Man on cross-country walk stops for a visit in Mankato
Last Tuesday morning, residents of Jewell County may have seen
a walker pushing a three wheeled cart on Highway 28 between Randall
and Jewell. Later in the day the walker was traveling north of
Jewell on Highway 14, then on to Highway 36 west arriving at his
destination for the day at Deb and Dave Warnes in Mankato. Ben
Clagett, who's home is Colorado Springs, Colo., was the walker.
Why the Warnes? Ben is the nephew of Rita Snider, who is the wife of Tim Snider, Derby. Tim is the son of Vernon and Shirley Snider, Mankato, and sister of Deb Warne.
Ben started his walk in Virginia Beach April 4. His destination is San Francisco and his hopes are to be there by early to mid November.
"I hope my walk will inspire people to find more time for walking into their daily routine, thus Walk for 60," said Ben. Since leaving Virginia Beach, Ben has only been asked to speak at one organizational meeting and that was a meeting on Cystic Fibrosis.
Cross country treks are not new to Ben. He has cycled from Lawrence to Southern Florida, which is a 2,000 mile trip.
Ben's day starts between 6 and 8 a.m. each day. He will walk for two or three hours and then take a quick break. In the afternoon he walks and takes breaks as his body says to, depending on the heat. Miles walked in the rural areas is usually 20 to 30 miles a day simply because most towns are that far apart.
Ben checks the weather on his cell phone frequently and this is also a deciding factor in how far he plans to travel for the day.
Before he starts out in the morning on his next destination he usually contacts the police department for the approaching town to see if there is a city hall or park he would be able to stay in overnight, or even a back yard he could stay in. Sometimes, the only option is to sleep outside the city limits, which is what he does 15 to 20 percent of the time.
"Bad weather is also a contributing factor. So far my cell phone has been accurate and I have been able to be under cover when needed," he said.
In Lawrence Ben purchased a push three wheel cart to hold his tent, food, water and other belongs. The cart weighs around 40 pounds and his belongs weigh another 60 to 70 pounds which makes the total about 100 pounds he is pushing. Up until that point, all of this he had been carrying on his back but knew with the heat and the terrain ahead he would have to have something to assist him.
His daily water consumption is around two and a half gallons. His diet consist of oatmeal, granola, peanut butter, tuna, bananas, raisins, nuts sometimes. He does carry an umbrella that is used for shade when he is stopped and resting.
Ben carries around 12 pairs of socks of which five or six pairs are dress socks. His shoes are nothing special and range from running shoes to hiking shoes.
"As far as one brand of shoe being better than the other, none of them stick out for me. I will probably replace some of the shoes in Ft. Collins, Colo., in preparation for cold weather. Since leaving Virginia Beach I am on my second pair of hiking boots now," said Ben.
Bad encounters with animals and traveling vehicles have been pretty minimal.
"When I see a vehicle coming I try to get over to give them as much room to go by as possible. In Kansas I have been honked at to get off the road a couple of times," said Ben.
As far as animal encounters, in Kentucky he was a sleep in his tent that was located 30 to 40 yards away from a creek and during the night he heard sounds, a low meow, so he started yelling, telling whatever it was to "get out of here" and it left. He thinks it probably was an elk as there were signs along the creek.
When not walking Ben's job back in Colorado Springs is in the service industry, restaurant.
Ben stayed with Deb and Dave all day Wednesday and visited with his aunt, Rita. Thursday he left for Smith Center as his next stopping point. His travel will continue on west taking Highway 34 north to Ft. Morgan, over to Ft. Collins, and then on north into Wyoming.
On Ben's business card it states his name, facebook page, phone number and the following saying. "Walk with purpose, walk with passion, walk to reconnect with yourself and your community."
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Young man from
Wales visiting local area
For the past month, Ieuan Thomas, 21, Swansea, Wales, has been a houseguest of Deb and Mike Worm, Jillian and Lenden, Webber.
