March 5, 2006 ... Two riders, Tracy Ropp - Goddard - KTM 640 Adventure, and Roger Baugh - Wichita - KLR650, made the ride to Cassoday to enjoy an afternoon in the central Flint Hills.

Our arrival in Cassoday was met with an impromptu gathering of a hundred or so V-Twin owners ... with black and chrome being the predominant color schemes, and the sound of straight pipes splitting the air. No other dualsport riders were present to recruit, so we made our stop brief.

We decided to run north on highway K-177 a few miles to Matfield Green, where we turned east. Reaching Sharpes Creek Road, we turned north toward Bazaar and open range riding. We encountered a good number of cattle, and being yearlings, they had no clue as to what to do about motorcycle riders. We had calves darting away, running straight at us, or sprinting between us. When close to the herds, we kept our speed to a crawl, just in case 400-500 lbs. of beef decided to try a bounce test.

When we reached Bazaar, our way was blocked by a slow moving train ... after ten minutes of slow procession, the engineer decided to stop on the crossing, completely barring our way. A local woman was kind enough to volunteer information about a nearby storm culvert that could be used to pass under the tracks. So, we rode under the tracks through a short section of water and mud, then continued our ride into Cottonwood Falls from the southwest. Coming up Den Creek Road, we were treated to the sight of a half dozen white-tailed deer in full stride and running parallel with us.

We made it to the Emma Chase Cafe in Cottonwood Falls just in time before closing. As always, the food and conversation were well enjoyed. Leaving Cottonwood Falls, we rode to the east, then south through more open rangeland towards the ghost town of Elco. Working our way west, we eventually made our way back to Matfield Green. The sun was starting to appear fairly low in the west, so we boogied the 70-odd miles back to Wichita in good order.

Great scenery, great riding conditions. What more could a backroads rider want?

..... rb

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