We arrived at Chase County State Fishing Lake (near Cottonwood Falls KS & west of Emporia KS) on Saturday with only one other camper at the Pavilion area. We had planned to back up to the Lake amongst the many cottonwood trees — but the angle of the sun at this time of year has a lot of shade next to the Lake, & we definitely need sunshine for the solar panels plus a clear access to the southern sky for our satellite TV dish. Everything’s portable but there just wasn’t enough room to get clear of the shade. So we parked away from the trees in a clear area. The mid morning shade still throws shade on the solar panels for several hours, but it’s doable.
It seems that there is a small learning curve each time we switch from electric service to boondocking, or vice versa. Sunday morning Jeff decided to try running the coffee maker off our 1,000 watt inverter. WRONG — it shorted out the inverter. First he thought we just needed a new plug on the heavy extension cord being used inside but ultimately we needed a whole new inverter. POOP! We made two trips into Emporia that morning for parts & pieces. . .but finally had power again.
The wind FINALLY calmed down Sunday night. Geez, talk about being beat about the head & ears. I really think a few freckles got blown off! But then again — it IS Kansas. The wind continued to blow very strong all week & weekend except for only one calm day. We only had rain (before dawn) one day of our visit.
As the week progressed, cute little “eggs” began arriving. First was Bob, & then Jerry & Kathryn. A few days later, John & his family showed up. Then Tom & Joyce. And finally Rob in his Class C (with his wife this time). We spent LOTS & LOTS of time sitting around talking — & talking — & talking some more, around food, campfires, or morning coffee.
Jeff & I took a drive one day, about an hour or so south, to view the wild horses near Teterville. There’s a large ranch where wild horses from the Southwest are brought to live out their lives comfortably. Who knew?
The location used to be a little town but is nothing more now than a very large slab of rock on the hilltop looking toward the horse pastures.
There is something so magical about the Flint Hills — huge vistas of gently rolling hills, tree-lined gullies, & always a slight expectation to see a band of Native Americans standing on a hilltop watching you.
After 8 quiet nights at Chase, we dumped our tanks at the free dump station in Cottonwood Falls & headed to Kansas City — again with a very strong tail wind! We parked in the driveway of our friends Dianna & Ward who had visited us in Poudre Canyon last month & spent every day visiting with Jeff’s daughter & 5-yo grandson. Geez, how time flies. I remember not too long ago changing JT’s diaper, & suddenly he’s talking well, is potty trained, & going off to school. How has my sense of passing time speeded up so much?
After more days of visiting, we headed south to my hometown to see my parents. Daddy turned 91 while we were in Kansas, & I hadn’t seen them for 5 months. I was as excited as a kid on Christmas morning. They are doing good in general & good specifically for their age. An aunt & uncle from Illinois were also visiting so there were lots of conversations about family history & old friends. My aunt has been BIG into family genealogy for years, so hearing about ancestors was very enlightening. Unfortunately, my dad keeps saying that they’re pretty boring tho, & I’m sorry to say I gotta agree with him. I really enjoy talking on the phone with my parents, but just a little bit of eye-to-eye visiting goes a long way. However. . .I’m ALWAYS concerned that we don’t know when that last visit will happen, so we’ve spent several hours each day with my parents. That’s better than one very long day with all the talking done at once.
Since the Corps of Engineer lakes were still closed from the government’s shut-down when we arrived, we stayed out in the country at a high-school girlfriend’s wooded acreage. It was SOOO peaceful. Val & I haven’t been able to do much visiting thru our working years, but we corresponded quite a bit this summer since she’s been going thru breast cancer treatments. I hope to be a good example for any cancer survivor for how much life there can be after the nausea, baldness, fatigue, & doubts finally cease. We also spent a long afternoon over bowls of chili with another high-school friend & her husband who weren’t available last Spring when we were in the area because they thought going on a cruise to Hawaii was more important! The nerve of some people, huh?
After lots more tongue-wagging, we moseyed south once again to another long-time girlfriend’s driveway in Springfield MO. She has two big dogs & Kira specifically loves visiting with these doggie friends. Our Toyota Tundra got it’s checkup while in town, & we reorganized things from/with our storage unit in Branson.
We both have VA appointments the end of October, & the subsequent follow-up appointments will determine when we can head east to visit Jeff’s mother in VA. It’s a long month of catching up with friends & family but SOOO nice to be back in familiar territory. Seems winter is gearing up fast & early tho so not sure what we’ll get into next month for quick pre-Thanksgiving visits in the area again before we head south for the winter. It’ll also be nice to find some warm (not hot) BLM boondocking spot to just veg after all this moving & catching up.