Monthly Archives: August 2017

eclipse aar

After action reports from the eclipse 2017

Much of this will be raw reports in the order they were received with some conclusions tossed in.

Glendo WY to Cheyenne WY a trip that would be way under 3 hours normally took 8-10 hours after the eclipse. At some point the police had the trains stopped [so that they didn’t block the roads] in retrospect I think that they should have let the trains run. As the traffic was stopped by them, those drivers caught at the cross roads would have taken a break and shut off their vehicles. Those that were on the other side of the tracks would clear out and after the trains passed those vehicles that had been caught would have clear roads for awhile anyway.

One car that stopped wanted to have hot pop-tarts. She put the pop-tarts on the hood of her car to warm them. Another car brought out a tub of butter to spread on them… apparently a big hit! They say that there is a song about butter on pop-tarts… I have not heard it yet.

ELIMINATION still has to happen – along the road too. Rest stops were closed due to sewers backing up from over use. Most of the rest stops were full of over night campers Sunday night.

Police were imported from around the country [Chicago and Boston were at Glendo]

cell phone service was reportedly spotty due to massive use… this was not a disaster event it was only a large crowd event. Many people think that things like cell phones will always work for them – not true so plan on some sort of ‘back up comms’ .

Another caller to the radio station stated that he had left with over 3 hours to spare and did not make it in time. [Cheyenne to Casper]

several squatters noted on property – several reports about ranchers blocking their roads with their trucks and squatters pulling or pushing them out of the way so they could trespass —- not smart
also fences getting cut which allowed cows to get out. — hummm criminal trespass, criminal property damage all during a ‘big event’ in peace time…. WHAT do you think will happen at protests and real disaster events???

on the other hand some land owners were charging $1,000.00 a day to stay there and getting it in cash.

Casper to Cheyenne is normally under 3hours on I 25 and it took 8 hours after the eclipse. Denver is normally 2 hours from Cheyenne [so call it 5 hours from Casper and it took 15 for some folks.

On the local radio WYDOT reported that we had almost 600,000 more vehicles enter Wyoming for the eclipse—- that is more vehicles than the total population of Wyoming!!

2 families departed Casper after the eclipse together both headed to Brighton CO family #1 stayed on I 25 and it took them 11 hours to get home. Family #2 took the alternate routes suggested and it took them 15 hours to get to the same neighborhood

My family stayed home and watched 98% totality and BBQ it was way more fun than being stuck in traffic and it was safer.

Some folks also stayed home for many reasons. Some folks slept through it others had cloud cover and a lot of folks had to work and so missed it. Others got a better view by staying home and watching it on TV.

lessons learned

Pay attention to what happens today to help you predict future events.
Have a back up communications plan for WHEN cell service is interrupted.
Make sure you have plenty of fuel and never below half a tank.
Be able to camp out for a few hours/days for traffic to clear. Have a bob for each person in the car all the time maybe….
Have multiple routes planned out before leaving home..

A good reference is at This is book 2 about traveling and evacuation planning.

Update at 1000 hours local radio reports from Highway Patrol that there was a motorcycle V car mishap after the eclipse on Monday. Reportedly the traffic was very heavy [DAH] and the motorcycle decided to pass a line of cars because he was in a hurry….. a car had the same idea and pulled out of line to pass the line of cars too and hit the motorcycle. The motorcycle rider was killed and the driver of the car was uninjured and will not be charged. Folks bad things happen when you do dumb stuff. Slow down, pay attention and don’t be in a hurry.

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We would of course like to hear your reports of your day of eclipse and what you learned and experienced.

eclipse update 1

UPDATE 0900 local

according to the Wyoming Highway Patrol just a bit ago on the radio reports that I 25 traffic is backing up and that NORTH bound folks should use alternate routes… which there are NOT many. The heavy traffic started about 0300 local time [ about 0900 UTC] ….. advice is to make sure you have plenty of gas along with shelf stable food and water in case it takes you HOURS to get to the next town or if you have to spend the night in your car because it WILL be a mad house after the eclipse.. watch for increase in crime against property AND people ….

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Eclipse Day

Good MORNING campers!

Well it is eclipse day!

Pay attention to situational awareness! Watch out for traffic. Especially in the dry west areas watch out for fires caused by parking hot vehicles in tall dry grass.

In our area last week started with reports of people squatting on private property preping for this eclipse.

One radio report that we heard this AM a normal commute of 9 minutes is taking 27 minutes….

We would be very interested in hearing your reports of how the eclipse experience went for you.

How were the crowds and traffic?

Did the food places have enough on had?

How about fuel? One station we heard about had run out of gas [all grades] Sunday night and wont get resupplied till Tuesday. They still have diesel fuel.

Did you have reservations over the eclipse that they canceled or charged more for than planned?

How did communications go? How did your radios work? Was there issues with your cell phone – over the weekend there were a few times that our phones would not connect because ‘all circuts were busy”… I suspect that the large amount of traffic did that…. I bet during the eclipse there will be a lot of dropped calls.

Be safe!

BTW reportedly will have Clyde Lewis live this AM to help report on the eclipse.

eclipse 2017

eclipse 2017

Howdy everyone

Monday august 21st is the date of the total eclipse of the sun. I know this comes as a shock as nobody else has been writing about it…

In Casper Wyoming they are expecting the population to expand by close to 500% the town is about 50,000 people normally and they expect over 200,000 people to show up for the eclipse, according to the news on the radio there are flight plans already filed for an extra 190 aircraft to arrive the morning of the eclipse in Casper and then during the eclipse the airspace will be closed down.

Even though it is illegal to “park” on the interstate in most areas….. Wyoming Highway patrol is expecting large numbers of parked cars and accidents.. some states have activated the national guard to help deal with the extra people who come to watch the eclipse.

I do not expect a natural disaster from the eclipse, BUT I think it prudent to expect a human disaster during this time. Think of it as a large influx of refugees and the effect of this may have on infrastructure – food,gas, electric, water and SEWAGE.

Go today and top off your fuel tanks [TODAY] as it will most likely be HEAVY traffic around Monday. We plan on having a family BBQ and to stay off the road on Monday, I suggest that you go ahead now and get whatever provisions you will need for the festivities you plan.

There are several ways to /watch/ the eclipse– for example the special sun glasses IF you can find them at this point. You can make pin hole cameras to see this event [google it] when I was very young we watched one eclipse with such a thing. It was a big cardboard box with a hole cut in the top for binoculars [wrapped in a towel to seal around it] and a hole cut in the side for viewing. This was rather neat that my parents built this for us.
HEALTH WARNING– do NOT look directly at the sun EVER!

This event is supposed to effect radio propagation. You may want to have an AM radio tuned to a distant radio station and hear the effects on reception.

Please share your thoughts and experiences from the eclipse [past and present one] along with the reactions of people around you.

cross ref for dealing with large numbers of people….