PTParaD TRs and Shenanigans

Part-Time Paradise

Is it camping season yet?
Joined
Dec 27, 2019
Our initial plan was a week at WDW and FW in June. We all know what happened to that plan. Back up plan 1 was to go to Grand Lake, CO and spend time out in RMNP and the Natl Forest out there. Welp, I couldn't leave the area because of my job, so back up plan 2...engage!

We were going to go bonkers if we didn't get in the camper, so we decided on a few nearby state parks and some time at my in-laws' farm.

First stop Tuttle Creek State Park, KS. It's a short 2 hour drive from our house to the SP. We set up at the camp ground and enjoyed being in the rig away from the house.

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Site 121, Rocky Ford CG, Tuttle Creek SP

We hid in the AC until dinner time. We had a dose of lazy wash over us and decided to go into nearby Manhattan, KS. With new COVID guidelines from the KS government, the restaurants that were open for dine in was hit or miss. So we went for a boring chain, Five Guys, instead of a local haunt.

My wife and I met while she was going to K-State, and the kids wanted to see the campus. So we drove around. We got turned around because there is so much new on campus and tons of road construction. We also drove by all the houses we lived in almost 20 years ago.

After our tour and Mr. Sun was dipping down below the horizon some, the kids wanted to go fishing. There is access to the water right from the campground. We fished off of shore from a neighboring site (water side sites are too tight for my rig). Unfortunately they struck out, but they still had fun.
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After fishing we settled in for the evening.

On Tuesday I couldn't sleep after 4 in the morning, so I sat in the rig for a bit and decided to sneak outside and enjoy the CG by myself. While I was outside, the fishing poles caught my eye...why not?
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The quiet before the world wakes up

I headed over to the water and started casting in the morning calm. Somewhere in here my wife woke up and couldn't find me in bed or in the rig so she came out looking for me. On a cast I thought I brushed a limb or some algae on the bottom of the lake. To my surprise I had a "monster" largemouth on the hook. My wife walked up just as I was landing the beast and was there to validate my story with photographic evidence.
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The kids woke up and we had breakfast. They were fired up about my lunker fish and wanted to go fishing again. We set off into the heat so the kids could nab their record catches.
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Swing and a miss again. The kids fished for a solid 4 hours without even a nibble. After being out in the heat for so long, we were zonked. We hung near the rig the rest of the day. We took a few bike rides around the loops, but mostly hung near the AC. The kids watched a movie and drifted off.

Plenty more to come on the trip. I'll try to keep up and take some better shots. I haven't been in blogger mode in a while and I forget to snap pics.

Thanks,
Jack
 

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Part-Time Paradise

Is it camping season yet?
Joined
Dec 27, 2019
MODS...can you help out an idiot and move this into the camping community board? My internet dropped first time I started writing and didn't click the right path.

Thanks,
Jack
 
  • bama_ed

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2004
    Nice pix, PTP. I'm in favor of families getting out there in nature to camp, fish, hike, etc. So good man!

    One piece of advice on future hooked fish pictures that I learned from personal experience - hold the fish close to the camera so it looks very big in the foreground and you beaming in the background behind it. 🎣

    Your pictures look very serene, peaceful, and idyllic.

    Bama Ed
     

    Part-Time Paradise

    Is it camping season yet?
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2019
    Wednesday Update!

    The kids begged me to wake up early and hit the fishing hole again. So I woke them up around 6:15 am and we went out to land that record bass. Again, total strike out. I'm not a pro angler by any stretch, born and bred Missouri farm pond fisherman, but I think some of our trouble lies with the bank slope around the River Pond that we are fishing. It's quite a shallow slope so rocks grab lures often and I don't see that large of fish. We probably need a boat to get out in deeper waters.
    507522

    After striking out again, we drove around a bit and I talked to them about the dam and its purpose (burden of being the children of an engineer, I guess). Info about the lake and SP if you want to geek out with me. They humored me and sounded pretty interested.

    507525
    The inlet tower and the dam

    507526
    Looking north from the observation point. Depending on the pool depth, the lake is around 16 miles long north to south.

    We went into town for a Wally World and Menard's visit and lunch at Qdoba. We got some odds and ends, but also components to build a 50A extension cord for when we are moochdocking at my in-laws' in a few days. Both ACs need to be a rockin' in these KS 102 degree heat index days. With a burrito in my belly, the recliner and AC convinced me to nap the heat of the afternoon away.

    After dinner we took a little bike ride around the two CGs here. Here are some pics:
    507528
    Plenty of shade on the road to our CG loop
    507529
    Insert "dam" jokes here.
    507530
    These fancy fire rings are scattered around the CG. I don't know what qualifies you to get a fancy ring vs the plain jane ring at most of the sites.

