Walking at Unity Village

“This is the best. Isn’t this interesting. I didn’t know about this.”

Those are some of the comments my friends and I made while walking the trails and roads in Unity Village, Missouri. That’s right. Unity Village is a town in Jackson County. It’s surrounded by Lee’s Summit and Kansas City and not far from Raytown, the small village has a lot more than one imagines just from seeing its tower from highway 350. 20141209_111940 The tower, in fact, houses a spa. The central campus for Unity has a chapel, a town hall, an administration building, a library, a bookstore, gardens and fountains, and so much more that we were delighted. 20141209_111844 The nicest surprise, though, turned out to be the walk we took around the village. We intended to walk the nature trail, but it was closed due to upkeep. Disappointed, we started off on a road. But our explorations took us through a wonderland of buildings, stone walls, fountains, pools, and other amenities built nearly 100 years ago. 20141209_104351 20141209_104226  20141209_102734There is a golf course winding through the grounds, and we spotted an old wooden sculpture which made us laugh. 20141209_105505 As it happened, we were glad the wildlife trail was closed that day.

After our walk, our first stop was the Neighborhood Café 20141209_122812 in downtown Lee’s Summit. It seems the café is a favorite of many workers in the area, and we could see why. Good, filling food, and nice service made our visit luxurious. The cinnamon rolls came with the meal! 20141209_120247 Gooey YUM!

Onward to Cockrell Mercantile. What can I say? It’s so great for Christmas shopping (or any other kind of shopping) that I forgot to take pictures. You can take a gander here, or go there and spend some hours looking at all the merchandise.

Enjoy

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Tomahawk Creek Trail from Leawood Park

Besides being beautiful, IMG_5187  IMG_5171 Leawood City Park IMG_5186 is a useful place for hikers and bikers to meet in the parking lot near the swimming pool and tennis courts. IMG_5169There are three different routes one can take from the park–east on Indian Creek Trail to State Line into Missouri and on southeast toward I-435, west on Indian Creek Trail under Mission Road and on as far as Olathe, or southwest on Tomahawk Creek Trail. IMG_5170

Today we chose Tomahawk Creek Trail and walked toward 119th Street through Tomahawk Creek Park. We walked across Indian Creek. IMG_5173

There are side nature trails along the way, but we weren’t prepared with bug spray and long socks. IMG_5175

Huge oak trees and smaller trees of every type line the trail. IMG_5185

The confluence of the two creeks can be seen along the way, but only if one looks for it. Especially in the summer, hikers must leave the main trail and walk toward the creek on a little unmarked side trail. Look for it not far from the bridge. IMG_5181

It was a lovely walking day; so after one of the group left, the rest of us walked westward on the Indian Creek Trail, crossed the road on an access trail and ended up at Small Cakes in the Mission Farms shopping center. The cupcakes are beautiful, IMG_5167and they have muffins, too. IMG_5168I guess the coffee is good, but I’m a tea drinker, and the shop has no hot or cold tea.

Happy Trails

 

Stilwell, Kansas and Rock Collecting

This week too many members of my walking group, The Roaming Readers, were out of town. No group hike took place—sad. I enjoy my solo walks around my neighborhood, but it’s always more fun exploring with the group.

Fun. Exercise. Exploration. Good food. Those are the components of our weekly hikes. I need (want?) that at least once a week. So my husband and I took off on an expedition to collect rocks. We traveled south on Mission Road toward 199th Street. Along the way, we took detours onto country roads which looked likely to have a creek or a rocky outcropping with fallen stones.

IMG_5159Bumping along in our Ford truck, rumbling past fields and woods, we found a couple of creeks and a crumbling rocky ledge. The edges of the creeks proved most lucrative, but our final haul of rocks  proved skimpy. That was because of the heat and humidity. Did you ever try to carry a bunch of rocks with sweat rolling down into your eyes?

On 199th Street we turned right to look for a lunch spot in the small town of Stilwell. At 199th and Old Metcalf, two fire trucks and a bunch of people surrounded a jazzy-looking motor home. We had to investigate. IMG_5151  IMG_5153

It turned out the firemen and all those people were there for lunch, at a food wagon called Beauty of the Bistro. My husband and I loved the food. (And so did other people in the community. More and more stopped to eat or to order for take out.) I had a Blue Moon burger—juicy hamburger, sun-dried tomatoes, blue cheese, greens, corn… Yummy! They cater, too. We ate at a picnic table under a shade tree across from a field of wild flowers.

Delightful lunch.   IMG_5155   IMG_5158

I want to take my walking group there. Does anyone know of a walking trail in or near Stilwell, Kansas?

The rocks we gathered will be used in the rock wall I’m building around my garden. I was inspired to build my wall by the rock walls we saw in Ireland and in England on our walks into the countryside. Kansas City summer weather makes it hard to grow all the lovely flowers I saw there, but my green beans, cilantro, zucchini, potatoes, and onions are doing fine. We’ve had enough water this summer, for a change. IMG_5162  IMG_5165  IMG_5163

Happy trails!