June 3-4, 2006 ... The 2nd Annual Flint Hills Stampede!

We had 47 riders gather from six states to make the annual ride based out of Council Grove, KS. Most riders elected to arrive on Friday, either by trailer or by riding in. Six KLR riders rode up from Wichita, while two BMW riders rode the distance from Pueblo, Colorado. One intrepid KTM LC4 adventurer rode the entire 575 miles from his home in Minnesota.

Saturday morning, we ran five groups through technical conditions ranging from mild to wild. The groups rode into the gnarly two tracks of Wabaunsee county, or the wide open vistas of Morris, Chase, and Greenwood counties.

Luc Valentin, Larry McGillivary, and David Hemphill led twenty-one riders on an advanced rider route. We split into three groups, with one group riding the route in the reverse direction. Most of the rides explored the backroads of Wabaunsee county. We traversed over as many low maintenance roads as possible, with as many creek crossings as we could find. Lunch for each group was in Alma, KS. Highlights were Box Turtle Road, Little Egypt Road, and a long low maintenance section north of Eskridge. We stopped in Hessdale, once a thriving cattle railroad station. Prairie flowers were at their peak this year, along with beautiful green range land. Our route was approximately 165 miles in total.

The intermediate group led by Greg Mitchell left Council Grove and headed on a easterly course toward the town of Dunlap. We took a neat little minimum maintenance road (Road CC) just south of Dunlap) that led us over to beautiful Lake Kahola. From there, we went west on minimum maintenance roads then doubled back towards Emporia. We took one of my favorite roads (is it a road or not-still between the fences!) over to a friend's farm house. We then headed toward Saffordville and that is when Britt had a front flat on his KTM. After a fairly quick pit-stop (just pulled the tube out of the rim with the tire still on) with a tube patch, we were underway again when Britt's tire went down again. So, we pulled into the Saffordville School (abandoned) yard under a big old elm tree and installed a new tube that had been "slimed" to the max! We then proceeded to Emporia for lunch at the Wagon Wheel. After lunch, we headed out of Emporia to the west and took minimum maintenance roads over to the giant stone-lined driveway west of Olpe. We then proceeded west to Camp Creek, then to the big overlook just west of Camp Creek. Due to time constraints, we had to head back to Council Grove. We took Sharpes Creek road to just north of Bazaar, then went through Strong City and Cottonwood Falls just after the rodeo parade ended. People were still lined up on the side of the road and we gave them a good show. We headed back to Council Grove on highway 177 with a few sorties out into the minimum maintenance gravel roads, and then used the highway back to town. A great ride with a great group of guys!!

Roger Baugh led a scenic ride into Morris, Chase and Greenwood counties. Our first stop was Diamond Springs, a historical area dating to the 1850s Santa Fe Trail era. We then proceeded to try out some technical two track sections west of the springs into higher elevations, much to everyone's satisfaction. Rolling south down the Diamond Creek Road to Bummies Grocery Store in Elmdale, we paused for liquid refreshments. From Elmdale, the group rode west to Camp Wood YMCA, then on to the ghost town of Clements where we visited the arched stone bridge found there. We then rode south to Coyne Creek, and followed the minimum maintenance road, eventually ending up in Bazaar. Riding south along the Sharpes Creek road, we entered open range and encountered several large herds of yearling cattle. We continued working our way across open range to the ghost town of Teterville, then rode a little further to the Teter Rock overlook. It was great .... hundreds of wild mustangs could be seen from our vantage point. From Teter Rock, we rode west to Cassoday and enjoyed a late lunch at the Cowboy Cafe. Running north on pavement because of the time remaining in the day, we entered Strong City just in time to become part of the large Strong City Rodeo Parade .... purely unintentional, but colorful and entertaining nonetheless! From Strong City ... a quick thirty minute sprint back to our main camp in Council Grove. In addition to close encounters with cattle on open range and wild mustangs at a distance, we also shared the road with a deer, badger, and several vultures .... never a dull moment!

Regardless the route, everyone returned to camp with a smile on their face ... and not too many scratches or bruises!

Saturday evening, we enjoyed a scrumptious BBQ dinner, followed by an award of door prizes. With the dealer and private support donations we received prior to the event, every rider came out a winner!

Sunday was a day of impromptu riding, and many took advantage of the great weather to explore the beauty of the Flint Hills even further.

Our event sponsors this year were:
Motorsports Honda/Kawasaki/Moto Guzzi - Wichita, KS Shrout's Powersports - Osage City, KS
Flatland Racing - Emporia, KS Joe Hackney (XR-Nut) - Sabetha, KS
Jeff & Jeanne Jelinek - Danville,KS
We very much appreciate their support!

Special thanks to: Rick Lyda, Troy Wolf, Brady Allensworth, Branden Faust, and Luc Valentin for use of their photos .....
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