The crew had been on track to make it to Birdsville on time, but with just 100 kilometers (62 miles) left, a flash storm had halted their progress. The rain turned the route into a watery mess, making the trail nearly impossible. They could wait out the storm and hope that the trail would dry out in a few days, but limited rations wouldn’t allow that. So instead of pushing through the sludge of the Madigan, the crew decided to take an alternate route. The new trail added an extra 500 kilometers (311 miles), but it was their only way out.