down the street, residents and visitors gathered in front of the 4 Aces and Classic Cafe to pick out their viewing spot. A beer sampling from Cowboy Brewing was taking place, enticing travelers to try ale made in Wyoming.

Deer Creek RV Park hosted more than 50 RV campers with dozens of telescopes ready to view the eclipse at max potential. Among them was avid stargazer Dennis Paul, who traveled from Buford to make sure he was in sight of totality. He previously lived in Arizona, where his love of watching the skies flourished.

Walking around town, one might have wondered where the expected horde of visitors were. No calamity in the streets, nor fighting for parking spaces. As it turned out, the majority of folks who came to Glenrock stayed at Platte River RV & Campground. The campground was packed full of cars and RVs. More than 700 reservations resulted in upwards of 1,600 people spending their eclipse at the campground.

Rodeny Christenson was busy running the campground during the eclipse.

“It was a great success; it was a big team effort between everybody,” Christenson said. “We thought it was going to be overwhelming, but because we lucked out to have such a good team, it really wasn’t at all.”

With eclipse viewers scattered around Glenrock, one set of people stood out above all others. More than 25 visitors stood peering through eclipse glasses watching the symbiotic phases of the moon and sun at the top of the Rock in the Glen. A group from Seattle ditched eclipse viewing closer to home in Oregon to have a more open experience in Wyoming.

“We left at 3 a.m. (Sunday) to get here on time,” Signe Burke said. She was accompanied by friend Cory Slater as they set up camp atop the Rock in the Glen. Speculation of seeing snake-like shadows emerged from several viewers, prompting them to point in the direction they thought the slithering illusions would appear.

The temperature dropped and darkness began to fall. All viewers on the rock looked away from the sun in hopes to see a rushing shadow envelope the landscape. Then suddenly “it started” erupted from the
crowd and everyone turned 180 degrees to see what they have waited months and, for some, years to see.

Darkness enveloped the scene.

Silence fell. Albeit a comfortable one. The only sound to be heard was the fast clicking of camera shutters. Then a slew of descriptions from the crowd. The ring was only in the sky for two and a half minutes. But everyone was satisfied.

Jeff Struthers had been cataloging all the movements until totality and waited anxiously, speaking with other viewers about what he did to prepare for the event. When totality started, he, too, fell silent, captured in the awe and wonder.

After totality ended, the sun and moon separated and finally, Struthers broke the silence. “That was amazing, totally worth waiting for.”

The breathtaking sight cause a moment of equilibrium to strike everyone in attendance. It did not matter where you came from or how long the trip here was, staring at the sun became a moment of unity in Glenrock.

Category:

Glenrock Independent

Physical Address:
207 S 4th, Glenrock, WY 82637

Mailing Address:
PO Box 109, Douglas, WY 82633

Phone: (307) 436-2211

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