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Press of Raynor & Taylor 


Two Conies RfCf ivert 

AUG 8 1906 

f\ CoDyntfii tntry ^ 
' COPY 8. 











Chapter »'*&« 

/. The Start ^S 

Ih In Which We Get Held Up in Chicago 2r 

III. We Ford a River in Illinois ^9 

IV. We Reach Madison, Wisconsin i5 

F. Nearly Lost in the Black River Wilds 41 

VI. We Have Our Troubles in the Dakotas 4^ 

VII. We Cross the Rockies 67 

VIII. The Many Perils of the Green River Desert ioj 

IX. The "City of the Saints" and the Great Salt Lake.. 109 

X. A Dash Through a Forest Fire in Idaho nS 

XI. Nearly Suffocated in a Tivo-Milc Tunnel I37 

XI L We Cross the Sierra Nevadas Under Difficulties... 156 

XIII. The "God's Own Country" Section of California... 184 

XIV. Across a Thousand Miles of Desert and Wilderness 194 

XV. A Five Hundred Mile Walk Through Deep Snow. . 221 

XV L "Trouble, Trouble, Trouble. Morning, Noon and 

Night," Until We Reach Nezv Orleans 236 

XVII. In Which We Discover That There is Still "Some- 
thing Doing" -59 

XVIII. The Famous Lookout Mountain at Chattanooga, 

Tennessee -^"Z 

XIX: Across the Carolinas by Means of "Shanks Mares". 277 
XX. In Which IV e Have a Feiv Pleasing Experiences 

With the "Old Dominion Aristocracy" 289 

XXI. Beautiful Washington and Historical Philadelphia.. 296 
XXII. Nezv York, the Most Wonderful City in the World. . jr^ 

XXIII. JVe Cross Three States and Reach the Rock- 

Bound Coast of Maine 3^9 

XXIV. The Bitter, Bitter End to Our Dreams of Success.. 327 
XXV. The Marvelous Niagara Falls 337 

XXVI. We Finish Our Long Journey 345 


Facing Page 

Frontispiece: The Start. 

Facsimile^ Front and Back, of Souvenir.. 17 

Outline Map of U. S., Slwzving Route 33 

Minnehaha Falls 47 

The Corn Palace, Mitchell. S. D 54 

The Outlaw's Cabin 66 

"One Way of Getting a Drink." T\irkey Creek, Rocky Mts. . 75 

Glenwood Canyon • 96 

Shoshone Falls 96 

Green River Desert, Utah 104 

''Temple Square," Mormon Temple and Tabernacle J 13 

Capitol, Salt Lake City, Utah 115 

"A Worthy Pair," Shoshone Indians i^7 

On the Ananam Trail, Kittitassc Mfs.. Wash 149 

Casino at Santa Cm:;, Cal 184 

San Miguel Mission 186 

San Francisco Ave., Pomona, Cal. 193 

A Typical Scene on an Arizona Desert 202 

"Roping," Staked Plains, Te.ra*s 216 

Scene in the Osarks 227 

A 125-Foot Trestle, Boston Mts., Arkansas 231 

"Meekly Wending Their Homezvard Way" 24^ 

The Way We Find the Wagon Roads in Louisiana 255 

Harbor Scene, Pensacola, Fla 266 

Natural Bridge, Lookout Mt., Chattanooga, Tenn 276 

"Three of a Kind" 282 

A Peculiar Railroad Trestle, N. C 289 

"The Way They Do It In the South" 294 

United States Capitol, Washington, D. C 299 

Exact Loeafion (X) of Beginning of Great Baltimore Fire.. 301 

Broad St., Philadelphia, Looking Tozvard City Hall 308 

City Hall and ]Vorld Building, Neiv York 3^8 

Memorial Arch, Hartford, Conn 3-0 

"B-B-B-l-e-s-s M-M-M-y S-S-S-o-u-l, I Think That There 

Is a Bed-Bug in My Bed!" 342 

The Finish • • 360 


Clarence M. Darling and Claude C. Murphey, age 19 
and 20 respectively, left Jackson, Michigan, on May 2, 
1904, to make a trip by bicycle through every state and 
territory within the boundary lines of the United States 
proper, namely, fortv-five states, four territories, and the 
District of Columbia'. The trip was the result of a wager. 
Upon the success of the tour a purse of five thousand 
dollars would be won by the two contestants providing 
that they lived up to all the terms and stipulations of 
the wager. The conditions were that they were to start 
on this long journey penniless, while on the trip they 
were neither to beg, work, borrow, nor steal, all the ex- 
penses of the tour to be met by the profits resulting from 
the sale of an aluminum card-receiver or ash-tray, a 
fac-simile of which is given on one of the following 

Also the entire journey was to be made and completed 
within one year and six months from the date of start- 
ing, that is before November 2, 1905. 

From Jackson, Michigan, their first objective pomt 
was Chicago, Illinois; thence in rotation they were re- 
quired to visit the following cities : St. Louis, Mo. ; Dav- 
enport, la.; Madison, Wis.; St. Paul, Minn.; Forman, 
N. D.; Aberdeen, S. D. ; Alliance, Neb.; Cheyenne, 
Wyo. ; Denver, Colo. ; Salt Lake City, Utah ; Pocatello, 
Ida.; Butte, Mont.; Olympia, Wash.; Salem, Oreg.; 
Reno, Nev. ; San Francisco, Cal. ; Tucson, Ariz. ; Dem- 
ing, N. M.; Dallas, Tex.; Ardmore, I. T. ; Guthrie, 
Okla.; Arkansas City, Kans. ; Little Rock, Ark.; New 

Orleans, La. ; Biloxi, Miss. ; Pensacola, Fla. ; Montgom- 
ery, Ala. ; Chattanooga, Tenn. ; Atlanta, Ga. ; Green- 
wood, S. C. ; Raleigh, N. C. ; Richmond, Va. ; Washing- 
ton, D. C.; Baltimore, Md. ; Wilmington, Del.; Phila- 
delphia, Pa.; Trenton, N. J.; New York City, N. Y. ; 
New Haven, Conn. ; Providence, R. I. ; Boston, Mass. ; 
Portland, Me. ; Woodsville, N. H. ; Montpelier, Vt. ; 
Wheeling, W. Va. ; Columbus, Ohio ; Louisville, Ky. ; 
Indianapolis, Ind. ; Detroit, Michigan, and thence back 
to the starting point, Jackson. 

The young wheelmen made all of the western states 
without breaking any of the conditions, though meeting 
with adventures of every description, in some of which 
the hideous countenance of Death stared them in the 
face, and as to the financial part : In crossing the Greeh 
River Desert in Utah the total capital of the two belated 
tourists was but two cents; the Southern and Atlantic 
Coast states were also traversed with all stipulations ful- 
filled ; but when Vermont was reached, the boys became 
financially embarrassed, and were not able even to give 
their souvenirs away, much less sell them. How they 
went without food as long as the human body could 
stand, and what further adventures they met, the reader 
will find narrated in the later pages of this book. 

The start was made in front of the Hotel Otsego, 
Jackson, thence going westward on the main street of 
the city. At the finish, exactly one year, three months, 
six days and forty-five minutes later, the boys came from 
the eastward on the same street, dismounting at the iden- 
tical spot from which they had departed, in the meantime 
having traversed every state in the Union on bicycles, 
and having covered exactly thirteen thousand four huti- 
dred and seven (13,407) miles. 


The following pages are a truthful and correct account 

of the many hardships and trials of our long journey. 
I wish here to inform the reader, (although, after a per- 
usal of the following pages it would hardly be necessary 
to make this statement, as the reader could readily see 
for himself), that I am not a trained writer; therefore 
I ask the gentle reader to overlook, kindly, the simple 
manner in which the account of our journey is written. 

