Thank you to everyone who prepared Fremont County for the Eclipse
Thank you Wind River Country,
The Wind River Visitors Council would like to thank everyone who prepared Fremont County’s streets, highways, parks, public lands, emergency service agencies, locals, and businesses for Monday’s Wind River Eclipse. Everyone stepped up last week to #helpatourist
The first total solar eclipse to come our way in decades brought a lot of questions and unknowns. We had to anticipate and estimate across towns, organizations, and areas of expertise. And we collectively held our breaths as it neared.
We are delighted to report that as a result of your focused and collaborative efforts, we have received overwhelmingly positive reviews from locals and travelers in the week following the Wind River Eclipse.
We have received thanks for our preparedness:
“Alchemy had a fantastic week! Visitors were really impressed with Lander and the area. Heard many positive comments about the preparedness of the county as a whole,” said the artists of Alchemy Artists’ Cooperative in Lander.
“We heard from visitors that they couldn’t believe how friendly everyone was,” reported Jim Davis, Riverton Chamber of Commerce director. “We had no major incidences. The Riverton Police Department’s mounted police, on horseback in cowboy hats, patrolled City Park, which went over well with the international visitors.”
“Our company was impressed by the way the Lander/Dubois Game and Fish Department managed the HUNDREDS of vehicles and people at the Trail Lake trailhead,” wrote Sarah Woltman of Bear Basin Adventures in Dubois. “The U.S. Forest Service were there also and did a good job.”
We’ve heard heartwarming stories:
“The people from Wyoming I met along the way we’re all so gracious, friendly, and helpful,” wrote a Fort Collins traveler. “Every single person I talked to seemed happy to have this tremendous horde of humanity descend upon them. I know people were run ragged trying to accommodate the masses, and I am sure nerves must have been strained more than once. I have to say though, that the generous people of Wyoming get an A++ for their hospitality!”
“A family from England thanked us for the facilities and friendliness. One of their children is going to write about his experience here for a school assignment. We are hoping that he will get his project completed and will send us pictures. I hope he gets an A,” wrote Wanda Weisz from the Shoshoni Public Library/Visitor Center.
“I was surprised by the number of international travelers,” said Cody Beers, Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) public relations specialist.
We’ve seen a great deal of local and national media coverage, including The Washington Post, Smarter Every Day, and The Denver Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle, each of which was full of excitement, drama, and positivity.
“It got dark as the moon covered the sun. Birds flew by in flocks. The air cooled. Screams could be heard echoing around Pavillion, population 231, as the sign says,” reported The Washington Post.
We’ve seen locals impressed with the quality of our eclipse guests:
“I have driven a great number of county maintained roadways directly impacted by the eclipse event and found very little trash lying anywhere. They have my deepest and most sincere gratitude for being respectful of mother nature and our County,” reflected Dave Pendleton.
“Eclipse tourists are the friendliest bunch I’ve ever dealt with,” said WYDOT’s Doug McGee in a press conference this week.
And, of course, we have heard so many incredible accounts of totality in Wyoming’s Wind River Country:
“It was awesome to see the skies turn purple and feel the cold air. The Native American dancing was a highlight for me along with the drums,” said Brian Brinkerhoff, host of Western Life Radio in Utah.
“We had a wonderful experience on Whiskey Mountain,” wrote Woltman. “Our guests from NY, Washington, UK and Montana had a perfect experience. Our researchers (The “Solar Wind Sherpas”) from the Institute of Astronomy got some amazing scientific results and great images.”
“The experience at the State Park was amazing. Everyone enjoyed every moment of it. Clouds had been there up in the sky but they disappeared just before the total eclipse,” wrote Kiyo Koike, who brought a tour bus full of Japanese astronomers to Boysen State Park for the weekend.
“During totality, after the screaming, you could have heard a pin drop,” Davis said.
“”It was so much fun! Everyone was giddy,” reported Beckie Hatcher, Pavillion town clerk. “Pavillion had a lot of people; Pavillion’s population doubled for the day. The energy was amazing.”
From the Wind River Visitors Council’s perspective, the Total Solar Eclipse exceeded our visitors’ expectations. We have heard repeatedly that our guests will be returning to Wyoming’s Wind River Country. Thank you all for that.
Wind River Visitors Council staff Paula McCormick, Jennie Hutchinson, Tracey Dobbins, and and Casey Adams
Wind River Visitors Council board Ben Verheul, Brian Fabel, Kathy Kenyon-Blair, Mike Anderson, Steve Liebzeit, Ryan Preston, Shannon Batenhorst, Cy Lee, Cathy Cline, Lois Wingerson