April 23, 2006 ... The spur of the moment plan was to ride the southern Flint Hills of Butler, Elk, and Cowley counties. After putting out the call on the BT Kansas bulletin board the day before, we had a group of two .... Mike Weddle - Wichita - KLR650, and Roger Baugh - Wichita - KLR650.

We met in east Wichita and became acquainted, then decided to saddle up and ride to Augusta to make our only fuel stop for the day. The plan originally called for riding south to Bois D'Arc out of Augusta. However, as we were coming out of the gas station, a flight of KTM950s and KLR650s thundered by and heading east on US54. Thinking they may be riders I knew, we attempted to catch them with a two minute start penalty ... but never gained sight of the pack again.

Oh well ... breakfast in Beaumont sounded good, so we continued eastward until we arrived at this unique town. Props were everywhere ... either mounted to the Cessnas, Pipers, and homebuilt airplanes on main street ... or on the hundred-odd wind generators immediately to the south.

After a great $5 breakfast and lengthy conversations with pilots and other road riders, Mike and I decided to try to get as close to the wind turbines as possible ... and we did. After one photo-op stop, I stabbed the KLR's "go" button and nothing happened but the sound of a "click". Talk about a sinking feeling! We were on a flat incline, gravity wouldn't help on a push start. Out came the tools, off came the side panels and seat. Loosened, then reseated the battery terminals ... and I had fire again. Forgot to grease the terminals when I put in a new battery a couple months back ... will do so before the next ride!

We then rode south to Latham, then east to the overlook east of the Green Ranch. Working our way south, we entered open range land and continued southward to Grenola. Interesting to see how little of the hills have been fired, compared to the central Flint Hills.

We then entered Cowley county and rode up into the Ferguson Ranch area, then westward to the stone bridge over the Grouse Creek. Not forgetting our original plans, we then rode on to Atlanta, and then to the ghost towns of Clay Center, Smileyburg, and ... Bois D'Arc. The 1885 iron bridge and post office at Bois D'Arc is always great to return to and reflect back on much older times.

From there ... a quick sprint up to Augusta and a cool refreshment at the DQ. Fully refreshed, we headed back to Wichita and home. About 175 miles for the day .... and a pleasant one at that!

..... rb

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