Friday, August 28, 2015

Sunset in the Park

Nice picnic and a terrific sunset at the lake.
I hate the fact that wildfires are raging in the west but it does create some incredible sunsets.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Kellum Memorial Benches Added to the Park

A nice crowd was present today for a wonderful ceremony at the Museum.
The special event being the dedication of the Kellum Memorial Benches. The two new stone benches are a great addition to the area of the Civilian Conservation Corps Worker Statue near the Museum.

Along with the unveiling of the benches was the announcement of the new placement of the Stretch and Dotty Hennings benches. They have been reset in a delightful shady area in front of the Museum overlooking the lake.
Stretch and Dottie's bench now relocated

The Kellum family built the second cabin in the park at a time when the CCC was still building. The family has enjoyed the park and lake for five generations.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Hot Days and a Cool Park

What a great time to visit the park - hot days and cool water make a great combination.
We don't do much with the water, other than walking (no I don't walk on water) along the edge. But it is cooling, we also love to visit the spillway, set on the bench and get hit by the mist - very nice.

Goodnight - Sunset in the park

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Black Canyon Trail

Great morning hike on one of the Civilian Conservation Corps trails in the park.
Along the trail
We hiked Black Canyon Trail which is one of my favorites. Mountain vistas with pines, cedars and huge boulders along the way.
Davis Bay and Laramie Peak view from the trail
This trial doesn’t get much use anymore but is still well defined and fairly easy to follow.  
The trail winds through these trees
Today we were joined by friends that love the park as much as we do, making the hike extra nice.
Large boulders along the way
The park trails on the east side range from easy, Evergreen Glade, to very difficult, Knight Mountain, but there is a hike for everyone in the park.

Want to try a trail? Send me a message, here or on twitter and we will try to point you toward a trail of the skill level you want. Who knows, if we are free, which is most of the time, we might go along. Some trails, especially on the west side are very nice bike trails also. We always enjoy seeing people out hiking or biking on the Guernsey State Park trails. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Civilian Conservation Corps at Guernsey State Park

Franklin D. Roosevelt included the Civilian Conservation Corps as part of his New Deal. And the Civilian Conservation Corps built Guernsey State Park. No other state park in Wyoming had any CCC work. That makes Guernsey a one of a kind park.
CCC built Castle on the North Bluff

Want to learn more, you can order my new book here, or you can purchase a copy at the Museum.
If you haven't visited for a while a trip up to the CCC built Museum is in order.

Here is a snippet from the book. This particular story is from one of  the, folklore in the park, sections.

The Story of the Body in the Gulch 

A man, known only as Black, nobody really knew if Black was his last name or a nickname. He had been in and around the Cheyenne to Black Hills stage route for several weeks, sometimes riding shotgun on one of the dangerous runs. More often, if he had money, he hung around the Cheyenne Club or one of the many gambling concerns in Deadwood.

Once when a stage traveler admired his fancy spurs he said he’d won them in a poker game. Another time he mentioned buying them in Mexico.

Curious people questioned how someone who apparently did not work on a regular basis could afford such an expensive pair of spurs. But why not, he was also described as wearing handmade boots he’d special ordered to fit his feet. Some of the new style, individually made from a place in Kansas.

Privately Black had told a table of his poker playing pals that he found the spurs on a body, “a way’s up a gulch,” near the North Platte River. Since he was more often broke than not most believed this to be true. So how does all of this tie into a story?

The real story might be the finding of the body, one man found it, no one else ever saw it. The man, Black, who proudly owned a new set of spurs appeared only briefly in the area and never was heard from again. A few years’ later locals commonly believed that no one simply walked upon a decaying body with the spurs. Instead believing someone was killed in the gulch, most stories named Black as the killer, with the spurs being part, or all of the take from the crime.
Maybe the body in the Gulch looked like me - no, probably not that old.

 Some modern tales make the dead man out as a park haunting ghost who today frequents the Red Cloud shelter area. But who was he really? The man might have been a murderer lawman with the body later dumped in the gulch or a drummer (traveling peddler), or a women. Today when the wind blows out of the south-south-west an eerie, haunting howl, can be heard in and around Dead Man’s Gulch. The entirety of the story sounds much more like a tall-tale than history, and perhaps it is, but the story of the Dead Man’s Gulch still makes for lively conversation more than a century later.

Want to read more?

 Go here and read the first few pages. 

I still like the hard copy better than the ebook because depending on the e-reader some of the photos and captions do not stay together, but the text is fine and so are the photos, just seems like more white space than needed - still a good read.
Far off the beaten path and if you know where to look - The CCC didn't always get everything cleaned up. Today this makes for great photos for a historian. It also allows me to wonder about a day in the life of a CCC worker. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Pelicans - Again, a Last Look

Had to get out for one last look at the pelicans, not sure  why but when the lake is full again in a few days the pelicans disappear.

Lake is starting to fill once again