Trail Bicycling: Camping and Lodging on the Kansas Prairie Spirit and Southwind Rail Trails

The state-town-managed 53-mile Prairie Spirit Rail Trail (PST) runs north-south from Ottawa to Iola in eastern Kansas. At the south end of the PST, the Allen-County-managed 6.5-mile Southwind Rail Trail (SWT) connects to the PST in Iola and runs southward to Humboldt, KS.

Most of the camping and lodging places found here are in the three larger towns of Ottawa, Garnett, and Iola. However, the smaller towns of Richmond and Humboldt also have good campsites. Here’s a summary of what is available in each of the nine towns on the trails.

Ottawa

Camping: free/dry/no-fire behind the Franklin County Visitor Information Center 1½-miles east of the PST on Hwy-68 from the north-end of the old business district. Must call ahead for reservation at (785) 242-1411. Grassy backyard with large shade tree and picnic table. No outside water or restroom. However, two all-night convenience stores are located ½-mile east and 1½-miles west of this site.

Motels: five; one near 17th and Main Streets midtown one block east of the PST. The others are further south near the PST and I-35. $50-90 overnight.

Princeton

No facilities, except for the trailhead w/running water.

Richmond

Camping: Free/dry at Richmond Lake one-mile east of town on Allen Road SE of town. Covered picnic table, grill, chemical toilet, lake. No running water.

Garnett

Camping: Two tent sites on two lakes.

1) Located at the north-end of Lake Garnett one-block east of the PST. This lake is on the NE side of town. Open area with grass and chemical toilets, some shade. Running water and stools 1/4-mile further south in the lake park. $9 overnight.

2) Located on Crystal Lake adjacent to the PST on the south side of town, which is near the town square. Water spigots a short distance west at the electrical hookups. Flush stools on the north side of the lake via a ride/walk-over floating bridge. $9/night.

Bed & Breakfast: One; four-blocks east of the trail on 4th Avenue in town. Six rooms, two baths, two half-baths. $70 overnight.

Motels: two; one 1/4-mile west of the trail on Park-Road and Hwy-59 at the north-end of town. The other one is further east of town on Hwy-169. $50-70 overnight.

Welda

No facilities, except for the trailhead w/running water.

Colony

No facilities, except for the trailhead w/running water.

Carlyle

No facilities, except for the trailhead with restroom and no running water.

Iola

Camping: at RV Camp & Storage Park three blocks west of the PST on the east-west Hwy-54. Grassy areas, water, laundry, and shower at office building. $10 overnight.

Motels: three; one near the PST trailhead at the north end of town on State Street. Another one is 1/2-mile further south on State Street near the PST and Hwy-54. The third one is further east on Hwy-169. $50-80 overnight.

Humboldt

Camping: Free/tent at Hunter Park about one-mile SW of the SWT parking-only trailhead if no electricity is used there. Otherwise, $5 overnight. Grass, shade trees, running water, public restrooms w/showers, pavilion, tables, playground. The town police need to know you’re there, located at NW corner of the town square.

Summary

While stealth camping along these trail corridors is not allowed in most cases, other options exist besides the sites mentioned above. For example, distance riders can inquire about using the small-town parks, where often they are allowed to dry camp free or for a nominal fee. Users can also inquire at nearby farms, B&B’s, and local residents about setting up a tent in the corners of their yards.

Know the Warning Signs of a Leaking Roof: Address Problems Early With Help From Your Local Roofer

We often take the roof of our home for granted because most of the time it does its job very well. However, roofs can be damaged or wear out just like any other part of your house’s structure. This wear and tear can lead, eventually, to leaks, water damage, and even mold and mildew growth. None of these are good for your building or your family, which is why it’s so important to know what the symptoms of a leaking roof are. By catching roof-related issues early on, you can get them addressed quickly by a roof contractor, thus minimizing the damage to your home. Knowledge truly is power when it comes to your roof. When you know what to look for regarding roof leaks, you can better ensure the health and longevity of your property.

