Monday, January 30, 2017

Guernsey State Park - A Place to Walk on Water

I have always wanted to walk on water, and at last, I have. Well not really, but kind of. With the lake still drained, as work continues on the original Stoney Gate on the face of the dam, we have taken several walks in the dry lake.
Mud & Snow - The lake bottom between Long Canyon and the Narrows

"One of the dam’s focal points, the north spillway gatehouse, is like nothing else in the park. The park features so much of the magnificent Civilian Conservation Corps rustic building that the gatehouse seems out of place with its classic arches.

The gatehouse raises and lowers a 50-foot square, 434,000-pound head gate. The ironclad gate, filled with a mixture of heavy concrete and native stone from the park, was built especially for the Guernsey, North Platte River dam. A one of a kind, Guernsey Dam gate."
The Spectacular North Spillway

In a brochure I recently completed for the Bureau of Reclamation I went on to say.
"This type of roller mounted gate was invented forty years before the building of Guernsey Dam by Irish engineer and builder F.G.M Stoney."
I took this telephoto shot on a November 14, as we hiked Red Cliff Trail

Incredible Civilian Conservation Corps work on Lakeshore Drive as seen from the lake
Not sure when the work on the gate will be complete but understand that it will be before the late spring runoffs begin. Meanwhile, we will add to our walks in the dry lake. So far we have walked in Davis Bay, the Narrows, Long Canyon, Sandy Beach and the west boat ramp area. 
Davis Bay before the recent snowfall

Once the water starts to fill the lake, I will no longer attempt my walk on the waters of Guernsey Lake. But if the summer heats up enough I may sit on a dock and dangle my feet in the water or take a barefoot walk on along Sandy Beach.
Won't be long now and water will fill the lake and I will be breaking out the shorts.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Guernsey State Park - Hiking Roundtop Mountain

Today was a perfect day for hiking in the park. With temperatures in the mid-40s and only a hint of a breeze. Our favorite days for hiking are the ones like today. Days when we might need a hoody or a jacket, but no need for gloves, stocking hats, and heavy coats.
Today's Hike - Roundtop Mountain Behind the Museum

Our destination this afternoon was Roundtop Mountain. Roundtop is the mountain behind (east) of the museum. There was at one time a hiking trail from the museum to the top. Now all we can find of that trail are one nice set of Civilian Conservation Corps steps.
CCC Steps
The mountain can still be negotiated this way by going up the steps and then following along on the parts of the trail that can still be found.  The alternate route to the top is an old road that at one time was used for TV towers. Today that road is no longer used, and it does not appear that any type of vehicle could drive it to the top. But, it makes a terrific hiking trail.  ( It is closed for vehicles to keep crazy drivers from trying)
Walking the Old Road Down

Once on top, the views are worth it.
Guernsey Only Two or Three Miles Down River
The hike to the top up the east side (the old road) is not difficult and takes only about 15 or 20 minutes, depending on the hiker's speed, to reach the top. 

We did see several other people and groups enjoying the day, hiking, walking and climbing. Seems like there was an old song that started - Oh, what a day. 
Climber On the Wall

Monday, January 2, 2017

Starting the New Year Off Right

What a great way to start the year, a hike in the park. We had a terrific time, all 58 of us, on our First Day Hike in the park.
Grandkids Were A Bit, Okay, A Long Way, Ahead of Us

I hope this will spur on others to take advantage of the great walking/hiking trails in the park.

We walk in the park as much as possible, and when conditions don’t allow us to be outside, we stay in the pickup and drive through our favorite areas of Guernsey State Park.

Solar Eclipse - Looks like Guernsey along with four other parks are gearing up for the big solar eclipse in August. So far I am undecided as to whether I want to be part of it in the park or simply go on vacation that week and come home when it's all over. Such is the life of a senior citizen.  
New Sign at Park Entrance

New Year’s Resolutions - It’s 2017 day number 2, how are those New Year’s Resolutions going? Still time to write down one more – spent more time in the park.

Happy New Year 2017
Mule Deer at Sunset