October 29, 2006 ... a perfect Fall day to ride the central Flint Hills. Riding down from the KC area ... Jim Foley - KLR650, and Greg Bilhimer - 650 V-Strom. Coming up from the Wichita area ... Steve Starkel - Husky TE610, and Roger Baugh - KLR650. The KC boys started their morning with temperatures in the high thirties. The southern Kansas duo enjoyed a balmy 41 degree start. By the time we all arrived at our rendezvous in Cassoday, low sixty degree temperatures were starting to warm our torsos ... and the temperature continued to climb into the eighties by mid-afternoon.

We rode to the west and north out of Cassoday, looping our way into colorful valleys such as Den Creek, Buck Creek, Sharpes Creek, Rock Creek, and Coyne Creek. For fun, a couple of low maintenance roads were also on the menu. We arrived in Clements, then rode along the Cottonwood River to Camp Wood YMCA, located three miles west of Elmdale, KS and enjoyed a rest at one of their many scenic overlooks. This site has always offered a great location for overnight Spring and Fall gatherings.

From Elmdale, we rode to Cottonwood Falls and lunch at the Emma Chase Cafe'. After lunch, Greg needed to return home, so the three remaining riders rode to the south and some interesting sights. Close encounters with a great horned owl put the ride leader on his toes, followed with a buck deer crossing in front of him only minutes later. We also paced a large doe for over a mile as she decided that our direction was her direction, too. We reached Bazaar, then turned south to ride open range. About six miles east of Matfield Green, we stopped to watch several cowboys move a herd of cattle.

At Matfield Green, we split up for the returns home. Steve and I traveled little used tarmac, and an easy pace made the ride home a pleasant one. A little more than two-hundred miles in the saddle today for me.

Sure felt good to see and experience this day, and we stopped a lot when the times were right!

... rb
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