Oct. 20, 2007 ... The day's forecast was optimum, so six riders decided to try a ride in the central Flint Hills. Thurman Brittingham - Rose Hill - KLX250, Russ Smith - Wichita - DR-Z400, Marshal Giles - Newton - KTM 640 Adventure, Mike LeMasters - Wichita - KLR650, Ken Clifford - Wichita - KLR650, and Roger Baugh - Wichita - KLR650 made up today's crew of adventure riders.

The morning started out fairly cool, but would not stay that way for long. By the time we rendezvoused in Cassoday by midmorning, it had started to warm. In fact, we experienced a thirty-five degree swing in temperature today, as it would reach nearly ninety degrees by mid-afternoon. We rode to the southeast out of Cassoday, taking breaks near the 777 ranch, then rode northeast to Teterville. After a stop at Teter Rock to view the mustang herds, we rode east to the ghost town of Thrall, then north to Madison Road and the Texaco Hill area. Working our way west along Little Cedar Creek Road, we noticed several snakes were getting the last bit of seasonal warming by basking on the road bed. Evidently, a coyote was snacking on same, as the ride leader caught him totally unawares when rounding a curve. The coyote beat a hasty retreat out into the prairie, they've learned to survive by avoiding contact with humans. We then turned north up Sharpes Creek Road, and made our way to Cottonwood Falls for lunch.

Following lunch at the Emma Chase Cafe', we rode over to Elmdale and followed the Cottonwood River valley westward. We then traveled on to Clements and the old 1880s arched stone bridge. Riding the minimum maintenance Coyne Creek Road, we were delighted to find several water crossings there. Emerging out of the valleys, we rode south along the uplands through open range sections to Matfield Green. The wind had become fierce, and we had to contend with what felt to be 35-40 mph wind gusts. With the strong head and crosswinds, riding the loose gravel surfaces became quite interesting!

No issues of any kind today ... the perfect Flint Hills type of ride. I logged close to 250 miles of backroads travel today, exceptional distance for a late October day! ... rb

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