Travels with Bentley

Travels with Bentley
Bentley - our Heartland Bighorn

Friday, September 23, 2016

September 14-19, 2016 - Sand Hills State Park, Hutchinson, KS

September 14-19, 2016 - Sand Hills State Park, Hutchinson, KS

Wednesday, September 14

This morning we are heading to Hutchinson, KS where we will camp for five nights at a State Park north of Hutchinson.  We will be there to watch two of our grandchildren show their horses at the Kansas State Fair 4-H Horse Show on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  However, today is our grandson Abram's 9th birthday and we plan to meet him and his family in Wichita later this evening for a surprise dinner.

We packed almost everything in Bentley last night so we could go ahead and pull the slides in since it was supposed to rain, and it did start to rain a little this morning.  We waited thinking it might pass us, but the clouds continued to build, so Dean ended up hooking up in the rain, although we were able to hit a lull and at least it wasn't pouring.

We pulled out at 9:45 and arrived at the campground about 2:15.  (I thought I might explain what I use as our arrival time - I note the arrival time at the point we unhook Bentley from the truck after we have parked.  We still have to do the rest of the setup after that - but our arrival time can be anywhere from 10-30 minutes from the time we actually arrive at the park.  Once we arrive at a campground we usually have to check in at the park office, after that I am helping Dean back in to our spot, or get situated correctly with the hookups if it's a pull through, and then we have to do a few other things before he can unhook from the truck.)

It was raining when we got here so it was "fun" (not) to also set up in the rain, and again bless Dean, he did most of that work himself.  He's very good to me!  It was a cool 70 degrees though and that was okay with us.  Once we were set up we had a sandwich.  A short time later it quit raining and Dean was able to hook up the satellite.  There are no trees here as this park is only about 2-3 years old.  Trees have been planted but it will be awhile before anyone has to worry about them blocking satellite signals.

We left the park about 3:45 for our drive to Wichita.  Heath texted to let us know Abram had selected Logan's Roadhouse for his birthday dinner.  Fortunately we were just a few blocks away when we received his text.  We parked and shortly afterwards we watched Heath and the boys get out of their car and walk in.  Casey was on her way from work and would meet us soon. Dean couldn't wait for Casey to arrive, so we headed inside.  As we walked in the boys were looking at something with their backs to us.  Abram turned to say something to his dad and spied us at the door.  He looked so funny and he said I didn't know you guys were going to be here.  He was surprised!!  We missed his birthday party last weekend so we were glad we were able to celebrate with him this evening.

Can you believe he ate most of this huge brownie, ice cream and toppings?  His dad Heath, to the left, helped him some but Abram ate most of it himself.
After dinner (we were at the restaurant for 2 hours!!) we headed back to Hutch as it's a work and school day for them tomorrow.
What a beautiful evening.  The moon was bright at our campsite!

Thursday, September 15
We didn't do much this morning except hang out around Bentley.  Brett and family will be arriving sometime later today and we'll meet up with them to get our tickets and the events schedule for the next three days for entrance into the fair and the horse show events. They ordered them for us at a reduced rate so we took advantage of the savings.  The kids have events tonight, tomorrow and on Saturday.

It was mid-afternoon before Brett called.  We met him at a business located right across from the entrance near the Horse & Show Barns on the fairgrounds.  The business (insurance I think) rents out their parking lot for $5 in the evenings and the weekends during the fair.  It worked great for tonight's events.

Papa & Dad overseeing Tucker getting ready for the evening events.  I think Tucker was having trouble getting out of the stall--seems like there were a couple of heavy items on the other side in the way!

Both Dacy and Tucker participated in trails tonight.  Unfortunately, neither of them placed but they did a great job and had a good time.

Dacy on Boone




Tucker on Tater
After we talked to the kids, we headed back to Bentley for the night.  They were tired and still had a lot of work to do this evening.  We'll see them in the morning before and throughout the day and evening.