Ieuan came to the United States through the IFYE (I'll Follow You Everywhere) program. Jillian found out about the program through the FFA chapter at Superior High School, where she is a student. The family started inquiring about being a host to a girl around Jillian's age, but by the time they decided to do this there were no more girls available, so the Worms decided they would probably not be chosen to host. Then came a phone call asking if they would host a young gentleman from Wales instead.
Ieuan found out about the offer to tour Kansas through an organization he has been a member of for the last six years, Young Farmers Society.
"FFA is not offered in Wales, but we have the Young Farmers Society and it was through them that this trip was offered. There were other states offered and when I went for my interview I got Kansas and so here I am for three months," said Ieuan.
During his three months stay he will visit with host families from White City, which they were his first host family; the Worms in Webber; and then he goes to Scott County and he couldn't remember where the last host family is from. Each family will be a host for three weeks.
Ieuan arrived in the United States by airplane, stepping onto the U.S. soil in Kansas City.
"This was my first time to fly and the trip took 10 hours to get to Kansas City. It was long and boring. I had a middle seat so I couldn't see out the windows. We were in Kansas City for an hour and a half," said Ieuan.
From Kansas City, the "tourists" were sent to Atlanta, Ga., for five days of orientation. Through this same program there are a total of five individuals now visiting in Kansas from Germany, Taiwan, Austria, Scotland, and Ieuan from Wales. The visitors from Scotland and Taiwan are girls.
What surprised him about Atlanta? "The people. It is a black culture like London. People were carrying guns. In Wales guns are allowed but they are not carried. In Wales there are no pistols. If guns are owned they are bolt action rifles, or maybe a shotgun," said Ieuan.
From Atlanta he was sent back to Kansas City where he was met by his first host family who lived around White City in the Flint Hills.
"I am surprised at how flat the state of Kansas is. So far what I have seen some of the state is really flat and some of it is not," said Ieuan.
So far Ieuan has experienced several new things. One of his highlights being attending a Kansas City Royals baseball game, which he enjoyed. With the Worm family he got to see the hustle bustle it takes to get ready for and attend a county fair.
"Fair has been fun, even the preparation. Fair is all new to me. I have never done anything like this before. While at the fair I have actually shown beef, swine, sheep, even goats and I can say I don't like the goats," said Ieuan. Following the fair the Worms have a multitude of places and things to go to and Ieuan will accompany them.
Ieuan lives with his parents, two sisters and a brother on the family farm in the south of Wales. He is the oldest child. They have 90 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle and 40 sheep. The dairy cows are milked with machine milkers which can milk four at a time. The beef cattle raised are Limousine, Charolais, Belgian blue with the most popular breed being Limousine. The beef cattle are picked up and taken to a slaughtering house or a mart, which is a sale barn to us. Calving for the Thomas family is done during the winter months. The cattle are fed a mixture of cake, calf nuts (feed), barley and silage. Barley is the only crop raised and is used by the Thomases themselves.
The Thomases also have a farm shop where they sell cauliflower, cabbage, carrots and potatoes.
"Our farm shop used to be a lot larger, 20 or so years ago, but the super stores have taken over so not much now is raised," said Ieuan.
Ieuan works as a mechanic for a Massey Ferguson dealership, where his work day consists of five and a half hours. Then he goes home and works on the family farm. At the age of 17, he left school.
"You take an exam and at the end of the year, at age 16, and if you score high enough you can leave school. Then they can go on to a college which usually lasts two or three years. That is what I did. Then you can go on to a university, which is what my sister is doing, to be a veterinarian," said Ieuan.
There are several things alike between the United States and Wales and of course several things are different. Day temperatures are about the same as here but their is no humidity. What Ieuan has seen of the U.S. it is more flat and the food is different. It is sugary, rich. Even though they raise beef cattle that are sent to slaughter, the Thomases' meat is purchased at a mart, butcher shop. A typical supper meal for the Thomas family will consist of mashed potatoes, fried or baked sausage and beans.
"I can't believe how much peanut butter is eaten here. We eat peanut butter, but not like in the United States, pancakes, toast, cookies, cakes, crackers, celery," said Ieuan.
