Saturday, April 30, 2016

Lakeshore Drive on a Snowy Day

Mule Deer in Today's Snow
What a day in the park. I was disappointed that my talk and walk in the park, for the local community education, was canceled, but with the inclement weather it was a very good decision.
Osprey Looking for Dinner in the Lake

Rain & Snow

We had snow much of the morning and early afternoon and a misty rain when the snow let up. In the past ten days, we have had 3.6 inches of moisture. Terrific for everything, hope it keeps on coming. Just so it lets up in a couple of weeks so I can start my garden, then starts again.

The North Spillway is Open and the Water is Running

The big question is? What to do on a snowy and wet spring day. How about a trip to Guernsey State Park? We didn’t spend much time outside my pickup but did enjoy a ride along Lakeshore Drive and back into Long Canyon.
The Obscured Mountain in the Background is Powell Mountain

Wildlife in the Park

At times, bad weather brings out the wildlife, and today was one of those days. We saw a large variety of birds, a few deer and lots of snow. All and all it was a very pleasant couple of hours in the park.
The Bluebirds Look Great Even in the Snow

If you have not been to the lake yet this spring, the water level is up, way up. Reminds me of the lake after the work on the dam in 2012-13. Overfull but looks great.
The Boat Ramp at Long Canyon is Under Water - Still Usable Though

No better way to relieve stress or in our case, home-boundness, (I may have made up that word, but I like it) self-imposed today.
Geese in Heavy Snow - but it Didn't Last Long

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Talk & Walk In The Park

A Walk in the Park

Saturday morning at 9 AM, I will be talking and hiking with a group in the park. The event was arraigned by Gale Heimbuck at Guernsey Adult Ed, and there is still time to sign up, just call Gale at the school.
We will start at the parks incredible CCC Museum, it opens officially on May 1, so I guess we will be kicking off the year a day early. I will give a presentation on my book, The CivilianConservation Corps and the Building of Guernsey State Park – With Folktales andStories of the Park, and entertain questions about the park.

Sit and Relax - Enjoy Nature near the Museum

After the forty minutes, to an hour, in the Museum we will be going on a short hike. The hike will catch the Red Cliff Loop Trail at the Museum, wander over to the old CCC golf course road, walk the Museum road to the Evergreen Glade Trail and follow it back to the Museum. If there is interest, we will also have a shorter trail for those who want less than the 35-40 minute planned hike.

Tried It Out Today

Never needing much of an excuse, actually none at all, we walked the trail today.

Take time as you hike, and discover a long ago CCC Treasure but,
Remember to leave all artifacts lie.
They are an important part of park history and protected by law.

It started out a gorgeous day with temperatures in the mid-60s and only the slightest of breezes. Halfway through the cloud cover showed up, and the breeze picked up, still a pleasant day to walk in the park.

Like all Trails in the Park - Great Views Abound

Time to Spend Time in the Park

The lake is full, overfull a little, wildflowers are coming, and everything is greening up. This is always my favorite time of year. Guernsey State Park is a beautiful place to walk or hike. If you have not used the extensive hiking trail system in this park, give it a try. What a spectacular way to lose the troubles of the world for a few minutes or a few hours.

Wildflower Season is off to a Great Start

Saturday, April 23, 2016

We Can Build it Better Than You Can

Creating the Civilian Conservation Corps
When Franklin Roosevelt pushed through the New Deal legislation that created the Civilian Conservation Corps, no one knew what would become of it. Other than to plant trees and help conserve some of America’s natural resources, the direction it was to take was made up as they went along. It worked, it worked well.

One method used by camps to get the men to take pride in the job and their work was to create competitions. When the men were building Guernsey State Park, there were two camps, making competition between them natural. Camp Br-9 on the east side started first and was followed by Camp BR-10 on the west side.

A Museum and a Castle
Camp-9 built the Museum, the centerpiece of the park and one of the finest examples of CCC work in the country. Not to be outdone the men on the west side wanted something to rival the Museum, they built the North Bluff Castle that is often referred to as the most spectacular picnic shelter in America.

Looking Into the South Wing of the Museum

When the men of Camp-9 started to build Sitting Bull shelter with its incredible lake view

Looking South from Sitting Bull Shelter

 the Camp-10 workers began building the massive stone restroom, near the Castle that would be soon tagged, the Million Dollar Biffy.

The North Bluff Castle

The Million Dollar Biffy

Using massive stone and huge timber construction, the CCC started what soon would be called, Parkitecture, easily recognized today as work of the fine men of the Civilian Conservation Corps.

One of the Terrific Spots to View the Park from the Castle

I will be talking more about Parkitecture in a future post – stay tuned.

