July 6, 2008 - The central Flint Hills of Butler and Greenwood counties near Cassoday and Eureka. We (Ken Clifford - DR650 - Wichita, and Roger Baugh - KLR650 - Wichita) decided to take a run out in the early morning and partake of the July 'Biker Breakfast' going on in Cassoday. I recall making this event several times in 2001, and being the sole dualsporter in attendance. This time, the dualsport riders were there, perhaps a couple dozen or so. By midmorning, a huge crowd had gathered, and attendance would probably reach several thousand motorcyclists before the morning was over. One lasting impression ... seeing one young sport bike rider after another pulling into town with helmets strapped to their rear fenders. No small wonder why medical insurance rates continue to rise.

After about an hour of looking at bikes and talking with a few friends, we decided to 'escape' from the noise of the amplified carney barkers, straight-piped cruisers numbering in biblical proportions, and crotch rocket riders wailing their engines at the dyno machine booth.

Leaving the sea of chrome and black apparel behind, we departed Cassoday and were bound for the openness of the emerald colored prairie. It was incredibly quiet and serene just a few short miles later. If those folks back in Cassoday had only known that the real treasure waited out there on the gravel roads!

Our first destination was to the northern edge of the 777 ranch, where we stopped to talk to a local llama (or was it an alpaca?). We rode east to the ghost town of Lapland, then turned south to Eureka. The abundant rain of the past two months has been beneficial to the prairie, and the bluestem grass is looking lush, and wildflowers stood abundant in a myriad of colors.

We made our way to Eureka following the Fall River valley, and took on liquid refreshments there. From Eureka, it was a sixty mile cruise back to Wichita, along one of the more scenic two-lane blacktops that winds through the Flint Hills.

Just a perfect sort of day, with about 180 miles of prime riding added to the mix!
... rb

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