The pictures which appear in this book were all taken 
personally by Mr. Darling, and it is w3th pride that we 
make the statement, that many of the scenes shown in 
some of these pictures have never before been snapped 
by "the kodak fiend," ours standing as the only pictures 
on record of these localities. 



Darling and I several years ago conceived the 
idea to make a trip through every state and terri- 
tory composing the glorious Union, and to make 
the journey either by train, on foot, on horse-back, 
or by bicycle. The idea at that time was very 
much in embryo form, but the more we thought of 
it, the more enthusiastic we became. We thought 
upon the matter a great deal, but could not see our 
way clear to take it up on account of business 
reasons. The plan several times almost died 
away, but something always happened which 
kindled the flame afresh. 

Finally the kind hand of Providence intervened, 
and we received inside information through a cer- 
tain source that a very large sum of money was 
being wagered between certain eastern sportsmen, 
that a trip by bicycle through every state in the 
Union could not be made by any individual in the 
time limit of one year and six months, the traveler 
to start penniless, neither to beg, work, borrow, 
nor steal, and to make all of his traveling expen- 
ses by the sale of photographs or some other little 
trinket of a like nature. The article to be sold 


14 Around the United States by Bicycle 

was to be carried with him, that is, not to be ship- 
ped from town to town, and it was specified that 
the same article had to be sold all the way through 
the trip. It is needless to state that we gladly 
hailed this opportunity, thus offered us, to gratify 
and satisfy our desire to ^^see the country." 

All our plans were made very much in secret, so 
that not a person knew of our proposed tour until 
every detail of the journey had been arranged. 
One week before the start our plans were made 
public through the press. 

To such a fine point did we have our trip plan- 
ned that we had a full and complete list of every 
city, town, and village to be reached, and even 
the blind sidings along our route; the population 
was also given, including the mileage distances 
between different points, so that we knew to the 
hour when we were due to arrive at designated 
points. The entire route was all computed by 
railroad distances, and in every case where it was 
possible our route followed a line of railroad. 
The object and advantage of this can readily be 
seen. If there should be no wagon roads, we then 
could easily follow the railroad; and should the 
weather be very wet and rainy, thereby making 
the wagon roads impassable, we could make fairly 
good progress by walking the track and trundling 
our wheels along beside us, a thing which, by the 
way, we did so much on the trip, that it almost be- 

Around the United States by Bicycle 15 

came a second nature to us. The only cities 
which we were compelled to pass through were 
but one point in each state. These points are 
given in the preface, and also appear on the fac- 
simile of the back of the souvenirs. At each point 
we were compelled to see the Mayor or some other 
city official and get two statements or affidavits to 
the fact that we had called upon him, and were 
making a tour of the several states and territories 
in the Union. Also it was necessary for us to get 
the post-mark of every post-office through which 
we passed. Besides this we had to prepare a 
report sheet of our riding and expenses, and an 
accurate account of the number of souvenirs sold. 
The red tape and minute detail this involved 
would have m.ade even a preacher use some very 
strong language. 

The publication of our plans fell as a bomb-shell 
upon the community. Some said we were candi- 
dates for the Kalamazoo Insane Asylum even to 
consider such a foolhardy proposition; a great 
many thought that it was simply a little newspaper 
story, that possibly we might start, but that we 
should be back very shortly; and there were a few, 
yes, a very few, who really did think that it was 
a great trip for any young man to take, consider- 
ing it from an educational standpoint, but even 
they thought that we should fail. 

After everyone had recovered from this shock, 
suggestions began to pour in. How we should do 

16 Around the United States by Bicycle 

this, and how that. Any individual who had had 
the advantage over his comrades, and had been 
able to travel to different parts of this Union, 
thought it his particular duty to inform us how we 
should do when we reached ''so and so". Mr. B., 
who had traveled through the Rockies, took us to 
one side, and with a very serious expression on his 
face gave us a lecture lasting about thirty minutes 
in which he indulged in many sorrowful shakes of 
his head accompanied by such a mournful look, 
that we were compelled to use our handkerchiefs 
to wipe the tears from our eyes, and it was with 
difficulty that we restrained ourselves from a com- 
plete collapse. The substance of this funereal talk 
was that we were going to have a very dangerous 
time in crossing the Rocky Mountains, that there 
were many, many wild and unexplored parts, and 
that it would be a very easy matter to get lost, and 
then someone years afterward would find our grin- 
ning skulls, or possibly we might be food for the 
wild beasts which infested those mountains, and 
then he stated that another very, very serious mat- 
ter would be that the altitude was so great in the 
Rockies that we should not be able to go more than 
ten miles in a whole day, as it would be a physi- 
cal impossibility to go any farther; he knew what 
he was talking about, as he had been there- 
Following are some of the contributions which 
acted as a sort of stimulating encouragement (?) 
to us to undertake the trip: 

pnOarliho anJ C.C.Murphea are mc^kmo<^tool-of He Unit^dSratcj 
,cnbici^cles,tviei|u;il| |3d4S fKrouati evtay Stule in thf Union and will 
'irav?! ovfR fwclvt +(ioosan2 milfs .thfu exptd fovr,o«e theli-if' in 

tout i^tftR Al-IO ii(( mON+hi <?.tffie CONcluiiiNol vyMchthf4~"il| Wfi|t(? 

'ft Boom. (:nfitle3"AR0U«[iTheV'»itep£lstoi&i<BitoJe.''Theu^,|illeAvC Jack- 
son, MicH ,ONn<Mi2,icio,j,tt,er<c^+o CHic(»Qo,'III. St.Lkilj.rlo P«v-- 

,D., Alliftr^ce, hfc-B., Cheu tnne ,v^c.»,, PeNvcn ,Co|o. , $^\i iMfCfu 
U-h?.!, ,?oc,^ie llo, Ido, Bun?, ^1o,;t,0lur,,/.^,Y^«sH,£^lem ,Oflto,^ervX 
ntv., 6AwFrflNcisco,CA/.,Tucso)v, fA^iz., D<»t)1i^d, i\.n Df*((f\'sTesrl 
AYamDre.rT,&i;ttirle,Oklo,f^rt(flNSrtS.K/NNJ, i-ittit fioc»f , Afvx , 
:mvvORlef<NS..U,Bi|oxi,n,ss.,TVhS/>coU,F)».,Mo«V"<'B'(,/M«., ■ 
^^v^o^^.Y/^.,Wfls^l»)Qton,t>.C.,B^Hl•noKe,nl ,w;lhii'n(}t'ori,Dc-l' PHil' 
a3tljiVifl,P« ,TB(NTQrv,N.J ,Nev,VorkC;fo,NtwHA.vtN,Conn,rr'ov- 
ll2encp,KI ,B'<i<'an.,nfiss ,'Partl/.NO,r»]<'.,-vJooi>iv;lle, n H iMs'ntb'li^t 
!Yt,Wh'•^l^•,<l,^/^Y/^,Colurv,bus,0 , Lov/is vi lie , Ku , /n rf i a no bol , ) , / r,*,' 



Around the United States by Bicycle 17 

Mr. E.: ^*You just wait until you get down into 
Kentucky just after it has rained, if you don^t have 
a time, you'll wish you had never left your own 
sweet little home. ' ' 

Mr. L.: ^'When you get out in South Dakota, 
you want to be" awful careful about the water, as it 
is all alkali water, and it will kill you if you drink 
it. What you want to do is to have water shipped 
to you from Michigan, and then you will be all 
right. ' ' 

Mr. R.: ^*If you should happen to be out in the 
plains after it rains, you'll be up against it. The 
ground absorbs the water just like a sponge, and 
you'll have to lay up for a week before you will be 
able to go again. ' ' 

**You'll never get through the Southern States 
as there are no roads down there, and it's all 
marshy and swampy and there are trestles several 
miles long, and the fast trains come along every 
little while." 

