Thursday, May 26, 2016

Lakeshore Drive - Guernsey State Park

It seems like we have been out of town more than we have been in town the past few weeks. Last night we took a leisurely drive, yep, drive. We were too tired to walk a trail so decided instead to drive the lakes famous, Lakeshore Drive. 
Cruising Lakeshore Drive

A few weeks ago I had someone ask me why they would name a road in a Wyoming State Park after the very famous Lake Shore Drive that borders Lake Michigan in Chicago. Well, here is the scoop, or answer.
CCC Built Bridge Near Fish Canyon - One of two CCC Bridges on Lakeshore Drive

Tough to Beat Landscape Work by Mother Nature
Guernsey State Park’s Lakeshore (one word) Drive, is a decade older than Lake Shore (two words) Drive of Chicago fame. The winding, path, along Guernsey Lake’s east side was named Lakeshore on the first maps used to build the road by the CCC in the middle 1930s. It is a simple name as is Skyline Drive on the west side, but both are more than fitting. 
The Drive is Never Far From the Water

A Pair of Mergansers on the Water
There are other roads that border lakes for a bit, but it is hard to find one that hugs the lake like the Civilian Conservation Corps, built Lakeshore Drive. As a matter of fact, I cannot think of a single one.
A Look At Lakeshore Drive From the Castle

Lot's of Wildflowers in the Park
And a few more scenes from last night’s drive, and to think, I didn’t even get out of the pickup.  Hike tomorrow, I can feel it. 
Killdeer,  I Think
Love the Bluebirds in the Park

Memorial Day Weekend is coming soon, get out and enjoy one of Wyoming's Terrific State Parks. Oh and to end this post a spectacular Lakeshore Drive Sunset. Not last evening but there are many of these along Lakeshore Drive. 
Taken From the Narrows

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Mountain Mahogany in the Park

Along with writing and photography, I am proud to be a Certified Wyoming Master Gardner. I take many photos of wildflowers in the park and most of them I have to look up to see what they are. Even if an identification of species is not my strength, I do enjoy trying to figure out which plant is which.

One that is a favorite of mine in the park, especially now, when it is flowering is Cercocarpus, better known in the west as Mountain Mahogany. It is stunning when in flower, and is a member of the rose family. They are a true western plant growing up and down the Rocky Mountain area in semi-arid habitats and usually at altitudes above 4,000 feet. 

A Most Interesting Bloom

In the park, the plant is most easily found below the dam near the powerplant spillway and near the Museum on Evergreen Glade Trail. 

Cercocarpus - Mountain Mahogany

Monday, May 9, 2016

Sitting Bull Shelter & Lakeshore Drive

It is possible the Civilian Conservation Corps built shelters in Guernsey State Park may be some of the most photographed picnic shelters in America. Sitting Bull shelter is the most elaborate of the east side picnic shelters, built with a   huge fireplace, stone benches and great views it is the highlight of Lakeshore Drive shelters. 

The Wonderful Sitting Bull Shelter

 Sitting Bull has long been one of the most popular day-use picnic areas in the park.  This description is from my book, The Civilian Conservation Corps & the Building of Guernsey State Park – With Folktales and Stories of the Park.

Picnic with the CCC

With picnic time at hand, this is a most peaceful place to spend an hour of two. It is a day use area (no camping) and weekdays there is not much competition to use the shelter. Weekends it would be a good idea to get there early, well before lunch time. I cannot think of a better place, anywhere, to roast a hot dog and a few marshmallows.

Now That's a Roasting Place

Once Again

One last comment and I have made it here, on this blog, before. It is Lakeshore Drive. The houses on the drive after leaving the park are addressed as Lake Side Drive or Road. Too bad, as this was most likely a mistake made, that has stuck. That means that Lakeshore Drive turns into Lake Side Drive after leaving the park and the lake. Oh well, that does make for an interesting story, even some of the state materials about the park list it as Lake Side. Google Maps also call it Lake Side, they should have called me first. (just kidding)

It's All About the View

All early CCC maps and documents list the east side road as Lakeshore, one word. I like it, like Chicago, we have our very own Lakeshore Drive, only ours, has mountains and animals, and a few great picnic, and camp sites. 

Oh, and What About the Sunsets? Looking South-West from the Shelter