An impromptu ride developed from postings on the bulletin board, and on July 7, 2002, six riders gathered in Council Grove to ride the backroads of Morris, Riley, Geary, and Wabaunsee counties in the northern Flint Hills. A seventh rider joined us enroute, as planned.

The ride was suggested and lead by Tim Edwards. Riding in from Topeka with Tim was John Desch. Coming in from Emporia was Mike Bailey. Tom Harmon rode in from Durham, and Steve Prewitt and Roger Baugh rode up together from Wichita. Pat Conrad of Gaylord, KS joined us on the road early into the ride. Interestingly ..... all riders were mounted on Kawasaki KLR650s of various vintages.

At dawn and just starting out on their first leg to Council Grove, Roger and Steve were delighted to visit with an individual who was also starting his first leg of a 1,000 mile drive to Washington, D.C. His car was a concours 1934 Bentley, and his route would be the paved backroads of America. We wished each other well, then started out on our adventures.

Once we all arrived in Council Grove, enjoyed a hearty breakfast at the Hays House restaurant. From Council Grove, we rode to the northwest towards Junction City using a mix of paved and unpaved roads. The number of valleys in the northern range of the Flint Hills are numerous, and we were treated to some great scenery and elevation changes. It seemed that every corner we rounded, we'd see a picturesque valley, beautiful stone churches and houses, or camels ..... you just never knew what to expect!

The lack of rain resulted in high levels of dust, so our string would stretch over a mile at times. Following the rule of "watching out for the rider behind you" worked well, and never did we get separated

A late lunch stop was made in Alma. This town and surrounding area exhibits some impressive stonework, the result of European stone masons who worked and settled in this area in the late 1800s. As it was starting to get late in the day, the group split up in Alma and riders headed home. The Wichita riders figured covering over 360 miles in one day .... a great deal of riding ... and enjoyable miles, at that!

Special thanks to Tim for showing the rest of us some great riding areas!

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