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Flat Kansas Prairie

November 25, 2012

Kansas – Monday, November 19

It is apparently the middle of pheasant hunting season, and the motels have posted signs all over that people will be fined $500 for bringing “birds” into their rooms and cleaning them! I imagine they have good reason for posting such signs! I can’t imagine some of the things the housekeepers must have found!

Kansas seems to use “reverse speed bumps” at many of their major intersections. Instead if a typical raised speed bump, they have a big dip in the road by the stop signs. If an out-of-state tourist wasn’t paying close attention, they could quickly be surprised by scraping a bumper! Luckily I had my eyes open – these dips really force drivers to slow down, and that’s a good thing!

My donation today was to the food pantry at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Hays, where I stayed last night. When I called them this morning, they said they could really use cold and hot cereals, pancake mix and jello. So that’s what I went shopping for! It was a big church with a separate community building across the street. They had large wooden cabinets inside the front door so people could drop off food donations any time. It was another beautiful day out – I’ve been very lucky with weather! Tula and I walked 2 1/2 miles in a different part of town than we had walked last night.

Then I drove for a while to Great Bend – named for the big bend of the Arkansas River. I had read there was a rail trail nearby, but had a little trouble finding the access points, so I went to the visitor’s center and they pointed me in the right direction. We set off for a 6 mile walk through the Kansas countryside – although the first part of the trail was a little industrial as we were leaving town. Kansas is still pretty flat at that point, and the rail trail was raised, so I had a good birdseye view of things, but despite that, it wasn’t the most scenic trail I’ve been on! I thought it was going to follow the river, but I never did see it. But, I’ll take my walking where I can get it, and Tula could be off-leash because we only saw 2 other people the whole time, and I had fun catching up with an old friend from elementary school days. That long walk put me at 8.5 miles for the day, but I wanted to get in another mile and a half to keep adding a few extra for when I’m “off” on Thursday. So I found the downtown area of Great Bend, and it was a fun way to finish up the walking. It was another town with a huge courthouse square in the center of town and shops lining all 4 sides of the center green. The courthouse was quite elaborate as so many of them are, and there were 2 big parks on each side of it. One side had a bandshell and a space ready for ice skating when it’s colder and a big Christmas tree and all the Christmas lights were on, and even though it’s early for that, it was pretty. After 10 miles of walking altogether, it was nice to get in the car for another hour or so to get close to the place for tomorrow’s donation….

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