August 25, 2002 turned out to be the best attended ride of the season thus far. Originally, this was to be a two-day event based out of Camp Wood YMCA in Elmdale. A strong thunderstorm moved through the area early Saturday morning and afternoon, and forced us to cancel our riding plans for that day.

On Sunday, we had riders come in from the Kansas City area, Topeka, Lawrence, Wichita, Danville, and Durham to rendezvous at the Emma Chase Cafe in Cottonwood Falls. Getting there was interesting ... where most of us left our homes at dawn with blue skies, the remaining thirty-odd miles to the rendezvous point was through a thick, impenetrable fog.

Making the ride: Don Heberling - KLR650, Bill Dolski - BMW F650, Ted Hite - DRZ400, Duane Buck - DR650, Jim Robinson - BMW F650 Dakar, Tom Harmon - KLR650, Steve Prewitt - KLR650, Jeff Jelinek - Triumph Tiger, Wil Locke - VOR 503, Mark Riggin - KLR650, Tim Edwards - KLR650, and Roger Baugh - KLR650.

After breakfast, we rode east to Elmdale and swung up through Camp Wood. We then rode along the Cottonwood River to Clements, KS where we stopped to look at the 1880s limestone bridge. From Clements, we rode south and east, then looped back north to Cedar Point, where we had a chance to see and photograph the old mill along the Cottonwood river.

We then crossed north of US 50 and rode into a section of Marion county. Tom Harmon led us along some trails west of Diamond Springs that looked like they hadn't seen a motorized vehicle for months. From Diamond Springs, we worked our way back to Strong City and a late lunch. After lunch, we all headed our respective ways home.

There were a few delays along the way. Loose gravel surprised one rider. Mudholes claimed two more. Fortunately, no one was injured outside of a scrape or two .... and no substantial damage occurred to any of the bikes. One rider had a flat .... but having spare tubes and the right tools got him back in action in short time.

An eventful day ... and it was a great opportunity to meet some new fellow riders. We ended up grinning a lot that day!

* On a sidenote, Don Heberling is the oldest rider to ever join up with us. Somewhere near seventy-years of age, his riding ability on some of the technical sections had the rest of us admiring his "grit" .... and hoping we're anywhere near as skilled (and active) when we reach his age. Our helmets are off to you, Don .... great riding with you!

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