    507531
    You won't find any hidden Mickeys here. This is Wildcat territory. There are K-State powercats scattered about. There is purple EVERYWHERE in the SP (to include every dumpster) and in Riley Co. KS. The town really backs the team.
    507532
    Plenty of access to the water. There are at least 3 boat ramps and I can't count the number of these docks in the water. This water (and where I've shown you pictures of us fishing) is actually the "River Pond", which is actually slack water below the dam outlet...sorry, I'll try to holster the engineer for the rest of the post.
    507534
    There are a handful of cabins to rent as well. These apparently don't have the 6 guest max, 1 car, 1 golf cart rule. I didn't get a snap of this cabin's neighbor, but there were easily 20 people and 15 cars parked around it with tents, chairs, tables, and an inflatable movie screen scattered around it. They didn't have their movie schedule posted...so not as organized as Chip and Dale evidently.

    We're settling in for the night. A big front is blowing through tonight. The weather man is predicting 50-60 mph winds ahead of the front followed by storms. I'll update you on tomorrow, if we don't end up in Oz tonight.

    Jack
     

    Part-Time Paradise

    Is it camping season yet?
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2019
    Thursday Update.

    The weather man was pretty accurate on their forecast. The front blew through around 1 in the morning. The winds really blew for about 30 mins and then the bottom fell out of it. The winds were 50+ mph gusts and it rained just shy of 2 inches in about 2 hours. On our site, only a few limbs fell and made the ground into a swamp. A few big limbs and trees fell elsewhere in the CG and SP.
    508195
    Lots of leaves and limbs down all over the SP like this

    Unfortunately a trailer on another loop got a direct hit. I hope everyone made it out alright. Scary that the tree fell directly over the top bunk.
    508196
    This is after the SP staff already bucked the tree that fell, but you can sure see the damage. I couldn't get a good picture of the other side, but the bunkhouse slide in the rear of the camper was also hit and it was laying sideways on the ground, half connected to the trailer still

    The rest of the day was a pretty lazy affair. We hung around the camper, went into town to furniture shop (no hits to the wallet though!), and then we did a small bike ride and roasted some mallows on the fire for dessert. After dinner, I packed up everything outside and loaded the bikes as we're leaving Friday for the next stop.
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    I had the kids build the fire for the first time. I supervised.

    Everyone is finally stirring in the camper. Time to get breakfast going and move this three ringer to the next stop.

    Jack
     
  • 4077

    I'll fly for this Mickey Mouse outfit!
    Joined
    Mar 23, 2013
    Thursday Update.

    The weather man was pretty accurate on their forecast. The front blew through around 1 in the morning. The winds really blew for about 30 mins and then the bottom fell out of it. The winds were 50+ mph gusts and it rained just shy of 2 inches in about 2 hours. On our site, only a few limbs fell and made the ground into a swamp. A few big limbs and trees fell elsewhere in the CG and SP.
    View attachment 508195
    Lots of leaves and limbs down all over the SP like this

    Unfortunately a trailer on another loop got a direct hit. I hope everyone made it out alright. Scary that the tree fell directly over the top bunk.
    View attachment 508196
    This is after the SP staff already bucked the tree that fell, but you can sure see the damage. I couldn't get a good picture of the other side, but the bunkhouse slide in the rear of the camper was also hit and it was laying sideways on the ground, half connected to the trailer still

    The rest of the day was a pretty lazy affair. We hung around the camper, went into town to furniture shop (no hits to the wallet though!), and then we did a small bike ride and roasted some mallows on the fire for dessert. After dinner, I packed up everything outside and loaded the bikes as we're leaving Friday for the next stop.
    View attachment 508207
    I had the kids build the fire for the first time. I supervised.

    Everyone is finally stirring in the camper. Time to get breakfast going and move this three ringer to the next stop.

    Jack
    Wow... I remember some years back a pic from Fort Wilderness where a large limb fell from a tree onto a slide out causing the slide out to be knocked off or at perhaps at least only attached along the bottom and therefore hanging onto the ground... can’t recall if it was a storm thing, or just a limb that broke off and fell. Like you said, hopefully all ok then insurance. Glad you through seemingly unscathed. Safe travels!
     

    Part-Time Paradise

    Is it camping season yet?
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2019
    Friday update:

    We left Tuttle Creek SP shortly after breakfast. Everyone is still getting used to their roles with our relatively new camper for set up and breakdown. However, the kids are older, so it's getting much more like a team sport instead of me and DW working alone outside and inside respectively.

    We had a short 1.5 hour drive from Manhattan, KS to Emporia, KS and my in-laws' farm. My FIL had it all planned out where we should park, so rolling up to the moochdocking experience was great. I brought all the components I needed to wire up the 50A extension off of his panel. Everyone gets a little iffy with electricity, but "trust me, I'm an engineer"!


    So after telling everyone, "chill out, I've done this 100 times," I royally sliced my finger open when I was stripping one of the 6 gauge wires. Bled like a stuck pig, but somehow managed to keep all the blood off the floor of his shop and the camper as I sprinted in the rig to shove it under the kitchen faucet and frantically grab paper towels that were pinched in the cabinet because the kitchen slide wasn't out yet. After I donated a pint of blood to my galley grey tank and I bandaged myself up with a paper towel and tape, I finished the wiring job and got all the ACs fired up.

    Then we settled in for dinner in the house and visited. Right before bed back in the rig, DW spent some time playing doctor with liquid bandage. Boy did that sting. I didn't get many pics yesterday. I'll grab some today and tomorrow before we take off.

