Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Guernsey State Park - The Book

My new book about Guernsey State Park has been very well received. Thanks, everyone!

By the way - the book is much better than the EBook, too many photos, nearly 200 for the EBook. It looks good on some readers, a bit funky on others. It's all there, just moves the photos and leaves more white space than I wanted. But the book will look terrific on your coffee table or in your business waiting room.
The cover is in the great dark green of the Civilian Conservation Corps.

If you have not taken a look yet, here is the introduction

Guernsey State Park features an abundance of well-preserved work by the Civilian Conservation Corps. When building the park, CCC workers were told they were building something for the ages. Prophetic today.

On the east side of the park, the Museum, many superb picnic shelters, and Lakeshore Drive remain as monuments to the skill and ingenuity of the builders of the Civilian Conservation Corps.  Skyline Drive, on the west side of the park, takes visitors to places not accessible before the engineers and workers of the Civilian Conservation Corps arrived in Guernsey. The Castle on the North Bluff at the end of Skyline Drive is a massive stone and log shelter often referred to as the most elaborate picnic shelter in America.
Dozens of other buildings, roads, trails, culverts, retaining walls and bridges built by the CCC can be seen throughout the park. The park itself is not only a fine history lesson of the Civilian Conservation Corps, but of building parks and recreational facilities throughout America. If that is not enough for history buffs, the Oregon and Mormon Trails pass on either side of the park.
On September 25, 1997 Lake Guernsey State Park was designated a National Historic Landmark. This followed the 1981 designation of the Dam, Gatehouse and Powerplant on the Historic Register.
 The most recent nomination forms followed the history of the CCC workers in the park. The designation was well deserved and much credit and thanks are given by this author to the research efforts and hard work of those people who made the National Landmark status possible.
This account covers, in some small way, the goings on, lives and legends of the CCC and the many young men who built the park. In his wonderful book, Cowboy Life: Reconstructing an American Myth, William Savage Jr. said, “Most real life cowboys were just that—boys between 18 and 25. Unwilling to stay at home with pasture and plow, they became hired hands on horseback, most did not even own their own horses and few rose above their humble station.”*
 The men of the CCC, most also in the 18-25, age group represented that same Cowboy spirit 50 years later. Young men too restless to stay at home. It was Depression time in America, but young men still needed purpose, they needed to find themselves, they needed space and time, some needed to wander, each needed work. These men, even if it was but for a brief time, rose above their humble station in life, they were the hard working men of the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Perhaps Owen Wister said it best in his classic Wyoming tale, The Virginian, “Well, he will be here among us always, invisible, waiting his chance to live and play as he would like. His wild kind has been among us always, since the beginning: a young man with his temptations, a hero without wings.”*
This book stands as a tribute to those working men of the CCC. Young men, who dreamed, sweated, played and grew up during a brief time of their lives in Guernsey, Wyoming. Their kind has always been with us, with us for a little while, who then like Wister’s cowboy, wandered off into the pages of history.  In the few years the men of the CCC labored in Guernsey they turned a Bureau of Reclamation, irrigation and hydroelectric dam on the North Platte River into the beautiful, Guernsey State Park.
Often, these invisible people of history are hard to find. Workers, they came, they built, and they left, to go on with their lives. When one looks closely, their kind has truly always been with us.
Although historical in nature, this work was not intended to be a pure, research-based study, but instead meant to be lighthearted and easy reading, a telling of both the old and the new stories of the park. Learning about history can be fun and exciting; reading history doesn’t have to be dull and mind-numbing.
Guernsey State Park is blessed with a rich history, much of it made by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The pages of this book will also reveal bits of the park's rich history from the time before the CCC.

Enjoy your read!  
Want to see more?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Friends of Guernsey State Park

Great meeting of the Friends of the park today. Good attendance and terrific information. If you are not a member, it's only $10 a year with the money going back into projects.

If you camp, boat, hike, picnic, take photos, or just like to kick back and relax this park is for you. If you have not yet checked it out, give it a try.
Dreaming of Smores and Hot Dogs on the fire from the Castle on the North Bluff

Oh, one note, the silt run (when the lake is lowered) will take place starting July 7, the lake will be full and ready for all water recreators again by the end of July.

See my book on the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Building of Guernsey State Park here.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Busy Park

Looks like the park is already getting busy for the 4th. Lots of campers all over. People in line at the south entry when we went in today. And a traffic jam - Wyoming style.
Many thanks to my grandson for the photo. Yep, that's right I didn't see them, my wife, grandson and granddaughter did.
Where was I? Playing golf. Bummer, but I did shoot 81, so all is not lost.

Two young Big Horn Sheep walking in the park today

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Anything Floats and the Slit Run is Coming Up

We enjoyed watching the anything that floats, boat race last weekend at the lake.
Fun, funny and great weather. Sponsored by Tri-City Parks and Rec and the Guernsey State Park staff the race has been going on for several years and is always a crowd pleaser.

Not much time left until the annual silt run and the lowering of the lake. It’s a nice time to get out and enjoy the park. And after the water is lowered - enjoy the trails, picnic shelters and the Museum.
The enchanting CCC steps of Red Cliff Trail

The book is available on Amazon, from my blog site and in Guernsey State Park's CCC Museum. Check it out, nearly 200 photos with lots of park history, folktales along with things to do and see in the park.
A park must see - View from the Castle

 I like the looks of the book much better than the eBook, would look great on your coffee table or at the office.
A park for all ages to enjoy - On the path at the Castle

Saturday, June 13, 2015

A Few Hours on the Lake

Raindrops on the water
Leaf on the water
Often beauty can be found in the smallest of things. We spent a wonderful afternoon at Black Canyon Point recently and I snapped a few photos of everyday things.
Playing Fetch
Small wildlife in the park

Wonder what stories this old campfire could tell?
Hard at work in the park

Love watching these guys dive and then pop back up

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Guernsey State Park Book Now on Sale

Click on Book to see it on Amazon

The book is available in both print and Ebook.
When I started the project I expected it to take about five or six months. Well, almost two years later it is finished.

To order, read a free sample or just take a look at it on Amazon, click on the book cover.