As to the different articles of wearing apparel, 
repairs for our wheels, etc., if we had taken every- 
thing which our friends recommended, it would 
have been necessary for us to be accompanied by 
a train of baggage wagons. With reference to 
medicines, bandages, etc., if we had complied with 
the desires of many we could have purchased the 
entire stock of any druggist, and transported it 
bodily with us, and even then there is no doubt 
that there would have been a great many articles 

18 Around the United States by Bicycle 

lacking. But, notwithstanding all ttie obstacles 
with which we had to contend, Father Time moved 
along just the same, and there were only a few 
days more between us and the time of our depart- 
ure, when SOMETHING happened. "We were 
supposed to start without a cent, and to have a 
thousand of our souvenirs on hand to carry with 
us. Everything in this direction was working 
nicely, we had received a telegram from the Bell 
Novelty Advertising Company, who make a 
general line of novelty advertising, and were locat- 
ed at Bellefontaine, Ohio, that the shipment would 
be ready for us so that we could receive them in 
time for the start. When we thought that every- 
thing was fine, like a thunderbolt from a clear sky, 
came a telegram which stated that there had been 
a jfire in the factory and that we should not be able 
to get our consignment, as it had been destroyed. 
It further stated that they would not be able to get 
another shipment ready for nearly two weeks. 
Some rapid wiring took place between us and the 
principals to the wager, and after exchanging 
several messages they agreed to advance us 
enough money to carry us to where we should 
receive our shipment of souvenirs, this money to 
be paid back to them from the sale of the souve- 

This was very discouraging, for if we had had 
our souvenirs at the start, we could have easily 
disposed of a large number to the people who gave 

Around the United States by Bicycle 19 

us the parting ovation on the morning of our de- 

At last the eventful day dawned. The second 
day of May, a bright, crisp, and cold morning. It 
was an ideal day for the beginning of our long 
ride. Our machines which had arrived but a few 
days before, having been shipped directly from 
the factory, were of a standard make, heavy road- 
sters with a weight without our baggage of 28 
pounds, but when loaded, nearly 75 pounds. The 
size of frame known as twenty-two inch; equipped 
with heavy tread clincher tires; one-eighth inch 
chain, without coasters or brakes; cushion frame 
and with gears of 84 2-3. We used upturned 
handlebars which permitted us almost an erect 
position in riding. We were both dressed in regu- 
lation bicycle suits and they were alike in every 
respect. We wore sweaters on which the scarlet 
circle surrounding a triangle, the insignia of the 
Y. M. C. A., stood forth in bold relief on the front 
like a headlight to an engine; this together with 
the purple and yellow of our sweaters, the bright 
orange of our bicycle stockings and whitish color 
of our elk-hide bicycle shoes, made such a dazzling 
display of color that a person on seeing us would 
instantly conclude that in some way or other, part 
of a rainbow had broken loose and was perambu- 
lating around the country. We carried with us a 
small type- writer with which we intended writing 
our reports, correspondence, etc. In the frames of 

20 Around the United States by Bicycle 

our bicycles, we each had a canvas touring case 
which fitted very neatly in the frame and in which 
we carried additional wearing apparel and repair 
supplies for the wheels. This was everything that 
we took with us at the start, as we felt that we 
could purchase different articles as we needed 

We rode down in front of the Otsego Hotel. It 
was then about 5:45 a. m. There was quite a 
group to see us off, but, owing to the early hour, 
many were unable to be there. After being photo- 
graphed, and a general handshake, we mounted 
our bicycles and rode slowly off, the beginning of 
our thirteen thousand mile ride. We had crossed 
the Eubicon, the die was cast, and it was with very 
peculiar feelings that we left the city limits of 
Jackson behind us, and the thought came to us 
that possibly it might be the last time that we 
should ever see our native city. 



The first day out we covered forty miles, arriv- 
ing at Battle Creek, Mich., about four in the after- 
noon. The roads were fairly good, and we got 
along nicely with nothing occurring beyond the 
common incidents of travel. The next day we did 
not have so much fun. In going out of Kalamazoo 
to a small place called Oshtemo, about eight miles 
distant, we got our first taste of what sandy roads 
are like. The country was very hilly and the sand 
on the road was eight to nine inches deep, loose 
and white, through which we walked and shoved 
our wheels with difficulty. 

"We were now passing through the grape coun- 
try of Southern Michigan, and on every side were 
\dneyards, while scattered at intervals were fac- 
tories where the fruit was pressed and the juice 
made into a delicious drink known to the market 
as ^ ' grape juice ' '. We called upon the manager of 
one of these factories, and when he learned the 
nature of our occupation, he invited us to partake 
of a sample of their product, a thing which we 
were in no wise slow to do. When we left the 
factory, we had drunk so much that we felt as if 
we had almost been transformed into real grapes. 

22 Around the United States by Bicycle 

Twelve-thirty one day found us ten miles from 
La Porte, Indiana, without our yet having our 
noon-day repast. Heretofore we had always eaten 
at hotels and restaurants, but today we decided to 
attempt to buy our dinner at some farm-house; 
accordingly we stopped at the first house, and ask- 
ed if it would be possible for us to buy our dinner. 
Some excuse to the effect that they had nothing 
cooked was the answer that we received, also the 
pleasant information that La Porte was only ten 
miles distant. At the next house we asked the 
same thing, and were told that they could do noth- 
ing for us, but that Mr. Brown, in the next house, 
would undoubtedly give us our dinner, as he made 
a practice of feeding travelers. 

We went to Mr. Brown's and told him what his 
kind and obliging neighbors had told us concern- 
ing him. He was very indignant, said that he 
never did such a thing, and asked if we wished to 
buy our dinner, why we did not go on to La Porte 
instead of trying to buy it at a farm-house, in the 
city there were restaurants and hotels that made a 
business of feeding people, that he was not run- 
ning any accommodation tavern for the benefit of 
the traveling community, and when he did he 
would hang out a sign to that effect in front of his 
house. After Mr. Brown had delivered himself of 
this rather spicy speech, we thanked him very 
much for all the advice with which he had favored 
us, and then we departed from the domain of the 

Around the United States by Bicycle 23 

eminent and peppery Mr. Brown. For the next 
two miles we called at every farm-house, simply 
as an experiment, and in no case did we receive 
any encouragement whatever, and all seemed to 
think the same as the Hon. Mr. Brown. 

We had wasted nearly an hour in these proceed- 
ings, and it was now nearly one-thirty, and we 
were still eight miles from La Porte. We reached 
that city a little past two o'clock, and enjoyed a 
dinner, the quantity of which was so great, that 
the proprietor, who was a German, exclaimed: 
'^Ach! Mein Gott in Himmel, vat eders you vas!'' 

From La Porte for a distance of nearly twelve 
miles toward Michigan City we traversed a fine 
macadamized road over which we spun in supreme 

Michigan City is located upon the shore of Lake 
Michigan, and in the town itself and in the vicinity 
the soil is of a fine white and powdery sand. On 
the lake shore, there stands a huge mound or 
minature mountain of this sand, upon which not 
the slightest verdure of any description will grow 
This hill is dubbed: "The Hoosiers' Slide." 

For nearly twenty miles out of Michigan City, 
owing to the heavy sand, it was necessary for us to 
walk the railroad track. In many places, how- 
ever, the riding was fairly good. This fact caused 
a rather exciting episode. The Michigan Central 
Railroad at this point has a double track system 
upon which fast freight and passenger trains run 

24 Around the United States by Bicycle 

at very frequent intervals. "We were riding be- 
tween the rails on the right hand track, when, 
hearing a rumbling sound and divining that it was 
an approaching train we turned to discover that it 
was a fast freight. We were then about a mile 
from the road crossing, and thought that as the 
train was still at such a great distance, we could 
easily make the crossing by riding just a little 
faster. Accordingly we began to ''sprint". "We 
were within a quarter of a mile of the crossing 
when we looked around and saw that the train was 
rapidly gaining upon us, but we thought that we 
should be able to reach the crossmg before the 
train caught us. We reached the crossing and fell 
off our wheels and pulled them off the tracks just 
as the train rushed by with a hissing of steam and 
a thunderous roar. 

