Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Great American Solar Eclipse!

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7:02 am - Tuesday - August 22nd - 41º F, humidity 69%, wind  2 mph out of the east southeast.....no clouds....forecast high in Gardiner, MT is 83º F and 81º F in Mammoth Hot Springs, WY.

We were in bed Sunday night a little after 11 pm and up Monday morning a little after 6 am......TOO EARLY!  We had plans to depart YRVP* by 8 am in order to be at the Bunsen Peak trailhead no later than 8:30 am.  There were to be three vehicles in all.....our VW, Roscoe and Geni's Chevrolet PU, and 'Dodge's (Kristen) Dodge PU.....we planned to continue hiking after the eclipse.....Roscoe and Geni did not.....'Dodge' had to be at work by 1:30 pm.  At 8 am Dodge was no where to be seen, so we began the 20 minute drive up to the trailhead by ourselves hoping Dodge had gone on ahead......the drive up the Gardiner River Gorge and through Mammoth Hot Springs saw very little traffic......even less than we would normally expect that time of day.

We arrived at the trailhead parking lot at precisely 8:20 am to find 'Dodge' there in her Dodge PU saving parking spaces for us......if she had not gone on ahead we would have been parking on the highway, or down the road a ways.....thank you Dodge!

We were on the trail by 8:30 am hiking the 2.1 miles to Bunsen Peak......you never know what to expect in Yellowstone crowd wise, but my intuition told me most people had headed south towards Jackson, WY where there would be 100% totality for the solar eclipse.  Nonetheless, as we began our hike, we did not know what to expect at the top.  TLE and I made it to the top in one hour and ten minutes (9:40 am) to find we were the first ones there.....so my intuition was correct! Within 20 minutes another 25 or so people arrived and gradually spread out along the ridgeline to await the beginning of the solar eclipse.....it was not crowded at all.....

On our way up to Bunsen Peak at 8:30 am

.....the rest of our gang arrived by 9:50 am, and we settled in to wait for the start of the solar eclipse at 10:15 am.......

The girls playing cards while we wait for the big show to begin

We had great cell service atop Bunsen Peak.....😏

.....the eclipse began just a tad after 10:15 am.....the solar eclipse viewing glasses our employer, Delaware North provided free of charge, worked quit well.....

.....from the beginning of the solar eclipse until we achieved 98.5% totality would take around one hour and ten minutes so we occupied ourselves with card games, and a little vino with cheese.....

Of course....wine and cheese, right?

This little chipmunk seemed oblivious to all the hoopla

Geni held up a cracker and we got a dozen eclipses at one time

It's getting close!

Left to right:  Roscoe, Geni, Dodge (Kristen), TLE and moi....all wearing our Yellowstone General Stores eclipse t-shirts

.....I wasn't able to get very good eclipse pictures with my phone camera, but a fellow Yellowstone worker (Chris Winchester) got these, which is exactly what we saw through our solar eclipse glasses....

As it looked at 98.5% totality

The temperature also dipped down to 55º F....had to put our jackets back on for a few minutes.....seriously

Past totality 

.......as we reached 98.5% totality it began to look like dusk, and then we all noticed it was getting quite chilly.....when we arrived at the top the temp was in the 60's, but by the time the eclipse hit 98.5% totality the temp had dropped to a chilly 55º F.  Once the eclipse had begun to recede around 11:30 pm we began our 2.1 mile trek back to the trailhead parking lot.

I have to say, in retrospect, that the solar eclipse experience exceeded my expectations by a 1000%......of course, enjoying it with good friends, and throwing in some wine and cheese didn't hurt, but seriously, we had a blast.

On the way down the hill TLE stumbled over a rock stubbing her big toe, and by the time we reached the VW it was hurting, plus she needed to get it cleaned and bandaged, so we cut short our hiking plans and began the drive back to YRVP*.

As we passed by the USPS building in Mammoth Hot Springs I decided to stop and check our mail....we were delighted to find the wedding invitation from Tim and Laila in the P.O. Box......can't believe it is only 6 weeks until the magical day!

We spent the rest of the relaxing....since we only have one day off this week it seems wise that we chose not to add on another 10 miles of hiking, and take care of TLE's injured toe instead. By the way, she reports it is not hurting that much, and is well on the way to recovery for hiking next week.

Thanks for stopping by!

* YRVP = Yellowstone RV Park

When you need to buy something from Amazon, think of us.......we will appreciate every purchase you make using our Amazon Affiliate link, and  remember, using our link will not add one penny to your purchase, plus we will receive a small commission.

1 comment:

  1. You sure had a nice day with the solar eclipse, with good friends and the wine and cheese. Good that TLE is healing nicely.


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