Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Few Things We Saw in the Park Yesterday – or What We Saw on the Trail

We spent a great four hours in the park yesterday. Although I am not sure I have ever spent any bad time in the park. Walking two, seldom used trails, we had an enjoyable, exhilarating and exhausting time. We chose two seldom used trails, one's that are only hiking trails, we like the combo bike/hike trails also, but yesterday we must have felt the need to work a little harder than usual. Might be one of those, “I’m still not too old to do this," kind of day.”
Spend enough time on the trails and you will see some great wildlife

The sun turns part of the lake a summery bronze. What a view!

The sun puts it golden touch on a pair of pines 

One of the great western blooms

Wildflower Season - still going on in the park.

The end of the trail
I never leave the park in the evening if it looks to be a great sunset and last night was a very nice sunset indeed.
No touchup needed
And nothing beats the sun setting over the North Bluff Castle.

I will post more at a later date on trail specifics but wanted to show a few of our views from the trail.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Storm Rolls In

A warm summer day and then the clouds rolled in.
Most of the visitors left the park when the storm approached - too bad they missed this.
Wasn't too bad back in town either.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Trip to the Museum

It is always a nice day to take a trip to the Guernsey State Park Museum. If you look, hard enough, there is always something new and interesting to discover.

 For some reason I became curious about the fire brick, clean and nice, in the Museum Library’s fireplace. Made by the Denver Clay Company they read, Hifire, fire brick.

A quick look at online antique sites, it looks like this type of brick is a good seller, usually selling for around $40 including postage.

The Company came into existence in the late 1870s, and by the 1890s was incorporated and into many types of mining equipment and chemical sales along with the fire brick branch. The building that made the fire brick burned to the ground in 1937 and I could find no record of the fire brick being manufactured there again.

Lots of interesting stories in the park, take a look.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Birds in the Park

Guernsey State Park might be best known for camping, boating, hiking, and mountain biking, but guess what? It is also a great place for bird watching.
Hard at work on Knight Mountain Trail
 I know very little about birds, but do enjoy watching birds on and near the water.
This guy looks like King of the Water Birds

Up River, past Sandy Beach and in the Spillway you will see many of these interesting birds.

 The park is home to many Ducks and Turkey’s

Vultures home to roost. Photo from late April, just before the leaves hid the roosting area.



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Meanwhile North of the Park

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of watching the 143rd Infantry Regiment, Airborne Rangers, jump onto the John Edmunds Drop Zone north of Guernsey.

The drop zone was named after Specialist John Joseph Edmunds who was killed in action during Operation Enduring Freedom. Specialist Edmunds was one of the first American causalities, killed in action, in Pakistan, Oct 19, 2001. Edmunds is one of two Americans officially killed in Pakistan as most of the fighting was in Afghanistan.

The 143rd is an elite Texas Airborne unit that has been engaged in wars all over the globe since WW1. Monday, 288 Rangers jumped in full battle ready dress, each solder and pack weighing between 300 and 350 pounds.
The entire jump was impressive, and over in 40 minutes after three passes with four military C-130 aircraft, dumping supplies on the first pass and the rangers on the next two passes.

The Jump was important enough that Camp Guernsey Garrison Commander, Col. Richard Knowlton, hosted three Generals, including, Lt. Gen (3 star)  Joseph L. Lengyel, Vice Chief - National Guard Bureau, out of the Pentagon.

For readers unfamiliar with the Guernsey Wyoming area, and Camp Guernsey, the site is a bit over 80,000 acres (125 square miles) and is a joint training site, hosting National Guard, Army and United States Air Force. The site is listed as a Regional Collective Training Capability Center, by the Army, and a Regional Training Center by the Air Force.  The Camp hosts Soldiers and Airmen year-round and continues to grow.

It was a wonderful, proud, day to see how really good our soldiers are. Great that the public was allowed into the event. Word is that next year the jump will be with nearly 600 paratroopers, wouldn’t miss it for anything.

Oh- one final note, ambulances and medics were on site and the injury total was zero. Not even a twisted ankle from the 288 jumpers, these guys are good.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Stuff I Saw On My Walk

Always nice when it warms up enough for the first, of the summer, walk on the beach. And in my case the beach is Sandy Beach in Guernsey State Park.
Great Beach, and Look at that Blue Lake Water
The lake was high when the Bureau of Reclamation was testing the new fix on the dam.  Lots of stuff washes up during high water, most of it worth nothing, stuff that was lost from boats or dropped in the river upstream.
Wonder what caused this?

 I like some of the drift wood, used to be a lot of people that scavenged the nice pieces, but any more, the wood mostly becomes part of a cooking fires or washes on downstream.
Might make a nice - something!
Beginning Sand Castle Building 101 - must have been kids here yesterday
First Pieces of a beginners wikiup

Grandson on Sandy Beach - photo-shopped to look like a painting

Too bad people don't take the time to walk the beach much, it is a great stress relief, and a chance to see stuff!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Guernsey Lake Spillway

My wife and I love to go down to the Guernsey Dam spillway and relax this time of year. It is only a walk of a city block, and the view and the roar of the water is always special.
Spillway from the viewing area
Close-up of the waterfall at the spillway
 I have read two recent blog posts about the use of recorded sounds to sleep – give me the sound of the water releasing from the gate house and roaring to join the river. It is loud in a poetic, quiet way. The mist and spray and the occasional blast of water you get with it, is indescribable on a hot summer day.
Through the Gatehouse, down the spillway and into the river

One of the picnic areas with the restrooms in the background
We spend many hours in the park each week and love the quiet solitude of the forested hillsides and the adventure of hiking different trails. But the power and the roar of the spillway is something everyone needs to see and feel, a quick little, half an hour, adventure.  The spillway with its picnic and viewing area is an underutilized part of the park, we will take advantage of the area and picnic with the grandkids there soon.

Made a dash up to the lower Museum parking lot, to take this shot of the peak, before going home
One of  those wow moments at Guernsey State Park !