Sunday, May 8th - - After my brief visit at Mushroom Rock State Park I continued west a short distance to Ellsworth. Then I spent a few hours driving around Russell County, part of which lies north of Interstate 70, and Barton County, which is to the south of Russell County and also south of I-70. You may be asking, Why?
After residing in Iowa for a short time (circa 1866-1868), my third great-grandparents, Lysander and Lydia (Robison) Joslin returned to Whitley County, Indiana. In 1877 they once again sold their land in Whitley County and headed west, this time to Odin, Cheyenne Township, Barton County, Kansas. Here they remained until 1891 when they moved to near Lyndon in Osage County in eastern Kansas.
I really couldn't do research – it was Sunday! Poor timing on my part. I did make a stop at the library in Great Bend for several hours and took a look at some of the books they had. Basically, I simply wanted to see what the countryside was like. The terrain to the north of I-70 differs dramatically from the land that lies to the south, at least in that immediate area. Russell County north of I-70 has hills, large hills. And gullies, deep and big. Southern Russel County and most of Barton County are relatively flat in comparison. Good farming land.
I considered staying in the area another night but decided against it, for various reasons. Instead I continued west on State Road 4 and stopped for the night at Cedar Bluff State Park near the small town of Brownell. It was another hot and windy day, with the temperature nearly reaching 100 degrees. And the air conditioning in the van wasn't working.
The site I had selected was in the shade near the beach. Even in the shade the heat was almost unbearable and I was thankful for the strong breeze that was blowing. My neighbors were a nice young couple. We weren't so lucky with the group that arrived in the early evening. They were loud with the stereo blaring, really inconsiderate. After about 15 minutes I left to find another site (it was a self-serve campground) in another area of the park. The new site turned out to be much better – flush toilets nearby! ;-)
It was also a better campsite because it offered a very nice view of the lake and the sunset, which was once again highly colorful due to the hazy sky. Thankfully, once the sun went down it cooled off considerably!