As Kansas natives, we grew up being well aware that the Sunflower State is dotted with several lakes developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. That said, we had never gone "camping" at any of these scenic parks. These days, we're doing our best to make up for lost time. Twice in the last few weeks we've made a stop at Lake Melvern. Here's our "lake place" we called home two weeks ago.
Lake Melvern is located about halfway between Emporia and Ottawa, just a few miles north of I-35. The 7,000-acre lake is surrounded by 18,000-acres of land that features swimming beaches, hiking and biking trails and six campgrounds. Outlet Park Campground offers 150 campsites that surround the 90-acre River Pond.
Outlet Park is reportedly a great place to catch a few fish. We thought it was a pretty and peaceful place to hang out for a few days. (We liked it so much we came back yesterday to spend a couple more nights.)
A "can't miss" stop for visitors to Melvern is Guy and Mae's Tavern in nearby Williamsburg. As we learned during our recent visit to Abilene, this infamous barbeque joint is one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas Cuisine. Amazingly, these two Kansas natives had never made it to this unassuming but noteworthy spot. Now, we can say we've been there twice!
Guy and Mae opened this hometown bar in 1973. While Guy developed his mastery of barbeque ribs, Mae invented her trademark sauce. They put the two together and the family has been serving up slabs of ribs wrapped in foil since.
During our first visit, we enjoyed a couple of cold beers on a warm day while we waited for our slab and sides. I meant to take a picture of the tasty ribs, but they were gone before we knew it! Trust us when we tell you: Guy and Mae's is definitely worth a stop.
When we returned to Lake Melvern yesterday, guess who pulled in behind us? The Moose is there on the right, and that's the Mothership on the left.
Here's the real reason we came back to Melvern. Our dear friends Sandy and John are piloting the Mothership to their new home in Arizona. They've stopped here for a couple of nights to rest and meet up. It was great to see them both, and their cute little dog Koko, too! We wish them safe travels and good times in their new home.
Tomorrow, we'll say "so long" to our friends and our new favorite Kansas lake and make our third trip to Paola in two weeks. (And, if you're wondering why anyone would make three trips to Paola, we'll let you know in our next post!)