April 26, 2008 - The Cowley County Bridge Tour Ride. Our objective: find as many arched stone bridges in Cowley County as the day would allow.

We had twenty individuals make this tour on sixteen motorcycles and one chase vehicle. Traveling the greatest distance to make this ride was Ty Wood, Eagan, MN - KTM LC4 Adventure. Mark and Ticia Trible of Maize rode their trusty Ural sidecar. Jerry & Ro Valdez of Marquette doubled-up on a KLR650. Ken Clifford, Wichita - KLR650, RD Woolsey, Derby - KLR650, Brian Wise, So. Hutchison - KLR650, Jeff Jelinek, Danville - Triumph Tiger, Randy Snyder, Belle Plaine - KLR650, Fred Mays, Wichita - DR-Z400, Bill Emond, Wichita - DR350, Dennis Murray, Conway Springs - DR-Z400, Doug Bump, Wichita - DR650, Leon Sevart, Wichita - XT600, Bob Morgan, Topeka - DR-Z400, Larry Ostrom, Concordia - KLR650, and Roger Baugh, Wichita - KLR650 were the solo riders. Jeff Gilliland, Wichita - BMW 1200GS, joined us for breakfast and rode with us through the Beaumont wind farm before returning home to other commitments.

The day started out chilly, but became very comfortable as the day wore on. Breakfast was enjoyed at the Beaumont Hotel before starting our run into the wind farm south of town, then we rode further south into the Grouse Creek watershed. Most of the bridges would be found along Grouse Creek ... with the others located along Timber Creek, Silver Creek, and Badger Creek. We had hoped to see at least ten turn-of the-past-century stone arched bridges ... and were fortunate enough to locate nine of them. The colors were vivid ... from the black/gray hues of recently burned prairie land, to the emerald green of emerging bluestem and other grasses, all highlighted with the pinkish red tint of thousands of redbud trees in full bloom.

We took a mid-day fuel and meal stop in Burden and a few of us opted for the "special" at the local cafe. That serving could have actually fed four of me! After lunch, we continued our tour to the south and west of Dexter, eventually winding our way into Winfield via the Cup and Saucer hill ranch country.

Great ride today, and with no mishaps. The ride leader did pick up a nail on the way home requiring a repair, but that was the only known mechanical issue of the day ... rb

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