With nothing in the immediate future, we decided it was in our best interests to get out on the road and start drumming up work. We headed out Friday afternoon, with me planning to also use that time constructively to check out some free campsites.
We headed up first through Nowata, Oklahoma, where there was a campsite listed in the wildlife management area outside of town. We got turned around and onto the wrong highway, and me being prone to finding shortcuts kept us winding on gravel roads for a good long while until we came out. The turnoff was named differently than it was on instructions and at this point I was a bit wary, so we passed on it. No rating as a result.
The next stop was Cherryvale, Kansas. We pulled in there heading towards a campsite east of town. The campsite was there, but it was in a pay area, so it didn’t fit our purpose for this trip at least. On to Independence.
Independence, Kansas is a typical quaint Kansas town. I have discovered that Kansas’ city parks are often the unsung heroes of those communities, and Independence was no exception. A large park with a small zoo and a carousel ride that still cost 5 cents a person, with a train that still costs 75 cents a person.
We put in at Montgomery State Park south of town, the third on our list of free campsites, and the first to pay off. Wee found a beautiful spot at the base of the dam and settled in for the night to a quiet far away from the city or other campers. On Saturday, it was in to town, where we found a downtown farmer’s market. I talked with them and found the event manager shortly, and was able to secure a spot to play next Saturday. I was unable to get to the churches or the library, but can spend the next week making calls now that I have a target.
From Independence, we headed to Caney, where the free campsite didn’t pan out. We found the wildlife management area, just no road access to it. It was the same story heading southward around Copan Lake. We had earlier checked out a place near Elk City, Kansas, but while we didn’t disprove it, it was too late for our needs. We will likely be journeying on later but sometimes you can only be so far off the beaten path.
We are currently rehydrating in Bartlesville, where the McDonald’s has higher menu prices than I have ever seen anywhere in the US. I am looking for a backup site to scout, but not sure what I will find if anything. We may be heading in early.