Sar Ko Par Trails Park

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Sar Ko Par Trails in Lenexa on 87th Parkway between Pflumm and Lackman is another park that allowed us to defeat afternoon boredom.  After a morning of chores, lunch and naps, my grandkids erupted with energy.  It was only 3:00–four long hours until bedtime–too much time to wait out, so we got out.

We parked next to the Burlington Northern caboose    My grandson loved bouncing across the ties, climbing on board, peeking inside the car and riding the rails of his imagination as he shouted, “Woo, woo.”





But that’s was only the beginning.  They met a cowboy,




 found a playground complete with swings



searched for turtles, fish, frogs, dragonflies . . . around the pond, and jumped from  stepping stone to stepping  stone to reach the sea serpent.




We stayed until it was time for dinner, bathes and bed.  What could have been an afternoon of “I’m bored,” and “There’s nothing to do,”  became a fun memory.

Watkins Woolen Mill

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We visited Watkins Woolen Mill NE of KC.  The mill was not only used to make cloth, but also to grind wheat, make brooms, and more.



We learned about spinning yarn
and weaving blankets and cloth.


grinding grain


making brooms


and shoes.


My grandchildren were surprised that the first Walmarts and K Marts were general stores.


After we toured the mill, there was still the Watkins’  home, church and school and museum to visit.








For more information please visit

Santa-Cali-Gon Days Festival

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Today is the last day of the Santa-Cali-Gon Festival in downtown Independence, celebrating the  three major trails heading west:  the Santa Fe, California and Oregon.
Enjoy fried dill pickles, brisket, root bear and much much more.


Shop for jewelry, tie die, Native American art, and much much more.









Cool off with some  shaved ice.

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Funnel cakes are sold on every corner.




Have some melt in you mouth cotton candy.




Take time to watch the performances.  The  Cowtown Cloggers will keep your hands clapping and toes tapping.
See Independence’s first fire engines—Santa’s sleigh never shined so bright.












If you miss this year’s festival, add it to next year’s Labor Day activities, and look for the
Santa-Cal-Gon Festival 2015 website.

Powell Gardens

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Where can you crawl through a bear’s den, see how you measure up against an eagle or stand on a butterfly?


















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My grandchildren darted from sculptures of bear cubs to rabbits, saw butterflies and dragonflies, smelled flowers, and raced down trails.


They climbed the silo, tried new vegetables, walked on tin cans stilts, played with hoops and drew chalk pictures on the sidewalk.


In the Visitor Education Center they saw the stages of meal worms, made garden decorations/scare crows out of mylar balloons, identified coffee beans, corn kernels,  sun flower seeds, and more.  
It was a full fun morning, and there were still more trails to trod and gardens to enjoy, when we left.  We can’t wait to come back.  
For more information please visit

My Neighborhood

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Today we went on a walk through my neighborhood.  We turned off the cell phone and the video games, took off the ear buds,  and watched what was happening around us.  And guess what we saw.


A mailbox shaped like a horse.


A playful moose  wrapped
in lights
waiting for Christmas.



A lucky penny–my grandson
would have missed,
if he had been playing
his video game.

A tree trimmer bouncing from limb to limb
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Please share the surprises you find on your walks.

Schlagle Library and Environmental Learning Center

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This week we found a library where we not only read about  prehistoric animals, but also touched a wooly mammoth tooth and a  mastodon fossil.
We pet a skunk pelt, felt an alligator head, met Oreo, a California king snake; Franklin, a yellow mud turtle, and other reptiles and amphibians.
At the Schlagle Library and Environmental Learning Center (4051 West Drive at Wyandotte County Lake Park, Kansas City, Kansas) the learning doesn’t just take place inside.  We hiked the nature trails, identified birds at the feeding stations, counted butterflies and dragon flies at the butterfly garden and saw native plants at the Lewis and Clark Garden.
For more information please visit Mr. & Mrs. F. L. Schlagle Library.