The late October morning was cold and overcast. Not a promising start. Still, intrepid Kanzans Elaine Giessel and Richard Voss arrived early at the TimberRidge Adventure Center in western Johnson County to set up for the first annual Kanza Day. Their efforts and optimism soon paid off as the sky cleared and the sun warmed the day.
The Kanza Group sponsored this low-impact outing so members and their families and friends could enjoy a day of nature walks, boating, archery, good food, and great company. There was even an on-leash dog hike, which several furry Sierrans and their two-legged companions enjoyed.
TimberRidge proved to be a great location, with canoes and paddle boats, scenic hiking paths, and a comfortable shelter with a great fireplace. As the sun neared the treetops in the west and cast a golden glow on the lake, ExCom members Frank Drinkwine and Mike Miller fired up the grills for bison burgers and hot dogs. Soon everyone enjoyed the generous bounty of potluck dishes spread along the serving tables.
Some members were lucky enough to go home with new Sierra Club backpacks, T-shirts, and water bottles as door prizes.
Also participating was local camping store, Backwoods.
This event was free to members and guests and made possible, in part, thanks to a generous gift by Kanza ExCom member and Outings Chair, Bob Fritsch.
As night fell and the fire died, a small group remained for a nighttime owl hike, led by Elaine Giessel. The group didn’t hear any owls, though the hike was rewarding in other ways. Finally, when only Elaine and Richard remained, who’d arrived first that morning, and stillness had fallen over the lake, they heard them—two great horned owls, hooting across the lake, a reward for their efforts, a sign that nature persists and Earth abides.
By Bob Sommer, Kanza Group Chair