    Jack
     

    Part-Time Paradise

    Is it camping season yet?
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2019
    Saturday Update:

    We spent another nice day visiting my in-laws. The kids have had fun riding around on their Polaris Ranger.
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    This morning we went to the Emporia Zoo. It's not big by any means, maybe 20 exhibits. It's free and shaded though. We spent about 45 min there and the girls went furniture shopping and the boys took a spin by the John Deere dealership.

    Back at the farm we hid most of the day from the heat, another scorcher. The kids talked Papa into another Ranger ride or 5 and then we grilled dinner for everyone from our Blackstone on the rig. Burgers, brats, mac and cheese, baked beans, and cookie pie. No pictures, sorry on that.

    After dinner when the sun finally buzzed off, we went fishing down at the Cottonwood River that adjoins their property line. The kids struck out on catching fish, but like always we landed some more memories.

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    Fishing with Papa, even without catching a fish, is still a good time.

    We head home tomorrow to wash some undies and restock before heading back out for a few more days.

    Jack
     
  • Part-Time Paradise

    Is it camping season yet?
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2019
    All that wood would make a HECK of a campfire.
    That's FIL's stash for their house in town that they use wood heat to augment. I've helped fell, buck, and split several of those cords. While a big campfire would be nice, not sure I want to fire up the chainsaw to make up the difference for him in the morning...would rather saw some of these logs instead 🛌💤
     

    bama_ed

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2004
    Unfortunately a trailer on another loop got a direct hit. I hope everyone made it out alright. Scary that the tree fell directly over the top bunk.
    View attachment 508196
    This is after the SP staff already bucked the tree that fell, but you can sure see the damage. I couldn't get a good picture of the other side, but the bunkhouse slide in the rear of the camper was also hit and it was laying sideways on the ground, half connected to the trailer still

    Jack
    Jack,

    Falling trees onto the campers in the campground reminds me of my Fort trip in April 2013.

    I had checked into 100 loop one morning and was checking out other loops and walked into 200 before lunch that same day. WDW CM's were working on cleaning up a campsite in the outer 200 section that had a tree limb fall onto a dinette slideout of a TT and knocked it CLEAN off in the previous evening.



    Note the sawed off stump as evidence of the tree that dropped said branch.



    Sorry that other trailer took a hit. It's got to be scary to folks to have something like that happen so suddenly.

    Bama Ed
     

    Part-Time Paradise

    Is it camping season yet?
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2019
    Jack,

    Falling trees onto the campers in the campground reminds me of my Fort trip in April 2013.

    I had checked into 100 loop one morning and was checking out other loops and walked into 200 before lunch that same day. WDW CM's were working on cleaning up a campsite in the outer 200 section that had a tree limb fall onto a dinette slideout of a TT and knocked it CLEAN off in the previous evening.
    That's a monster tree. I always like sites with shade, but everything comes with a risk I suppose.
     

    rajak73

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 1, 2002
    So after telling everyone, "chill out, I've done this 100 times," I royally sliced my finger open when I was stripping one of the 6 gauge wires. Bled like a stuck pig, but somehow managed to keep all the blood off the floor of his shop and the camper as I sprinted in the rig to shove it under the kitchen faucet and frantically grab paper towels that were pinched in the cabinet because the kitchen slide wasn't out yet. After I donated a pint of blood to my galley grey tank and I bandaged myself up with a paper towel and tape, I finished the wiring job and got all the ACs fired up.
    You did use high quality black electrical tape to hold that paper towel on right? A good electrician know how to black tape this finger with a towel! (Not that I've ever had to do that, but that's what I've heard!):smooth::smooth::rolleyes1:rolleyes1
     

    cruising spud

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 12, 2007
    Jack,

    Are the campground crowded in Kansas? We, too, have changed our camping plans this year and are going to stay in Pennsylvania, and fairy close to home, at that. We have been camping twice, and I am surprised at the emptiness of the campgrounds. I keep reading that more people are camping. I see campers on the road, perhaps just not where we are staying.
     

    Part-Time Paradise

    Is it camping season yet?
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2019
    You did use high quality black electrical tape to hold that paper towel on right? A good electrician know how to black tape this finger with a towel! (Not that I've ever had to do that, but that's what I've heard!):smooth::smooth::rolleyes1:rolleyes1
    Because I made it inside the rig to the sink, the closest tape was actually in the first aid kit. I've definitely done some first aid with duct and electrical tape though.

    Jack,

    Are the campground crowded in Kansas? We, too, have changed our camping plans this year and are going to stay in Pennsylvania, and fairy close to home, at that. We have been camping twice, and I am surprised at the emptiness of the campgrounds. I keep reading that more people are camping. I see campers on the road, perhaps just not where we are staying.
    Tuttle Creek SP wasn't a ghost town but maybe just under half full. I was also there during the week after the 4th. Everyone might be going back to work.

    I would also think a lot of rookies and renters would be hanging around the KOA with full hookups instead of hanging out in nature with partial hookups.
     

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