By MIKE CORN
WEBSTER STATE PARK -- With temperatures hovering near the century mark, the water was the place to go -- whether it was water at the swimming beach or atop a jet ski.
Day use at Webster and other area lakes was high Wednesday for the Fourth of July celebration, with most of it concentrated around the water.
Camping continues to be strong, but only for people who can plug in and still have a bit of comfort.
Primitive camping, according to Troy Brown, regional park supervisor for the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, has been limited.
And it's all because of the heat.
"Utility camping was great but primitive camping, they don't want to put up with that," Brown said.
He can understand that.
Generally, lakes in the area were the go-to place for many people on the Fourth of July, Brown said. But camping sites with utilities or the chance to get in the water was the driving force.
At Cedar Bluff, he said, 80 percent of the utility sites were in use.
At Glen Elder, camping at utility sites was down, and "primitive camping was next to nothing," he said.
Prairie Dog State Park at Keith Sebelius Reservoir was busy, mainly because of a Norton Chamber of Commerce event that continued until late into the night.
Lovewell continues to operate under a blue-green algae advisory, which is slowing use there. Brown said activities at Cedar Bluff -- out from under an advisory last week -- are picking up.
Scott State Lake was slow as well, with only a few campers.
Brown blames some of the slower use on the Fourth falling in the middle of the week, so many people can't tie it into a weekend of camping.
And the heat.
"If they don't have electricity, it's not real nice to be out there," he said of people who camp in tents. "And I don't blame them a bit."
Brown said a string of heat last year caused a similar slowdown.
For the year, area lakes have been busy, especially with the season starting so early.
"The big challenge is going to be to continue this through July and August," Brown said. "Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and cool down in the days ahead."