As we proceeded, the surrounding country seem- 
ed to change from a sandy soil to a somewhat 
harder basis, and the roads, at least a great many 
of them, were built roads, made of crushed stone, 
and rolled until the surface was hard and smooth. 
It was with relief that we left the railroad track 
to travel again a first-class wagon road. 

In due time we arrived at Hammond, Indiana, 
which is really a suburb of Chicago. After get- 
ting dinner here and making repairs on a punctur- 
ed tire we proceeded toward that famous and 
much talked about metropolis, Chicago. 

Around the United States by Bicycle 25 

Even by fast riding, it took us nearly three 
lionrs to reach the heart of the main business sec- 
tion of the metropolis. We entered the city via 
Michigan avenue, one of the principal boulevards, 
on which the traffic is very great. Electric han- 
soms, cabs, automobiles, and motor vehicles of 
every description were dashing to and fro, a lively 
scene, a continuous stream of hurrying humanity. 
We had a great deal of difficulty wending our way 
through the jam of wagons, which together with 
the rush and roar of the elevated trains, the pecul- 
iar hum made by the cable, which lies a foot or 
more beneath the slot in the middle of the car 
tracks, made things very lively for us two wheel- 
men. Finally we reached the building of the 
Young Men's Christian Association, which is lo- 
cated on La Salle Street, a massive thirteen story 
structure. Leaving our wheels in front of the 
building, we went inside to make a few inquiries 
and on our return in less than five minutes, there 
was a crowd of several hundred people around the 
machines, who had been attracted out of curiosity. 
Upon our appearance, everyone commenced to 
talk at once, all desired to know where we were 
going, and where we came from, what we were 
making the trip for, and a few hundred other ques- 
tions of a like nature. It very much resembled a 
modern tower of Babel. 

Being strangers in the city, we had some diffi- 
culty in finding a suitable lodging-house, but after 

26 Around the United States by Bicycle 

an hour or so of wandering, we at last found that 
for which we were looking. It occupied the entire 
second and third floors of a large brick building. 
The entire front half of the second floor was de- 
voted to a combination reading, writing, and 
smoking room for the patrons. The air in this 
room was thick with tobacco smoke, amidst which 
perhaps one hundred or one hundred and fifty 
men, of a fairly respectable type, sat in supreme 

Observing an old man hedged off from the out- 
side world by a sort of chicken-coop affair, and 
who peered at all who had occasion to consult him 
through a square aperture, the width of which was 
about four inches, with a piercing glance which 
tended to make anyone feel as if they were before 
a judge to receive sentence, we inquired whether 
it would be possible for us to get a room, and a 
key was shoved through the ' ^ four by four, ' ' while 
the owner of the piercing eyes gave vent to a sten- 
torian and gruff: ^' Fifty cents!'' 

Finding the number on a piano-box sort of room 
which corresponded to the number on our key, we 
unlocked the door to find a floor space of about 
eight feet square, in which was an iron bed, with 
no other article of furniture, not even a solitary 
chair to keep it company. Our room (?) was 
separated from the others by a wooden partition 
perhaps six feet high, and over the top of the room 

Around the United States by Bicycle 27 

was stretched wire netting similar to that which 
is used on chicken coops. 

It was almost an impossibility for ns to sleep, 
for men were walking to and fro at frequent inter- 
vals during the whole night. At last in despera- 
tion we arose and dressed to find that it was 3:45 
a. m. 

The day was just dawning, but it was a very 
dismal and disagreeable morning. The air was 
cold and damp, and a clammy fog held the atmos^ 
phere in its grasp. We decided that it was a 
golden opportunity to sight-see as the city had not 
yet awakened. Strolling down Madison avenue, 
we paused to look at the filthy Chicago River. 
There was several barges passing, which, together 
with the operation of a '' jack-knife draw-bridge," 
so completely engrossed our attention, that we 
paid not the slightest notice to the stray pedestri- 
ans who passed to and fro, until a rough hand was 
laid upon our shoulders and a gruff voice hoarsely 
growled in our ears: ''Come on, kids! Dig up all 
you got and, d — n it, dig up quick, too!" We 
were very much frightened, being taken so com- 
pletely by surprise, and turned to look into the 
face of a man perhaps thirty-five years old, 
dressed in a suit which was many times too large 
for him and once upon a time would have been 
called black, but at present the color was question- 
able, the face was that of a regular genus ''hobo," 
decorated by a growth of stubby black whiskers 

28 Around the United States by Bicycle 

which would have made a barber ^^cry like a 
child," the eyes were small and treacherous look- 
ing, while his breath smelled very similar to that 
which is wafted from a musty beer cellar. He 
wore a slouch hat pulled down over his shaggy 
eye-brows, but in the hands with which he still 
grasped our shoulders, he held no gun, which was 
a very fortunate thing for us. As it has been our 
custom to carry our guns in holsters which were 
fastened to our belts, we had them with us at all 
times. Upon hearing this very polite request, we 
turned and reached for our guns which were in 
the vicinity of our hip pockets, mumbling some- 
thing to the effect that: ^^Well, guess we'll have 
to, as you certainly got the drop on us this time." 
By that time we had drawn our guns which we 
turned upon our astonished would be hold-up man, 
and advised him that unless he wished to give the 
undertaker a job he had better make himself 
scarce in that vicinity. He turned and was in 
such a great hurry that he even forgot to bid us 

One of the most notable features about Chicago, 
and one which is not seen in any of the other 
large cities of the United States, not even in New 
York, is the fact that all the people move very fast 
while walking, everything moves with that rush 
and bustle which is otherwise so characteristic of 
the ^^ Windy City." 



From Chicago we went to Joliet. This stretch 
of road was good, but five miles south of Joliet we 
began to get a taste of what Blinois roads are like 
in the spring time before they are worn down. 
The soil is a mixture of black muck and clay, and 
dries but very slowly, sticking to an object in the 
most affectionate way. Our first experience with 
this was coming from Joliet into Wilmington. 
When we reached the latter place, we were simply 
a sight. It had been necessary for us to carry our 
wheels for nearly four miles, no easy matter, as 
each wheel with its baggage weighed nearly sixty 
pounds. Our feet were heavily loaded with Illin- 
ois ^ * gumbo, ' ' and our physical exertion had been 
so great, that we were on the verge of collapse. 
So it was with joy that we sighted the little village 
of Wilmington. 

Owing to the impassable condition of the wagon 
roads, we determined to follow the railroad track. 
It was necessary for us to do this nearly all the 
way to Springfield. In many places we were able 
to ride alongside the rails, but sometimes it was a 
case of walk. 

Bloomington has the finest court-house in the 
state of Illinois, costing nearly a half million dol- 

30 Around the United States by Bicycle 

lars. The inside is finished in marble, and is illu- 
minated at night by hundreds of incandescent 
lights, which makes a very beautiful sight. The 
building is constructed on the dome plan, very 
similar to the plan of the majority of the state 
capitols throughout the United fc>tates. On our 
way beyoud Bloomington we had our first experi- 
ence of ^'roughing it.'' We got our supper at a 
little village, at which they were no hotels nor 
restaurants, in a private house where we could get 
no accommodations for the night, and had to go on 
to the next town, something like twelve miles 
distant. It was a very dark night, the kind of 
night that is described in the vernacular as being 
darker ^'than a stack of black cats.'' Owing to 
this it was impossible to ride, so we walked the 
railroad track. It was a weird and lonely walk. 
On each side of the track for five or six miles was 
a continuous stretch of dense and impenetrable 
swamp and forest combined, from which such 
noises as the cry of a screech owl, which sounded 
very like the wail of a lost soul, were shrilly 
hurled upon the night air. Taking everything 
into consideration, we enjoyed (f) our evening 
stroll very much. 

