Day 8: The Eclipse

We were on the road by 6am this morning hoping to be ahead of the crowds rolling into Casper, Wy for the eclipse. I still am not sure if the Wyoming definition of traffic is quite the same as LA. At 7:00 am we were driving on the highway through downtown Casper and it was as crowded as something like midnight on the 10 fwy. on a Wednesday night.

With my fear of crowds and being ahead of schedule I decided to keep driving as far toward our evening destination and still be as close to the middle of the totality band, so we ended up at a rest area in Lusk, Wy. You really could stop absolutely anywhere along the highway that had a turn out or dirt road, but I chose the rest area because there were still open parking spots and easy access to a bathroom since we were going to be there awhile.

While we were waiting Shayna worked though a power point presentation and worksheet on solar and lunar eclipses. Don’t want you to think it is all fun and games! But it has been fun finding ways to incorporate the learning with the adventures.

Of course the eclipse itself was amazing. You could hear everyone in the area gasp and awww as totality hit. It got dusky dark and windy and you had just barely enough time to notice the stars/planets that appeared. Those 2+ minutes went so fast!. The initial glow around the moon that you see when you first take the glasses off was definitely the most impressionable moment. Someone in the distance had some kind of recording we could hear that gave the countdown on when to take the glasses off and then when to put them back on. That was REALLY helpful!


Afterward we packed up and hit the road to venture to our next destination and that is when we hit the traffic. It took us about 30 minutes to get through the two stop lights in Lusk. Probably one of the only traffic jams the town has ever had. Still not anything compared to LA!!

We are now in Hot Springs, SD at the KOA. Everyone in the campground is sharing their stories about the eclipse and talking about where they plan to be for the next one, April 8, 2024. We had a mellow evening of swimming, showers (which we get about every other day) and laundry, played our American history game and early to bed, mostly to escape the mosquitoes!

Eli update: He is definitely doing better, but it has been quite a serious case of pneumonia. The antibiotics and breathing treatments are really helping but he gets tired very easily.  Eli reports sometimes taking 3 naps a day. He will have another chest xray tomorrow to see how his lungs are doing but in the meantime, the doctors are being very conservative and do not want him attending school yet. Thank you to Sandra,  Cousin Sara, and Auntie LaLa for helping Michael take care of him. It has been really hard being so far away and not being there to take care of my Puppy. Michael has been amazing with caring for Eli and keeping him happy and entertained.