January 31, 2009 ... three riders ventured out into the central Flint Hills region. Temperatures were in the mid-twenties at dawn, but by mid-afternoon it would reach the low-seventies. Making today's ride ... Bill Klein, Hutchinson - GS1150, Ken Clifford, Wichita - DR650, and Roger Baugh, Wichita - KLR650. We did happen to meet up with fellow rider Jeff Gilliland twice today, as he was doing some solo scouting in some of the same areas we were riding.

Our route would utilize both tarmac and gravel, in order to get quickly to the prime riding areas. Of course, riding little-used tarmac like Thunder Road with all it's nice curves made it most pleasant! After a quick fueling in Augusta, it was south to Bois d'Arc, and the iron bridge crossing the Walnut River.

Leaving Bois d'Arc, we rode east to Latham, then onward to the Green Ranch overlook. Riding to the northeast we enjoyed a small water crossing, then looping back west, we entered the Beaumont wind farm. The Beaumont Hotel is practically deserted this time of year (Beaumont is technically a ghost town), and the cafe is closed until March, so there were no vittles today in Beaumont.

As the day held only a couple more hours of sunlight by the time we reached Beaumont, we decided to sprint back to Wichita and Hutchinson using the main highway ... and the 40 mph crosswind made the ride interesting! The wind was a blessing when it came to all the dust we were kicking up earlier, though.

For what is normally the worst month of Winter, no complaint about this day from these three riders! Give us some more Winter days like this, please!

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