Our group parked in a circle around the soccer fields there....not unlike the wagon trains of yore. Rob Rupp planned our stay with tours to the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve--a National Park now, tour of Chase county back roads, and a visit to a Flying J Ranch, owned by Dr Hoy and his family. They took us on a wagon ride behind Belgian horses, fed us a chuck wagon dinner, and sat on the porch listening to Dr Hoy tell stories about the way it was in the old days.
Flying J Ranch
We had coffee every morning made by the organizers. They even picked up our trash we left outside our doors! :)
There was a potluck.....we ate very well everyday. No chance of being hungry. Then there was the gatherings of campers in their campers, and walking around visiting other people and their campers...some inviting you inside to see how they decorate and set up their home away from home camper.
Diane Mason brought her huge telescope, and I mean HUGE, and set it up the evenings that were clear view of sky. We had some days of rain, so she showed us the heavens and constellations 3 different nights. The lens was 13 inches across! We saw nebulas, far away galaxies, stars so far away you can't see them with the naked eye, and explained astronomy so we could understand. wow is all I can say.....just wow...I've never looked through a telescope of this magnitude ever.
There were people from all over the US there, even a couple from Finland! We shared our stories and our plans for the future.
Some of us went into Strong City and Cottonwood Falls to tour the towns and ate in some of the hotels and restaurants. Emma Chase Cafe in Cottonwood Falls, was one of the trips we did. Home made food and a story teller Sue, told the history of Emma Chase Cafe. We returned to camp to hear
Tallgrass Express String Band perform in the Lodge building. It was wonderful! Annie Wilson, guitar player, rancher and teacher, wrote most of the songs performed....all about the Flint Hills. Just a great concert, while the rain poured outside.
The sunsets were awesome and the storm clouds threatening, but no bad storms came our way, just hard rains.
I'm already looking forward to the next gathering to see my new friends and make more......what a nice way to show the world my home state of Kansas.