Riders at a point north of Beaumont, KS
April 26, 2003 .... the Flint Hills are starting to turn emerald green again, and already the purple dames rocket wildflowers are in bloom.

Ten riders started out for Beaumont, KS from Wichita, Emporia, and Olathe. Unfortunately, Don Morgan was experiencing cooling system issues with his KTM, and decided to turn around and head home rather than tempt fate. We also had a number of friends on street machines rendezvous with us in Beaumont .... Joe Williams of Wichita rode his Suzuki Bandit 1200, Mr. & Mrs. Dan Mitchell of Chanute rode in on Dan's brilliant blue GoldWing. Greg Hansen from Wichita also rode in on his GoldWing, and Kraig Bailey from Emporia rode in on his KZ1000 with a few friends on potent sport bikes.

Making up the dualsport group: Jim Robinson of Olathe on his KTM LC4 Adventure, Tim Millis of Olathe also rode a KTM Adventure. Bill Dolski from Olathe had his BMW F650 along, as did Jim Shepherd of Emporia. Wil Locke of Wichita rode his converted Honda XR650, and Tim North of Emporia was riding a Honda XR650L. Jeff Gilliland and Roger Baugh of Wichita rode in on KLR650s, as did Dennis Murray from Conway Springs.

Great $5 breakfast at the Beaumont Hotel! This was the first time many of us had seen the hotel since its' recent reopening. Impressive. We also made it our lunch stop at the end of the ride and enjoyed viewing a number of antique Fords that had come up for a rally.

Not one bike stayed clean on this ride! We rode north up Tallgrass Road west of Beaumont to the Koch ranch area just south of Reece. We then worked our way south and east back towards Piedmont. Road conditions were sloppy at times from recent rains, and we had a good number of water crossings to negotiate. Everyone did just fine, and we were rewarded with finding a triple arch stone bridge about seven miles northwest of Piedmont.

We ended up riding a little more than seventy miles of dirt road sections. Coupled with the distance riders came in from, it meant anywhere from 200 to 400 miles today for the individual riders.

As the photos show, a superb day in the south-central Flint Hills!

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