|Saturday - June
19, 2010: I only had time for a few hours of exploring today. Thunderstorms
were passing through the area and it wasn't the best day for being outdoors,
but after a couple of months without much traveling, I was anxious to get
out at all.
My first stop was at
Alcove Springs Park, north of Blue Rapids, Kansas. They are continuing
to develop the small park and I wanted to see what was new. It started
raining hard just before I arrived at Alcove Springs. I waited 20 minutes
for a break in the rain, but it never let up. I ended up doing little there
and heading toward Blue Rapids to have lunch at the Blue Valley Cafe.
As I drove toward town,
I noticed that my cell phone service had stopped. Driving into town, there
was fresh storm damage to the trees and when I arrived at the Blue Valley
Cafe, it was closed due to a power failure.
The power was also
out in Waterville, a few miles farther west. There were many more limbs
and tree down and utility workers were working on downed power lines.
I came to Waterville
to see a water fall which had been recommended by Scott Bean of Manhattan,
Kansas. He had told me about a set of waterfalls at Lake Idlewild just
outside of town, but I discovered that I had didn't have the directions
Spotting a man walking
along the street in front of the historic Weaver Hotel, I stopped and asked
for directions. Instead of giving me directions, he said "follow me" and
led me in his car a mile and a half north of town along streets and roads
that were sometimes nearly impassible due to newly fallen tree limbs.
Arriving at the small
lake, we had to drive across a low water crossing that was fairly high
with water from the thunderstorms. When we parked our cars, I could hear
the waterfall through the woods and the man led me through fairly heavy
brush (including poison ivy) and standing pools of water to the top of
a ten foot waterfall.
The woods were so dense
that I couldn't get very good pictures of this falls, but we fought our
way through brush to the upper falls which is shown in the picture on the
The Good Samaritan
(who asked not to be identified) also gave me a lead on another waterfall
which I will visit on another weekend.
The power was still
out as I passed back through Waterville, so I turned the car south and
drove to Manhattan, Kansas for a very late lunch on the patio at Coco Bolos.
Although it was a hot afternoon, the shaded patio was comfortable.
I ordered the Gulf
Trio Mixed grill - Jamaican jerked chicken, Cajun BBQ pork loin and what
was supposed to be bacon wrapped Caribbean shrimp. There wasn't any bacon,
but all three meats were very good. There were served over sautéed
vegetables and taters Las Cruces. The potatoes had meat, spices and cheese.
They were the best potato dish that I have had in over a year.
We a softball tournament
resuming that evening in Topeka, that was near the end of my exploring
for the day, but I did make one more interesting stop - at Topeka's Bobo's
Drive-in. It had been nearly two years since I last dined at the 62
year old restaurant.
I sat at the horseshoe
shaped counter in the small dining room at the drive-in, having just a
single cheeseburger and handmade onion rings. The burger was just OK, but
the rings were still very good.