Depending on where you live planning a trip from your home to travel across town can easily be accomplished depending on where you live. In the major metropolitan cities along both the east and west coasts of American, it can be a challenge of a life time to travel 10-miles in less than a half hour depending on the time of day.
So, after the solar eclipse, I began my exit northwest from Scotts Bluff National Monument near Scotts Bluff NE towards Casper WY. The distance is only 177 miles and just under three hours along two-lane back roads towards northbound Interstate-25 in Wyoming.
I immediately noticed vehicles standing still in traffic traveling in the opposite direction. But a half an hour later the cars were still stopped in traffic as I passed through the small towns of Morrill NE, Torrington WY, and Lingle WY.
I attributed the traffic backups to, the people who drove to areas in western Nebraska and Eastern Wyoming to see the full totality of the solar eclipse.
Fortunately, I did not encounter any traffic problems in either Nebraska or Wyoming along route 26 until I approached the entrance ramp to Northbound Interstate-25 that had an 8-mile back-up.
Luckily there was a rest stop on my left, and I stopped for a break. Turning into the rest-stop, I encountered 40-60 other drivers who had the same idea.
Everyone in the rest stop was talking about the traffic, sleep in their cars on the grounds, and some were admiring the vistas from the rest stop. Many of the people blamed the traffic back up on Wyoming’s having only one major interstate (2-lanes) and three secondary two lane roads leaving southeast Wyoming.
A majority of the people were from the great state of Colorado, and they were assured to arrive home after midnight or the next day for many. Since I was not from the area, I took their word for it since I was heading in the opposite direction.
One lady joked that the people from Colorado arrived to lower the altitude of Wyoming and we all laughed. But, as I drove for the next hour or so, he joke may have had some valid points.
When I returned to the road, and it took me 15-minutes to reach the entrance ramp to north bound Interstate 25, and I soon began to appreciate and understand the Coloradans comments.
I drove for well over thirty miles, and the traffic in the opposite direction was crawling along at a snail’s pace, and other times it moved at 30-40 mph.
I stopped for some refreshments and discovered a back up on the exit ramp leading to a gas station. Highway workers, state police, and local police were directing traffic.
I was shocked with the volume of people who gave up on trying to get to Colorado and decided to stay at the rest areas and gas stations along interstate 25.
By the time I arrived in Casper Wyoming, I had met with a senior Wyoming State Trooper who gave the best explanation of the traffic events.
Over a four day period, people arrived in Wyoming by car to see the solar eclipse, and when the event was over, they all tried to leave at the same time. We only 5-lanes out of southwest Wyoming, and it will take a couple of days for people to return home. 🙂
Uniquely everyone was fairly calm about the delays being stuck in the unfurled traffic as the police and highway workers synchronized key traffic locations making sure everyone arrived home safely.