We enjoyed Kansas much more than expected and that feeling started when we arrived at our campground. We had made a reservation at the Bloomington East area of Lake Clinton in Clinton, Kansas, just outside of Lawrence, Kansas. Clinton was a tiny little town, probably 25 houses and a tiny market. I did go into the market to pick up some beer and ice. Later we found out that unless you buy beer at a liquor store you are getting 3.2% beer! The lady running the store was super nice and the beer was cold and refreshing, so I guess it was worth it. We had reserved a site that looked as if it was backed up to the lake, but there were so many trees we couldn’t really see too much of the lake. It was a short walk down the road to one of the boat ramps where we had a nice view of the lake. We went down there almost every night. It is a really big lake, lots of boating and fishing going on there.
As we usually find in the Corp of Engineer parks it was well maintained and had plenty of space between campsites, so we were happy. We were in the Cedar Ridge area and there are three more camping loops, a beach area and a small marina with another boat ramp. I could easily get in 7-10 mile bike rides if I rode through all the areas. The campground and lake got a little busy during the weekend, but not too crazy. What a well kept secret.
Friday we headed into Lawrence to check it out and get groceries. It was a 20 minute drive so we didn’t want to have to keep going back. Lawrence is the home of University of Kansas and its town motto is “Unmistakably Lawrence”. It has the reputation of being a little bit artsy with a hippie-ish vibe. It was hot and no breeze at all to help cool us off, so we just walked around a bit on main street and then went shopping. We ended up getting a big fan that we can use when sitting outside. That makes it so much nicer to sit out sometimes. Stocked up and headed back to camp. It was a nice evening after we spent time inside cooling off in the AC.
Saturday was a lazy day. After I took a bike ride we took a drive over to the state park side and since it cost $5 just to drive in, so we skipped that, we just wanted to check out the campground and marina-oh well. Not much else done that day, but later we did meet our camping neighbors Renee and Darin who live close by and camp there a lot. They told us about some places to eat in Lawrence and what to do in Kansas City.
After finding out that Kansas City has a free Art museum we made up our minds to go explore KC starting early Sunday. It was about a 1 ½ hour drive. We found a mexican restaurant that does brunch in the Westport neighborhood near the art museum, which was really good by the way. And did I mention it was Free?! I should have gotten some pictures of the houses in the neighborhood, they were super cool with stone columns and facing. Definitely interesting. We went to the Body World Exhibit after our delicious brunch. The food was not only delicious, but I got the bloody mary bar. I actually had a bloody Maria (tequila instead of vodka). They had so many choices of pickled things to put in it along with a great selection of mixes. I got the verde mix which was spicy due to the serrano chilis in it. A delicious start to the day! Bodies was showing at Grand Union (an exhibit hall is in the basement of their train station). There is also a WWI museum, but they say it takes two days to really go through it. We decided to skip that and so we just walked around a bit. Another HOT day. We drove through downtown a bit, but there was a knife and gun convention going on and lots of construction detours, so we just headed home. A good day, KC is interesting and worth exploring.
Monday wasn’t terribly exciting, except for the wind. Most of the time our weather was hot, humid and very still, but that wasn’t the case that day. Holy cow! It was really blowing, I went for a bike ride and the hill I had gone down at 28 MPH the day before I had to pedal down! It was crazy. I went to Lawrence for a couple of things at Walmart and kind of just to go somewhere and then when I got back I did laundry. I was surprised to see some people out riding bikes on the main roads, they were barely moving against the wind. We did find time to make arrangements to do a Volunteer day in Topeka at a Habitat For Humanity house, which I will post separately.
It was a really pretty area. I am amazed by the farms, the farm machinery and all the corn and just the views themselves. The nighttime storms scared us a few times. The wind picks up, the thunder and lightning starts and we worry about a tornado blowing us away in our sleep, so we wake up and wait. Obviously, that didn’t happen, but it did cause us to delay our departure from Wednesday to Thursday. Before we even finished our first cup of coffee on Weds there were severe storm warnings and we didn’t think it would be good to drive, so we tried to be productive by cleaning and planning for future trips and were relatively successful. It did clear up so we were able to get outside a bit. Good vibes from Kansas.