We spent the holiday week at Blue Springs Lake Campground, just east of Kansas City. Blue Springs is arguably the nicest county-run CG we’ve ever seen, located in a resort area to the southeast of KC. It was sort of a combination of low-key, staying inside and reading while it rained, and amped-up touring of the local sights when it didn’t. We started with a bang by attending “Blooms & Booms,” an outdoor lawn concert by the local symphony held at Powell Gardens, a beautiful public-accessible garden near the lake, and watching a pretty good fireworks show set to the usual Sousa marches and 1812 Overture.
On Monday we went swimming in Blue Springs lake, one of two man-made recreational lakes that encircle the campground, and then the rain moved in and we spent the evening reading and watching TV. Since we’re here, right next to Independence, MO, it seemed appropriate to pull out the film How the West Was Won from our hard drive.
Then came the actual 4th holiday. We used up a large chunk of the day by visiting a county-run re-creation of an 1855 Missouri town, which turned out to be a lot more interesting than it sounds. I spent a couple of hours chatting with the town’s tinsmith about various metallurgical factoids (my dad was a spring maker so I picked it up at an early age) and a couple older denizens of the town who really knew their history. Then things got really loud at the campground. It sort of reminded me of Baghdad on the start of Shock & Awe night. Missourians love their fireworks and have no limits on what can be bought at the temporary tents set up around town prior to the holiday, so there were some big-caliber things going on. Pat and I went up to the highest point of the campground and watched for a couple of hours as fireworks went off in a 360-degree circle all around the campground. The rumble of fireworks went on and on until 11 or so. Needless to say Mac the Cat was terrified, found a passage up inside the RV dashboard and refused, wide-eyed, to come out for anything but her most treasured cat treats.
Wednesday we went into KC and spent the entire day at the National World War One Museum, which was a sobering experience and a good counterpoint to the nationalism of the 4th of July. The museum did a good job of pointing out the root causes of the War to End All Wars, and it was interesting to note that World War Two was fought for many of the same ultra-nationalist and economic reasons. I guess 9 million dead didn’t teach them very much.
Thursday we took advantage of a couple local shops to do preventive maintenance on the RV. Our Onan 7kW generator was up to 115 hours – we use it on the road a lot to run our roof A/C, hot water, microwave and residential fridge – so we packed up the RV and took it over to a Cummins/Onan service center for an oil and filter change while we ate breakfast at a nearby Waffle House. Then we drove around the corner to a Ford truck center for the RV engine’s first oil change and lube. This took longer than I thought because I insisted on Mobil One full synthetic oil and the shop had to send out for it. We topped off the RV’s gas tank, got back to the campground about 3 PM, and had an hour’s nap before running some evening errands and hitting a pizzeria for dinner.
Tomorrow (Friday) we’re leaving KC behind and continuing our I-70 journey* to a KOA in Wakeeney, Kansas for a couple days before driving further on in the general direction of Colorado. There’s nothing much going on in Wakeeney, a town of about 1800 souls, so there might not be much to write about until we get to Colorado. We’ll leave I-70 at Limon, Colorado, after 2 days there, and take a detour down to Colorado Springs. We leaned on our DOD retiree cards to get a campsite at the Air Force Academy’s RV park (military RV parks are known as “FamCamps”) for 14-18 July, so we might get to tour the school grounds and take some pictures while we hang with the USAF homies. For a couple of ex-zoomies (airmen) that would be another box checked off in our bucket list. Bye now!
*Interesting note about I-70. Our house in Maryland was within earshot of I-70 and U.S. route 40, which runs either parallel or together with 70. Now here we are approaching the western end of those routes, and they’re still running together and parallel all the way to Cove Fort, Colorado. The CG is just down the road from them.