(Fremont County, Wyo) – Are we ready for the darkness at noon? In less than two years, on August 21, 2017, Fremont County will be in the direct path of a total solar eclipse. It’s been deemed the “The Great American Eclipse” but Wyoming is a prime viewing place because of weather and the fact that it transects the entire state.
It’s the first total eclipse to span the United States in nearly 40 years, and it offers a great opportunity to Fremont County businesses to plan ahead and attract new visitors.
The center of the eclipse path (where the moon completely blocks out the sun creating a few minutes of night in the daytime) will pass slightly south of Dubois, just north of Crowheart, through Kinnear and Pavillion, north of Lander and Riverton, through the middle of the Wind River Indian Reservation, and just south of Shoshoni just before noon on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017.
Many Americans will be able to see at least a partial eclipse without leaving home. But skygazers elsewhere in the world are already planning travel to the United States to share the eerie experience.
An astronomer described it this way in 1878: “As the last ray of sunlight vanishes … the moon, black as ink, is seen as if it were hanging in mid-air, surrounded by a crown of soft, silvery light … Besides this ‘corona’, tongues of rose-colored flame … shoot out from various points around the edge of the lunar disk.”
The temperature plummets. Birds and animals fall silent. Who wouldn’t want to witness that from the best possible spot?
Wyoming has generally clear skies and great weather in August, of course. NASA pinpoints Casper as prime viewing territory during those 2-1/2 minutes of total eclipse, and last year, Casper designated itself the “national capital” for the eclipse.
But Wind River Country should also be a prime viewing location. Here’s why:
- On that date, skies are almost always clear in Fremont County. Historic weather data from the US National Climatic Data Center show that Riverton is overcast only 8% of the time on August 21, and there is a zero percent average for scattered clouds. (The same figures for Casper are 18% chance of overcast skies and 10% chance of scattered clouds).
- You can escape the crowds in Fremont County. The eclipse is a personal and almost spiritual experience. In Fremont County, visitors from afar can expect more serenity at their chosen viewing site than in a city. And we’re so much closer to nature here.
- There’s much to see here besides the eclipse. Visitors to Wind River Country can enrich their eclipse experience with other extraordinary outdoor adventures (like hiking or rock climbing to a mountain peak or boating in the middle of a lake), as well as fascinating encounters with Native American and pioneer culture and history (like exploring a world-class gold-mining ghost town and Indian Powwows and petroglyph sites).
Travelers who come for the eclipse will not only need lodging, meals, and supplies to help them enjoy the event (snacks, hats, chairs, special glasses, sunscreen…), they’ll want to enjoy local events specifically tailored to the eclipse. As business owners, organizations, and institutions in the county, what programs, tours and events can you create that will convince travelers that Fremont County is the best place of all to witness night at noon?
The Wind River Visitors Council, the Wyoming Office of Tourism, and communities like Casper and Jackson Hole are starting to promote this astronomical event now for 2017 travelers.
The Wind River Visitors Council is eager to hear about your ideas. Please contact us at: Wind River Visitors Council, firstname.lastname@example.org, 307-332-5546.
Click here to learn more on how to plan an event for the 2017 Eclipse.
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