Stop # 11 - Ponca State Park, Ponca NE
Had a nice easy drive, mostly, on NE 12 to the State Park.
Not a lot of happy campers coming into this Park from off the road, including me. Would have been nice to know at the Gate that this campground - both the First Come First Serve section and the reserved Section are full starting Wed night thru Sunday due to an activity going on in Ponca that draws over 30,000 visitors. And, I had planned on staying 2-3 nights here, probably eat a meal in town, get my hair trimmed, do some shopping in a couple of shops saw were interesting. Oh well, my bucks wouldn’t count much with the Expo going on. Apparently both sections of this Park are saved/reserved for some of the over 400 volunteers that are here to help out. I thought about volunteering to keep my spot until Sunday, but I have a “theme” on this trip - and SERENITY doesn’t fit in with hundreds or thousands of folks here for an Expo. Has something to do with Outdoors - there are sporting dog trials, archery contests, River activities, vendors and whatever. I won’t be around to partake. Shoulda stayed back at Niobrara one more night. Shoulda, shoulda. Oh, well will be in Iowa sooner and have scouted out a couple of locations, so will see what I can find up around Orange City Iowa.
Park isn’t my kind anyway. It’s too, too manicured. Though next year it will be nice for the summer campers up from the big cities to have water hookups for their site in the first come first serve section (already in the reserved section) woooo and the State can charge more. Hope they work on upgrading the showers some more next. They could put in those coin operated showers that Niobrara and Fort Robinson have. Now, I just hope I can find my way out of here tomorrow as you twist and turn quite a ways to get to the campgrounds. They are doing some earth moving and other work around here too - looks like a earth dam or another road. Must be some of that stimulus money again.
Okay, onward and eastward Wednesday.
Ah morning. The birds are singing, it’s starting to get light though be a bit before see any sun rays as the forest is so thick. River mustn’t be too far away as I hear the geese. Had my morning walk with short way to the restroom and long way back, coffee is brewing and am hungry. Yesterday, a big flock of turkeys walked thru the Park and squirrels were running everywhere gathering the horse chestnuts that were falling like crazy from the trees. For awhile, it’s all you could hear was the crashing of the nuts thru the tree limbs and brush and a big thud on the ground. There were several areas of the Park that would have been dangerous to walk around in! Not much color to the trees, but the leaves are littering the ground like it is Fall.
PS Finally had to throw out my soggy shredded cheese. It got wet when in the ice chest. And, my refrigerator is still working! No pictures as all you would see would be trees!