28 July 2010

A Fond Farwell to Southwest Iowa (Sort of) and Kansas

It wasn't but a day or two before we left my parents' that I told my mom, "We have yet to stay at a park that we didn't enjoy in someway!"

Well, I can't say that anymore. Let me introduce you to our first park on that list: Waubonsie State Park of Iowa.

These days our number 1 recreation while camping is hiking. Water play in lakes, rivers, creeks is a plus. Waubonsie offers hiking. However, we soon found out that their trails aren't maintained. The trails we tried were not mowed and so overgrown that most of the time we had to just turn around. We did complete one full trail, but halfway through while in the middle of the woods, we came to a stretch of path so overgrown we had to wade through knee-high. At this point, Espi and I were wishing we had taken a refresher course on the appearance of poison ivy and oak! Another clue the trail had not been traveled recently? Large spider webs were spun across the path everywhere! After walking into a couple, we started slowing our pace to duck and dodge. By the end, I led the way with a long stick swirling around in front of me to take on any spiders I couldn't see! It felt like Blooper cameras must be in the trees because it was more of a joke than a family hike! A little more adventure than we had in mind with 3 little ones.

(and we're off...hand in hand::one of the glorious spider webs::my sweet partner AD::when Little A insisted on hiking and H took advantage of the wheels)

So hiking was out, but we did enjoy our camping. By the way, the campground was packed! What did everyone come to do--just camp?? Apparently, yes!

(teaching H the art of roasting wieners over the fire::topped with smores for dessert)

During our stay, Espi visited with a neighboring camper who mentioned a great pool several miles away in Nebraska City just over the state border. It turned out to be a perfect way to spend our last day in the area. The pool was in the pretty grounds of Steinhart Park. If we would have known better at the time, we could have, also, enjoyed the Arbor Day Farm, the Lewis and Clark Trail, and the Underground Railroad Historic Village in Nebraska City. Well, if we camp Waubonsie again, it will be our "home" as we enjoy nearby attractions.


(soakin' up the sun kiddy pool style at Steinhart Park)

(H had her eye on these much of the time. Really an attractive and fun public pool.)

We made our drive from southwest Iowa to home very sane. Two days. 6 hours each. Guaranteed A/C for sleep. We made Prairie Dog State Park in northeastern Kansas an impromptu resting point. We were pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere of the park. We splashed in their reservoir late afternoon until dinner and finished the night with a playground and a walk...until completely exhausted children called us to bathes and bed.



Before heading home in the morning, I needed to peek into their 1800s school, adobe farm house, and capture their old windmill. It was quick and sweet with 3 munchkins waiting in the truck. Kansas left a good impression on Espi and me. Seems like a great community for country living.

Espi is already counting the weeks until our next vacation. He makes me laugh. I think 15 weeks now! Not such a bad way to dream while work calls you in the present.