SHERIDAN — Sheridan’s solar eclipse peacefully slid in and out of its approximately 96 percent totality with little fanfare.
Relatively isolated groups of people enjoyed the event while spread out around the Trail End State Historic Site. Families brought lawn chairs and blankets, accompanied by family pets, picnic lunches and books about the event.
“No animals going crazy, no stars,” Amanda Hansen of Sheridan said. She and her group set up behind a shade of bushes at the historic site, enjoying the view through eclipse-specific glasses.
Ladies in the group shared their appreciation for not having to fight the crowds reported flocking to more southern parts of Wyoming.
“It’s such nice weather for it,” said Penny Becker, another local.
A trio set up directly in front of the Kendrick Mansion also hailed from Sheridan with the exception of Nay Bana of California. Bana, who frequently visits her father in Sheridan, planned this visit to include a viewing of the solar eclipse.
“I timed it so I could see it,” Bana said. “I’m so excited.”
Trail End initially gave out 100 solar eclipse-viewing glasses. Trail End employee Sharie Mooney said they received an additional 50 glasses to hand out for the event.
A mother-son duo were headed to Laramie to move the son to college, but once they found out about the eclipse, they decided to stay in Sheridan. Sean Heady, who will start his first year at University of Wyoming as a junior year transfer, grew up in Florida and was periodically sending photos of the eclipse back home to friends.
“Everyone is jealous,” Heady said. “They weren’t jealous I was going to Wyoming until today.”
Heady and his mother, StarrLee Heady, headed to Sheridan from Billings, Montana, Sunday night and said they noticed more traffic on the roads, but imagined it wasn’t as much as the traffic Glendo or Casper were seeing.
Contrasting the tranquil viewing at Trail End State Historic Site and around the city of Sheridan, Wyoming highways saw increased traffic starting over the weekend. The Wyoming Department of Transportation said traffic counts in Wyoming increased by more than 217,000 vehicles on Sunday as compared to a five-year average for the same timeframe. Saturday’s traffic showed an increase of more than 131,000 vehicles and Friday saw an increase of 74,000.
Crime reports from Sheridan County saw no unusual reports and only one arrest unrelated to the eclipse. No calls were reported during the time of the solar eclipse for the Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheridan Police Department responded to four reported calls during the eclipse including an animal incident, two dog at large calls and one theft from a vehicle.
While Sheridan did not experience a total eclipse, locals still enjoyed taking time to view the rare natural phenomenon.