The Polk County Saddle-ites had about 28 riders from around the county and beyond out for their annual New Year’s Ride on Jan. 6. The riders met at Jerry Mentzer’s on Pedee Creek Road for the two-hour ride on trails that provided great scenery, although with the logging taking place by the Kovash’s, they started further up Pedee Creek Road than usual. They ended with a big campfire and potluck, with time for leisurely visiting on that beautiful sunny day.

Eric and Rebekah Schwanke traveled to a conference in Fremont, Calif., from Jan. 10-14 with their friends, the Russells, to see speakers that Eric and Rebekah met during their time in Mozambique with Iris Global ministries last summer. On the drive to California, the van suddenly began leaving an enormous cloud of white smoke just south of Ashland. It appeared the trip was over. However, a mechanic shop (conveniently situated next to a motel) adjusted their workload to make repairs on the van. It turned out to be a pleasant stay in Ashland, and the group was only a little late to the conference. They made it safely home on Sunday after driving through the night on Saturday. This was a new experience for Allana, Alex, and Abigail Russell, who had never attended an event like this before.

The Kings Valley Charter School coffee shop, Kings Crossing, which is run by the high school students in the school, wrapped up their shop at the end of the holidays and will reopen on March 31. It was an exciting place to be this year, with music, crafts and demonstrations during the Saturdays they were open. The students put in an impressive 279 volunteer hours to make it happen, with sophomore Bradley Davis going above and beyond by spending almost all of his Saturdays helping. Senior Robert Keep also put in a lot of hours as the assistant manager. Contact Jennie Wilder at jwilder@kv if you’d like to participate, as a vendor, musician, or demonstrator.

Correction: The men’s woodcutting crew at Pedee Church meets every third Saturday to cut wood, not the third Saturday of the month. Their next work day will be Saturday, Jan. 27, and will meet at the church at 8 a.m. for an opportunity to bless the community with firewood.

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