Friday, September 16

It rained last night - and it rained a lot!  It was still raining when we left for the fairgrounds this morning.  The first event was at 8:00.  We decided to take advantage of the free parking today - it wasn't too bad when we parked.  Remember this remark!  A little muddy but we were able to dodge the puddles.  I had to wear my raincoat and hold the hood up so I could see and stay out of the mud.

Fortunately the events are all in a very large covered arena with many sets of bleachers we can sit on. We brought our nice padded, Multi-use Portable Recliner Stadium Chair.  They are great, when they fold in half the sides provide armrests. One of the best investments we have ever made. With all of the kids and grand-kids that have played or are playing sports, riding horses, etc. we have made great use of these.

Gelding class.  Tucker is on the far upper left and Dacy is on the far right.  Neither placed but they did a good job and they enjoy riding and showing their horses.
Dad Brett and Mom Renae
Here's the cheering crew with our two favorite horse riders.
Top left is Tucker, Uncle Jarred with daughter Emerson, and Papa Dean
Middle row:  Brett and me.
Bottom row:  Dacy, Austyn and Aunt Andrea.

We had some time to waste before the next event, so we walked the midway with Jarred, Andrea, Emerson and Austyn (Austyn was Jarred and Andrea's flowergirl and was visiting for the weekend). She wanted to try out some of the fair rides.



Jarred & daughter Emerson
Papa and Emerson
Andrea and Austyn on one of the many rides.
Isn't she a cutie?
Austyn riding the carousel.
Another Papa & Emerson picture.  Papa was happy she was letting him hold her.
Brett & Tucker met up with us a little while before this picture was taken as we walked through the exhibit areas where all kinds of things were on display and for sale.  We made several stops at various lawnmower and tractor sales exhibits, such as this one, where we ran into this clown on stilts.

Emerson wasn't too excited about the man on stilts.  Maybe it was that big flyswatter he had!
We returned to the show barn to watch some more events after our walk.
Warming up for more events.  Tucker participated in two halter classes this morning and Dacy was entered in reining, however neither one of them placed.  
We left after the last events late this afternoon.  We made arrangements to meet Brett, Renae and the kids later for dinner, once their chores for the evening are over.  Remember when I mentioned the parking lot wasn't too bad this morning.  Well, that changed drastically from this morning to this evening. It now looked like folks had been mudding in the roadways between vehicles.  There was no way I could walk through that muck with my good tennis shoes on.  We had to walk quite a long way down the road and then tiptoe through the lesser mud areas to reach the truck.  Oh the fun of it!  But it was worth it all.

Brett called a little before six and said they would meet us at Olive Garden in about 20 minutes. Fortunately we are only about 5 miles from there so we hurried around so we would be on time. They pulled into the parking lot as we were walking toward the restaurant.  We had a really nice dinner and enjoyed visiting with each other.  Renae told me that Dacy said I had to mix the salad tonight.  I was a bit perplexed but then Dacy mentioned how I had to mix it the right way and I realized what she was talking about.  Olive Garden puts their salad dressing on the bottom and then adds the salad. If you do not really move the salad around and use the tongs to pull it from the bottom over and over you do not get salad dressing on all of the salad mix.  That is really important to me!!!!  Everyone laughed as I explained this and they watched me mix our salad!  Dacy has seen me do this time after time as I have been taking the three older granddaughters to Olive Garden every year during spring break and usually again on their birthdays, so they have watched me do this and explain it several times.  Renae really got quite a giggle out of watching me after hearing Dacy tell about it.

Recently I took one of those silly Facebook quizzes.  The quiz showed you a number of pictures with three squares and asked you to choose the one that did not match the others.  They were very similar and somewhat difficult to pick out the odd one, but I got 100%.  The test is supposed to show how OCD (obsessive/compulsive) you are.  Well, now you have it!

We were all just stuffed when we had finished with our meals, and were moaning about how much we had ate as we left the restaurant.

We are heading to Wichita in the morning to watch Abram play football at 8am.  We will probably miss Tucker's first event but we should be able to make all of the others on Saturday.


Saturday, September 17

We had to be at Maize South High School at 8 this morning for Abram's football game.  We left Sand Hills a little before 7 and we're glad we allowed those few extra minutes.  We did not realize until we opened the door how terribly foggy it was outside.
Driving from the campground toward Hutchinson.

