Municipal campgrounds and Chautauqua

In Worthington Minnesota, right on Lake Okebena, is the Olson municipal park and campground. It is lovely in Late September. Maybe because we had it almost to ourselves. Only hookup is electric but it was park-like–lawn and big trees, pretty quiet and close to downtown. The first afternoon we cruised the downtown. I like to drive down “Main Street” as it tells a lot about how the people feel about their town and it is an indicator of the commerce climate. Surrounding the lake are nice well kept homes of assorted vintage including some quite interesting architecture. Amidst these home are several parks one of which caught my eye. The Chautauqua Park. Seeing a large sign I hopped out of the car and went to read it. It tells of the history of Chautauqua in this area. Briefly Chautauqua was started in the mid 1800s by 2 Sunday school teachers in Chautauqua, NY as a summer camp for families featuring lectures and musical performances by traveling orators and artists. These ‘camps meetings were located near a railroad line and hotels and B&B’s sprang up to accommodate the attendees. It caught on like wildfire bringing culture to the rural areas in all the states and territories of the U.S. It continued for nearly 100 years! Some areas have revived these meetings. I have been to the one in De Funiak Springs FL, in the Panhandle. They have recently built an auditorium for meetings and publish a weeks program of diverse interest from quilting to musical performances and prominent lecturers. In Worthington I see they have a shell stage and seating for performances.
Moving on to Adrian, Minnesota, about 14 miles west on Rte 90 is another little municipal campground with similar lawn and trees style. There were quite a few RV and trailer rigs for so late in the season. I was told it is frequented by area folks who want to ‘get away’. We stayed one night at one in the apple region of Monitor, Washington near Cashmere (where they make Aplets and Cotlets). It was on the Wenatchee River. It was very lovely. It certainly would be nice for us full timers to find more municipal parks for short term stays as we travel the country. They seem to be well cared for and reasonably priced.

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