July 16 2022 North Platte Glendo to Guernsey

On July 16th, fifteen RMCC members and friends paddled the North Platte River 19 miles from below Glendo Powerhouse to above Guernsey Reservoir in SE Wyoming.  We do this trip nearly every year and the water level can be unpredictable due to the Bureau of Reclamation “silt run” release.  Around the 4th of July, BOR drops the release from Glendo to around 1000 cfs thus drastically lowering the level of Guernsey Reservoir. When the Glendo release is raised back to above 5000 cfs, the sediment in Guernsey is stirred up and moves down the river and into the myriad irrigation channels. There the water slows, the silt settles out and “seals” the channels reducing water loss.  Woe betide the paddlers who hit the low flow (as we did last year). And happy is the heart that rides the height of the “silt run” as we did this year. The Haystack standing waves in Wendover Canyon are non-existent at the low flows and a healthy 3 feet at the higher flows and the three paddlers who swam the Haystacks this year did so with appealing grace and style.

Our trip started inauspiciously when the shuttle cars were trapped between the take-out at Cottonwood Creek and the railroad crossing by TWO count-em TWO coal trains. Fortunately the delay was only about 30 minutes and no trains were in sight at the end of the day.  We launched about 11:30 with Doug and Janet in the lead in a fast tandem canoe and Bill and Kathy running sweep in our skinny raft, er 16 ft SOAR inflatable canoe.  In between was a mix of hard-shell kayaks, IKs, and solo and tandem canoes.  A pretty typical RMCC mix.  With the good flow from Glendo Powerhouse, we averaged over 5 miles per hour and had great weather (i.e. little wind) and beautiful views of Wendover Canyon.

Since most of the boaters were staying over at the Glendo SP Two Moon campground Saturday night, we had a splendid potluck dinner featuring green chili in many guises and an animated sing-along, the highlight of which must have been Tracy and Janet’s “I don’t look good naked anymore”. Sample lyric – “I’m a deep-fried, double-wide version of the man I was before”. A memorable end to a lovely day.

A special thanks to Kit, Miry, and Bill for the photos.

Submitted by Bill Ashworth, Trip Coordinator

Figure 1 Getting ready to launch at the Glendo boat ramp

Figure 2 Limbo lower now!


Figure 3 Lunch on Picnic Island

Figure 4 Entering Wendover Canyon