People came from around the world to see the total eclipse in Grand Teton National Park. It was predicted to be the busiest day in the history of the park. The park was packed with eclipse watchers, who came to northwest Wyoming days ago.
Grand Teton National Park has had record visitation for years. People come here to see the stunning beauty of the Tetons. But on this day, there were a lot more people than normal, by daybreak.
By 7:30 a.m., all of the parking lots were full, including the roadside pullouts.
While many people waited patiently all morning in their lawn chairs, some had waited years, to get the chance to be here.
Alexandre Humbert, from France, said, “We were talking about this trip 10 years ago. At this time we had no children.”
Humbert’s family finally made it, with children and extended family members.
Two men from England planned their trip two years ago. They rode bikes from Yellowstone to Colter Bay.
Matthew Bradley, From Manchester, England, said, “And it was between going to the West Coast and coming here to Grand Teton and I decided to come here and have a really lovely time as well as seeing the natural eclipses.”
There were groups everywhere, from across the world, and across the U.S., staking their spots, and waiting for hours. The Wolf family came to northwest Wyoming from New York state: all seven of them.
The Mom, Jennifer Wolf announced as she put on her eclipse viewing glasses, “Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s starting.”
Hundreds gazed through the proper eyewear, for more than an hour while the moon slipped in front of the sun. They were waiting, watching the crescent shadows, and noticing the cold.
And, then, the sun went away. The crowd cheered the darkness.
16 year old Marc Wolf described it, “It’s perfectly darkness, and you can see the moon just covers up the sun. And you can see it’s 'umbre’. It’s amazing.”
And, when the sun came back, all too soon, the cheers continued, for a total eclipse that probably won’t be seen here again for centuries.
“Was it what you thought it would be? No, it was better.”
Every park employee was on duty Tuesday to accommodate the crowds. But, they shut down the visitor center for a few minutes to allow all the employees to see the eclipse, too.