Witnessing the moon slowly blot out the sun, and the stars appear in the sky during daylight hours, is a once in a lifetime experience. The crickets chirped and the horizon line glowed pink and orange. The corona around the black hole where the sun used to be shimmered with an otherworldly gleam. Everyone I was with screamed with joy and nervousness. For three minutes of totality during the eclipse, the world was a completely unfamiliar place, even though we had made that campsite home for the past three days.
In preparation for the total eclipse, I read “American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World,” by David Baron. I highly recommend this read if you are a history and/or science nerd. It details the total solar eclipse of 1878 that swept the wild west and even what Denver was like around that time. It had just enough science in it that I knew what I was looking up at when the moon started making its way across the sun.
“For three glorious minutes, I felt transported to another planet, indeed to a higher plane of reality, as my consciousness departed the earth and I gaped at an alien sky … I felt something I had never experienced before — a visceral connection to the universe …” -David Baron
We spent the weekend getting to know Greyrocks Reservoir in Wyoming in preparation for the big show on Monday morning. We set up camp Friday morning along the shore of the reservoir and began the waiting game. Greyrocks Reservoir sits just north of Wheatland, Wyoming, solidly inside the line of totality. It touted unbearable heat during the day, and gloriously breezy evenings at the perfect temperature. We slept with the van doors open and let the nighttime air relax us to sleep. Mornings were spent staring into the endless blue sky wondering how everything would change.
Saturday and Sunday were filled with friends and family slowly filtering in, setting up tents and E-Z Ups and sharing food, drinks, and excitement for Monday morning. We cooled off in the reservoir and let the dogs run around in the mud. We put our chairs in a circle and talked about how it felt not as crowded as we expected and like we had our own little plot of beachfront property. It was like any old ordinary camping trip, but with a major celestial event happening at the end.
I’m sure every other article about the eclipse tells you you shouldn’t miss it. This one is no different. It exceeded our expectations. This world is a huge, incredible place, and magic still exists, even if it’s scientific magic. Standing under the dark sun with a handful of friends and family is life marker. I will never forget the feeling I had as the moon finally moved fully over the sun, and the world went dark in the middle of the day.
If you like the gear we’re reppin’, or what we’re wearing, check out some of the sponsors that make this tour possible: La Sportiva, Crazy Creek, National Geographic, RovR Products, Sea to Summit, Mountain House, LifeStraw, and Lowe Alpine.