September 23, 2007 - Broomweed bloom .... and the Flint Hills had changed its' appearance once again. Eighteen riders made the rendezvous in Cottonwood Falls for what turned out to be a most colorful ride through Chase county.

A contingent of eight riders rode up together from Wichita. Our day started in the early pre-dawn. As soon as we hit the Whitewater River valley in Butler County, we became enveloped in a thick fog. The scene was almost surreal as we would rise out of one valley into dawn, then would descend back down into the enveloping gray mist filling every small valley. Eventually, we rose up into the highlands near Cassoday, and out of the fog entirely. After refueling in Cassoday, we pressed on to Cottonwood Falls, arriving within minutes of our originally planned ETA.

A head count at the Emma Chase Cafe' revealed the following riders: Steve McAtee - Topeka - KLX330, Jeff Ecker - Canton - KLR650, Arlyn Lindquist - Windom - BMW 650, Jerry Valdez - Marquette - KLR650, Lynn Rynott - KCMO - KLR650, John Anderson - KCMO - Ducati Multistrada, Kenny Rogers - Kissimmee, FL - KLR650, Thurman Brittingham - Rose Hill - KLX250, Mark Cole - Wichita - KLR650, Ross Cole - Wichita - KLX250, Phillip Denk - KCMO - KLR650, Chris Stong - Wichita - KLR650, Doug Bump - Wichita - DR650, Jeff Gilliland - Wichita - KLR650, Bill Emond - Wichita - DR350SE, Bruce Leach - Wichita - XT350, Lee Sevart - Wichita - XT600, and Roger Baugh - Wichita - KLX250.

Our route ran to the west out of Cottonwood Falls to Elmdale and the Camp Wood Road along the Cottonwood River. We stopped at the 1886 arched stone bridge at Clements, then rode south to the minimum maintenance road at Coyne Creek. At this time of year, the water crossings have turned dry, typical of the dry Kansas early Fall season. After that point, we rose out of the Cottonwood River valley, and started climbing in elevation to the headwaters of the Fall River near Teterville. We enjoyed numerous stops along the way. After a stop at Teter Rock to look at the vista of wild mustang herds, we worked our way back to Cassoday via Road "D" and the 777 Ranch .... arriving by mid-afternoon to ride's end, and the return to our respective homes.

As evidenced by the colors, the broomweed was in full bloom. On this day, the color was a lime green and yellow. Within a few days, the bloom will turn more golden in color.

We had a great ride, covering almost eighty-five miles off-tarmac. Total miles for the day exceeded 225 miles for most riders. There were no mishaps or mechanical issues of any kind, making it a most enjoyable day for all who rode. ..... rb

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