Southeast of Bazaar, KS
September 6, 2003 .... a perfect day's ride into the Flint Hills of southern Chase County.

Nine riders made the rendezvous point in Cottonwood Falls. Riding in from Emporia was Clinton Coon on his DR650. Joe Hackney came down from Horton with his Honda XR650, along with William Morrill also riding an XR650. Rob Lux from Holton rode his DR-Z 400, and rode with Todd Shumaker of Netawka on his DR650. Terry Fleming of Tecumseh rode his KTM RXC400 all the way in .... and Wil Locke - Honda XR650, Brady Allensworth - KLR650-A1, and Roger Baugh KLR650-A15 rode up from the Wichita area.

Our ride covered about 70 miles of pristine rangeland and hill country. We rode to the southwest out of Cottonwood Falls using improved and unimproved gravel roads. Eventually, we worked our way up to Clements, then southeast to Bazaar. From Bazaar, we rode open range south along the Sharpes Creek valley, then east to the Elco area. Our final lap of the loop took us through a recent flood area, although little evidence remained after last week's 24-hour 8" rainfall, save a few more water crossings than normal for this time of the year.

Unique encounters for the day ..... a 40 lb snapping turtle crossing a road where we were running along at a brisk pace, and a 1,200 lb. black angus bull encountered on open range (which had a tendency to quicken the pulse) ... fortunately, the bull showed little interest in us.

This will be a spectacular year for the broomweed bloom. Recent rains in the area means we will have golden hills in a week or two. For reference, see the September 23, 2001 "gallery" page.

The trail's-end was back in Cottonwood Falls, where we enjoyed a great lunch at the Emma Chase Cafe. From there, we said our goodbyes and enjoyed the remainder of the afternoon finding interesting routes on the way home ......

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