Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Rally Retreat, Birds and Boondocking

The 2015 Rally Recovery Retreat began for us on Tuesday, October 20.  We had planned to make our first stop post-Rally at one of our favorite campgrounds, Coon Creek Cove COE Park just east of Ponca City, Oklahoma.  Several other couples were also heading south, and we invited them to join us.  By Wednesday, we were delighted to be joined by Steve and Gail as well as Sherri and Rocky.   Here is what our own mini-rally at Coon Creek Cove looked like.

We have had a great time visiting and in general taking it easy.  Steve and Gail are responsible for running the HDT National Rally, and Sherri did a great job organizing the volunteers who set up and cleaned up after all the Rally events.  They were all too ready to take a break from organizing! 

Coon Creek Cove Park is located on beautiful Kaw Lake in North Central Oklahoma.  There are several Corps of Engineers Parks on the lake, but this is one of the nicest.  Sites are large and well-spaced, with good shade and large grassy areas.  There is a boat dock, too, and lots of people from the area fish on Kaw Lake, which is noted for being a great “catfish” lake.

It’s a great birding center, too.  Our RV sites back up to a protected finger of the main lake where lots of birds hang out.  When we arrived on Tuesday, there were several American white pelicans and small flock of seagulls.  

On Wednesday morning, they were joined by a large contingent of pelicans which almost filled the cove beside our campsite. 

And just when we thought there was no more room for birds on the water, the cormorants arrived…and just kept coming! 

They streaked in like brown bullets and landed with a splash among the pelicans. 

For a while, all was quiet and the combined flocks paddled happily together.

Then, almost as one the cormorants took to the air, whirling overhead, then disappearing.

Many of the pelicans remained, and in a while were doing their feeding ballet, submerging their heads almost as one and gulping down their dinners as they came up.

But bird watching wasn’t our only adventure.  Early Friday morning my UPS started chirping to let me know that there was no electricity coming into the coach.  John and I got up to investigate, and it was a fact.  There were no 120v lights anywhere in the campground.  When we talked to park personnel on Friday, they confirmed our worst fears.  There was an underground break in the main power line, probably caused by flooding earlier in the year.  So, for the remainder of our stay, we relied on our solar power and generators to provide electricity.  It was an unexpected “boondocking” experience for all of us, but an enjoyable one.  All six of us were glad to know we could operate “off the grid” in an emergency.

We have especially enjoyed spending time with our HDT friends apart from the hubbub of the Rally.  But we have made other friends as well.  Jimbo Graves and his wife, Cheryl, invited all of us to join their bluegrass, fried catfish and nuts party on Saturday night.  It was a great occasion.  The food was tasty and plentiful. 

The music had us all keeping time and humming along.

And God provided one of the most spectacular sunsets any of us have ever seen.

It was a trip none of us will ever forget.  We wish you could have been there.


  1. Beautiful Michael! And you did a great job of culling the pics. Especially loved the birds all diving for food at once!! So glad you had a great time. Did you, by any chance, run into Randy and Sue at the Rally?

  2. All shots are great but I especially love the sunset with musicians one.