Near Alma, KS
June 22, 2003 riding the colorful and little traveled roads of Wabaunsee county. We started the day in Council Grove for an early breakfast. This ride would be our largest BT Kansas group ride to date, with twenty riders participating.

One of the first riders to arrive was Jim Foley and a couple of his friends. Although his friends would return to Kansas City, this day was the beginning of four weeks on the road for Jim and his big BMW R1100 GS ...with Alaska as his destination. Good adventures, Jim! Also joining us for breakfast was Dennis Gowing and his wife, arriving on their BMW touring machine for a day of paved touring.

The off-highway, and minimum maintenance road tour was led by Tim Edwards of Topeka and his KLR650. Seroj Terian of Overland Park arrived on his KLR650. Greg Mitchell of Emporia rode his DR350. James Shepherd of Emporia cruised in on his BMW 1150GS. Dave Dixon rode up from Derby on his KLR650. Roger Baugh and Steve Prewitt of Wichita both rode up on their KLR650s, and were joined by Dave enroute. Tom Hamby, KTM 640 LC owner, and Joe Williams, XT350 rider both came up from Wichita. John Desch made the ride in from Topeka on his XR650L. Sean Noll came the furthest distance, bringing his KLR650 in from St. Louis, MO. Tim North rode his XR650L in from Emporia. Todd Shumaker of Netawka rode down on his DR650. Mark Riggin, fresh from a four-corner ride of Kansas, rode in from Topeka on his XR650L. Chris Greenhoot from Lawrence rode his KTM LC4 RXC, and was sporting the latest in Garmin GPS gear. Richard Mason of Topeka arrived on his KTM LC4. Terry Fleming of Tecumseh was ready to roll on his KTM RXC400. Kenneth Meyer rode up from Goddard on his KLR650. David Hemphill rode over from Lawrence on his DR650. David Hodges also rode from Lawrence on his XR650L. Cruising in from Holton on his DRZ400, complete with his custom designed seat, was Rob Lux.

Despite some very technical sections, we had no mechanical problems or flats. Muddy conditions surprised a few riders with impromptu dismounts, but there were no damages to machines or injuries to riders .... just some sheepish grins!

The weather was not what was forecast. Where we were expecting cloudless skies, with temperatures in the mid-nineties .... we actually had rainfall during breakfast, and the threat of rain existed the entire day. Thankfully, the rain never came, and we were greeted with near perfect temperatures in the 70s almost the entire ride.

Running from Council Grove to Eskridge .... then to Alma and Alta Vista, Tim led us from one scenic valley to the next on some seldom used roads and two-track sections. This was perhaps the most "technical" ride we've done, with all the riders, new and seasoned, doing equally well through some very challenging areas. The highlight was the Box Turtle Road, as "gnarley" a section as one could ever hope to find in Kansas .... nothing but grins when we all emerged on the other side.

We have been blessed with cool temperatures and plenty of precipitation in Kansas this year. The wildflowers are incredibly profuse. It was hard to stay focused on the road with so much natural beauty visible in every direction. Click here for a panoramic view of one vista we saw.

One of those rides where it was hard to call it a day and return home. Thanks, Tim ... you've done it again!

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