Another great weekend... NOT!!! (Labor Day weekend, 1999)
The drive up to Calamus was nice. As we drove from Burwell to the lake (5 miles?), however, we were in a DELUGE. Had to pull over because it was raining so hard. We looked at a couple of different campgrounds--the first (best) one was already full.
We found a spot for the tent and set it up. Funny... The ground was dry. First rain must have started 2 miles to the east and then moved on. The lake is really down because of downstream flow requirements. That exposed lots more sand, but it is not as attractive this way. The boat ramp was closed here (Valley View Flat) because the water level was below the ramp, and the ramp is lo-o-ong.
Denise started cooking as the rumbling started getting CLOSER... We could see the clouds across the lake to the south, and watched as we cooked and ate. I watched them come towards us. I moved a few more sacks and boxes into the tent as the banana s'mores finished cooking--we had the eat dessert in the tent.
It was kinda neat sitting in the tent listening to the rain. We did some reading. Then it really started!!! From about 8:30 to 9:30 it rained pretty hard. Some of the seams started leaking, dripping onto the sleeping bag. I went out once to shut one of the windows--I had them open so the wind would blow through instead of DOWN! The big cabin tent was really flapping. I wished I would have pounded the stakes in further.
About 9:45 some new campers started moving in. LOUD! It started raining again so I think they moved inside finally.
And then at about 2:15 it hit AGAIN!!! I mean it REALLY hit!!!!!!! And the wind was from a different direction so the rain was blowing into the windows I had left open before. I put the sleeping bag up against the corner of the window where it was coming in to keep some rain out. Fierce! I am amazed the tent stayed up!!! I had strategically placed heavier items at the inside corners (including ME) so I think that helped.
The next morning we talked to a few other campers. We thought that our cabin tent was a disadvantage, but even the dome tents with rainflies got wet (the wind blew up/under the coverings). There were plenty of campers that ended up sleeping in their vehicles. Denise and I picked up / hung up some things, then went into Burwell to have a warm breakfast--we had pretty much decided already to pull up stakes and come home early.
We went back and finished wiping things down and packing them up. Left around 11:00. Glad we only paid for 1 night!
We found a road that follows the Calamus river and took it for about 20 miles. Very interesting scenery... Ranches, sand hills, etc. Some soft/muddy/wet roads; glad we had the 4WD. Back into Burwell for gas. Then we went to Fort Hartsuff; it was active in the late 1800s. Many of the buildings are still well preserved/restored.
Then we followed the highway to Dannebrog and stopped in the park for lunch. (we had all that food, so it seemed a shame to not eat it before we got home) Then we went to the chalk mine at Scotia. Denise had gone 20 years ago. They are doing a really good job of sprucing it up (and shoring it up, thankfully!). It was a really interesting tour!
Finally we started making our way home... Took a non-direct route across the paths of the Oxbow and Mormon Trails--along the Platte east of Grand Island. No visible remnants, however. Finally got home around 7:00. Gave us some time to enjoy the hot tub, though!