To our fellow participants in the KcyOming journey,
Welcome!! We are so excited to have this great group of wonderful people to join this adventure!
When we first created this trip, alot of people said: what eclipse? Now it seems to be in the news everywhere. You guys were the visionaries.
Eames has been to this area at least 7 times (he’s lost count, actually) in the past year and a half. Mark came with him one time to get the lay of the Land. Bruce Bohannan (our Astronomer-at-Large) has been there twice, to get the lay of the Sun. And it has been fascinating to embrace that there are still a huge amount of unknowns—and many would have been familiar to astronomers a few thousand years ago.
A basic one is the weather. Statistically (meaning based on average clear sky days at this time of year) this is one the best viewing spots on the path of totality. Eames bought a little piece of Wyoming based on that and will this week install a 28 foot tall shadow caster on that land for your observing pleasure. But we won’t really know until the day what precisely we will see. And yet, we are very convinced it will be quite something—not only for the cosmic show, but the human show on the ground. Shoshoni is getting ready.
There are other unknowns. Sometimes we feel like we are planning an expedition to Mars. Like pilgrims flocking Mayan temples at the time of an eclipse, we are well advised to bring our own food—and, thankfully, our chef, Steven L. Couch (AKA Mr. Eat Right), is taking care of us. The food stores will be empty, the gas stations dry many say. Or not. But the locals are definitely stockpiling. Hotels truly have been full for a year and half. Airbnb Rentals are going for 15,000 dollars—whether it is an urban legend or not. A town of 600 will have 4000 visitors or 12000. No one exactly knows. It is all part of a wonderful madness tracing a path across Wyoming. And this is also part of the magic of this trip—we see that we are just the latest group of humans to say: we want to observe for ourselves this exquisite cosmic moment. Nature’s greatest show.
And so if we ask anything of you all, it is to be prepared to be a bit nimble—and ready to get up early! If you have ever had a hard, immovable deadline in your life, this is the least flexible, most immovable. The Sun and Moon and Earth will do their thing in Shoshoni, Wyoming at 11:39 AM without the slightest interest in whether we are there. And that is pretty awesome. So we are going to be paying alot of attention to traffic, and may need to do things like rouse everyone even earlier than expected.
Our eyezes are on the prizes—the eclipse and the stories.
But we have surprises too: untold stories, delicious Kcy Kcyuisine, and umbrellas you might not want to use in the rain. And much more—including the stories you will share with us and your fellow explorers. It all starts in less than two weeks!
Thanks for being part of this,
Principal, Tiny World Tours
Friday, August 18 ~ Early birds check in at theArt hotel
Out-of-towners arrive in Denver according to individual flight schedules. Check-in at theArt Hotel and enjoy the day in Denver on your own!
Saturday, August 19 ~ Check in at theArt hotel, optional Denver Art Museum tour, KcyOming story-telling dinner party at home of Carla Hartman
Out-of-towners arrive in Denver according to individual flight schedules. Check-in at theArt Hotel and enjoy Denver! Although standard hotel check-in time is 3 PM, they allow early check-in when rooms are ready. The hotel can store luggage if rooms are not ready early. For the optional Denver Art Museum tour, we will gather in the lobby of theArt Hotel at 2 PM and walk together. At 5:15 PM, please all rendezvous in the lobby of theArt hotel. We will then all walk together to the home of Carla Atwood Hartman (address: 1090 Cherokee, #308, Denver CO 80204) and celebrate our official KcyOming Total Solar Eclipse Tour kickoff evening featuring the cuisine of Kcymaerxthaere Chef-in-residence Steve Couch. Our group will be joined by a jolly group of ~15 local Denverites for dessert and Kcymaerxthaere storytelling by Eames Demetrios. (D)
*On this itinerary B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner
Sunday, August 20 ~ Caravan Adventure Day, travel between Denver, CO and Thermopolis, WY
Those who desire a hearty breakfast may dine in theArt hotel’s Fire restaurant starting at 6:30 AM. Please check-out and meet the group in front of the hotel at 8 AM with your luggage. Find your seat aboard one of two 15-passenger vans, where coffee, water, and continental breakfast assortments will be made available. There will be (storytelling) stops and a boxed lunch en route to Wyoming. Our group dinner will be in a private room at the Cowboy Café located in Riverton, WY. We will drive from Riverton to the Wyoming Gardens RV Park in Thermopolis after dinner, get settled in to your assigned RV, and (when you wish) go to sleep. (B, L, D)