Some signs of a leaking roof are very apparent. If, for example, water drips through your ceiling at a certain place every time it rains, you clearly have a roof leak. Instead of just putting out pots and pans to catch the water, you need to contact a roofing contractor right away to get that leak taken care of. Once one point of the roof is compromised like that, the damage will eventually spread to the surrounding areas. What was once a small leak will become bigger and bigger, causing more and more damage to your home. In addition to actually seeing water come in through your ceiling, other visible signs of roof damage include curling, buckled, or missing shingles. The shingles are the outer layer of the roof, similar to an outer later of skin. If that exterior layer is compromised, and water is allowed to get in between or under the shingles, it will eventually lead to structural damage that will affect your whole roof. If your shingles look “off” in some way, get a professional out to assess the situation and to check for further damage that may not be immediately visible.

Seeing water coming in to your home and noticing visible damage to your shingles are two easy-to-spot symptoms of roof issues. However, there are other signs that are not as clear but are no less important. If you have an attic or storage space at the top of your house, you should examine it periodically to make sure that everything is as it should be. If you notice spots or sections of the wood that are darker than normal, that’s a sign that water is getting in somewhere. Roofers can examine the structure both inside and out to determine where the problem is and work with you to remedy it. In addition to that type of visible interior damage, you also need to keep tabs on any mold growth in your home. Mold can be very difficult to detect, as it’s often not visible. If you do find it growing somewhere, though (especially on ceilings or the upper levels of your home), or if anyone in your family starts experiencing unusual allergic responses or breathing difficulties, you should get a professional to check for roof leaks. The excess moisture from a leak is what allows mold colonies to flourish, so getting rid of the leak is an essential part of getting rid of the mold.

Top Ten Wedding Reception Sites in Kansas City

Remember two years ago when your best friend finally tied the knot and you were “cordially invited” to attend their wedding ceremony and reception? You were excited for the happy couple, and you quickly returned the RSVP card informing them that you would be attending their glorious event (and that you would be having the steak). You were excited that is, until you arrived at the reception; a dingy church basement perhaps, or a converted musty old “mansion”, or maybe you showed up and they were having their reception in an abandoned warehouse feebly decorated with paper streamers and cheap lighting. You felt so sorry for your friend that you stayed just as long as you felt was polite, and then you made a hasty exit. Well now it’s your turn to get married, and you don’t want to make the same mistake your friend did. You want the best wedding reception in history, and it all starts with the site that you choose. In this article we’ve taken your eternal happiness to heart, and present you with our top ten wedding reception sites in Kansas City.

1. The Madrid Theatre

A newly renovated performing arts theater, The Madrid Theatre has more magic than one event space can handle. Often overlooked, this reception site is conveniently located right in the heart of Kansas City with access and parking directly off of Main Street at the 38th block. Your guests will enter your reception from a minimal 20 pace walk from the parking area into an extravagant and elegant piece of living Kansas City history, restored beautifully just for you and your guests. The first thing that your guests will see when they walk through the door is a gorgeous double staircase that takes them up to the balcony level where there is a bar and standing round tables that overlook the theater stage and dining area below. After the cocktail hour is over, your guests will make their way down to the dining area of the theater where there is another bar in the back of the room and a magnificent stage, ready to highlight the entertainment that you have chosen for your big night. When the dinner is complete, the stage is literally set for dancing the night away!

2. The Overland Park Convention Center

If you have a large group, The OPCC is the best venue in the city for the perfect wedding reception. Most impressive is the giant foyer that is located just outside the main ballroom which features large modern art statues and huge windows that overlook the nice green grass courtyard. Many couples opt to hold their cocktail hour in the foyer and also use the foyer to position the buffet stations for dinner. The Overland Park Convention Center is conveniently located directly next door to the Overland Park Sheraton Hotel with a connecting walkway.

3. Club 1000

Located directly in downtown Kansas City at 11th and Broadway, Club 1000 is unique in that it has several different floors to accommodate different phases of your wedding ceremony and reception. That’s right, you can have your ceremony AND reception in the same building at Club 1000. Ceremonies are held on the top level (6th floor) of the building called “Penthouse 1000” and the cool thing about this is that the roof is open after the ceremony for an incredible downtown Kansas City skyline photo shoot. After the ceremony is over, your guests take the elevator or stairs down to the 2nd level known as “Club 1000” where drinking and dancing kick off. If you have a late night group, there is also yet another level of the building known as “Studio 1000” (3rd floor) where there is a complete house wired karaoke system.

