It took some digging and conversation, but we finally figured out our next stop.
Linda decided that she only wanted to go about 100 miles since we knew we were going to get a late start. That narrowed down the state park and federal campgrounds in Oklahoma to just a few.
We chose to head toward northeast Oklahoma where I have family. Kaw Lake with its five Corps of Engineers campgrounds, looked like a good stopping point about 100 miles from Wichita.
But trying to find street addresses for the campgrounds themselves is still the same hassle. There was no answer at the campground phone numbers. The reservation website at ReserveAmerica.com lists one address for all the campgrounds and it is the Corps office for the lake.
So their fancy new map pages that "pinpoint" the campgrounds are wrong because they use the address they have and not the campground addresses or GPS coordinates. I even called them to see if they had street addresses for the campgrounds. Nope.
So, if you plug in the campground address from the reservation pages into your GPS, you will end up at some office miles away from your destination in many cases. That's a bit of a problem and it is a common one for many of the federal and state campgrounds using ReserveAmerica. :)
Fortunately, MapQuest has the campgrounds in their database ("Karen" did not). So the decision was made - Coon Creek Cove Campground on Kaw Lake.
Before we packed up to leave, Jack came by and I was ready for my second test drive in a Heavy Duty Truck - a Volvo 610. This attempt was better as I started to get a better feel for the use of the clutch.
It was also a little different feel since Jack's truck has a single rear axle (most of the RV toters have one of the rear truck axles removed) while Mike's truck we drove yesterday still had both. But my issues are still mostly with the clutch. :)
After the test drive, packing, dumping, and hitching, it was hugs, handshakes, and card exchanges to keep in touch as we all said our goodbyes. And we were off.
I drove today and we got on I-35 south for awhile. But with the nice, straight, wide, western roads, we looked to get off the interstate quickly as we continued on our way toward Ponca City.
We turned toward Kaw City and then turned twice more on smaller county roads as we approached Coon Creek Cove. Yep, back out in the middle of nowhere. :)
We traveled exactly 100 miles (10.1 mpg) as we stopped at the entrance. No attendants as it seems we are in the shoulder season here. It was self-pay and $16 a night for water and 30 amp electric hook-ups. Everything is first come, first served this time of year.
The campground roads were plenty wide, so we just drove through with the rig sizing up the sites and the satellite possibilities. We spotted a huge site right next to the water with an easy view of the southern sky, so we claimed it without seeing the rest of the campground.
Linda wanted to back in. She had to back it up a hill and she did a great job! She is still having trouble with the straightening part, but she's getting better. :)
So here is our spot - nothing between us and the lake. :)
And our views from under the awning and from inside aren't too shabby. :)
And white pelicans are right out our front door as are many, many other birds.
The sites here are not as well maintained as the other corps campgrounds we have visited, and this appears to be an older campground with old bathhouses. But the campground sits on a raised peninsula out into the lake, so the views from almost every campsite are wonderful.
Another gem of a campground under our criteria and one I'm sure gets overlooked by non-locals. Here is a look at a couple of other large sites on the lake - notice the covered picnic tables. :)
After we got set up, we took a walk. The peace and quiet and beautiful weather and scenery were so refreshing. It reminded us of the joy we had in our first couple of months as we would just walk the campgrounds taking pictures and smiling really big. It's good to know that feeling doesn't go away and the simple things still bring big grins. :)
This photo is of what I presume is Coon Creek Cove on the opposite end of the campground from our site. It's hard to tell, but there are ducks on the near right, a flock of American coots on the mid-right, and a flock of Canada geese in the far middle.
This place is a bird haven and you have to suffer through the photos. :)
These are beautiful scissor-tail flycatchers. They make the coolest sounds.
This one was feeding and the blurry one below that is to show the long scissor tail.
Eastern bluebirds are everywhere.
Even on the electrical pedestals. :)
And we haven't yet made a final call on the identification of this handsome specimen.
I had to include this yellow-rumped warbler because of the colors of the sky and the cottonwood tree. :)
And this shot of the geese flying is also to point out the white line in the distance which is a huge flock of white pelicans.
This one has no birds in it - I just think it's a gorgeous shot. :)
And finally, after the sun went down, the full moon rose over the lake as I took this shot from our patio. Awesome!
I certainly can't top an ending like that, so I won't even try. :)