We at last reached the town of McLean, to find 
that although it was only ten- thirty p. m., there 
was not a person in the town awake, except the 
night operator at the station. We attempted to 
get some information from him as to whether there 

Around the United States by Bicycle 31 

was a hotel in the place, and if so, whether it was 
open, but he evidently thought that we were 
tramps, even though we told him all our troubles, 
how we were traveling, and how we had got into 
such a predicament; but he would not deign even 
to give us an answer or acknowledge that he heard 
us. Finding that we could not get any satisfac- 
tion out of the operator, we decided to investigate 
the situation for ourselves. There were no street 
lights of any description in the town, nor was there 
even a light burning in any of the houses. After 
falling over a horse block and bruising my shins, 
while Darling attempted to find a side walk, in 
which endeavor he bumped into several trees and a 
telephone post, leaving a swelling on his forehead 
to remind him of the event, a representative of the 
canine race by a series of blood-curdling howls 
cast out upon the inky blackness, took a hand in 
the game. As we did not wish to part with any por- 
tion of our anatomy, nor did we desire to leave any 
of our wearing apparel in the jaws of Mr. Dog, we 
decided that in this case that retreat was the better 
part of valor, and lost no time in reaching our 
haven of refuge, the railroad station. 

There was nothing for it but to sleep on the floor 
of the waiting-room in the depot. The air was 
very chilly, and during the night many trains 
passed through, so that we slept but little. We 
arose at four o'clock and walked the track to the 

32 Around the United States by Bicycle 

next town, as the wagon road was too bad to 

The bridge at the point where we were to cross 
the Sangamon Eiver had recently been swept 
away by high water, and rather than return and go 
Tip to the next bridge above, which would have 
been nearly fifteen miles out of our way, we deci- 
ded if possible to ford the stream. Eemoving our 
clothes, and tying them into a small bundle, we 
carried them above our heads and waded across. 
The water was about four and a half feet deep, 
coming almost to our shoulders. After we had 
got safely across with the clothes, we returned and 
carried our wheels over. The water was almost 
ice cold, the current was very swift, and as the 
river was nearly three hundred feet wide at this 
point, it was no very pleasant experience. 

Throughout this section of Illinois we were hav- 
ing a great deal of trouble with our tires. In this 
vicinity a great many thorn hedges are used. At 
this time each year the farmers are accustomed to 
trim their hedges and throw the branches out into 
the public highway. They puncture a rubber 
bicycle tire very readily, so that we spent much 
time in repairing punctures. 

At last we reached Springfield, the capital of the 
state of Illinois. The capitol building is a very 
fine structure, the top of the dome being four 
hundred and five feet from the ground. 


Around the United States by Bicycle 33 

In Springfield is also located the old home of 
Abraham Lincoln. The house is open to visitors 
at all times and is in charge of a lady paid by the 
government as a care-taker of the premises, and to 
explain to tourists the historical interest attached 
to various articles of furniture. We had the 
pleasure of sitting in Daniel Webster's old arm 
chair, and to sit at the desk which was formerly 
used by Abraham Lincoln. 

At this time the Eepublican state convention for 
the nomination of governor was being held in 
Springfield. As this brought nearly ten thousand 
strangers besides the delegates and their friends, 
into the city, the restaurant and hotel accommoda- 
tions were somewhat strained. The situation had 
become so bad, that a large vacant store upon one 
of the principal streets had been converted into a 
lodging house. Hundreds of cots had been placed 
in this store, and a large flaming sign on the front 
of the window announced to the world that the 
privilege to occupy one of these cots for the night 
would cost ^^only one dollar.'' The crush was so 
great that by five o 'clock in the afternoon not one 
of those cots was left. 

As we saw no opportunity to get a bed for the 
night, we went to one of the fire engine houses in 
the city, and accosted the Captain of the barn and 
asked him if we could sleep in the hay loft. He 
informed us that it was strictly against the rules, 
but as he had a boy who was wandering around in 

34: Arou7id the United States by Bicycle 

some corner of the world, ^'he guessed it would 
be all right/ ^ 

We were far from lonesome, as there were a 
small army of rats that used this place as their 
headquarters. As they are a very inquisitive sort 
of quadruped, we were often awakened from a 
sound sleep by one of the creatures running over 
our bodies; or perhaps one of them, braver than 
the others, would burrow in the hay on which we 
were sleeping, and make the exit from his tunnel 
beneath our heads. Altogether, our sleep was not 
too restful. 



Our route from Springfield to St. Louis lay 
through the largest and most extensive coal belt in 
the state of Illinois. The country was dotted with 
collieries, while the ^*chug chug'^ of the ascending 
and descending buckets which carry the coal to 
the surface, could be heard always. The villages 
for the most part were typical of a mining region. 
The cottages were small and untidy, the streets 
were muddy and dirty, and everything seemed to 
partake of the nature of the mines, being grimy 
and streaked with coal dust. 

As we were approaching Bunker Hill, about a 
mile ahead of us and coming from the opposite 
direction we noticed a man in a buggy wildly 
waving his arms as if in great distress. Thinking 
that he needed help, we hastened to increase our 
speed, but, as we came within hearing distance, we 
discovered that we were the cause of his agitation. 
He shouted to us in broken English mixed with a 
great deal of German, from which we at length 
understood that he wished us to get off our wheels 
until he passed with his horse. It is doubtful if 
the animal would have moved a muscle had even a 
dynamite cannon cracker exploded beneath his 
feet. From his appearance one would be led to 

36 Around the United States by Bicycle 

believe that all lie cared for in this world was 
simply to sleep. After the antiquated equine and 
his rather excitable master had passed by us 
safely, the latter stood up in his buggy, and har- 
angued us with a speech the greater part of which 
was in his own native tongue. This was accom- 
panied by many gestures, in which the shaking of 
his clenched j&st in our direction bore a prominent 
part. After he had continued this performance 
until he was nearly blue in the face and was forced 
to stop, through lack of breath, he drove onward 
apparently feeling very much better. Without 
doubt he held the idea that when a bicyclist saw 
him approaching the wheelman should immediate- 
ly proceed to get off the Earth. 

As the Mississippi had recently been on a ram- 
page and had overflown its banks, we were not 
able to reach East St. Louis, which is in the state 
of Illinois, and lies directly across the river from 
St. Louis proper, but had to take a ferry from 
Venice, which is a small town lying some distance 
up the river. This town was a sorry looking sight, 
owing to the high water, and pools of stagnant and 
foul-smelling water stood around many of the 
houses, completely surrounding them. 

We found St. Louis to be composed largely of 
negroes and Missouri mules. Most of the business 
streets are quite narrow, while many of the public 
buildings, especially the Post-office and the Court 

Around the United States by Bicycle 37 

House, look very Gibraltar-like, as if to serve as 
fortresses in time of need. 

We spent three days in St. Louis, most of which 
were passed at the World's Fair Grounds. 

From St. Louis our next objective point was 
Davenport, Iowa, via Beardstown, Galesburg, and 
Eock Island, all in Illinois. 

We had much trouble with the *^ gumbo'* roads, 
it being necessary to walk and carry our wheels 
for long distances. We became lost one night, 
and wandered over roads which were knee-deep 
with mud. 

After crossing the Illinois Eiver at Beardstown, 
we found the country very hilly and bluff -like, this 
being the case particularly along the river, which 
we followed for some distance. 

At Eock Island we again crossed the Missis- 
sippi, and landed upon the soil of Iowa, this mak- 
ing our fifth state. 