4. The Overland Park Sheraton

Just a stone’s throw away from Interstate 435 and Metcalf Avenue, The Overland Park Sheraton is a great wedding reception site. The Sheraton features a selection of 6 ballrooms that can be used individually or joined together to accommodate any size group. There is a great foyer where cocktail hour can be enjoyed and the staff at the OP Sheraton is second to none. Another great feature is the hotel itself, which is lavish and has it’s own late night bar within.

5. The Hilton President

Since Kansas City recently opened it’s popular Power and Light District, The Hilton President is your best choice for a wedding reception site located near the popular new downtown area. Within walking distance of the P&L District, this great site offers the convenience of a hotel, restaurant and bar with a great ballroom.

6. The Boulevard Brewery

For smaller groups, the Boulevard Brewery is a brand new facility that has a very modern look and feel. The main party room has a large center bar stocked with (what else) all of your favorite Boulevard Beer products and has a small stage for a DJ or small band. The Brewery has a nice balcony that offers a great view of the downtown Kansas City skyline.

7. The Oakwood Country Club

Don’t let the “country club” in the title fool you, this beautiful wedding reception site is available to the public for rental. Located on a lovely golf course, the Oakwood has floor to ceiling windows situated in around a 70’s style round ballroom. There is also another section of the ballroom for your favorite band and lots of dancing.

8. Hallbrook Country Club

Although a little more difficult to rent without a membership, Hallbrook Country Club is still one of the most stellar wedding reception sites in Kansas City. Outdoor access is the key attraction as Hallbrook has doors leading from every part of the grand ballroom to spectacular outdoor patios overlooking one of the most exclusive golf courses in the city.

9. The Cadillac Room / Fleetwood Room by Cadillac Catering

If freedom and style are what you are after, this great reception site located in the heart of downtown Kansas City is a nice break from the norm. Two adjoining rooms offer your guests a simple yet elegant place to dine and dance, while offering a great view of downtown KC.

10. The Carriage Club

For that country club feel without paying the country club dues, The Carriage Club, located just off the “nice part” of Ward Parkway is a great choice for your wedding reception. Featured is a beautiful large oak accented cocktail area, and an elevated dining area overlooking two bars and the dance floor.

Why Asphalt Roofing Shingles Are Becoming Popular Choices

Home owners check out on the benefits of asphalt roofing shingles before installing them. As there is a wide array of choices for home roofing as well as for businesses, getting upfront and detailed knowledge about the pros and cons of all types of materials help a great deal. Even if you are using a different type of material, you can always change over to asphalt as they are loaded with some distinct advantages.

Easy to source

Primarily, the need for roof repair becomes tedious for the property owner. They try to install materials that require very little maintenance and can last their lifetimes. Your best bet would be to get hold of a professional contractor for installing asphalt roofing shingles. Finding out leaks later on can be a very cumbersome process and time taking as well. They are comparatively cheaper and easy to source.

With manufacturers and retailers all over the internet, it is easy to source the best roofing for your needs. Asphalt is cheaper and cost effective while the repairing job is much easier for larger sections. Lesser man hours and labor is required to get asphalt roofing fixed. If you are in Kansas City, your best bet would be to check out the retailers on the internet and also land based building material stores near you.

And climate is not at all a factor for these types of shingles as they are ideal for both tropical and arctic climates. They don’t melt or crack as they are made from fiberglass and are also known as petroleum products. While other roofing materials could fall apart in the face of strong winds, asphalt stays in shape and does not fly away, tear apart or decompose. Nowadays the products also come with algae resistant properties as well.

Fiberglass and organic shingles

Asphalt roofing shingles are widely used not only on Kansas City, but coast to coast as well. There are basically the fiberglass and organic shingles that are most widely available in the market these days. Fiberglass reinforced mats are bonded with urea formaldehyde for extra reinforcement and coasted with fillers containing minerals for making them water resistant.

