Sunday, May 19, 2002 marked our first of the season ride into the Gypsum Hills of Barber county. The day started out cool and overcast. By the time we reached our destination, the sun had emerged and the temperatures were very comfortable.

Six riders began the day at the start point in Danville, KS: Tom Harmon - Kawasaki KLR650, Steve Prewitt - Kawasaki KLR650, Jeff Jelinek - Kawasaki KLR650, Tom Hamby - KTM 640 LC4, Mike LeMasters - Kawasaki KLR650, and Roger Baugh - Kawasaki KLR650.

We traveled by secondary highway to Kiowa, KS - ten miles from our off-highway start point. In Kiowa, we lost one of our riders, Mike LeMasters, to a cut in his front tire. Mike was able to quickly arrange transport for himself and his KLR back to Wichita and urged us to continue without delay. The last section of pavement also revealed another interesting and sobering fact. Rattlesnakes were seen soaking up the early morning sun along the highway, so we tended to be a little more cautious each time we dismounted and explored an area on foot.

We rode numerous roads by GPS points, and were constantly delighted by the scenery found. We made a stop at the Lodi, KS cemetary (pioneer community no longer in existence) ... and were reminded of the high mortality rate in the late 1800s for children and middle aged women.

We decided to make a run up to Sun City, KS to visit the only place in this very small community that served food .... Buster's. Upon arrival, the owner emerged to inform us that the establishment was closed ... but that she would have her daughter and friends (who were preparing for high school graduation) cook lunch for us. We were very thankful .... the next closest eatery was twenty-five miles away, and we were very hungry!

On the return to Danville, Jeff led us through the backroads of Barber and Harper counties, and gave us some interesting background information on the communities and landmarks in the area. Jeff's wife, Jeannie, prepared a delicious dinner for us ... and then it was a short hour's ride home just as the sun was setting.

Another fantastic day out on the backroads of Kansas. We will return here in September, so mark your calendars!

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