Day 27 - McPherson to Abilene KS
The Halfway Point?
Mileage: 65 miles (more or less)
Total Climb: 525 feet
Weather: Warm, with some cloud cover.
During the night before today’s ride, there was a large thunderstorm, with lightning strikes happening every few seconds. This would dictate our route more than we had any idea the day before when we had celebrated our completion of half our cross country transit, day-wise. When we told our riders that they would come upon the halfway point in distance we were fairly certain that our route would be through the town of Gypsum and into a nice, small park with a gazebo for them to relax in and enjoy some cupcakes to celebrate.
Upon reaching the halfway point, we thought that we would continue on into town and set up our SAG stop a little early to make sure that the faster riders would not have to wait for anything and could immediately get water or food if they wanted to. Luckily, or perhaps unluckily, depending on your perspective, our idea to get their early revealed to us that the road we would normally take into town was flooded. Not only was this road impassable to cyclists, the water was quickly rising to a level that made it very dangerous to cars and trucks trying to pass as well. KDOT closed the road in both directions and we found an alternative, which put a damper (pun slightly intended) on our mid-point festivities.
Our detour kept all our riders safe and dry, and got them directly onto the road they would be taking near the end of the day into Abilene as well. We set up a SAG stop at their turn onto this road and gave out cupcakes just as we were planning to do before. On their way, they passed by the Greyhound Hall of Fame, which was also across from the Eisenhower Presidential Library complex, with some riders stopping at each. This eventful day was capped off by dinner at the Brookville Hotel, a restaurant which has been serving family-style chicken dinners since 1915, also being owned by the same family since they opened as well. It was a delicious end to a very strange day. Tomorrow, Topeka!