Three Fall Walks in the Kansas City Metro

  1. 2015-09-26 Zoo walk 004 Where can you walk in Kansas City and see penguins along the way? At the Kansas City Zoo, of course. Four of us participated in the Run/Walk for the Orangutans in September. It’s a charity drive that benefits the zoo, but it benefitted us, too. We got exercise, a little breakfast, and an opportunity to see the animals. 2015-09-26 Zoo walk 002 The penguin exhibit is one of the newest. Those little birds are cute! 2015-09-26 Zoo walk 1 001 Lots of folks participated on a beautiful Fall morning.

2. 2015-09-29 Sar-ko-mo park trail 005 A trail from Sar-ko-par Trails Park along Little Mill Creek near Lackman and 87th St. in Johnson County starts in the park and crosses 87th to wind along the creek at the edge of a neighborhood and through various parks along the way. Some of the homeowners decorate both sides of the trail with seating and flower beds. It’s a lovely walk with plenty of variation–woods to grassy parks, to creek side. 2015-09-29 Sar-ko-mo park trail 006 I found another favorite tree, and this one had a lantern hanging from one of its branches. The tree didn’t get a hug, being surrounded by undergrowth, but it was beautiful.

2015-09-29 Sar-ko-mo park trail 009 Love those asphalt trails that are so good on the feet and knees.

3. 2015-10-06 Line Creek Trail south 006 I was feeling tired and rundown when we reached a community center on the Line Creek Trail that we took from Briar Cliff shopping area to Line Creek, up to the center, and back with a several block detour in North Kansas City for lunch. It was beautiful all the way, but my feet didn’t appreciate the concrete part of the trail. I guess those trails save money by needing less maintenance. Maybe I’ll have to have a podiatrist check out the feet and ankles and spend my money that way.

2015-10-06 Line Creek Trail south 002 We took breaks. One time we stopped by a rapid and thought we might have taken a wrong turn and wound up in the Rocky Mountains. 2015-10-06 Line Creek Trail south 003Back near Briarcliff, the path becomes easier on the feet. 2015-10-06 Line Creek Trail from Briarcliff 002 Happy hiking in the Fall.

 

Riverfront Heritage Trail and Café Al Dente

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. 20140812_090008

It happens to be a concrete trail 20140812_090422  20140812_090903(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. 20140812_091153 20140812_092409 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, 20140812_090539 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. 20140812_114227 A family sitting at the next table told us their pizza was really good, but we chose sandwiches. 20140812_114241 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! 20140812_115220

Finally, we sat down on a bench bordering a grassy park near the market area. 20140812_123638 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.”

Happy Trails!

Line Creek Trail, Running Well, and BC Bistro

This week we hiked on Line Creek Trail from just north of Barry Road south and then back under the busy street line creek trail startto where we parked on NW 85th Street near where the trail connects with the 152 Trail along 152 Highway. We walked only about three miles out and three miles back, but the trail extends into Riverside almost to the Missouri River. We could have parked at the trailhead parking area at Gower Road and NW Waukomis Drive and may in the future. There one has the choice of heading north or south on the trail.

It was hard to believe we were in the city while we walked on this beautiful trail through woody areas, out into a meadow, and alongside the creek. line creek trail woods Many large cairns amazed us along the way. A cairn is a mound of rocks built to mark a trail. Many can be seen along mountain trails to mark the way. They were originally used by the Celtic people to mark graves and can be works of balancing genius. The Inuit made them to resemble a human figure or a inukshuk. Some fellow hikers we met on the Line Creek Trail told us they thought Boy Scouts had built them, but people are sure to have added to them. The variety of rocky areas, short wooden fences, wide trail, and views of streams made our walk interesting as well as pretty. line-creek-trail meadow

Our feet and legs hurt after walking six miles or more on concrete. We had decided to give this trail a try even though my group likes natural surface or asphalt paths. Concrete is good for cyclists but not for hikers. So we stopped in at the Running Well store where we saw a shoe sale. Kathy Gates gave us all kinds of good information about walking shoes and even gave me a stride analysis to find out exactly what kind of shoes would be best for me. She urged me to join the sock of the month club, too.

Our last stop was for…you guessed it…lunch. We tried the nice BC Bistro at 7749 NW Prairie View Road (close to Barry Road.) It’s back in a little shopping center and hard to see unless you know where it is, but it’s worth the hunt. I had a turkey press sandwich which was made with goat cheese, spinach, roasted red pepper, and house dressing on sourdough bread. Really different and good. The bistro used fresh local ingredients.

Happy Trails!

Hiking in Mission, Kansas

South of the Target at Metcalf and 61st Street in Mission, a hiking/biking trail takes one east along a creek , through a park by the DMV, and on toward the Mission Mart shops near Roe. You can find this trail and many, many other Johnson County trails by using the maps on the Johnson County trail maps site: http://www.jcprd.com/parks_facilities/trailguide.cfm

This a shorter trail than our group usually walks, and on Tuesday, June 17 part of the trail was closed. It looked as if, unfortunately, the trail is being paved with concrete. That’s good for bicycles but very, very unhealthy for our poor feet. We walked around the new construction out to Johnson Drive and found a happy spot for a short stop.

There is a small breakfast and lunch spot named Twisted Sisters Coffee Shop (find out more at its Facebook page  at 5606 Johnson Drive, on the north side of the street. T S coffeeSisters Sandy and Nancy run the homey little shop with a personal and humorous style of their own–only a little itty-bitty bit twisted. I’m not a coffee drinker, but if the iced-to-order tea is any indication, the coffee and other drinks are most likely delicious.

The food is–delicious, I mean. We shared a tasty blueberry scone at 10:30 to go with our tea and then walked back to our cars in the Target parking lot. Both of us agreed to walk another trail, the one starting at Lamar and Shawnee Mission Parkway or the new trail on the west side of Metcalf above I-35 and Turkey Creek. But it being a hot day and late, we unanimously decided instead to return to Twisted Sisters for an early lunch. (Earlier, we had noticed the lunch menu.)

We each chose a half sandwich and soup for only $5.00. Mine turned out to be a fabulous treat. The homemade tomato basil soup is chunky and tastes as if the basil is in a pesto infused into a creamy tomato base. I didn’t ask for the recipe, but I should have. My half sandwich, chicken salad on raisin bread, tasted so good I wished I’d ordered a whole one. I asked our personable server where the bread came from, and she told me. You can’t get it, unless you go to Twisted Sister. twisted sister logoI rate it Yummy!

Happy Trails.