Vail Today: Watch Party at the Westin brings out solar eclipse seekers (video) |

Vail Today: Watch Party at the Westin brings out solar eclipse seekers (video)

By Tricia Swenson
Where were you during the Great American Eclipse? For a majority of the people in Eagle County, many were at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa in Avon enjoying the view, sharing glasses and witnessing this celestial phenomenon. Walking Mountains Science Center teamed up with the Westin to offer free glasses to view the eclipse along with education stations where attendees could learn more about this near totality event. In our area, coverage was around 85 to 90 percent of totality. Comments could be heard regarding the air temperature and how it became cooler once the moon blocked the sun’s rays. The atmosphere looked a little darker, too. Tom Desmond of Winnetka, IL had a vacation booked to Vail before he even knew about the eclipse. “We thought we’d come down, get some glasses and view it since it only happens, what, every 40 years?” said Desmond. Back in the 1960s, Desmond remembers viewing some type of eclipse as a Boy Scout. “I remember back then the whole big thing about ‘don’t look up at the sun’, and I probably did, but my eyes turned out okay after all these years, ” said Desmond. Walking Mountains had 450 pairs of glasses, but with over 1,000 people showing up at the Westin, they rationed them to 1 pair of glassed per family. Kristine Schneider of Denver, CO and Barbara Barry of Austin, TX checked out the eclipse while their husbands played golf. The glasses were already gone by the time they arrived. “My fear was that it would happen so fast, but we’ve been able to watch through our pinhole camera and everyone has been so kind about sharing their glasses with us,” said Schneider. “I read that the best way to do this was to get out in a crowd and experience it with a community of people and it’s so true,” Schneider said.

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