Local residents experience solar eclipse near and far

The population of the United States had many feelings about the recent solar eclipse that was mirrored in our little corner of the globe as well.


By Angel Wyrwas

The population of the United States had many feelings about the recent solar eclipse that was mirrored in our little corner of the globe as well. Some people didn’t have any interest in the event while other people wanted to take in the full experience and traveled hundreds of miles to the path of totality. There was also the option of safely watching it on the television from one’s own couch. That was the only option for some people that were unable to find protective eyewear at the last minute.

Fritz and Ruby Goerndt spend time watching the eclipse with their grandchildren.

Fritz and Ruby Goerndt spent some quality family time watching the eclipse and sharing glasses with their children and grandchildren. Dave and Deanna Hayden also spent time with family while experiencing the rare celestial phenomenon. “We were able to use a welding helmet to view the eclipse,” said Deanna. “Our son looked through the lens with binoculars.”

A great number of people wanted to take a picture of the eclipse. Cody Heiser was able to get a great shot through four pairs of safety sunglasses and one pair of green glasses combined. Social media was awash with the many different views of the event. There were even photos of the crescent shadows cast by the eclipse.

Marty Setinc said he would make his girls homemade eclipse viewers from a box. He sure did. The boxes were large enough the girls could fit inside to look through them. This incited a few giggles and a great memory for his kids.

Wendy Wagner helps Casey Koenigsfeld make a viewer from a simple piece of paper.

When Andrea Koenigsfeld was unable to locate eclipse approved glasses for her son Casey, their friend Wendy Wagner showed them how to make a viewer from a simple piece of paper. Casey was impressed!

The Roddy Rost crew, over ten in number, parked their lawn chairs in a field near the highway by Lusk, WY, put on their paper glasses and enjoyed the wonder of the show. John and Nikki Brown were also in Lusk.

“John has always been fascinated by events like this,” said Nikki. “It was worth every mile. The solar flares, corona, and diamond ring were absolutely amazing! Over two minutes of totality. We could see Jupiter and Venus. There were lots of cars from Maine, New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts. And a steady stream of cars from 6 a.m. – noon.

Judy Whitney experienced the eclipse from Lingle, only 58 miles away from the Rosts and Browns.

And speaking of Rosts, Jay and Linda Rost, along with their children, her parents and their nephew, Jace Rost, and Taiken Goerndt, traveled to Douglas, WY for a spectacular view of the Great American Eclipse. Of course, a science teacher wouldn’t want to miss this opportunity!

“We found a quiet neighborhood park in the middle of town and set up a solar telescope and some data logging probes to collect data on temperature and light intensity,” explained Linda. “As the moon was slowly passing in front of the sun, we noticed changes in shadows; parts of the same shadow were both crisp and blurry, and tree leaf shadows were wispy and unfocused. Once the sun was about 75% eclipsed, the temperature began to drop steadily by nine degrees Celsius, but the eclipse was nearly complete before we saw any change in light intensity.”

“Anticipation was building as the moon completely covered the sun and it seemed like time stood still,” continued Linda. “The darkness was equivalent to around 9 o’clock in the evening. We noticed crickets beginning to chirp. For 2 minutes and 22 seconds, we danced around, snapped photos, none of which captured the majesty of what we were witnessing. For all of us, the full eclipse was more incredible than we could have imagined. Then, all of a sudden, it was over. We put our glasses back on and viewed it as it passed, and mourned the quick passing. The whole experience was incredible.”

All in all, those people who were interested in the eclipse had the fulfilling experience they had hoped for. Anyone who missed the experience and would like to view a total eclipse from the path of totality can make their reservations from San Antonio, Texas to Buffalo, New York in 2024.