Posted by: bikedave | August 6, 2010

August 6, Chanute, KS to Pittsburg, KS

About 3 miles south of Chanute, the route was to turn east.  Unfortunately, just after making the turn I saw signs that indicated that the road was closed about seven and a half miles ahead.  I checked my map and saw that this was just about where I would be crossing a river, so I decided to detour south to Highway 47, five miles to the south.  This would not change the number of miles I would ride today, but it would cause me to ride about 30 miles on a highway that would be much busier than the road that was closed.  Four miles of the detour was on a dirt road that was in very good condition.

Looking north from Highway 47. This is the road I detoured on.

Just before entering St. Paul, KS, I rode past a cicada that was on sitting the shoulder of a small concrete bridge.  Since I reached eastern Colorado, I have been hearing the sounds of cicadas every day.  The male cicadas are able to produce the sound using some plates and muscles on the sides of their hollow abdomens.  The sound can be quite loud.  Often hundreds of them can be heard at the same time.  The sound is like a buzzing hiss that is all around you coming from every direction simultaneously.  The people that live here often don’t even hear it, much like people living near train tracks or airports don’t hear the passing trains or planes.  To me, someone who is not used to the sound, the sound is constantly in the background.  Sometimes its just a little bit spooky.

Cicada, 2 inches long

East of St. Paul, in Greenbush, I stopped to rest near the site of the three historic St. Aloysius Catholic churches.  The first church built on this site in 1871, was destroyed in an 1877 storm.  The second one was built in 1881.  In 1907 a third larger church was finished and used until 1982 when it was destroyed by a lightning caused fire.  The 1881 building was then refurbished and continued in use until 1993.  I hope God will forgive me for wondering if He ever really wanted a church built here to begin with.

The refurbished 1881 St. Aloysius Catholic Church, Greenbush, KS

The remains of the larger church building which was finished in 1907 stands just west of the refurbished 1881 building.

While resting in a picnic area behind the churches, I saw a pair of cardinals (the bird, not the cleric).
I continued into the town of Girard, KS, where I re-joined my intended route.  The Crawford County Courthouse is located in the middle of town, in the center of a big square.  There are wide streets all the way around the square with the downtown businesses lining the streets facing the square.

Crawford County Courthouse, Girard, KS

Some of the businesses lining the Girard, KS town square

Vicki left Chanute as I was leaving Girard.  We both arrived at downtown Pittsburg at the same time.  We loaded up the bike and went looking for a place to stay for the night.

Miles today: 58   Total miles: 2,548

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