Monday, August 21 ~ Total Solar Eclipse, Thermopolis and Shoshoni, WY
This is our big event day! We will get a very early start, so please emerge from your RVs and board the vans at 7:30 AM (or earlier by pre-arrangement) for the 30-60 minute drive to our Shoshoni KcyOming site. Breakfast and a boxed lunch will be served at the site, and we hope we will have a little time to explore the town of Shoshoni before gathering at again by 10:20 AM at our site to observe the start of the eclipse. Eames and tour co-host astrophysicist Bruce Bohannon will run the storytelling show. Totality starts at 11:39 AM and will last 2 minutes 22 seconds. The eclipse will be completely over by 1 PM. Our first van will depart the Shoshoni KcyOming site and return to Thermopolis soon after the end of the eclipse, leaving time to explore Thermopolis and the hot springs. Our second van will depart Shoshoni later if some participants would like more time to explore the town of Shoshoni. A tour finale dinner will be served at a pre-arranged time by Chef Steve Couch at Wyoming Gardens RV Park. After dinner will be a good time to say goodbyes to those leaving early the next day. (B, L, D)
Tuesday, August 22 ~ Caravan Return to Denver,
The time(s) for breakfast will depend on our van departure times to be determined the day before. One van will depart early for those with early departures wishing to go more directly to the Denver airport (412 miles). The second van will take a more leisurely route with an early lunch stop in Casper before heading to the Denver airport. Check-in to your flight departing Denver International Airport & Bon Voyage! Denver residents may be dropped off downtown. (B, L)
Group Composition and Flexibility
There will be about thirty participants in total, half hosts/helpers and half guests from across the United States. Despite our best planning efforts, no one knows what to expect in terms of crowds and traffic around this very rare and special eclipse. We will appreciate your general understanding and flexibility (especially around scheduling and routing) taking into account changing and potentially unforeseeable conditions.
Weather in Colorado/Wyoming in August
Please expect to have hot days and cool nights. Highs may be expected to reach into the mid 90s and lows may dip into the high 50s.
What to Wear
Although this tour will be completely casual (e.g. shorts and t-shirts the whole way would be fine!), we expect some people may want to dress up a little for our Saturday kickoff dinner. We recommend clothing layers that will allow you to adjust to the changing temperature, a sun-shading hat, sunglasses, and comfortable footwear. Closed toe shoes are required at the KcyOming eclipse viewing site in Shoshoni. Please bring your bathing suit if you would like to be able to take a dip in one of the three Thermopolis, WY sulfur-scented hot springs (located within walking distance of each other) on Monday after the eclipse.
Group Communications using the GroupMe app (part of Skype)
Please expect a GroupMe invitation from Mark Holzbach in coming days to join a group of KycOming Tour participants. It will be ideal for all participants to be part of this group to enable convenient and timely communications, especially since we can’t all be riding in the same vehicle together.
Media Sharing via EverSnap
A KycOming Tour EverSnap photo sharing page has been set up by Mark Holzbach. This is a common place for our sharing photos with each other and with anyone you care to share the following album link with: https://www.eversnappro.com/album/692085
Participants have all been assigned beds in RVs (unless they have brought their own tents). These RVs are clean and modern, and include bedsheets and blankets. The accommodations are compact and cozy, and can be favorably compared to glamorous camping or “glamping”.
Viewing the Eclipse
Our resident astrophysicist and co-host Bruce Bohannon will be informing us about eclipse-related details all along the way and during the eclipse itself. He has provided the reading list at the end of this document. We will provide all tour participants with ISO 12312-2:2015 certified eclipse viewing glasses. There will be no need to buy or bring you own, although, of course, bring your own if you already have some. https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/
Thermopolis & Shoshoni
Luggage : travel light!
We recommend packing lightly, bringing versatile items and pare down to the essentials. Traveling with one roller bag and one small duffel bag or backpack would be a great way to go.
Optional Saturday Downtown Art Museum Walking Tour
Please RSVP at your earliest convenience, ideally by 8/13/17 to firstname.lastname@example.org if you intend to come along on this optional tour lead by Grand Rapids Art Museum Director, Dana Friis-Hansen.
