65 miles (105 km) – Total so far: 1,607 miles (2,586 km)
Last night getting into Chanute, I suggested to Jess and Tuan that we opt for a motel rather than a campsite on account of some impending thunderstorms overnight. Sure, our tents *probably* could have handled them, but I had figured we’d be more likely to make wise “sit it out” decisions if we were warm and rested rather than wet and bedraggled. Once we checked in, a look upward confirmed the skies still seemed pretty calm, so we went into town to check out the food situation.Chanute is a great little town named after a railroad engineer who mentored the Wright brothers. They have a cool memorial downtown as well as a bar that has $1 beers and deep fried chicken gizzards, both of which found their way to my belly.

A memorial to the town's namesake, Chanute, who was a mentor to the wright brothers. I don't know if Chanute was his given name or surname, so I'll just pretend he's like Cher and stick with just 'Chanute'

A memorial to the town’s namesake, Chanute, who was a mentor to the Wright brothers. I don’t know if Chanute was his given name or surname, so I’ll just pretend he’s like Cher and stick with just ‘Chanute’ 

Click here for a larger version of the picture Main street Chanute

Main street Chanute

My amateur meteorology and veteran touring strategy proved extremely valuable as the heavens were apocalyptically torn asunder at around 8:00 this morning. We had to wait until almost noon to get going, but once the storm front finally passed through we experienced some really cool cycling. Kansas had the smell of a fresh scrubbing as we started rolling along with strong tailwinds. The sky was torn into tatters from the recent storm and water was everywhere. As we screamed along at over 20MPH from the tailwind we saw the firmament gradually reknit. Fortunately there were no flooded roads, but several bridges were a close thing.

Yikes!

Yikes!

The sun has been up for hours already in this shot. Lots of hail and even more rain as we waited out the thunderstorm.

The sun has been up for hours already in this shot. Lots of hail and even more rain as we waited out the thunderstorm.

High Water! --West of Chanute,KS

High Water! –West of Chanute, KS

The rent sky just after the thunderstorm --West of Chanute,KS

The rent sky just after the thunderstorm –West of Chanute,KS

The tail end of the storm --West of Chanute,KS

The tail end of the storm –West of Chanute, KS

The sky returning to normal --West of Chanute,KS

The sky returning to normal –West of Chanute, KS

I’m on to Wichita for some much needed rest. My lovely, amazing, and beautiful wife is flying in for a couple of days to reconnect right here in the middle of this grand adventure. In case I hadn’t mentioned it yet, she is a queen among women. This trip to Wichita is off-route, so I said goodbye to Tuan and Jess and launched into a Google mapped path. The road to Wichita is a US highway, which are best avoided. Barring that, selective amnesia is a good plan.

US highways are tough on the nerves. Combining that with a late start, I opted for a cute little historical hotel in Beaumont, KS. The eponymous Beaumont Hotel has been around since 1879, where it was once a stage coach stop. Since the mid 20th century, it has found an incredibly unique niche: it caters to aviators. A grass landing strip nearby hosts regular single engine planes. The hotel even has airplane parking. Fortunately, they still cater to the occasional horsebound traveller, so Persephone sidled up to the drinking trough while I saw the proprietor about a room.

The Beaumont Hotel, complete with a cowboy on a mobile phone -- Beaumont,KS

The Beaumont Hotel, complete with a cowboy on a mobile phone — Beaumont,KS

This plane landed for a stay at the Beaumont Hotel and never left. -- Beaumont,KS

This plane landed for a stay at the Beaumont Hotel and never left. — Beaumont,KS

Airplane parking at The Beaumont Hotel -- Beaumont,KS

Airplane parking at The Beaumont Hotel — Beaumont,KS