October 20, 2003: Topeka-based KLR riders Joe Blanchard and Swanee Lawrence decided to try a biker breakfast in Cottonwood Falls, and made an invitation for others to join in. Weather looked decent, so Joe Williams - XT350, Steve Prewitt - KLR650, and myself, Roger Baugh - KLR650 decided to make the trip up from Wichita and join in. Dawn temperatures of 32 degrees in Topeka and 39 degrees in Wichita did ensure that those of us who rode the distance to Chase county were fully awake (and hungry from burning enormous numbers of calories).

The Biker Breakfast in Cottonwood Falls is the 3rd Sunday of the month. Usually the crowds are smaller than the 1st Sunday event held in Cassoday, KS. On this day, there were maybe two dozen riders on a wide range of machines. A pristine, one-owner 1969 "Giant Killer" Kawasaki 500 triple with 1,800 original miles brought back many fond memories!

Following breakfast at the Emma Chase Cafe, Swanee started back to Topeka. His brand- spanking-new green & black 2003 KLR was still being broken-in, and domestic duties awaited him at home. The four remaining riders headed north on K-57 past the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, then jumped off-highway to run west towards Diamond Springs. We took a number of detours on the way into Diamond Springs, and although the two-track roads often ended at barred gates, the scenery did not disappoint. For some history on Diamond Springs and the importance it played in the Santa Fe Trail, click here.

We rode a two-track loop around the Diamond Springs area, then rode the Diamond Creek road back to Elmdale. We found another great dirt road paralleling US 50 that practically dropped us into Cottonwood Falls and lunch .... where else, but the Emma Chase Cafe! After our lunch, Joe Williams loaded up the XT onto his trailer, and Joe Blanchard started out on his 70-odd mile return ride home.

Steve and I rode south to Cassoday on K-177, enjoying the vibrant Fall colors. At Cassoday, we decided to run backroads down along the Walnut River valley into El Dorado. Somewhere about halfway between Cassoday and El Dorado, felt the back-end of the KLR going mushy ... yep, very big nail. Up it went on the centerstand, and Steve and I went to work. We inspected the tube with the wheel still mounted on the bike. Fortunately, only a single puncture to the tube, so the repair was done with the wheel in place. We were mobile again in less than thirty minutes .... sweet!

We were blessed with good weather, good company, good scenery, good food, and good fortune ..... couldn't ask for anything more than that!

Click on a thumbnail to view a larger image. Use your browser's "back" button, or the "left" arrow in the navigation bar to return to this page.
home | safety | links | photo gallery | e-mail | bulletin board