Paper saturation also makes the organic asphalt shingles water resistant. Ceramic granules are embedded with an adhesive top coat. To prevent growth of moss, copper and tin make up the ceramic granules and make them more durable. You don’t have to clean the moss regularly. They usually carry more asphalt and weigh much more than fiberglass. Laminated shingles use 2 different types of lairs providing buyers with more asphalt roofing shingles options.

How To Hire The Best Sign Company Out There?

A business sign is the immediate identity of your company. It helps create instant awareness about your store and builds up a steady clientele. Choosing the right company to handle your business signs is a crucial task. It is of paramount importance to ensure that a sign company has everything that it takes to create and manufacture signs that will boost your business further.

Choosing the best company can be a daunting task if you don’t know where to start. This article will help you decide the best signage manufacturers in your area. If you are in the process of hunting the most deserving company, try to consider the following:

1. Manpower and Staffing

If you want an indoor or outdoor signage for your new store, you want it to be there the moment you open your business or else it is of no use. Thus, make sure that the company you’re choosing has enough staff to handle the job on time. Besides this, you also need to take a look at their skills and qualifications. Select a company with competent layout artists and graphics designers that will turn your vision for the best sign into reality.

2. Sophisticated Equipment

Monument signs speak a great deal about your business. To ensure that your business sign will be made with the highest quality, assess the facilities and equipment of the sign design company. Old fashioned printers and manual fabrication will not be enough for intricate details of your signage. Companies that use cutting edge technologies in signage making have the edge as they have more flexibility in accepting business signs regardless of materials and layouts.

3. Installation Services

For a holistic service, choose a sign company with the capability to install your brand signage anytime, anywhere. It is recommended to select a firm that offers installation services to avoid spending additional money for installing the signs. Attempting to do-it-yourself is not recommended as any damage to the signage can void its warranty.

4. Check Previous Sign Projects

It pays off to check finished products previously done by the signage company for other clients. Should you feel that the product is not up to par with your standards, continue doing your hunt until you have found the company that suits your taste to get the job done well.

Never allow a second-rate signage represent your business. To ensure that you are not taken advantage of by scam signage companies, make it a habit of taking these tips into consideration in searching for the best manufacturer in your area.

Go on a Shopping Spree in Kansas City

If you are a shopaholic, Kansas City is surely going to be a paradise for you. Kansas City is known to be loved by shoppers from around the world since the city has a unique collection of various kinds of arts and crafts, jewellery, designer collections, apparels and footwear. The first outdoor shopping mall in the US was started here and that was just a beginning of the shopping revolution. Kansas City stores are filled with varied collections for different tastes. They have numerous items that you would love to take back home as souvenirs and if you are fond of collecting world arts, this city will truly amaze you.

Where to Shop

Kansas City shopping is filled with options for every shopaholic. You can go to local boutiques, beautiful shops, departmental stores, promotional stores, discount outlets and vintage stores that offer you a traditional shopping experience. If you want to spend a day understanding the shopping culture of this locality, you must visit The Country Club Plaza. It is the entertainment hub of the city and has everything you need to shop till you drop.

From designer labels, to local favourites, awesome accessories to fashionable apparels, you will find everything you need. With over 170 shops in this huge shopping plaza, it is no surprise that this is the most loved shopping destination here.

Few other places that offer an impeccable shopping experiences include the Oak Park mall, Zona Rosa, One Nineteen Leawood, Legends Outlets, Town Centre Plaza and many more.

Availing Discounts while Shopping

If you are a shopaholic, you will surely spend more money on shopping than you should. If you want to indulge in crazy shopping, Kansas City has a variety of discount stores where you can shop at affordable prices and take home much more in a small price. The Legends Outlets in Kansas City is a renowned discount shopping destination where you can get brands like Gap, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor and many more at reduced prices.

Feed your Mind, Body and Soul

Kansas City also has a number of malls that are all-inclusive. You can spend a complete day in the mall with shopping, indulging on delicious food, pampering yourself with spas and massages and enjoying a movie as well. With so many fun-filled activities along with shopping, it is truly going to be a day filled with happiness!

Shopping here is a complete experience filled with fashion, style, design, affordability and innovation. You will take home not just many shopping bags, but also a bag full of delightful memories.

