April 18, 2009 ... The Redbud Ride. Twenty riders decided to throw caution to the wind as far as rain and storm forecasts and make the journey to Beaumont, KS. There were no storms, remarkably no wind, lots of misty fog ... and plenty of prairie, valleys and hills to see and ride.

Making today's ride: Dan Mitchell, Chanute - KLR650, RD Woolsey, Derby - KLR650, Thurman Brittingham, Rose Hill - KLX250, Steve Shunk, Olathe - KLX250, David McCune, Independence, MO - KLR650, Ryan Combs, Lees Summit, MO - KLR650, Nolan Fisher, Little River - DR-Z400, Mike Bright, Petrolia - KLR650, Ireland Turner, El Dorado - KLR650, Dwight Sawatzki, McPherson - KLR650, Jason Buster, Wichita - KLR650, Dwayne Sawatzky, Inman - KLX300, Tina Sawatzky, Inman - CRF230, Scott Shirkey, Wichita - KR650L, Ron Dolocek, Wichita - XR650L, Glen Krause, Emporia - KLR650, Mike Keithly, Wichita - KLR650, Daniel Anderson, Kearney, MO - DR650, John Anderson, Kansas City, MO - Super Sherpa, and Roger Baugh, Wichita - KLR650.

We gathered at the Beaumont Hotel for their $5 special breakfasts and ate heartily. Many riders had braved cool temperatures, rain and fog to get to the rendezvous point, so carb replenishment was a must!

We rode south through the wind farm and found 100 fourteen-story turbines completely motionless, a rare experience. Turning east down Cisco Road, we rode through one valley and rise after another. The prairie had been fired within the past week or two, and the smell of damp, burned grass was everywhere. We surprised a small herd of 6-8 white tail deer, and had the pleasure of watching them run a quarter mile or more across open range.

Not wishing to tempt fate with the weather forecast, the decision was made to ride an abbreviated route that would take us to the Green Ranch overlook, then southeast and on to Howard, KS for fuel and more carbohydrates. While in Howard, we took some time to visit the whimsical park located just off Hwy. 99. As you can see, motorcycles are both a popular theme as well as source of parts for the sculptures!

We rode a varied reverse route back to Beaumont, where the riders split-up to make their ways home. It turned out to be a delightful day of sightseeing in the Flint Hills. No mechanical issues or personal mishaps of any kind, and a good time was had by all! .... rb

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