August 17, 2016

Are you ready for the darkness at noon? In  one year, on August 21, 2017, Fremont County will be in the direct path of a total solar eclipse. We’re calling it the Wind River Eclipse.

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.”

It’s the first total eclipse to span the United States in nearly 40 years and many Americans will be able to see at least a partial eclipse without leaving home but Wyoming is a prime viewing place because it transects the entire state.

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.

The temperature plummets. Birds and animals fall silent. Who wouldn’t want to witness that from the best possible spot?

Here’s 3 reasons to trek to Wyoming’s Wind River Country for the eclipse:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. There’s much to see here besides the eclipse. Plan a whole vacation and take in our 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).

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