4th of July at Lake Glendo

6 07 2010

In middle of Wyoming, you’ll find an unlikely gem for boating & camping in the Rocky Mountain West.  Glendo reservoir, just a few miles east of I-25 at Glendo, Wyoming is a beautiful lake with calm coves,  soaring canyons and pine & cedar treed campsites.    In a tradition that started several years ago we had long been planning to spend the Independence Day weekend at Glendo.  About 2 weeks before the trip news of flooding at Glendo started being released in the media.  On July 1st, the flooding was expected to be nearly 12 feet above “full pool” stage, putting many boat ramps and campground facilities under water! 

We’ve always camped in the ‘Two Moons’ campground, high above the water on a cliff that offers beautiful views over the lake and to the mountains in the west.  Since many of other lower campsites were flooded, we decided to arrive at Glendo on Wednesday instead of Thursday before the 4th weekend.  Fortunately we had a “scout” party arrive early and secure one of the best cliff-side campgrounds available in Two Moons.  The site was deep, with two separate parking areas, fire pits and picnic tables.  Our camping rigs included a 30′ trailer, 1 tent and 2 pop-up truck campers.  We could have easily had additional cars, tents or camping units – this campsite was huge! 

Thursday morning was our first exploration of the marina and the flooded boat ramp.  While launching wasn’t difficult, it was slow because of reduced ramp width and access roads.  The marina itself had been pushed out into the lake further than normal and the dock no longer reached the shoreline.  Implementing a unique solution, an old pontoon boat was fashioned into a makeshift ferry providing transportation from the end of the boat ramp to the marina docks. 

With some expectation of floating debris, we cautiously motored out of the marina into the main channel.  Heading for a favorite swimming cove, we noticed very little of the anticipated debris.  And, the lake was very quiet – the media attention had obviously been effective – it promised to be a very quiet weekend.  After enjoying the sun, some wake boarding and exploration we returned to camp.  Sites were filling up, but even late on Thursday there were places available. 

Friday we decided to explore the far north end of the lake.  Traveling across the main channel past flooded Sandy Beach we cruised through the Red Canyon and continued to the Elk Horn bay area.  Beyond Elk Horn lies a beautiful sheer walled canyon that is very rarely navigable because of low water levels.  Taking advantage of the high waters, we were able to motor nearly all the way through the canyon.  On the way back to the marina we came across a stranded boat near Red Canyon.  Having run out of fuel, they were in need of either a tow or a lift back to their campsite.  We towed them part of the way back to Reno Cove before having to abandon the towing  because of high wind and waves.  Their captain opted to anchor the disabled craft and ride with us the rest of the way back to retrieve fuel. 

On Saturday it was obvious that things were going to much busier – the marina launch ramp was jammed with loading and unloading traffic.  We opted to explore the ramp at Reno Cove instead of wait in line at the marina.  Launching and parking at Reno was easier and we again enjoyed a sunny day on the lake.  Saturday evening arrived with thunderstorms, heavy rain and even some hail.  It was wonderful to crawl into the warm, dry camper!

Sunday was a wet, cool, gloomy, over cast day.  We decided to hang out at camp instead of launching the boat.  On Monday we packed up and headed home.  It was a great July 4th – flooding, thunderstorms, hail and all!

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12 09 2010
End of Season Boating at Glendo « Small Home – Big Yard

[…] seen two “firsts” this year, the highest water we’ve ever experienced at Glendo (July 4th Weekend) and now the lowest – down over 40 feet since the flood levels of early […]

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