Lake Flies, Soggy Hot Weather, Floods, Tornados, and NO SIGNAL!
Tom found Whitehall Bay Campground in Kansas on Falls River Lake. Sounded like a nice campground run by the Army Corps of Engineers.
We like to stay at Army Corps sites because we receive a 50% discount with our America the Beautiful Pass.
And because they don’t charge you an extra fee like state campgrounds in Kansas — on top of the cost of the site. I have mentioned in other blogs that staying at national campgrounds is a bargain compared to the rest. We have stayed in the US Forest Service Campgrounds for as little as $7 a night. A Passport America pass will win you 50% off at private campgrounds and when you join the Good Sam Club, you receive 10% off private campgrounds also. We even used it at Graceland RV Park and Campground across from the estate of Elvis.
Whitehall had been through a flood. The waters engulfed almost all of the campground in 2015. When we arrived only half the sites were available because they could not get the electricity working. We saw only two other campers while we were there. The roads were pretty rough. I was surprised when Tom took our RV down one of them. One camper came in and tried to drive through the campground. He left without staying. It looked like two families lived there permanently to take care of the sites. Our site was magnificent –right on the lake –two sides. But …
The first day we hiked up the hill a few miles to an old graveyard. We found graves that dated back to 1868. I wondered if they were slave graves? There was no name on the cemetery and I could not find it online. Fredonia, only a few miles away, began in 1868. There is some evidence that Native Americans took part in the Civil War and lived in this area? Fredonia’s website states,
“1861: Creek Indian leader Opothle Yahola led 7000 Native Americans, and 300 slaves, who were loyal to the Union Cause from Deep Fork, south of present day Tulsa to escape conscription into the Confederate Army. They ran north through Montgomery County to Fort Row north of Fredonia in Wilson County, hoping to find the promised food and other aid from the Union Army.”
Many of the headstones in this un-named cemetery were broken and it looked like someone had vandalized it. Although the grass was well-kept. There were some new graves.
On the way to Whitehall Bay, we took a doggy break in Greeley, Kansas in the parking lot of St. John the Baptist Church. Its cornerstone said, “Opened in 1881.” The architecture reminded me of many of the Catholic Churches that were founded by Jesuits and other Catholic missions in the Southwest.
One of the very odd things is that we could not find the name of the town anywhere. I had to search online to discover Greeley. So many of the towns in Kansas are dying or have died.
We stayed at Whitehall two nights. One of the nights we rocked and rolled through a very strong storm. Tom practiced his guitar and I hit the keys and we both put the dogs to sleep. We could not access anything through our hotspots. It was as if the signals did not exist. Were we transported to another country?
We decided to check out other campgrounds in the area and came across Melvern Lake and spent the next night at Outlet Park. It is a lovely and quiet Army Corps property that has lots of trails and space to ride bikes. Here is one photo!
We are so happy we moved to Melvern Lake because in the middle of the night an awful storm hit us again. This time I knew there was a tornado. I have experienced them. I was in one on my way home from UCM. And, yes, the next morning we learned that a tornado had hit Eureka, Kansas and hovered over Fredonia. Whitehall Bay was it its path!!
The stormy weather brought fantastic sunsets!
As always this blog is copyrighted by Marla J. Selvidge!
Alaska is coming soon!