Thursday, August 18, 2016
EL DORADO STATE PARK, EL DORADO KANSAS, BOONDOCK IN WICHITA AND BACK—CAMPS 10, 11, 12
I don’t know what it is about every time we try to head north it is like the truck is terrified to leave the safety of home.
This time we made it all the way to the gate of the campground before the truck decided it wasn’t going to restart after we stopped to read the check in info on the empty gate host cabin.
It turned out to be an air in the lines problem again and after what seemed like an eternity it finally did start and we were able to move on into the campground and into a fairly shaded pull through campsite one of the camp hosts suggested.
It had water and 50/30 amp electricity, but no sewer and was $24 a night. What we weren’t told was there was a $3 fee for each block of time you rented a spot whether it was one night or 14 you paid a $3 registration fee. They also offer no discounts and of course have a graduating cost depending on what amenities you are getting. Our rate was $24 a night.
We were on campsite 2 in the Quail Run campground. Right on the corner of the road and a very easy to access campsite. Fairly level with a gravel drive, no real pad to mention, just a gravel curved pull-thru that you park on. It seemed to be very firm, and when we had rain it didn’t create a problem so all was good.
The site is a bit unusual in one way. This is an older campground with the state of Kansas slowly adding more and more 50 amp sites, but to avoid having to re-wire everything they are putting the 50 amp boxes on the passenger side of the trailer, opposite the driver side lower amp electric box and the water hook-up. So you end up with your water on one side of the camper and the 50 amp electric on the other no matter which way you come into the pull thru.
This means you may need either a longer hose or a longer extension cord for your electric depending on which way you pull in. Luckily we were able to park just right on the pad and not have a problem with either. Folks whose utilities hook up in different locations on their rig than ours may have a bit of a problem.
We have a good view of the lake from our campsite.
While getting into the campsite and setting up we saw Canadian Geese and deer. This felt so much better than those in town parking lot campgrounds for relaxing.
Another thing that seems a bit different here is all the undeveloped land between campsites that is apparently being use for prairie hay production. They had recently mowed and from the way it looked the balers should have been coming soon. I like the idea that the grounds were producing a useful product that didn’t detract from the natural beauty of the place.
Our first day at the campground we started trying to pull in NBC on our over the air antenna because the Olympic opening ceremonies were scheduled to start in two days. The opening/closing ceremonies are some of our favorite parts of the Olympics. This was the first we had try to use the already installed but partially broken antenna on the camper since we started traveling in May. TV simply isn’t that big a priority with us.
After much discussion when we realized that due to some problems with the antenna NBC would only come in badly pixalated we decided it was time to break down and get an antenna. The one for the camper has some damage to it and the rotator doesn’t work well.
Instead of buying and wiring in a regular camper one we chose one that mounts on the camper window at Wal-mart. Gary installed it that night.
We were thrilled. It has a better picture than our satellite system had on the farm, is very thin and compact and Gary didn’t have to get on the roof to install it. A major win in our book.
At this particular location we could not get ABC with it, but we could with the camper system. Since the Olympics are on NBC, which was super clear it was a great investment for $60. A new one for the camper would have cost far more and then would have only been wired for the bedroom (why do they do that?)
We could have found a sports bar to watch the Olympics opening ceremonies at, and then again for the closing and the events we want to watch in between, but we would have spent far more on food doing so. Plus now we have an antenna for when we do want to watch tv, which we don’t do very often anyway.
I will admit there are a few shows like NCIS I do miss, but without Tony…maybe not as much. If Abby ever leaves they have lost me as a viewer.
We had planned on going to Cowtown and a historic museum on our second day there but woke to thunderstorms and cooler temps. Since both the museums have a lot of outdoor displays and the forecast was for storms all day we opted to hang around the camper and catch up on blog posts, video editing and other chores. Then to enjoy the Olympic opening ceremonies. Leaving the museums for another day.
We did visit Cowtown the next day, but decided to save the museum for another trip since we had decided to move on earlier than originally planned.
So the day we visited Cowtown we drove around and took a photo of a couple of sculptures that caught our eye.
While at El Dorado we were alone most of the time, even with the weekend the park didn’t fill completely up. When we boomeranged back due to truck problems we were literally the only ones other than the camp hosts there on that Tuesday night.
We originally tried to leave on Monday, but once again had a valve stem break so we went to Meineke, in Wichita to get the brass valve stems we had been looking for all along and finally found at Oreilly’s in a small Kansas town. Unfortunately, by the time we found out from Sam’s Club, who couldn’t/wouldn’t install the stems that it was Meineke we needed to go to they were closed.
So we boondocked overnight, with permission in Sam’s parking lot. Even though it was August it wasn’t too bad that night until the rains hit and we had to close the windows,
Naturally, while Meineke was checking the tires they found we had a rear seal going out. So we went ahead and had them fix that, verifying the work would be warrantied, this turned out to be very important about a week later.
10 valve stems and the rear end work turned out to be a two day job and that is why we ended up back at El Dorado campground back in site 2 on Tuesday night. We didn't even disconnect and then took the trailer in Wednesday for its part of the valve stem work and we finally got on the road headed further north thinking our worries were over.
As I mentioned before we were the only people there, but there was abundant wildlife and Gary got some great photos and video.
All in all our stay there was comfortable and pleasant.