|Topeka KOA barn|
What could possibly be unusual enough about a campground that we'd drive one hundred fifty miles to see it? Well, a barn, for one thing. The family that runs this KOA moved a vintage barn to the campground and restored it beautifully, creating a camp store/office, game room, reading parlor, workout room, and space that can be rented for special events. It added a nice touch to an already scenic campground.
And then there was the hiking trail that wound up a hillside, where a mama killdeer lured us away from her nest with their trademark broken wing ploy. The hike also revealed a number of quartzite boulders that fascinated The Hubs, aka The Science Nerd.
What else did we like about this campground? Three onsite fishing ponds provided our fellow campers plenty of angling action. It was nice to see the glow of their lanterns around the bank after sunset. Got to get that fishing gear packed in the camper!
The feature that attracts the most business for this campground was their new saltwater swimming pool. We didn't indulge on this trip, but it seemed to draw a steady stream of happy swimmers.
The campground hosts advertise their KOA as a family-friendly destination, and it surely seemed to be. There were large family groups taking advantage of the tent sites right next to the water. There were enormous fiberglass relatives of Sweet Melissa, the only inhabitants of which seemed to be the kiddos who made a dash to the pool several times a day. We think their parents were enjoying a holiday weekend in RV luxury, and we don't blame them a bit. There was also a contingent of bikers, friendly guys on sweet rides who camped down by one of the ponds. A bonus for us--a vintage Airstream right across the road and a new Shasta Airflyte reissue that was cute as baby cheeks.
How'd Sweet Melissa do on a three-day excursion? She did a great job, after we figured out some adjustments we'll need to make for future camping. One, we installed the AC and 12v/110v fridge a little too close together and the resulting heat made the fridge fretful. So, rather than make his wife choose between AC and refrigeration, The Hubs figured out where to move the fridge as soon as we got home. In the meantime, we saved the AC for evening and packed the food in ice overnight. Worked just fine.
What else? Had to make a couple adjustments to the sway control to keep the ride smooth. That and a bit of drama with a dead battery (really, really dead, as in "cannot be resurrected") in the parking lot of Casey's General Store in Emporia, KS made me SO glad I married a forty-year mechanic!
|Coleman camp stove s'mores|
The Hubs snuck away to see a bit of Topeka (because the dogs and I needed a nap in the worst way)
and came back with all sorts of interesting facts about our spectacular Kansas State Capitol building.
|Kansas State Capitol|
I Forgot!! A big victory also took place this weekend! I learned to tow the camper! I've been skittish about driving the Envoy with Sweet Melissa in tow, but The Hubs was struggling with allergies, so Memorial Day Weekend on two interstates was my trial by fire. Terrified of flying off the face of the Earth at first, but once I'd gotten used to her wobbles and the way she pushes you when you're braking, I actually did okay. About 150 miles towing experience under my belt, so one more camping obstacle overcome. Woohoo!