In Places, the CCC Left a Few Reminders of Their Time Here

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Guernsey State Park on a Cool Day

The lake is full, maybe overfull it looks great, but also looks cold.

White Caps on the Lake

Looking west from the lower parking lot at the Museum

With a storm front moving in it was a cloudy and windy day in the park. Hoped to see some animals about but think the wind kept them tucked away.

Looking South from just above Dead Man's Cove

Looks like the pair of ospreys have moved back to the nest near the park. That has to be a sign of impending warm weather. I hope.

The huge raptors eat mostly fish but we watched this one grab a small rodent

Not sure why some cloudy day  make for better photos than bright sunny days. Might be that the added layer of texture gives more of a feeling of being there.

The North Bluff Castle - Cloudy day photo from Long Canyon Boat Ramp

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Coming Events

Fun In The Park

I am preparing for two park functions. The end of this month I will be doing a short presentation on the park and my book for Guernsey Community Education. Looking forward to this one as we will hike after the talk, should be fun.
View from the trail we will be walking.

In June, I will be leading a Trek in the Park for the Wyoming Historical Society as the society does a Platte County Trek. This will involve a short talk and tour of the Civilian Conservation Corps sites in the park. This will be a terrific chance to talk with others interested in the history of the park.
One of the original Fire-Pits built by the CCC

I will have more information on both of these soon, but do know that if you are interested in the Guernsey Community Education talk and hike, it will be the last Saturday in April, and will start at the Museum. Give Gale (at Community Ed) a call if you are interested. Sounds like we are going to have an excellent group for each one of these.

The Bureau of Reclamation

Meanwhile, I have been doing some research and writing about the Bureau of Reclamation and the building of the dam, powerhouse, and gatehouse. I will be posting more on this soon also, but one thing is for sure, I have learned a lot as I look into the building of the dam, completed in 1927.
Dam and Gatehouse from Tunnel Mountain Trail

All My Blogs

In other news I have had requests as to how to get to my other blogs, here is the list, including this site -  just click on the link and thanks for asking.

I have been told that I blog on too many subjects and spread my audience too thin, not sure what that means. I do blog in several areas, and here they are.

By far my most popular blog – Wyoming History. I love writing this blog after 42 years as a classroom history teacher.

My favorite park and only a five-minute drive away. Also the basis for my only none fiction book about the Civilian Conservation Corps and the building of the park.

My writing blog. I try not to give advice as I don’t really know that much about writing. I share some of what I do and a few things that other do. I also post excerpts from my writing and quite often posts on how I go about the process of writing.

This is my gardening blog, gardeners like fisherman like to boast about how good they are.

This blog is still pretty popular, but I ran out of things I knew how to cook/bake. It is mostly a humorous look at cooking and grilling, but all the recipes are the real deal.

This one started as a hodgepodge of stuff but now is mostly about golf, senior golf. I only post a few time a year on this one. Not much effort although occasionally I come up with something that I need to say about my nearly 200 rounds each year.

My newest blog. This one is for my self-publishing company. Here I mostly share my books and links but eventually hope to post on the process of getting a Microsoft document into book form.

Click here to see - My Five Books

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Tunnel Mountain Trail

Tunnel Mountain Trail

Yesterday I hiked Tunnel Mountain Trail in the park.

A few nice sit-down and rest places on the trail

Not from the bottom of Mae West Hill where the sign is, but from Skyline Campground, the other end of the trail.
Looking at the Dam and Gatehouse from the trail

This part of the trail is mostly unused and forgotten but still fun with a different look at the lake and park.

What a Day

One of the reasons I took the trail, other than it was 75 degrees and gorgeous, was that I wanted a photo of the namesake tunnel. A photo with a train coming out.
Almost not a cloud in the sky

The lake is full and as blue as I have ever seen it. I have not ventured close enough to check the water temperatures but I am sure it is cold.

Now, where will I hike next? Oh, almost forgot, my photo of the train coming through the tunnel. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

A Book About Guernsey State Park

Must be getting close to park time again.
The Lake is Ready

Why do I think that?
View From the Castle

Because my book about the building of Guernsey State Park is starting to sell again.
Click the book to take a look

 Me too, except when the snow came this week.
Wednesday Morning

If you have not purchased your copy yet, they are available by hitting the link to Amazon here, or you can go to Barnes and Noble online and find a copy. If you make it out to the park, and I sure hope you do, this summer, they are available in the museum. Books can also be purchased at the Guernsey and Hartville visitor centers and in many bookstores around the state.
A Hiden Historical Treasure left by CCC Camp BR-9

They look great on the coffee table at home or in the office. Not only a great read but a good conversation piece.
C-130 from the Wyoming Air Guard over Roundtop Mountain in the Park

Coming Soon