GUERNSEY – The name of the landing is not yet set in stone, even though the new beach has been set in sand.
The new Guernsey Landing is going to allow the many people who launch their tubes and kayaks a soft launching site and an easy access to the river.
“The sand was brought in privately,” said city councilman Kellie Augustyne. “We are paying for it out of donations. We have been taking up donations down at Kelley’s Bar.”
Brad Cook, who owns Cook Construction in Guernsey, was overseeing the project. His son, Nate Cook, ran the skid loader to relocate the sand from piles so it would be easier to rake down to a smooth surface. They are also planning to put a retaining wall in behind the sand.
“We float the river here every year,” Augustyne said. “And there’s a lot of people who float this river. It’s a great little float down here, about a 45 minute to an hour trip.”
The tubers that will ultimately put in at this location will float all the way down to Register Cliff where they will pull out.
“We’ve been talking about it for years,” he said. “We needed to come in and clean up the area and the city paid for that. A few of us got together, we were having a beer and said, ‘let’s just put a beach in.’ Esthetically it will just look better. Many people come into town will see it.”
When the suggestion to call it Kellie’s Landing was proposed, Augustyne laughed and said that no official name has been put to the beach just yet. They will be erecting some sort of plaque that will recognize the many volunteers and donors who turned the beach project from a dream over a beer to a reality on the river.
Although there is no tubing rental shop in the vicinity, Augustyne has between 30 and 40 tubes that he loans out during the tubing season.
Elizabeth Pallow and Sarah Mosely who are not only volunteers but reside overlooking the river and decided to help do something special for the community.
“We’re always down to help around the community and make this place look nice,” Mosely said. “This is our favorite thing to do, float the river.”
The lazy river which is relatively easy to navigate and float on can get to 6-feet deep in some spots, but its calm flow makes it safe for those who want to float and provides family fun during the sometimes-extreme Wyoming high temperatures.
Although both Nate and Brad Cook said with the foot traffic and packing of the sand, alleviating sand runoff into the river, there would need to be perhaps a dump of sand per year and some yearly maintenance. They purposely leveled the beach without a lot of slope to keep the sand on the bank.
The rock retaining wall that will be between the grass and the sand should keep most of the dirt and the 35 tons of sand separated, Nate Cook said.
“We’re thinking we’re going to have to maintain it every year,” he said. “Maybe put down another load or two, just kind of keeping up on it.”
The entire project only took a few hours and many hands made for light work on the new Guernsey beach.