September, 2015 – We’ve put a lot of miles behind us since we left South Carolina 2 weeks ago. We headed to Missouri by a more southerly route than we had taken there, visiting family in Georgia and Alabama. We practically flew through Missouri and buttoned up some details with our real estate and got Jim to a doctor’s appointment. We are now headed for the northwest coast and getting back into the routines we’ve missed during this crazy summer.
The fastest route to our destination would have been through Kansas City, Missouri and Lincoln, Nebraska. But fast is not what we are about so we decided to make a slow meander across Kansas towards western Nebraska. We didn’t have very high expectations for Kansas but planned to make the most of whatever we found there.
Our first stop was Eldorado State Park outside Wichita ($22.50 per night water/electric). We wanted to spend a couple days catching up on our to do list, resting, and kayaking. Unfortunately the wind was pretty fierce while we were there. It blew at about 25 miles per hour most of the time and one night was gusting over 50 mph! It was too windy to do most of the things we planned to do, like wash the camper, install some solar panels we had bought to replace two of ours that were not working, and kayak. So we concentrated on the resting part of our plan and got in some good walks.
We drove 30 miles in to Wichita one afternoon. They have a great riverfront park where the Arkansas and Little Arkansas rivers join. The Mid America All Indian Center was situated at the confluence along with this awesome sculpture which is surrounded by water and apparently at 9 every night by fire as well.
I would have liked to see that but the only way I would be there at 9 pm is if they let me park my house on the grounds so I could go straight to bed afterwards. The pointy white thing behind the sculpture is one of two very impressive pedestrian bridges over each of the rivers. Here’s a better view.
We parked behind Westar Energy’s building to reach the park and on our way there we saw something below the sidewalk grate. Closer inspection revealed this strange creature. Someone in Kansas has a sense of humor!
A drive around downtown wrapped up our visit. We enjoyed our daytrip to Wichita and would like to see more of it if we pass through again.
The next day we thought we’d get an early start and make the 6 hour trip to Nebraska. We made it out by 9, not exactly early, but we were still optimistic. The winds were strong but they were directly behind us to start with so they did not bother Jim’s driving too much. But when we turned west onto I70 and the wind was coming straight out of the south it became more of an issue. It wasn’t anything he couldn’t handle but it made for a more stressful trip and by the time we pulled off the interstate in Hays, Kansas he didn’t feel like driving another 3 hours.
Many of the small towns in this region have city parks with RV sites and reasonable prices. I found several along our route that we could choose from. They didn’t take reservations so we thought we’d drive by each of them till we found one we liked. Luckily, the very first one we came to in Stockton, Kansas was a keeper. There were 8 water and electric sites for $13 per night. We were the only ones there and even found a site that was angled in such a way we didn’t have to unhook the truck to get level. We parked, had lunch, and just chilled out for a while.
It was a hot day so I proposed an early dinner and then a nice walk around town when it was cooler. This turned out to be a real nice little town. It had a great Main Street with great old buildings and brick paved streets.
We walked a few miles and discovered their first hotel erected in 1871.
And one of their last hotels which is still in operation. I loved their sign.
The next morning we got out of town before 8 Nebraska bound.