Between the cities of Eock Island and Daven- 
port lies an island which is owned by Uncle Sam, 
and on which the U. S. Eock Island Arsenal is 
located. Here all the equipment for the army in 
the way of saddles, harness, tinware, canteens, and 
cannon of all description, are manufactured. The 
island consists of about a thousand acres, and is 
entirely under military supervision. 

Our route lay along the Mississippi Eiver from 
Davenport up to Clinton, from which place we 
again crossed the river returning into Illinois. 

38 Around the United States by Bicycle 

In many places, in going up to Clinton, the 
wagon road was on the bank of the river. The 
mighty stream flowed onward tranquilly, almost 
without a ripple disturbing its placid surface. 
Occasionally a passenger-boat would pass us, a 
typical Mississippi stern- wheeler, noted the world 
over for being able to navigate in the most shallow 
of waters. Abraham Lincoln was said to have 
expressed the opinion that after a heavy rainfall 
of four or five inches of water, one of these boats 
could easily ply to and fro over the fields. 

The majority of the villages along the river 
were small antiquated fishing communities, which 
had not changed in architecture or otherwise for a 
half century. We were looked upon with suspic- 
ion by the inhabitants of these villages, as if they 
had mentally resolved that if we were going to 
remain in town all night it would be a very good 
plan to keep a close watch on their premises. 

The trip from Clinton, Iowa, across the river to 
Fulton and thence to Freeport towards the Wis- 
consin line was just a little more than we had ori- 
ginally calculated upon. The country, unlike that 
of the southern part of the state, was very hilly, 
and the roads were very poor, so that we had to 
walk four out of every ten miles traversed. 

In the northern part of Illinois an event quite 
important to us took place, for our cyclometers 
registered the fact that we had covered our first 
thousand miles. 

Around the United States by Bicycle 39 

As we crossed the Wisconsin line and proceeded 
on our way northward toward Madison, the coun- 
try increased in ruggedness. It became heavily 
timbered, farm-houses were few and far between, 
and there was generally an appearance of wild 
and savage grandeur. 

"We arrived at Madison, which is the capital of 
the state of Wisconsin, at 4 p. m., on May 29. Up 
to this point we had gained two days on our sched- 
ule, and as for our expenses, we had made them 
easily from day to day since we had received our 
shipment of souvenirs at Springfield, Illinois. Be- 
sides we had been able to repay the sum of money 
which it had been necessary for us to borrow from 
the parties making the wager, and we were having 
no financial trouble whatever. Our method was to 
canvass the business portion of every town less 
than ten thousand inhabitants, but the larger cities 
we did not try to canvass, as it took too much time, 
and time was as valuable to us as money. 

The city of Madison is virtually a summer 
resort. The University of Wisconsin is located 
here, and has an attendance of nearly three thous- 
and students. The city itself is nearly surrounded 
by a chain of four lakes called: Mendota, Monona, 
Wygra, and Waubesa, the largest of which is lake 
Mendota. The capitol building occupies a large 
square, the business portion of the city being built 
around it, practically being on a neck of land 

40 Around the United States by Bicycle 

formed by Lake Mendota on one side and Lake 
Monona on the other. 

One evening while sitting in the ^* office'^ of a 
hotel in one of the small towns we overheard the 
following ^^ short but sweet" conversation held 
between two men. 

^^I met your doctor this morning and he said 
that he hoped you were well. ' ^ 

Second Party: ^^ Strange thing for a doctor to 
say, wasn't it?'' 

First Party: ^^I don't know. He said your last 
illness cost him fifty dollars. ' ' 

The greater part of this state is settled by Ger- 
mans, many of whom are dairymen; and the great- 
est cheese-making community in the United States 
is located in Green County, Wisconsin, through 
which we were now traveling. 



The evening of the first day's travel out of 
Madison found us amid the rocky bluffs which are 
in the vicinity of Devil's Lake. We had in some 
manner taken the wrong road. The one which we 
were following got worse and worse, until it be- 
came nothing but a mere cow path. This turned 
and twisted in the most erratic manner through 
an almost impenetrable forest, while occasionally, 
through openings in the trees, on one side could be 
seen a dark and grim outline of a rocky mass 
which seemed to be several hundred feet high. 
It was evident that the trail which we were follow- 
ing was winding around the foot of these bluffs. 
The woods were so thick and the underbrush so 
dense that we were hardly able to force our way 
through. After wandering in this manner an hour, 
making but little progress, and with hands and 
faces bleeding from the thorny bushes, we stum- 
bled out into a clear space, nearly tripping over a 
railroad track. We had lost all sense of direction, 
and simply guessed at it, and started to follow the 
track. In less than half an hour we arrived at a 
telegraph station, which proved to be Devil's 
Lake. As the operator told us that there was a 

42 Around the United States by Bicycle 

hotel at the lake, which was about half a mile dis- 
tant, we felt very much relieved and welcomed an 
end to our troubles for that day. 

Devil's Lake is a very picturesque and, at the 
same time, wild spot. The lake itself is almost 
totally surrounded by huge rocky bluffs, some of 
which are as high as eight hundred feet. These 
bluffs are strewn with mammoth boulders, which 
seem to have been hurled by giants of some prehis- 
toric age. At the top of one of these bluffs stands 
a mass of jagged rock forty feet high, which from 
its form, is called ^'The DeviPs Doorway.'' At 
the foot of the bluff is an immense rock, weighing 
many tons, and on which there is a sign which 
reads: ^^ Please do not carry this away." 

The stretch of country from Baraboo to Tomah 
is from a scenic standpoint very interesting. On 
every side, as far as the eye can see, masses of bare 
rock entirely free from vegetation of any kind dot 
the landscape. These masses are generally 
several hundred feet high, the sides are nearly 
perpendicular, while the tops seem to be flat ; most 
of them are of a sugar-loaf form, and seem to be 
nearly as wide as they are high. As the country 
in the vicinity of these strange rock formations is 
entirely flat and level, the effect is that of giant 
and Sphinx-like sentinels. 

Since leaving Madison we had been told all 
manner of hair-raising tales with reference to the 
trouble which we were going to have in crossing 

Around the United States by Bicycle 43 

what is known as '^Tlie Black Eiver Wilds. '^ This 
wilderness we should have to cross in order to 
reach the town of Black Eiver Falls, for which we 
were bound. 

Ten miles out of Tomah this stretch of ''bad 
land'' began. The soil was mostly a loose sand, 
but here and there could be seen a tuft of long, 
coarse grass, while small grub oaks and tamaracks, 
ranging from three to twenty feet in height, thick- 
ly covered this desert waste. There was no op- 
portunity to ride as we sank in the loose sand at 
every step. On our left, perhaps a mile distant, 
there seemed to be a chain of hills, which, like the 
wilderness, were covered by a tangled mass of 
underbrush and small dwarfish trees. Away to 
our right, as far as we could see, was the flat and 
unbroken line of the wilderness. In the hazy 
distance, their outlines showing blue and indis- 
tinct, was another chain of hills, similar to those 
on our left. In places we would come to morasses, 
to avoid which we would have to make detours. 
As there were no roads whatever we attempted to 
travel in a straight line, and trust to chance to 
arrive at the right place. Many times we thought 
we were lost, as we seemed to be traveling in a 
circle, but still we plodded onward. Just as we 
thought that we surely had lost our way, we spied 
what appeared to be a village a mile or more 
distant. This proved to be Millston, and consis- 
ted of two saloons, a telegraph station, and several 

44 Around the United States by Bicycle 

houses. It certainly was a veritable oasis in the 

From Millston to Black Eiver Falls, a distance 
of twelve miles, we walked the railroad, which was 
far safer than attempting to find the way through 
the wilds. 

