Day 31 – Eureka to Pittsburg

Tues 6th July 2010

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and if we had it we would have cycled yesterday and taken today as a rest day.

We set off early this morning, at 6:15am just as it was light enough. It was raining but only lightly and the clouds were dark. The light rain lasted for the first 20 miles until we reached Toronto where we could see heavy rain approaching from ahead. We knew it was heavy because the visibility just disappeared so we rushed to get our waterproofs on before it hit us. It was indeed heavy and stayed that way until we stopped for our 40 mile break.

Toronto, Kansas

Just before the heavy rain started at Toronto

While stopped having our 40 mile break we heard thunder and the clouds to the South of us were really black. There was a thunder storm very close to us so we just got back on the bikes to get out of there. But it was a waste of time because withing a few minutes we were right under the storm with lighting all around and the heaviest rain we have ever experienced. It was far worse than anything we had cycled in before. Unfortunately we were in the middle of nowhere and had no choice but to carry on. We later discovered that 6 inches of rain was falling every 2 hours!

Floods in Kansas

Flood water was everywhere

Because of the weather we took very few photos today to record how bad it was. It was a day to do our best to keep everything dry and prevent anything getting ruined. The thunder storm followed us for hours and was relentless. To show how bad it was we even saw two crayfish crossing the road (yes I have typed that correctly). The amount of water was incredible and all the rivers, ditches and gullies were overflowing. Just South of Chanute (Chanute had over 9 inches of rain today) we should have turned left onto Highway 146 but there were signs up to say it was closed 7 miles ahead (including the bike trail). At this point the road crossed the river so the road must have been flooded. To get around this we had to cycle further South before we could turn onto Highway 47 to go East and even going this way we have to go through a flood where the river was across the road.


Have you ever seen a crayfish crossing the road?

Because our detour took us South it would have been false economy to head back North again to get to our planned destination of Walnut, so we decided to stay on Highway 47 which took us into Girard, about 22 miles further along the route.

We reached Girard at about 4:30pm having cycled 108 miles, to discover that the B&B (the only place to stay in town) was in darkness and we couldn’t get an answer. Camping was definitely not an option so we had no choice other than get back on the bikes and cycle on to Pittsburg another 14 miles further on. The last 14 miles were quite pleasant because it actually stopped raining but we still had a lot of drying out to do.

Pittsburg is a large town and we found a Wall-mart (cheap food) and a motel opposite where the owner has given us free beer and coffee. We’ve eaten well and our stuff is drying out. Chris’s camera stopped working due to the wet but is okay again having been dried out for a couple of hours.

So in keeping with other weeks we’ve had a really long day following our rest day. Not planned it just happened that way. Can’t wait until tomorrow.

Daily Mileage – 122.8 miles

Time in Saddle – 9 hrs 57 mins

Total Climbing – 2,128 ft


  1. Fab crayfish picture but the caption should have read:
    “Why did the crayfish cross the road?” then you could have a competition for the punch line – my effort is…
    “Because he saw Chris getting his trangia out!”
    Are you sure it isn’t a scorpion? Looks like a scorpion to me. minus the tail of course.
    Get your water wings out and keep going, perhaps you could send some of the rain our way?

  2. Not nice having to cycle in torrential rain like that,and long hours in the saddle.A real test of endurance I think.But your doing very well.Hope the weather improves for you soon.Sandy

  3. Poor you.really doesn’t sounds like ideal conditions to be cycling in!
    Nice to hear that you finally found somewhere to stay and stock up on food etc!

    well done for completing 122 miles today.

    Be safe
    love you
    Tracey and Babs

  4. Hi Chris,

    Sorry to have not been in touch before – been checking out the blog over the last week or two and it is truly amazing to see your progress!

    Sorry to see the weather has turned difficult and I hope it improves for you.

    Will be great catching up with you when you get back.


  5. We are about 14 hours ahead of you, down here, its now 11pm in W.Australia on the 7 7 10.
    Bloody cold day today, minus 3 and white frost all over the yeards. Drove to,Perth to lunch with my brother who was up from Albany, 480 kms south of Perth.
    Weather bureau promises storm – wild weather tomorrow for the next 3 days through southern half of W.A., so you are fortunate to ride through one only one day.

    Just found where you are at, tried reading the map without reference to the index is not a great idea. So now found the road from Eads to Leoti and on to your current location.

  6. Holy Crap you guys. You’ve endoured a great deal. Good for you to keep going. Not that you have much choice.
    Take care and STAY SAFE.

    Guy & Susan