September 15, 2002 in the Flint Hills area of Alta Vista, Alma, and Eskridge. "TourMaster" Tim Edwards led us through what may have been one of the best day rides of the season. Temps were in the high fifties starting out before dawn, and reached the mid-seventies under a clear blue sky.

This area is a landscape photographer's dream. Hundreds of old limestone homes, barns, schools, and churches dot the hills .... the wildflowers are back in profusion .... and the hills and valleys provide an ever-changing backdrop.

Most of the eastern Kansas-based riders arrived at The Hays House in Council Grove at the appointed time. The Wichita group arrived about forty-five minutes late, the result of the webmaster forgetting his billfold and having to return home to fetch it. Once everyone had gathered, we realized that we had ourselves the largest group of the season on hand, fourteen riders.

Making the ride: Don Morgan - KTM 640 LC4, Wil Locke - VOR 503, Mark Marling - KLR250, Jim Robinson - BMW R1150 GS Adventure, Tim Millis - KTM Adventure, David Hemphill - DR650, Dennis Gowing - DRZ400, Gary Hanson - XL350R, Tim Edwards - KLR650, Joe Blanchard - KLR650, David Hodges - XR650L, Chris Greenhoot - KTM 620 RXC, and Roger Baugh - KLR650. Joe Williams is still having too much fun with his Suzuki Bandit, and left his XT350 at home this time. We did appreciate his joining us on the ride up to Council Grove .... and letting us draft in his heat wave on the way in! Hope the rest of his day went as well as ours .....

Following breakfast, we rode north to Alta Vista, then northeast to Volland. From Volland, we cut to the southeast and ran a counter-clockwise loop back up to Alma. After a short rest stop in Alma, we rode to the southeast and toured the roads and two-tracks around Hessdale. About 130 miles after leaving Council Grove, we ended up in Eskridge ... our stopping point for the day. Those who had ridden the furthest to get to the rendezvous still had distances of up to 125 miles to get home, so there was still plenty of riding left for the long distance travelers.

Rain had saturated the riding area, so dust was almost non-existent. We did encounter something little seen this season ..... mud ..... and plenty of it! Fortunately, all the bikes were equipped with decent tires and seasoned riders, so we rode through some fairly challenging areas in good order. There were a couple of "slo-mo" mud slides for a couple of riders, but nothing hurt save a little pride!

A superb ride in the Flint Hills ..... Thanks again, Tim, for putting another winner together.

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