Black Eiver Falls, a town of two thousand in- 
habitants, gets its name from the rapids in the 
heart of the place. It is in the midst of a very 
wild section. • About nine miles from the city is a 
reservation of the Winnebago Indians. On pleas- 
ant days the streets of the town are crowded with 
braves and squaws, who retain their tribal 
costumes, and for the most part are very uncivi- 

For the next ^ve days we were greatly delayed 
by rain. Owing to the sloppy condition of the 
roads it was necessary to follow the railroad 
nearly all the time. 

There was great excitement in Menominee. The 
Eed Cedar Eiver was out of its banks, and was 
expected to carry away the lower dam at the mill. 
If this hapened the greater part of the town would 
be flooded. It was asserted that the river was 
the highest it had been in twenty years. A 
swollen, angry mass of tawny and foam crested 
dirty water can best describe this roaring torrent. 
"With much difficulty we succeeded in crawling 
down one of the stone piers of a railroad trestle to 
the abutment below, from which we found that an 

Around the United States by Bicycle 45 

excellent picture of the stream could be obtained. 
The huge waves dashed against this abutment 
with terrific force, drenching us to the skin, and 
the noise was deafening. In the distance could be 
seen the mill and the dam upon which so much 

In due time we arrived at Hudson, which is 
located on Lake St. Croix, this lake forming the 
boundary line between "Wisconsin and Minnesota. 
Across the lake could be seen the high bluffs which 
marked the bounds of Minnesota. 

We waited patiently for an hour or more, until a 
rather dilapidated and wheezy ferry-boat put in 
its appearance, and then we waited another hour 
for the captain to take a short nap, as he took 
great care not to overwork himself. But at last 
everything was ready, there was a great deal of 
swearing by one of the deck hands, who had 
trouble in raising the gang-plank, and, amid a suc- 
cession of groans and grunts from the little vessel, 
we were off. 



A jaunt of sixteen miles over a rough, and hilly- 
road brought us to St. Paul. 

This city is built in a nest of the steepest of hills. 
And as one views them, and sees the inhabitants 
toiling laboriously upward, it occurs to him what 
a great success these people would make as moun- 
tain climbers. We observed that the majority of 
the St. Paulites bore wearied and fatigued looks, 
caused doubtless by their continuously climbing 
the hills. 

At the present writing a new capitol for the 
state of Minnesota is being constructed. This new 
building, it is claimed, upon completion will be the 
finest state capitol in the West. The cost is sup- 
posed to be in the neighborhood of six million dol- 
lars, and it will be completed sometime in the 
year nineteen hundred and five. 

The old capitol is a very common building, 
which more closely resembles a school house than 
a state capitol. 

A great rivalry exists between St. Paul and 
Minneapolis, the twin cities lying some eighteen 
miles apart. 

The mighty Mississippi at this point is a small 
sluggish stream which impresses one but little. 


Around the United States by Bicycle 47 

Seven miles out of the capital city is located the 
historic Fort Snelling. During the early days 
when Indians were plentiful and very warlike this 
fort withstood many a siege. As a reminder of 
these days there still stands ''the Old Eound 
Tower'', which was huild in the year 1820. It is 
constructed of stone, with walls four feet thick. 
At present it is being remodeled for cavalry head- 
quarters. This building is famous all over the 

The site of old Fort Snelling is now used as an 
army post by Uncle Sam. There are eight hund- 
red men stationed here, infantry and artillery. It 
is also the intention of the government to place a 
detachment of cavalry here in the near future. 

Several miles from the post is Minnehaha Park, 
the chief attraction of which is the waterfall of the 
same name. These falls at the time we visited 
them were beautiful, it being claimed that there 
was a larger amount of water flowing over them 
than in a number of years. They are located in a 
picturesque woody glen, and are about twenty 
feet wide with a sixty foot fall of water. The mus- 
ical Indian name means ' ' Laughing Water. ' ' 

Minneapolis proved to be a more metropolitan 
city than St. Paul. Unlike its sister city, it is very 
level. The streets are very wide, and, on the 
whole, it impresses one as a city far more than its 

48 Around the United States by Bicycle 

We had but little trouble in crossing the state 
of Minnesota. Our route lay through Willmar, 
Benson, Morris and Wheaton. 

For a long distance after leaving Minneapolis 
we had the pleasure of traversing a built bicycle 
path. The wheelmen of the city have all formed 
an association by which each pays a certain sum 
as dues every year, from which fund paths to 
every village and town for a radius of fifty miles 
around the city are constructed. 

At Wyzetta we got our first glimpse of the 
famous Lake Minnetonka. This has a shore line 
of over two hundred miles, its shores being in- 
dented by innumerable inlets, bays, and sounds. 
It is a very aristocratic pleasure resort, and hund- 
reds of magnificent summer homes line the lake. 

Through this section of the state there are a 
great many lakes. Every village has a lake in its 
near vicinity. This was the case in every town 
through which we passed for a distance of seventy 

As we proceeded westward the country became 
very level, and on every side was a green expanse 
of young, growing wheat. Fences are dispensed 
with, not even the railroad right of way being en- 
closed, and wagon roads ran at will over the 
prairie. If someone got the idea that he could 
make a short cut by driving across the corner of a 
wheatfield, he acted simultaneously with the 
thought, and drove over the growing grain. 

Around the United States by Bicycle 49 

The country generally was very thickly popul- 
ated by Swedes, Norwegians, and Danes, all an in- 
dustrious, simple-minded, peaceful, honest, and 
law-abiding people. Agricultural hamlets ranged 
six to ten miles apart. All looked very prosperous 
and were of a very neat style of architecture. 

Occasionally, in canvassing the towns, we would 
come into stores the proprietors of which would 
be Jews. In one of them the following dialogue 
took place between ^'little Jakey'^ and his 
**maw". It seems that the father had that morn- 
ing left for Chicago on business, leaving his wife 
in charge of the store. Little Jakey had been play- 
ing around the store, but in some manner had 
aroused the ire of his mother, who had locked him 
up in the back room as punishment for his mis- 
deeds. The boy stood it for awhile in silence but 
finding it rather lonesome, began to plead for his 

^^Oh, maw! please let me oud ob dis room, und 
I vill pe von goot poy." 

^^No, mine son; you vos von pad poy und did 
not mind your maw, you gannot gum oud.^' 

*' Please, maw!'' 

^^No, mine poy!" 

(A few minutes' silence.) ^'Maw!" 

'^Vell, vatisit!" 

''If you vill led me oud I vill gif you two dollars 
oud of mine pank, dot paw would not gif you dis 

50 Around the United States by Bicycle 

*'Vell, you vas a t'oghtful poy to vant to gif 
me dot money, und I could not bunish. you after 
dot; but vait until I run und get de pank, Jakey.'' 

Every village was equipped with a grain eleva- 
tor and a water tank. This latter was generally 
mounted on a steel frame work, and stood high in 
the air. The country was so extremely flat and 
the air was so clear, that one of these tanks could 
be seen at a distance of ten miles. 

We were very thankful that we were not com- 
pelled to travel over very much of North Dakota. 
From Wheaton we went to Hankinson, N. D., and 
from that place we headed for Forman, which 
was our reporting place for that state. Both of 
these points were in the extreme southeastern 
portion of the state, and even here the country was 
the wildest of the wild. This was what could be 
termed the plains. Very little of the land was 
under cultivation, it being used as a grazing land 
for cattle. A long, tough grass which grew ever 
so thickly, covered the entire ground. A series 
of rolling swells can best describe this section. 
Here it is nothing whatever for a man to own a 
ranch of six to twelve hundred acres of land, and 
the result is that one might travel all day without 
passing a human habitation; and the roads were 
something entirely different from those with 
which we had had experience. Three ruts, six to 
eight inches deep, and several inches wide, over 
which the long grass grew ; they extended over the 

Around the United States by Bicycle 51 

prairie in the most aimless fashion, bomided by 
no fence, sign-board, or anything else to indicate 
where they went to. Owing to the heavy rains, 
which had recently been predominant all over the 
state, a great many of the low places, or hollows, 
were covered with water, and these were called 
^ ^ slews ' ' by the natives. 

