Approx. 18 miles east of Matfield Green, KS
April 13, 2003 .... a fantastic day in the Flint Hills. We had it all ... blue skies, water crossings, wind, fire .... and the first signs of green in the hills.

Nineteen riders made the rendezvous in Cassoday: J.L. Riedel of Salina rode his KLR650, Tim North of Emporia had his Yamaha TT250 along for the ride, Shawn Gowing of Lawrence was riding a DRZ400, Gary Ulitchny of Stilwell rode his KLR250, Dennis Gowing of Lecompton brought his DR650E, Tim Edwards from Topeka rode his KLR650, Mike Bender of Ottawa entertained us with his KTM 640 Adventure, Greg Mitchell of Emporia rode his immaculate Honda TransAlp, Jim Doyle of Overbrook rode his DR650, Mike Bailey of Emporia was riding his KLR650, Troy Dall of Emporia had his DRZ400 along, Kraig Bailey of Emporia had his XL350 along, Bernard Smith traveled a good distance from Hutchinson on his XL350 to join-up with us, The "Prez" .. Tom Harmon from Durham rode in on his KLR650, David Hemphill of Lawrence rode his trusty DR650, Joe Blanchard of Carbondale rode his "wheel lofting" KLR650, Roger Baugh of Wichita came in on his KLR650, along with Steve Prewitt of Wichita on his KLR650. Kenny Houk rode up from Wichita on his Harley to visit with the group. Hoping we see him on a dualsport soon!

After a quick planning & route meeting, We rode west and north out of Cassoday to loop into Matfield Green from the west. East of Matfield Green, we rode down into a creek valley for a little playtime.

Our route took us east towards Elco. Along the way, we literally had a "baptism by fire" when we had to ride close to a range burn (see photos below). It got hot quickly! A little further east, part of the group split off to ride northeast back towards to Emporia, while the main group turned south to ride along the Fall River valley to Eureka. (is this where we lost you, Gary?)

Great eats in Eureka .... a fine buffet at a great price for us "city boys". We bid adieu to Bernard, who would take pavement back to Hutchinson, and to Greg, who needed to make an appearance at home. The rest of us rode to the northwest towards Cassoday, and through the huge 777 Ranch rangeland.

After nearly 125 miles of dirt road, the remaining group arrived back in Cassoday. A number of us still had upwards of 100 miles of riding before home, but there was still plenty of daylight remaining to finish the day in good form.

No mechanical problems, no flats, no mishaps. Doesn't get much better than this ....

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