I had the address of the Football Field in the GPS but when we arrived there was no football field or school.  So I took out the address and just put in the name of the school, we had driven right past it just around the corner but you could not see it due to the fog.

Here's the field.

I was waiting on Dean so I snapped this picture of the team getting ready.  The sideline to the left is Abram's team and supporters.  You can barely see the opposing team on the other side.  There was another game on south of this one and when the game started you could barely make them out in the fog.
Abram, our 9 year old grandson.
Heath is Abram's coach.  He's in the dark jacket.  Abram is the tall one on his team.


Tucker in English Riding.
We missed this event while at Abram's football game.

We made it back in time to watch Dacy's next event, and fortunately we were able to park in the same parking lot we did on Thursday - and no mud!  Dacy acquired a new horse the first part of this year. She is entered in an event in the fair where she must be the sole trainer and rider of the horse.  It is a two year program.  There are two phases, and an interview process during this year's fair.


Dacy on her horse she trained herself, Margo.
This was rail work which was Phase 1 of the 2 y/o project.  She won first place and a blue ribbon for Phase 1.  I do not have a picture of the Phase 2 pattern.  She missed her lead in the Phase 2 pattern but otherwise she did a good job.  She did not place in the last two events, Phase 2 pattern and the interview.  She will get to show her horse against next year for the second part of the project.  We look forward to seeing how much she and her horse Margo improve during this upcoming year.

Dacy took 1st Place in Phase I.  She is crying happy tears!  We were all so proud of her!

I love this photo.

Her ribbon and backpack for winning Phase I of the event.
Dacy talking to her Grandma Sue (Renae's mom) and Grandpa Terry afterwards.
We told Brett, Renae and the kids goodbye after sharing how much we enjoyed watching them, then headed back to Bentley for the evening.  They were all exhausted and needed some time to get things done and relax a little.


Sunday, September 18

We slept in this morning - it was really nice after getting up early the last two mornings.  I enjoyed having a little extra time to savor my morning coffee before getting around.  We left the campground about 10 to drive to Heath & Casey's in Wichita.  I haven't been to their house since late spring. Before we left on our summer travels Dean came out and spent a few days helping Heath dismantle a wooden playground set they bought from an individual, and then reconstruct it at their home.  Once that project was done they also bought materials for Heath to build a deck on the north side of their swimming pool that would give them some shade in the afternoon.  Since then Heath had the deck built and they have put up portable pergolas over the area with sun shades.  It looks really nice and provides a wonderful sitting area on those hot sunny days.  They built some flower beds and planted several plants and trees around the backyard.  It really looks nice.

We offered to buy pizza for lunch.  We ordered three pizzas from Pizza Hut.  It is so nice to do this over the phone an have it delivered, especially so you don't have to drive in Wichita.  Jarred stopped by for awhile, and later Brett and Tucker came by to hang out while Renae and Dacy went shopping for dresses.  Dacy is a candidate for Miss Columbus and needs a dress for the event.  Heath's boys were very excited their older cousin Tucker was there and they all headed downstairs to play video games while the adults enjoyed watching the Chiefs game upstairs.

We were getting ready to head back to Hutch when Renae and Dacy returned, so we got to see the dresses they found.  They purchased both a long dress and a short one.  They were very pretty and I know Dacy will look stunning in them, along with her new shoes and earrings to round out the ensemble.  We will be attending this event on October 1.

After hugs we headed back.  It was nice to relax a bit an watch a little TV.  I made dinner and afterwards we drove back to town to get ice cream at Bogey's.  It was right across from the fair entrance we used.  We've heard about it for years but never have tried it.  We thought it was pretty good.

I stepped outside later to take this picture of the moon shining on the water behind us.  It was very pretty.

Tomorrow we will head home.  We'll be there until Sunday, October 2 when we will head to Grove, OK for our Escapees Ozark Chapter 17 fall rally.  We haven't seen any of our Escapee friends since May so we are looking forward to catching up with everyone.

Thanks for following our travels!













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