July 14, 2002 in the central Flint Hills of Chase, Morris, and Marion counties. One of the best attended rides of the season! We had eleven riders ready to go early Sunday morning. Uncommon for a Kansas July, our sunrise temperature was in the low 60s, with the high maybe reaching the high 80s. Normally, it is about ten to fifteen degrees warmer, so we were thankful for the cooler weather.

Making the rendezvous in Cottonwood Falls were: Kraig Bailey - Honda XL350R, Allan Patton - Kawasaki KLR650, Greg Bilhimer - KTM 620RXC, Tom Harmon - Kawasaki KLR650, Steve Prewitt - Kawasaki KLR650, Jim Foley - Kawasaki KLR650, Tom Hamby - KTM 640LC4, Joe Blanchard - Kawasaki KLR650, Chester Thompson - Kawasaki KLR650, Don Morgan - KTM 640LC4 Adventure, and Roger Baugh - Kawasaki KLR650.

Before starting the ride, we had breakfast followed with a short briefing meeting. Our hosts at The Emma Chase Cafe, Sue and Sonda, fed us well .... and kept us mentally on our toes. It is never dull at The Emma Chase!

Following breakfast, we rode to Elmdale, then north along the Diamond Creek valley. The locusts (large grasshoppers) could be termed a plague this season. We don't envy the farmers, as the numbers we were impacting approached Biblical proportions!

At Diamond Springs, we turned northeast and rode the ridgelines to Council Grove. After fueling, we then turned to the west and rode a loop back to Diamond Springs.

From Diamond Springs, Tom Harmon led the group through some very scenic and highly isolated areas. His route, on what may be loosely termed a "road", kept us up on the pegs frequently!

We finally arrived after some unforseen delays to our luncheon location, Country Dreams Bed & Breakfast in Marion County. Our hosts, Kent & Alice Richmond prepared a delicious lunch for us. Following lunch, we practiced water crossings nearby, then rode to the southeast to Elmdale. From Elmdale, we split up to head to our respective homes.

Allan Patton, who hails from Lyons, KS decided to ride along with the Wichita riders on their return trip. We were curious at one rest stop and looked at the odometer on his 2000 KLR. Where most of us consider a full riding season to amount to 4,000-6,000 miles, Allan's KLR was getting ready to turn over to 49,000 miles. Our helmets are off to you, Allan ... we are in awe!

A great ride .... a great place to ride .... and great friends new and old to ride with!

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