Thursday, February 27, 2014

Construction Update at Guernsey Dam

Looks like it will be after March the first before the road over the dam is open. Original plans said March 1 would be the end of construction. But they are still working. Doesn’t matter much now as the weather here has been more winter than spring.

Last year the golf course in Guernsey, Trail Ruts, started up their water system on the first of March, the superintendent of the course said it was the same the year before. Not this year, we are expecting snow the night of the 28th and on March 1.

Maybe there really is something to this bad weather vortex deal.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Best Place to Live - Wyoming

Many people choose to go south in the winter, find a nice warm spot and take it easy for a few months. I like the four seasons, and some days like this morning, the beauty of winter is incredible.

We had a few inches of  snow this weekend but now the sun shines and the snow glistens.  Theses photos were taken this morning in and around the Oregon Trail Ruts Historical Site, part of Guernsey State Park.


Blue Spruce Cones Feb 2014

Cottonwoods In Winter


Snow on Cedar Near the Trail


 Bird Nest Waiting for Spring

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Guernsey State Park Where Every Day Is A Good Day

Every day is a good day for hiking and wildlife viewing in the park, even when the wind is blowing.  Now as it is getting near to spring, migratory birds will start showing up.

 I miss the pronghorn that were in the park twenty years ago but did see a nice herd within two miles of the park last week. Maybe they will find their way back into the park.

There are nice flocks of turkey on both sides of the lake and several good bunches of deer on either side. This winter we have seen more deer in the park than last year, which should be a good sign for park wildlife.

I took both of these park photos in January.

Never Fear – Spring is Near
See more of my Wyoming History here -

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Guernsey State Park and FDR's New Deal - The Men of the CCC

Guernsey State Park is well known as a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts. But did you know that it is one of America’s best historical sites to take a close look at Civilian Conservation Corps History?

Dozens of projects undertaken by CCC workers in the 1930s are still in use in the park today. For those of you who dozed off in high school history class the CCC was part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. The Civilian Conservation Corps was the government’s attempt to put young men back to work. Guernsey State Park was built by theses CCC workers, the park having two camps, one on each side of the lake.

Although the park abounds in wonderful reminders of the CCC and their work building the park, here are my five favorites.

1.     The Museum – The Museum is on the east side of the lake and was built by CCC camp Br-9, which was located down the deep valley south of the museum.

2.     Lakeshore Drive – Lakeshore Drive crosses the dam and follows the east shore. The drive leaves the park at Long Canyon and leads on into the town of Hartville. The drive from Guernsey to Hartville via Lakeshore Drive may be the most beautiful drive in all of eastern Wyoming.

3.     Sitting Bull Picnic Shelter- Located on Lakeshore Drive

4.     Skyview Drive – This is the main road on the west side, unlike Lakeshore Drive, it is not paved but the surface is well maintained, hard packed, gravel.

5.     The Castle- The Guernsey State Park Castle can be reached by taking Skyview Drive to its termination on the North Bluff. While there check out the, Million Dollar Biffy, the most ornate and overbuilt comfort station in all of Wyoming’s state park system. Skyview Drive, the Castle and the, Million Dollar Biffy were all projects of Camp BR-10 although the Castle was finished up by the men of Camp BR-9.

For true history buffs, the Powderhouse at Camp BR-10 and the bridge on the Brimmer Point walking trail are musts. (Unfortunately the bridge on the Brimmer Point trail was burned in the terrible fire in the summer of 2012 but the terrific stone work is still in place)

The Powderhouse may be one of the least visited historical places in the park. To find the Powderhouse take Skyview Drive the road left from the park entrance pay station, (the road to sandy beach) after going up the mountain (May West Hill) and coming down you will find a turnoff to the left, south, at the bottom of the hill. This is across the road from the beginning of Tunnel Mountain Trail. The old Powderhouse is only about one-hundred yards northwest from this turn off. The turn off is steep but there is room to turn around at the bottom.

The Powderhouse has a small bright metal (unfortunately) interpretive sign. If you are adventurous many ruins from old camp BR-10 are in the area immediately west of the Powderhouse strung out for nearly a quarter of a mile.

On a final note - If you have taken a long drive to reach Guernsey State Park check out the hiking trails. Wonderful views with many great photo opportunities and great exercise also.

                         "The Worker" - Civilian Conservation Corp statue at the Museum

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Oregon Trail and Guernsey State Park

201 years ago visitors showed up at my doorstep. Or, at least, they could have.

It was in the winter of 1812-13 that Robert Stuart led the seven returning Astorians on their journey from Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia River to St. Louis. After traversing South Pass they found the North Platte and followed it to the Missouri and on to St. Louis. To do this they must have passed very close to my home a quarter of a mile north of the North Platte and 13 miles upstream from Fort Laramie. It would take another 21 years before Fort Laramie (then Fort William) was founded as a trapper trading post.

With this passing of the Astorians Robert Stuart and his crew become the pathfinders of the route that later would become the Oregon Trail. Fort Laramie would go on to become one of the most looked forward to stops for travelers heading west.
Guernsey State Park encompasses several thousand acres, the famous Trail Ruts and Register Cliff, both south of Guernsey, are also part of the park. Probably no way Stuart and the Astorians passed through without being the first vacationers to stop at this terrific Wyoming park.
Hope they paid their overnight camping fee.         Fort Laramie             Guernsey State Park (in our town)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Guernsey State Park

Great day for a drive. Think we will drive to Hartville and travel Lakeshore drive through the park this afternoon. Hopefully we will soon be able to cross the dam again.

But not today, not yet, still under construction. I want to get a few new photos of the museum for my book, good dappled sun today, perfect for my clumsy photography attempts. Speaking of that I am now researching for a new camera, can't wait. I will let you know what I decide on and post new photo's.

Keep reading and keep on dreaming of summer days ahead.