Twenty-Seven: The Center of the Earth (Girard to Chanute)

by davidharries

Miles: 50

Total: 1,832

You’ve gotta love Kansas weather. I was talking to the pool manager last night, and he told me the forecast called for sun and wind. We had thunder and lightening overnight, and then some quick showers this morning. The state’s flat and it’s easy for wind to bring weather across in short order. I stopped in Walnut for a cup of coffee and found a TransAm racer waiting inside. He’d spent the night in Walnut, and got soaked. Still, he’s in 16th place with a target of 150 miles a day.

The thunder took some of the oomph out of today’s wind, and I made good time into Chanute. It’s named for Octave Chanute, a railway engineer, who designed many bridges, stock yards, developed a method of pressure-treating railroad lumber and was a huge fan of aviation, exchanging hundreds of letters with with Wright Brothers during their tests, and is considered to be the father of aviation, though being too old to fly himself (he died in 1910 at age 78). Chanute’s also the center of Google Earth.

Home tonight is Santa Fe Safari Park. Exotically named, it’s a great park complex on the edge of town with RV hookups. The first two nights are free for RVs, which I’m sure helps bolster tourism. Tent camping is also free (with shower, electricity and wifi), and I set up next to the softball fields. I knew I jinxed myself when I said I hadn’t put my tent up since Murphysboro. Down the way a bit is a Lake Chanute. Quiet when I set up, the park was positively bustling with activity in the evening with a half-dozen ball games in full swing. It’s good to see so many of the parks I stay in actively used by the community.