Saturday, December 24, 2016

Frosty the Snow Deer

I thought it might be fun to make a Christmas Card from Guernsey State Park.

We have enjoyed watching the deer we call Whitey, and others call Snowflake, the last two years. I  have taken dozens of photos of her, many of them with her buddy shown here. For no particular reason, I think that I will call her friend Priscilla. 

  Have a wonderful Christmas and don't forget about the first-day hike, in the park, on January 1.

Whitey and Priscilla, enjoying the sun in early November.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Wyoming Winter Day

We have had an interesting weather week. Today with extreme cold and several inches of snow on the ground I took a drive around town and the following is what I found interesting.
Grandkids at bottom of sledding hill
Haystack Mountains 
Looking a bit like Christmas
A road less traveled
Top of the first hill
Could be a few days before I play any golf
Walking up the big sledding hill
North Platte River near the Oregon Trail

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Guernsey State Park - North Bluff Trail

It was a bit on the cool side when we hiked in the park early this afternoon. Our choice of a trail today started at the Castle as we hiked the North Bluff Trail. With the temperature around 30, we moved pretty fast, for us, the first part of the trail. This hike took just under an hour and a half with the temperature rising to 37, but the wind was coming up by the time we finished.
The Castle looking from the west

This trail has a nice turnaround allowing hikers to go away from the Castle on the lower trail along the river/lake and return through the bluffs on the upper trail. 
Nice view of Laramie Peak along the trail

It could be hiked in less than half the time we do it, but we often spend time looking around, resting and taking photos along the way. I use my camera as an excuse to rest, “Wait a minute, I want to take a few shots of the peak, or deer, turkey, rocks, trees, anything to catch my breath.”  
Less than a quarter of a mile along the trail

This trail follows the high ridge above the lake going west then turns south with the lake about a half mile into the hike. Like most trails in the park, this one offers spectacular views and normally some wildlife along the way. We watched a pair of Bald Eagles and scared up four deer along the way.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Great Days In The Park

With the good weather following the snow, we spent a couple of pleasant afternoons in the park this weekend. We walked the lakeshore on the west side near the boat ramp and spent time along Skyline Drive in various areas. I love hiking this time of year, crisp air and so many of those, “It's great to be outside days.”

Chugwater - Tomorrow, Monday, November 21, I will be speaking to the Chugwater Historical Society about the Civilian Conservation Corps and the building of Guernsey State Park at the community center in Chugwater, Wyoming – 7:00 in the evening. If you live in the area, come on down.

Today's Photos - The photos on today post were all taken on this weekend's activity – fun stuff.

Writing - My writing has taken a bit of a backslide as an arthritic condition has made it difficult to type with my right hand, but it's getting better as I type this post. I had hoped to have a new book released before Christmas (my seventh) and might still make it – here’s hoping.

In the meantime how about this? A Christmas book.

Christmas Stories – I am considering some type of promotion in the next week or so for my book of western Christmas stories. I released this book a year ago, and it sold pretty well. If you like the West and stories of the west and maybe a bit of romance and magic, you will enjoy this book.
Take a look here and read the first one, or most of it at least, for free. Under Western Skies.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Work and Wildlife in the Park

How About This Weather
It has been incredible and great for hiking and spending time in the park. We hiked Red Cliff Trail yesterday so that I could snap a few photos of the work being done.
Looks like they have everything bundled up to work inside through the winter.

Been Away for Too Long
  It has been almost three weeks since my last post on this site.  We took a great trip south and now I am suffering from some arthritic pain/swelling that is making it difficult to type.  Hopefully, I will be back to normal in a week or so, by the way, not playing any golf is starting to get worrisome also.  Guess it is all just a part of being nearly 70, but that doesn’t make it better. This post I am doing a bit of typing and a little hunt and peck with my good, left hand.
Spent a few hours at "Old Town," in Dodge City, Kansas while on vacation - wonderful museum
Wildlife Watching
Maybe the lack of traffic is the reason that there seems to be more wildlife out and about than usual.
We drove into the park from Hartville and followed Lakeshore Drive to the parking area for the main boat ramp. Counting the wildlife each way, we saw more than a dozen Mule Deer, does and fawns, several nice bucks, one bunch of 29 Turkeys and another flock of eight, and a Bobcat.
This was the first Bobcat we have seen in the park although we have often found signs.

What a Nice Day
Since I will be in Casper for meetings the next few days and inside all day long, looks like a hike in the park this afternoon. The day is turning out beautiful – perfect outdoor weather.
The Super Moon last night was very nice

Get out and enjoy your local parks and walking/hiking areas, the calendar says winter is still on the way.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Work on the Dam

Spend a nice evening, last night with the Platte County Historical Society;
 As always talking about the building of Guernsey State Park and the CCC

We are getting ready to head out on our annual fall vacation, leaving bright and early in the morning - for me this means around 10. Thought I might share a few photos of work being done on the dam. I took these pictures from Red Cliff Trail last weekend.

The road is still closed crossing the dam so the trail and everything on the east side must be accessed from the Hartville side. The entire west side of the park can be reached from the Guernsey side, but not from the Hartville side. 
Good Time of the Year to See Turkey's In the Park

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Brimmer Point Upper Loop Trail

At our age, any hike is a good hike, but this is one of our favorites. Yesterday we hiked the Brimmer Point Trail Upper Loup. The views are some of the best in the park, and the trail is not long, only a mile or so. 

Park at Brimmer Point and follow the trail where it branches stay on the upper trail, the lower goes to the trail leading to the burned CCC bridge in the valley below. Both of these trails are terrific but I was tired and settled for the upper loop, it was worth it.

In the first quarter mile of the hike, the trail passes between two massive stone outcroppings, one of the great photo opps on the park trails. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Newell Bay Loop Trail

We were joined in the park today by this little guy - a Praying Mantis
With temperatures in the 70s and 80s, it’s an excellent time to be in the park. We have seen some enjoying the weather with a picnic and others walking and driving in the park.
The fall colors this year are the best in several years

Sunday we enjoyed a terrific hike taking the Newell Bay trail loop. It is a little longer than our usual hikes, but the great fall weather gives us a bit more energy.
Along the trail

This trail is not often used, especially since the 2012 fire. We feel like it is still one of the great hikes in the park and it is one of our favorites on the west side.
The trail has many beautiful CCC steps

We park at the burned Brimmer Point Trail footbridge; the trail starts about 50 yards west with a long flight of very nice Civilian Conservation Corps steps. The trail goes south to just above the road to the Newell Bay cabin area.
Brimmer Point Trail Footbridge burned in 2012 fire

After reaching the south end, the trail winds west around Holdring Mountain and then goes back north against some fantastic rock cliffs. The trail ends about a half mile west to where we started and is an easy walk along the road back to the starting point.
Many terrific rock formations line the trail - we call this one
 Crocodile Rock

Meanwhile, on the east side lots of construction as work on the gates continue.

To take the photos we had to circle in from the Hartville side drive through the park on Lakeshore Drive then park in the area used for the main boat dock. 

We then hiked the Red Cliff Trail affording a nice hike and great view of the construction going on with the gates.

And always lots of wildlive to watch.
"Here's Looking at You"