Friday, July 11, 2008 – Manawa State Park, Council Bluffs, Iowa

It’s another beautiful day. A tad more dry than yesterday morning but only a shade cooler.

We’ve made the executive decision to move camp to Council Bluffs for tonight instead of remaining at Macedonia where there aren’t any services to help with the RV diagnoses and fixes. Denny & I will run ahead in the support truck to try and reserve a campsite.

When we arrived at Manawa SP about 4 PM, there were, predictably for a Friday afternoon in the summer, no electrical sites remaining, but the WONDERFUL staff at Manawa put us up at our Youth Site a couple days early and helped in other non-traditional ways.

This area got hit by 100+ mph winds recently that really tore up the park and surrounding region. Lots of trees down, power out, local flooding, etc. But despite the mayhem and additional pressures on them, the Park staff has been patient, helpful and accommodating. It isn’t quite like Yellowstone in terms of natural beauty, but on a really hot day, Lake Manawa is quite refreshing and the people make it simply wonderful. Kudos to Iowa DNR and State Parks staff. Did I mention that they are wonderful?

As we were discussing options with the staff, a gentleman on his bike stopped to listen and offer some alternative camp possibilities. He’s from the Macedonia area and is engaged to be married this fall. Nice guy. He and his bride to be stopped by later after we were in camp. He asked the usual questions but we were so behind in setup that I committed to a presentation on Saturday evening if they’d like to stop by then. So, we have our first impromptu presentation set.

After placing the RV and putting up the tents, we grabbed some victuals from a national outlet food/everything store. Oh, and Dad treated us to a … well, a “cool treat” of ice cream at his favorite national outlet.

As we prepare for bed, there are two massive thunderstorms off in the distance; one to the north, the other to the southwest. The north one is up near where the tornado killed the four Scouts a few weeks ago. It’s popping off BIG bolts of lightning that play from cloud-to-cloud and back light the storm. It’s quite a show but as pretty as it is and as much as I like to watch thunderstorms, I need the rest more – so it’s off to bed.

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