Wales has lots of Indians. Meanings of words are different. Some of them are a sweatshirt is a jumper, tennis shoes are trainers, a semi is a lori. All vehicles are small. Diesel and gasoline are cheap in the U.S., $2.55 a gal., opposed to $7 or $8 a gal. in Wales.
Ieuan says he doesn't have a lot of spare time but when he does he likes to motor bike, rock climb, swim in pools or the sea, walk, and enjoys his time in the Young Farmers Club.
"The first Saturday of Kansas State Fair in September, all the host families and Ieuan are supposed to get together for one last time before he leaves," said Mike Worm.
At the end of his stay in Kansas Ieuan will not be returning to Wales directly. "When my tour is over I will be going to Kentucky for one month where I will be visiting some of my family that lives in the states," said Ieuan. Ieuan and his father are the only family members to have come to the United States for a visit.
County board interviewing candidates for solid waste position
The Jewell County Commissioners met Monday with Mark Fleming,
Steve Greene and Dwight Frost present. Carla Waugh, county clerk,
was also present.
The commissioners conducted office head meetings. The following were present for the meeting: Chris Petet, custodian; Gail Bartley, noxious weed director, emergency preparedness director and 911 coordinator; Jenae Ryan, district extension agent; and Anna Standley, register of deeds.
Gail Bartley said he attended training July 17. He will attend the Regional Homeland Security Council meeting in Beloit this week. Gail reported the county is on the list for upgrading radio equipment. He said he has been busy spraying for the weed department.
Jenae Ryan thanked everyone who attended the fair. She said they are finalizing all the 4-H fair paper work. She said she has been busy looking at trees, lawns and gardens.
Chris Petet said the garage is scheduled to be installed this week.
Carla Waugh discussed the new phone system installation.
Steve Greene said he attended the juvenile detention center meeting, hospital board meeting and strategic planning meeting. He said the county budget hearing will be Aug. 10 at 10 a.m.
Mark Fleming said he also attended the hospital board meeting and strategic planning meeting. This concluded the office head meeting.
Carla Waugh had a letter of support for the DVAK grant application. Mark Fleming moved to sign the letter of support for the Domestic Violence Association grant application.
The commissioners convened in executive session for 10 minutes to discuss non-elected personnel with Carla Waugh present. No action resulted
Joel Elkins, general superintendent, reported on maintenance. Commissioners reported several road concerns. Joel said they started patching asphalt on the Hardy road.
The commissioners discussed the quote from Pierce Electronics for new radios with Sheriff McEntire, who requested an executive session to discuss non-elected personnel. The commissioners were in executive session for five minutes to discuss non-elected personnel with McEntire and Waugh present. No action was taken at this time.
The commissioners also met in special session Tuesday to interview candidates for the solid waste director position.
Sam's Place to host celebration in place of Esbonfest
The annual Esbonfest celebration, normally held the first few
weeks of August, will not be held this year. Sam's Place, located
in Esbon, will be hosting a celebration during the Esbonfest time
Saturday, Aug. 8, Sam's Place, will start out the day with a poker run. Registration will be held between 10 and 11 a.m. All bikes, in fact all vehicles, are welcome to participate. The route will include the towns of Smith Center, Downs, Tipton, Cawker City, Ionia and back to Esbon, for a total of 115 miles.
A horse shoe tournament will be held in the afternoon Saturday. It is being suggested that registration be completed by 1 p.m. Because of the large turn out in the past at Sam's Place horse shoe tournaments, there will be two pits available. The actual tournament will be starting at 2:30 p.m.
During the afternoon there will also be live bands playing.
A hog roast is planned for the evening meal. Serving will start around 5:30 p.m. and probably run until around 7 p.m.
Kicking off the evening's entertainment will be the band, "One Horse Town," from Kearney. This band will be playing classic rock and country music.
Weather permitting, all of the Sam's Place activities will be held in the beer garden located at the back side of the facility. Door prizes will be offered all afternoon.
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