Regaining Top Shape – The Benefits of a Tummy Tuck

Sometimes, no matter how much work you put into exercising, results just aren’t showing up in the intended fashion. This can become especially true for those who are a bit older, where fat deposits tend to find a solid resting place in the abdominal area. While this sort of trouble can impact both men and women, women who have undergone pregnancies are more likely to be experiencing the true frustration that comes along with wanting to lose weight, but feeling out of control when it comes to being able to actually make it work.

The good news is that there are a few different ways to get the help needed that will make diet and exercise seem to have a greater impact. One of the most common procedures in plastic surgery these days is actually a tummy tuck, which makes it possible to remove that excess fat. In addition to getting rid of the source of the problem, a tummy tuck can actually stretch the skin in a manner where there is less of a risk of experiencing any sort of drooping or sagging. This means that weight loss won’t have the unfortunate side effect of the appearance of extra skin, which can cause both men and women to think twice about sporting bare midriffs at the beach.

Whether you’re living in San Diego or Kansas City, a tummy tuck can do wonders towards improving self-confidence and making shopping for clothing easier. Since the look of a “beer gut” or chubby belly isn’t exactly what those on the dating scene might be looking for, despite what people tend to say about being open-minded, deciding to undergo the procedure can suddenly make it considerably easier to get out there and meet the right person. For women who are happily married but whose bodies are showing the wear of childbirth, the decision to get a tummy tuck can be to feel sexy again. After all of the strain of pregnancy, any woman who feels as though something as simple as a tummy tuck could reignite the flames of passion is more than justified in the decision to do something that boosts self-confidence.

It is important, when considering a tummy tuck, to remember that if there is more weight loss in the future, waiting on the procedure might be a better idea. This way, the final results will last longer and have more of an impact. Anyone else who is convinced that this is the right step on the path to a happier relationship with one’s body will find that a tummy tuck is definitely a helpful way to get things moving in the right direction.

Types of Storage Services

There are several types of storage services at Kansas City self-storage. When we say ‘types’, we not only point at the different types of services offered by a facility but also the different types of facilities that exist in this industry. The concept of storing has undergone several changes and up gradation.

It has seen remarkable improvement that is in the favor of end users. Though the shift has been gradual, there still exist the old-fashioned units. Whether it is a modern day unit or a traditional one, self storage has several advantages. Here, we shall discuss the importance and the shift in this industry from a simple storing facility to a technologically advanced facility.

Advantages Of Kansas City Self-Storage Services

Basic unit – As the name suggests, the basic unit provides limited facilities. These units may not have technologically advanced services or adopt fancy measures for enhancing the customer’s experience. They simply provide a facility for storing your belongings and their objective is very clear. They know the purpose of the facility and offer simple storing solutions. The unit may not offer privacy or confidentiality. The owner can access your unit or shift your belongings if the need arises. The unit is maintained with a simple lock and key system.

This method of storing may not have state of the art services but has one major advantage, i.e. low rental. The monthly rental charges at such Kansas City self-storage is a small amount. The facility provider can offer lower rates because there aren’t any overhead costs involved. The units are not fancy. They are not staffed well and do not have special security measures. They may not offer protection from theft or natural calamities etc. These are some of the disadvantages of a storage unit. Therefore, if you are looking for a unit to store your not so important or valuable items then an old-fashioned basic unit is good enough.

Advanced unit – As compared to the basic unit, an advanced Kansas City self-storage unit will have several facilities. For instance, it will be equipped with armed security guards, alarm systems, CCTV cameras, bio-metric card system etc. The unit will be staffed well and offer additional customer service through phone and internet. It will be accessible throughout the day or night unlike the basic unit that can be accessed only for few hours during the day. However, all these facilities will come at a premium cost; you have to pay a higher rental for such services.

State of the art unit – The advanced units have gone one-step ahead and offer technologically advanced services. There are several such state of the art facilities at Kansas City self-storage. For instance, the climate-controlled technology is a giant leap in this industry. Temperature controlled units will maintain an optimal temperature inside the unit to safeguard your belongings from humidity or weather damage. In fact, some of them will pump in dry air at regular intervals to ensure that the unit is free of humidity. Indeed, this industry has seen a lot of innovation and development.