Additional Nights at theArt Hotel
If you haven’t already made arrangements, and you would like to arrive in Denver a day (or two?) earlier, or stay in Denver a day (or two?) after the KcyOming Total Solar Eclipse Tour ends, please email email@example.com by 8/13/17 and he’ll do everything possible try to reserve additional nights for you at theArt hotel (at your expense).Los Angeles, CA, September 10th, 1923
Reading List from Astrophysicist & Tour Co-host, Bruce Bohannon
For our experience of the total eclipse of the sun on 21 August 2017, you might enjoy the following somewhat eclectic set of suggestions for what to read to prepare for the eclipse. For your perusal, we will also bring copies of some of these books along on the expedition.
* If one has time for only one book, here is the one:
— American Eclipse: A nation's epic race to catch the shadow of the moon and win the glory of the world David Baron, Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2017
Wonderful writing on Maria Mitchell and her all woman eclipse expedition from Vassar and on Thomas Edison.
* Four others at the top of my list:
— Eclipses, Transits, and Comets of the Nineteenth Century: How America's Perception of the Skies Changed Stella Cottam & Wayne Orchiston, Springer International Publishing, 2015
The popularization of astronomy in the United States as traced through the pages of the New York Times in light the transits of Venus and total solar eclipses of the late 19th Century.
See note below on other sources for her writing.
— The Under-Standing of Eclipses Guy Ottewell, Universal Workshop; 5 edition (August 21, 2016)
Guy Ottewell was famous for his graphic rich Astronomical Calendars. While he retired before 2017, he did revise his eclipse book.
— Empire and the Sun: Victorian solar eclipse expeditions Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Stanford University Press, 2002
The Victorians were the first umbraphiles, an expression of their love of experiencing and observing all things scientific.
— In the Shadow of the Moon: The science, magic, and mystery of solar eclipses Anthony F. Aveni, Yale University Press, 2017
A scholarly work by an expert in the field of archaeoastronomy.
* Accounts of memorable eclipse expeditions
compiled by Phebe Mitchell Kendall, Lee and Shepard Publishers, 1896
available as a Google Book (https://books.google.com/books?id=MbY4AAAAMAAJ) pp 223–232
The railroad brought Maria Mitchell and her students to Denver for the 1878 eclipse. What a fascinating adventure. The opening of the railroad to the west enabled all to come in relative ease.
E. Walter Maunder, British Astronomical association, 1901
Of particular note is the role of his wife and daughters in photographing the eclipse from Algeria. Some of the finest early photographs of the solar corona during the eclipse. The BAAS also sent a party to Wadesborough, North Carolina as well as other sites on land and sea.
— On the Total Solar Eclipse of 1851 (with plate) Charles Piazzi Smyth
"In fact, the general scene of a total eclipse, is a potent Siren's song, which no human mind can withstand."
Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1853, vol. 20, p. 504
The remainder of the quote (p. 504) gives some excellent guidance on viewing the eclipse with reference to how Ulysses passed the fatal shore in safety.
* Others on my bookshelves, real or lust (in no particular order)
— Glorious eclipses: Their past, present, and future
Serge Brunier, Cambridge University Press, 2000
— Eclipse: Journeys to the Dark Side of the Moon
Frank Close, Oxford University Press, 2017
— Mask of the Sun: The science, history, and forgotten lore of eclipses
John Dvorak, Pegasus Books, 2017
— Atlas of Central Solar Eclipses in the USA
Fred Espenak, Astropixels Publishing, 2016
— Total eclipses of the Sun
Zirker, Jack B., Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1984
— Celestial Shadows: Eclipses, transits, and occultations
John Westfall and William Sheehan., Springer, 2015
See also Cottam's PhD dissertation https://researchonline.jcu.edu.au/28364/1/28364%20Cottam%202011.pdf
As well as an extensive article in the conference "Highlighting the History of Astronomy in the Asia-Pacific Region", 2011, Orchiston, et al. available on Google Books (https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1441981616)
The Total Solar Eclipses of 7 August 1869 and 29 July 1878 and the Popularisation of Astronomy in the USA as Reflected in the New York Times
Stella Cottam, et al. pp 339-375.