Prairie fire near Bazaar, KS ...
April 4, 2004. It was a great day in the Flint Hills of Chase county. Our main rendezvous was Cassoday, KS ... home of the "Biker Breakfast". The day started out chilly ... but definitely became more tolerable as the day developed.

Steve Starkel led the Wichita-based riders right up to an abandoned Titan missile silo en route to Cassoday. It's now a quiet reminder of how things were in the sixties and seventies. The warning sign authorizing lethal force is still in place. We weren't about to test it.

We weren't alone in Cassoday! There were probably well over 500 motorcycles in town by the time we arrived. Our group was well represented. All told, we had twenty-two riders who made the off-highway ride ... and with a good number of "first time with BT Kansas" riders. A half-dozen or so BT Kansas riders also made it to Cassoday, but rode different routes from the main group. Three years ago, I rode solo to one of these events and did not find one dualsport rider there to ride with .... times are changing.

Making the main ride this day: Dan Mitchell - Chanute - DRZ400, Greg Mitchell - Emporia - DR350, Randall Snyder - Belle Plaine - KLR650, Steve Starkel - Wichita - Husqvarna TE610, Jeff Gilliland - Wichita - KLR650, Wil Locke - Derby - KTM 640 Adventure, Clinton Coon - Emporia - DR650, Tim Dermody - Wichita - KLR650, Don Tillotson - Ulyssses - KLR650, Bernard Smith - Hutchinson - KLX650, Scott Tillotson - Ellinwood - DRZ400, Dave Dixon - Derby - KLR650, Davey Dixon - Derby - KLR650, Allan Patton - Chase - XR250L, Gregg Armstrong - Wichita - XT550, Jeff Roth - Hutchinson - KTM 620 RXC, Dennis Murray - Conway Springs - KLR650, Jim Foley - Shawnee - R100GS, Tim North - Emporia - XR650L, Jeff Jelinek - Danville - Triumph Tiger, Craig Roth - McPherson - KLR650, and Roger Baugh - Wichita - KLR650. The last frames show our adopted mascot for the day ... "Chicken Jim", who showed real interest in Wil's KTM.

After breakfast, we rode to the east and Teter Rock. There were several sizeable wild horse herds to be seen. We then rode north to Texaco Hill, then through burning open range and numerous stream crossings to Cottonwood Falls. About the only thing we encountered frequently was livestock, and a slow and deliberate approach to the herds seemed to work best.

It was the Emma Chase Cafe for lunch. As always, lunch was great. We then left for Bazaar, and a ride down through the Sharpes Creek Valley. There we encountered the heaviest prairie fires. Eventually, we wound our way back to Matfield Green ... then south to Cassoday. We made a last rest stop in Cassoday, then split up for the rides home.

I showed about 225 miles on the tripmeter by the time I arrived home. Great day, great sights, great company! Thoroughly enjoyed it .... we'll have to do it again!

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