July 14, 2007 ... Once again, we were blessed with a sunshine break in one of the rainiest spring/summers on record. The call to ride went out ... and Gordon Polston - Herington - KLR650, Mary Grabanski - Augusta - XT225, Greg Mitchell - Honda Transalp, RD Woosley - Derby - KLR650, Jim Foley - Shawnee - KLR650, and Roger Baugh - Wichita - KLR650 answered.

The three southern riders rode together up to Cassoday via secondary tarmac. Gordon joined us in Cassoday, and we jumped off into the thules. We immediately had a couple of does jump out in front of the group. Gordon remarked he had counted sixteen deer on his ride from Herington to Cassoday just that morning! Our heads were swiveling most of the day on the lookout for wildlife!

The early morning was as picturesque as imaginable. At one point early in the morning, we encountered a ranch family out for a ride. Following procedure, we shut down engines and waited for them to pass into a pasture and shared greetings and pleasantries. Two groups out for a great morning of riding.

Arriving at Cottonwood Falls, we hooked up with Jim and Greg ... and proceeded on into the Emma Chase Cafe and a family syle breakfast .... big bowls and platters of all we could stuff down. We also dined with two other dualsport riders who were on their way from Ark City to Wamego for a poker run. It's too bad we didn't try to convince them to join us ... they may have enjoyed our route a little more!

Riding to the southwest out of Cottonwood Falls, we followed Buck Creek Road to Coyne Creek Road ... scene of our "May Mud Massacre". Today was fine, although gouge marks from our earlier passage were still evident! The water crossings and shade were well appreciated.

We then rode up to Clements, and the old stone bridge. Finding no shade, we rode on, crossing US-50 and into the southwestern corner of Morris county. Along the way, we passed a magnificent earth-bermed home, and some excellent hill country. We then turned back into Chase county and rode to Elmdale. From Elmdale, we turned north along the Diamond Creek Road to arrive at Diamond Springs, once again in Morris county, and the three-mile long minimum maintenance road loop that is nearby. It is rough this year, and the one large mud hold we came upon grabbed one unsuspecting rider. No harm done ... and we then proceeded on to tackle the washed out two-track that ran over several hills before ending the loop.

After Diamond Springs, the group split in two, with Jim and Greg heading to Council Grove and the rest of us taking two track and semi-improved dirt roads to Strong City. The southern riders headed on down to Cottonwood Falls to see the falls, then grabbed K-177 for a leisurely cruise to our homes.

Just another great ride in the Flint Hills! I racked up about 290 miles today ..... rb

Route Map Download

Click on a thumbnail to view a larger image. Use your browser's "back" button, or the "left" arrow in the navigation bar to return to this page.

home | safety | links | photo gallery | e-mail | bulletin board