Posted by: Barbara Evanhoe | September 19, 2011

Coming Home

Today we take our morning coffee at a lovely campsite at the Bloomington East campground at Clinton Lake, in Kansas, which was the first stop on our “Sunset Ride” journey a little over a year ago.

After spending many nights at many campgrounds this past year, we appreciate this place much more than we did on our first stop.A big plus this year is that I now have a National Parks Senior Pass which gives us a 50% discount on the rates ~ just @$9.00 per night for electric and water hook-ups (no sewer, but we are very close to the bath house restroom).

The campsites are huge by private campground standards, so you don’t have to get up close and personal with your neighbors unless you want to. We have a paved site for the camper, and a nice, grassy area with a picnic table and tree.

Oh yes, speaking of trees, it’s been a long time since we have seen the tops of trees ~ east coast trees are so tall that you only see the middle unless you are on a mountain looking down!

It feels good to be back “home” in the Lawrence/Ottawa area. We will be spending time with people we know and love, and we can naviage without an atlas or mapquest directions.

The 40th annual Walnut Valley Festival is now a happy memory. We enjoyed playing music our friends and listening to some top-notch performances.

Although we didn’t see every performer at the festival, we did see the incredible Australian guitarist, Tommy Emmanuel, the awesome jazz and western swing band, The Hot Club of Cowtown, the power-packed bluegrass, country and old time fiddle show of The Wilders, and the impeccable picking of Italian artist, Beppe Gambetta and harp guitar virtuoso, Stephen Bennett.

And, as promised – though not on Saturday as we had hoped, here is the photo of our camper after a few more folks showed up. It’s kind of like “Where’s Waldo”!

The weather this year during the festival was cool, drizzly and then, downright rainy with a fantastic ligthning show on Saturday night, all of which had a direct impact on the level of celebrating that is part and parcel of the Winfield experience.

Keith and I spent a couple of evenings playing music together in our camper, and musing on past festivals we’d attended.

We found it interesting that, for us, the atmosphere at this particular festival was different than in years past ~ a bit anti-climactic, actually.

Perhaps it was because we were camped separately from the people we used to camp with, although we’d had a good jam session with them all.

Perhaps it was the weather, or the fact that we’d not attended for a few years.

But perhaps the biggest reason is that when we used to attend, we were working full-time and the festival was one week of the year that we could take time off and kick back. Now that we live in “kick-back” mode and play music all the time, the festival just isn’t much different than our day-to-day lives.

It was a growth experience, I guess, to have that realization. Of course, it doesn’t mean that we won’t attend future festivals, but it does take the pressure off from feeling guilty when we can’t make it back each year.



  1. What a great blog! A wonderful way to share the memories.
    Enjoyed meeting you Barbara, and seeing Keith in Winfield!

    And as someone else here mentioned, you definitely have a gift for writing.

    You pegged my thoughts of this years festival.
    (the weather had a lot to with it).

    I’ll be looking in from time to time.

    Give Keith a big kiss for me. 😉


    • So glad that I had the opportunity to meet you, too ~ Keith’s friends are my friends 🙂
      Thanks for taking the time to check into the blog. It wouldn’t be any fun without you readers!

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