August 8, 2009 ... Cowley & Elk Counties in the Flint Hills

Eight riders made the breakfast rendezvous in Mulvane, KS to do a little touring this day: Dennis Murray, Conway Springs - DR-Z400, Mike Keithly, Wichita - KLR650, Thurman Brittingham, Rose Hill - KLX250, RD Woolsey, Derby - KLR650, Larry Ostrom, Concordia - KLR650, Ken Meyer, Goddard - KLR650, Leonard Turner, Wichita - DR650, and Roger Baugh, Wichita - KLX250.

After fueling up on breakfast at Laurie's Cafe' and having a brief safety meeting, the group rode to the southeast and the ghost town of Wilmot, where we saw a tree covered church. Riding further east, we found 191st Road, a delightful two-track affair that offered up some up-on-the-peg riding, mud and nice elevation changes.

After a brief rest and refuel stop in the town of Burden, we rode into the Grouse Creek valley, and explored the area extensively. Working our way north through scores of miles of gravel roads, we arrived in the town of Latham, where Larry discovered an embedded piece of steel in his rear tire. The tube was too damaged to repair, so Larry replaced it and we were on our way again. From Latham, the group worked the backroads up towards the Beaumont wind farm, riding the width and breadth of the giant wind turbine field to the south of town.

By that time of the day, the temperaure was hovering around 100 F., so we decided to head into Beaumont to the hotel, grab some lunch, and absorb the air conditioning found there. Following lunch, we split into smaller groups to work our ways home or to other destinations.

Our group of four headed back to Rose Hill, Derby, Mulvane and Wichita. The one exciting moment came when two yearling steers were hiding in ditches along a gravel road, having escaped their pastures. Suprising both as he rode into the situation at 50 mph, the ride leader missed a technical knockout with one of the 500 lb'ers by mere feet.

No mishaps, no mechanical issues, one flat .... lots of great scenery and ride conditions. It was hot ... but we had plenty of wind and found shade when we wanted it. We got in a lot of riding, too ... am showing about 215 miles had accumulated on the odometer. A very good day to be out in the Flint Hills.

... rb

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