Thursday, June 27, 2013

We're not sure how we got here from there

Today was a kind of glichie day, but alls well that ends well.

We only have three more stops before we're at my Mom's in Ohio.  We didn't have reservations for tonight, but weren't worried because today's Thursday and I don't think we've ever had trouble getting into a park on a week day.  But we made reservations for June 28 and 29 (a Friday and Saturday) at a state campground in Muscatine. Since our last stop will be right before the Fourth of July holiday we booked campsites for those dates too.

Then this morning I got a voice mail from a ranger at our Mucatine stop, saying our site had been flooded by the Mississippi River, that our reservation had been cancelled and we'd get a refund. I started looking for something else.  But few parks let you reserve sites less than two days out, so that was one dilemma.  The other dilemma was that with the upcoming holiday many campground will be full starting tomorrow.

I made some calls before we left Randall State Park near Pickstown -- including one to the ranger who left the message, telling him we were on our way from Utah to Ohio and asked if he had suggestions as to other campgrounds.  I also had  Jim's iPad and hard copy camping guides on my lap so I could research places as Jim drove. We hadn't traveled too far when the Muscatine Ranger called me back and said they'd find a spot for us at the original campground.  It may be that they're putting us in a usually non reservable spot assigned on a first-come first-served bases.  Doesn't matter.  We're just grateful to have a place to stay.

Then driving to where we are tonight -- Brushy Creek State Park, not too far south of Fort Dodge, Iowa -- turned out to be more of a challenge than we are used to.  As we got within about 50 miles, the  freeway we were on was going in the right direction but was not on my GPS system.  Once we found the park, it was huge, the signage bad, and we could not find a comprehensive map on line or at the park that said "Hey, the campgrounds are thisaway."  Usually you pull into a park and within a few hundred yards there's a sign pointing out all that.  Not here.  We did find the park office, but no one was home, and there were no signs at the office explaining anything either.  But Jim has good instincts, figured it out, and we have a nice spot. All the other vehicles here are from Iowa.  Maybe there's a reason for that.
The grassy field behind our camping spot at Brushy Creek State Park in north central Iowa. The drive here from Pickstown, SD was beautiful   More rolling hills, crops, green grass, cattle and even Yankton, SD, the self-proclaimed "cow capital of South Dakota." 

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