A rainy spring caused many lakes in Oklahoma and Kansas to flood. However, the late summer dry weather made it possible for Corps of Engineers to reopen some campgrounds including Kaw Lake’s Bear Creek, just east of Newkirk. This was the site for the September Wheeler Dealers Camping Club campout.
Members from Ponca City and Bartlesville arrived Thursday and that night many of them ate dinner together at the Native Lights Casino’s Buffalo Grill north of Newkirk.
Friday members learned about the history of Newkirk from local historian Karen Dye. She then told the story of Charlie Adams, the local drug store owner, after whom their annual celebration is named.
Friday night the group ate at Newkirk’s Stagecoach BBQ. The night ended with a campfire and lots of conversation at the Bear Creek campground.
Saturday morning members drove back in to Newkirk at various times for the Charlie Adams Day activities.
Some members purchased tasting kits to sample barbecue from various competitors and delicious Dutch oven cobblers and cakes. Others checked out the various crafts and booths including a flint napper and another man making horseshoes.
Saturday night the group gathered in the campground for a hamburger cookout hosted by campout hosts Jon and Kathy Tippin. Afterwards some members went to the outdoor concert by Grand Funk Railroad at the Kaw South Wind Casino.
The monthly campout concluded Sunday morning with a potluck breakfast and business meeting with discussion on the October campout at Beaver Lake, Ark., and the November campout in Coffeyville.
Wheeler Dealer monthly campouts are weekends from March to November with only lunch or breakfast gatherings in February and a special Christmas Party in December. Members can make their own reservations at many of the Corps lakes through recreation.gov, the Corps of Engineers’ reservation service. Oklahoma State Parks reservations are made through gocampok.com.
Current members are from Bartlesville and Ponca City. However, anyone from northern Oklahoma or southern Kansas is invited to join.
Persons interested in joining or knowing more should contact Cecil, president, (580) 767-0170, in Ponca City or Joe, secretary, (918) 333-1714, in Bartlesville.