Top 10 Fashion Designers on Earth

The fashion world is driven by some of the most inspiring and creative designers whose designs have been appreciated by all and sundry. Check out the top 10 fashion designers in the world, who have given a new dimension to the world of fashion.

Marc Jacobs

A top-notch American fashion designer, Marc is the head designer of famous brands Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs. Previously, he was the creative director of French design house Louis Vuitton and his designs turned Louis Vuitton into a fashion powerhouse from a luggage firm.

Kate Spade

If you love handbags, then Kate Spade is definitely your best friend. Born in Kansas, Kate started her journey in the fashion world by designing handbags and co-founded Kate Spade Handbags along with Joel Franklin in 1993. In 1996, she was awarded America’s New Fashion Talent in Accessories, for her designs by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Tom Ford

Tom Ford is not just a fashion designer, but also a movie director. Tom gained prominence after turning the fortunes of Gucci from near bankruptcy. After leaving Gucci, he launched his line of menswear, eye-wear and other accessories.

Donatella Versace

A noted Italian fashion designer, Donatella took the Versace Group to new heights after the death of her brother Gianni Versace. Donatella ensured that Versace has its presence in major fashion centers around the world. Presently, she is the Vice-President as well the chief designer of the Versace Group.

Valentino Garavani

Valentino started his career in 1959 when he established his own fashion house in Rome. Valentino became famous for designing dresses for Jacqueline Kennedy and since then he has designed clothes for many famous and powerful people.

Ralph Lauren

A legendary fashion designer, Ralph is best known for the Polo Ralph Lauren clothing brand. He is credited for inventing the first polo style logo for women’s suit that was designed around the men’s classic style. This became a rage and he is one of the first fashion designers to formulate the short sleeve shirt with the polo emblem.

Giorgio Armani

Giorgio has been in the fashion world for over four decades and he is known for his clean, tailored lines. He began his career as a window dresser and later shifted his focus to menswear. Giorgio is also known for his marketing skills in the fashion world.

Betsey Johnson

A famous American designer, Betsey is known for her feminine and whimsical designs. She designed her first line of clothes way back in 1970 and they became hugely popular among rock and roll musicians. She has also forayed into designing bags, accessories and scarves.

Karl Lagerfeld

Karl is a renowned German fashion designer, whose trademark high starched collars, black glasses and white hair make him easily recognizable in the world of fashion. Karl is also a well-known artist and photographer.

Jean Paul Gaultier

A famous French fashion designer, Jean served as the creative director of Hermès from 2003 to 2010. Apart from owning several labels, Jean has also licensed a line of perfumes in association with Puig.

Kansas Vital Records Can Replace Your Family’s Important Information

It’s not uncommon to experience a family tragedy and you lose much of your life’s belongings. Along with the loss of clothes, pictures, and furniture, documents like birth certificates or marriage licenses could be destroyed. Sometimes this information is kept in a safe, but not everyone is fortunate to have one in their home. This is why Kansas vital records is the place to go if you need information on your immediate family.

Only immediate family members can retrieve information like birth, death, marriage and divorce records. This protects the information from being used in an unlawful fashion and from people taking on new identities. Most of the records can be found at the state’s Department of Vital Statistics in Topeka, with records being kept up to 1911. The county clerk of courts may have information prior to this, so it’s worth a visit.

Another place to search for information prior to 1911 is the Kansas Historical Society and much of this is available to the public. However, if you’re in need of a new birth certificate, make sure you have all information in order proving your identity. The fastest way would be to visit the office in Topeka, but make sure you come prepared. A visit to their webpage or a quick phone call prior to coming may be helpful. If you request something via mail, it can take up to three days for a reply.

Pros:
* Walk-ins are acceptable and you may only have to wait 20 minutes.
* Kansas Historical Society is open to the public.

Cons:
* Only immediate family members can get information.
* Information from another state wouldn’t be available.

Don’t despair if vital documents are lost or destroyed in a tragedy, the Kansas vital records will be available to assist your family.