What a fantastic day for a hike. One doesn’t expect August 12 in Kansas City to be in the 70’s, sunny, and to start off as almost a long-sleeve day. This time it was, and my hiking group plus anyone else who got to spend the day outdoors were the benefactors.
We met in a parking lot in the River Quay area at Fifth and Wyandotte, on the west side of the City Market. To reach our intended hike, The Riverfront Heritage Trail, we walked north a couple of blocks to where a bridge took us to a Missouri River overlook and a tower with stairs and an elevator leading to the trail on the riverbank.
It happens to be a concrete trail (sigh—sorry feet and joints,) but good walking shoes, padded socks, and absorbing views helped me conquer thoughts of foot pain this time. While we walked, we caught different views of the river and its bridges and barges on one side and stunning views of the city on the other. Here and there we stopped briefly to read signs which describe the history of the area. Along the way we met bicyclists, runners, and other walkers who were lucky enough to be able to be on the trail during a workday. It took almost two hours to walk through Berkley Riverfront Park, to the Isle of Capri Casino parking lot, back along the river, and around the City Market area.
It was a little early, but we were ready for lunch. Luck was with us, because we found Café Al Dente. Its patio appears to be a favorite luncheon spot for the neighborhood folks and is probably popular in the evening, also. We ate inside. A family sitting at the next table told us their pizza was really good, but we chose sandwiches. Mine was the Safety Blitz, a yummy combination of turkey, ham, mayonnaise, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, and pizza sauce—a kind of pizza on a bun—and now I can believe the pizza is excellent. That pizza sauce and combination of ingredients might be my favorite in the city. We all raved about our sandwiches. The smoked turkey breast is killer!
Finally, we sat down on a bench bordering a grassy park near the market area. There we met Mike, a loquacious fellow in a wheel chair, and his lovely dog, Fancy. Mike and Fancy told us all about condo living in the River Quay area and how he gets to know so many of his neighbors when they meet in the park in the evenings. Mike and Fancy are so friendly I’m sure they’d make friends anywhere, but theirs sounded like a wonderful life style to me. Mike is excited that the new streetcar system, which is being built now and will soon connect him to Union Station, will let him and Fancy travel to Hermann, Missouri, spend the day, and get back to their condo by 9:30 at night. Wow! They know how to enjoy life. If you know Mike and Fancy, tell them Joyce and Joyce say “hello.”