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Tetons in Totality

Tetons in Totality

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Monday, August 21, 2017/Categories: natural history, photography, art and design, environment, adventure

   Total Solar Eclipse and Corona Grand from Targhee Mountain, 8-21-2017 (credit: Riled Up)

August 21, 2107 was Eclipse Day across the USA. Special events were planed along the 'path of totality' from the coast of Oregon, across the Rocky Mountains, to the Mid-west, passing over Nashville, TN, and onwards to Charleston, SC before exiting the country over the Atlantic Ocean. It seemed like a festival that conneccted the entire country in observing the wonder, mystery, and beauty of a solar eclipse. Even people who couldn't view the totality were moved by this rare event of sun and moon merging.

Every American city or locality along the 70 mile-wide totality path offered various educational and other activities for adults and kids alike. One very special 'vantage point' was available to only a few folks who were able to observe the totality from the Grand Tetons from either the Idaho or Wyoming side of the mountain range as the total eclipse passed over the high mountains.


        8am Grand Targhee Ski Lift and Ridgeline View of Grand Tetons, Wyoming, 8-21-2017  (credit: Riled Up)

Six hundred lucky research professionals and other people obtained tickets to board chairlifes to sit along the rocky ridgeline of Grand Targhee mountain at 10,800; others trekked to adjacent ridgetops outside the ski area; while some adverturous mountaineers pitched their tent atop Mount Moran in Wyoming's Grand Tetons National Park. Perhaps they were one of the handful of climbers who reserved a special permit offered by the Teton Mountain Guides based in Jackson to climb the famous peak and watch the eclipse unfold from its summit. Wherever people were inside this Rocky Mountain porion of the solar totality were treated to an amazing sight that unfolded under clear skies.


                 Solar Totality Corona and Eclipse Shadow of the Grand Tetons, WY 8-21-2017  (credit: Riled Up)

PBS shared some of the national enthusiasm surrounding the eclipse as well as the science that can be obtained only during such a rare event, the first in over 100 years to cross the entire continental USA.

What was remarkable from all the commentaries shared on radio, television, and online was how the solar eclipse was both deeply personal and very communal. Anyone who saw the totalality of August 21st will likely have decided to view another total eclipse some day again.



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