May 9, 2009 ... an impromptu ride was called for this weekend after a ride to the Gypsum Hills was canceled due to a period of substantial rain in that area. The Flint Hills had also received extensive rainfall the day before, but is an area that drains quickly, has better road surfaces, and would be far more rider friendly.

For those of us making the ride to Cassoday from Wichita, getting through the flooding in the flatlands was our biggest challenge. Several secondary roads had been closed due to flooding of creeks and rivers. The closed off roads required rerouting to other roads, where long water crossings were still required on several stretches. The morning before, the area had received torrential rainfall and hurricane force winds ... and the damage from both was quite evident.

Eleven riders, including our group of seven, made the rendezvous point in Cassoday: Don Morgan, Wichita - Triumph 900 Scrambler, Ken Clifford, Wichita - DR650, Dale Osborn, Wichita - KLR650, Darin Rafferty, Overland Park - WR250R, Phil Denk, KCMO - KLR650, Jason Buster, Wichita - KLR650, David McCune, Independence, MO - KLR650, Mike Keithly, Wichita - KLR650, Thurman Brittingham, Rose Hill - KLX250, RD Woolsey, Derby - KLR650, and Roger Baugh, Wichita - KLX250.

After fueling and a brief safety meeting, the group rode to the southeast and the 777 Ranch. Road conditions were fairly good, considering the washouts from the Spring storms. Despite the irregular and rutted road surfaces, we made good progress. A real treat was seeing the numerous wild mustang herds scattered throughout the ride area.

We turned north to Texaco Hill. The road leading to this ridge line was the most technical one of the day, with numerous water crossings and frequent loose surfaces to contend with. It was challenging at times, but still enjoyable for all. We then turned west on Madison Road and connected to Little Cedar Creek Road for a ride into Matfield Green and lunch.

Following lunch, four members of the group decided to try some solo routes or return home, while the remainder backtracked to Cassoday, taking-in the Teter Rock area as part of the return loop. We weren't disappointed with the view from the rock, hundreds of wild mustangs were seen to the south of the promontory point. Leaving Teter Rock, we rode to Cassoday, where riders refueled or loaded trailers for their return trips home.

It was a nice day to be out riding, despite cooler temperatures than those forecast. Technical challenges were higher than usual, but all riders came through just fine with no mechanical issues or mishaps.

Special thanks to Darin Rafferty for use of his telephoto shot of the wild mustangs ..... rb

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