May 28, 2005 ... Memorial Day Weekend. The past few weekends I had been staying close to home in order to sell my street bike. It finally sold ... and now I was free to get out and explore some backroads again. I also thought to do a solo ride, something I haven't had much time for the past few years.

Pulled up the digital maps and laid out a route that would include northern Butler and Greenwood counties and southern Chase county, primarily in an area that radiused about ten miles from the ghost town of Burkett. Most of this area would be "virgin territory" for me.

Before leaving civilization, slapped on a liberal amount of chigger repellent. Some photos require wading through tall grass to get the right perspective, and I didn't want hungry hitchikers along for the ride!

Taking backroads out of Wichita, I wound my way up numerous creek and river valleys to Cassoday, KS. The winter wheat, which has provided a welcome green color all through the cold months, is now starting to turn amber. Alfalfa fields are coming into full bloom, and are providing their unmistakably sweet scent. Wildflowers are prolific this Spring, and we should be in for quite a colorful showing all through the Summer and into Fall.

Although I had maps and my trusty Garmin GPS with me, I used the references sparingly once I reached the hills ... preferring to "dead reckon" most of the day. Was treated to several challenging two-track sections in the area around Burkett, and the KLR managed to thread along some minimum and no maintenance sections in good fashion.

I traveled a little over 200 miles today, mostly on dirt, gravel, and rock roads. Everyone else must have been on asphalt, as I encountered less than half a dozen cars and trucks the entire day.

Looking forward to my next visit to the Flint Hills, so much more to see and enjoy
.... Roger Baugh

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