We needed a campground for the night, outside Manhattan, KS. Tuttle Creek is a wonderful campground if you’re a blood sucking mosquito, as for humans, not so much.
The tent camping areas are nice and wide open and unlabeled allowing you to pitch a tent in almost any area or configuration. This also makes the self-registration process chaotic.
Speaking of which, a tent site is $8, plus a non-advertizsd $3 “just because we can” fee; then of course there’s the $5 entrance fee (presumably not charged to campers who don’t actually enter the park to camp). Still, $16 /night to camp is quite reasonable. Except for the fact that this State Park has little to nothing to offer in the realm of recreation other than a lake to launch your fishing boat into. I assume people are exclusively using fishing boats, since the lake shore smells quite like dead and rotting fish bodies.
We were smart to choose a campsite spot that had a cold water spigot handy. It worked quite well, and was much needed considering the women’s bathhouse had not one shower that actually functioned. The men’s bathhouse was fine, except for all the water being only hot water, which became increasingly hotter as it was used; making even brushing one’s teeth a rather painful experience.
The nighttime breeze was nice, and seemed to keep the mosquitoes somewhat at bay. But despite thoroughly checking, a few must have gotten into our tent at night given the number of new and itching whelps on our arms and legs the next morning. The mosquitoes are quite vicious here, but fortunately throughout our entire stay we didn’t see a single No-See-Um.
All during daylight hours we heard a sporadic distant boom noise. Most likely related to the dam on the Tuttle River, responsible for this parkland not being underwater.
We were almost finished breakfast at 9am when we began to heard to loud distant sirens go off; the kind of sirens that usually proceed an air-raid or impending flood. We easily and rather quickly agreed to pack up our camping gear and drive off faster than a standard pace.
Shortly after starting our 4cyl Toyota Camry escape-mobile, the sirens stopped, thankfully. We still both simultaneously agreed to keep driving at an increased speed and exit Tuttle Park for good.
On to Manhattan, KS to do some grocery shopping, and then hit the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve today.