In making from Hankinson to Forman, we cer- 
tainly *^got ours.'' Owing to the many '^slews'' 
which we encountered, it was necessary for us to 
make extensive detours of several miles. In this 
way, we got upon the wrong trail, or road, and 
wandered over the plains for several hours before 
we saw anyone to set us right. When we finally 
reached Forman, it was nearly nine o 'clock in the 
evening, and the shades of night were just falling. 
At this season of the year the sun does not set 
until nearly eight-thirty, in fact the heat from the 
sun at 8 p. m. is almost as great as it is in the East- 
ern states in the summer time at the noon hour. 

"VVe found South Dakota, however, to be a great 
deal better in every respect. It was more like 
Minnesota; we passed through the best part of the 
state: Britton, Aberdeen, Eedfield, and Mitchell. 
Here the land was all under cultivation, and was 
very level, good-sized towns being scattered over 
the country. 

The drinking water through the western part of 
Minnesota and both the Dakotas is very bad. This 
fact we discovered to our sorrow. In some places 

52 Around the United States by Bicycle 

it is alkali water; the people in the immediate 
neighborhood, being accustomed to it are not 
troubled by using it, but from our personal experi- 
ence we should advise the uninitiated to beware. 
In other sections rain water is used exclusively 
for drinking purposes, and the only water which 
it is possible to get out of the ground is that which 
is called ^ ^ tubular water. ' ' This is highly impreg- 
nated with salt and is very bitter. It is used 
mostly for the stock, and is obtained at a depth of 
three to four hundred feet. Coming, as we did, 
from a state where excellent drinking water was 
one of its boasts, the reader can readily under- 
stand with what very pleasant feelings we would 
drink the nauseating rain water. In the majority 
of cases the water would be conducted by eave 
troughs into a cistern from which it would be 
pumped as it was needed. I distinctly remember 
one instance where the roof had been but recently 
shingled, and the water was nicely seasoned, tast- 
ing very much like a lumber yard. Occasionally, 
however, the water would be filtered removing all 
the impurities, but only a very small percentage 
of the farm-houses were equipped in this manner. 
The longest ride which we made in any one day 
on the whole thirteen thousand mile journey was 
made from Eedfield to Mitchell, one hundred and 
twelve miles. The roads were very good, and the 
country was flat and level. Sixteen miles out from 
Mitchell I broke my chain beyond repair. Darling 

Around the United States by Bicycle 53 

suggested that we tie the wheels together, and 
that he would tow me in for the balance of the dis- 
tance. This answered nicely. We rode up the 
main street of Mitchell with half a hundred of the 
younger generation following us at a dog-trot, all 
endeavoring to find out just what kind of a ma- 
chine we were operating. 

As we traveled nearly every day, Sundays in- 
cluded, we had not the time to spare to have our 
washing hired, but did it ourselves whenever an 
opportunity presented itself. Continuous practice 
in this line had made us quite skilful, so that we 
were able to '^doee washee velly glood.'^ 

"We received our souvenirs in consignments at 
different points, they being shipped ahead of us. 
We were to receive an order at Aberdeen, but for 
some reason, although we waited nearly two days 
for it, it did not put in its appearance. As we 
could ill afford to lose so much time, we left in- 
structions to have the same forwarded to Mitchell. 
We arrived there only to learn that it was not 
there, and remained a day, but as it did not come, 
we requested the agent upon its arrival to send it 
to Valentine, Nebraska. 

As the chief article of production in this state 
is corn, at the annual agricultural display which 
is held at Mitchell, lasting nearly ten days and 
conducted in the form of a fete, or carnival, this 
product is one of the principal displays. This is 
called '^The Com Festival. '' On the main street 

54 Around the United States by Bicycle 

of the city there stands a building whose design 
is indeed unique, the decorations on which are 
many and varied and all are made with the aid 
of the stalks and ears of corn. This structure is 
called ^^The Corn Palace.'' This annual celebra- 
tion usually occurs in the month of September. 

At Wheeler, which was a cluster of rather dilap- 
idated houses, two general stores and a large 
frame building which looked like an old barn, but 
which, we afterward learned, was the County 
Court House, we got our first view of the Missouri 
Eiver. Here it was necessary to use a ferry 
in order to cross. This was located up the river 
a mile or more from Wheeler. A strong gale had 
been blowing all day, and this had caused the 
river to become very choppy, so much so, that the 
ferryman refused to take his craft across until the 
wind had subsided. The boat was a neat little 
affair, something like forty feet long, and operated 
by means of a gasoline engine. 

The Missouri at this point is a dirty yellowish 
color, with a very swift current. It is over a mile 
wide, but so deceptive are the distances on water, 
that it looked hardly more than a thousand feet. 
It is claimed that it is a very treacherous stream, 
constantly changing its course and forming sand 
bars in its channel. Here, on each side, it was 
lined with high bluffs. 

We waited from three o'clock in the afternoon 
until nine in the evening before the ferryman 


Ai^oimd the United States by Bicycle 55 

would agree to take us across. As we swung out 
into the middle of the stream, the huge waves 
would almost wash over the little craft. "When 
we were about half-way across, something went 
wrong with the engine, and it stopped entirely. 
The current was so fearfully strong that we began 
to go down stream at a great rate, and were having 
visions of a trip by water down to St. Louis. At 
this catastrophe the pilot let loose upon the atmos- 
phere about two tons of oaths, and these were so 
effective, that the engine again commenced to 
work and soon we had regained that which we had 

Upon arriving at the other side, the ferryman 
proceeded to tie up his boat to the bank, and de- 
parted for his home, which was two miles distant. 
"We intended to ride to Bonesteel that night, but 
got a half a mile or so from the river to discover 
that we each had a puncture in one of our tires. 
It was too late to repair them that night, and as 
there was no house in the near vicinity, the only 
thing left for us to do was to go back to the boat 
and sleep on its deck. The wind was still blowing 
strongly, while the waves dashed against the sides 
of the vessel with a loud splashing sound, tossing 
the boat to and fro, and it was oppressively dark. 

We dared not light any matches, as we were 
afraid that the owner might accidentally see them, 
nor did we dare to make very much noise. We 
succeeded in finding a couple of life preservers. 

56 Around the United States by Bicycle 

which we used as pillows, and, stretched out upon 
the deck, we were soon lulled to sleeg by the ele- 

A little past midnight I was awakened by rain 
falling upon my face. I discovered that a terrible 
storm was about to break upon us. Already large 
drops of water were falling, vivid flashes of light- 
ning illuminated the heavens, and these were 
accompanied by peals of thunder which seemed 
to shake the very foundation of the earth. I shook 
Darling and shouted: ^'Get up quick! There's a 
terrible storm coming!" He jumped as if he had 
been shot, stared wildly and vacantly at the heav- 
ens, and made a dash for the deck-house in which 
the engine was located, disappearing through the 
doorway just as another peal of thunder rent the 
heavens. All his actions had been intensified by 
two separate flashes of lightning, one just as he 
looked up so wildly and the other just as he 
had disappeared through the doorway. The sur- 
roundings were so weird, and his actions so pecul- 
iar, that I almost believed that his mind had be- 
come unbalanced, and that perhaps I had a maniac 
on my hands. As a precaution I picked up a large 
hammer which I found on the deck and proceeded 
stealthily towards the deck-house, determined to 
handle my lunatic rather roughly if it became nec- 
essary. I got through the doorway just as a flash 
of lightning revealed the form of my suspected 
crazy man stretched at full length on the floor, his 

Around the United States by Bicycle 57 

snoring audible above the roar of the elements. 
After much shaking and shouting I succeeded in 
awakening him only to find that he had no knowl- 
edge of his previous actions and did not know how 
he had got into the deck-house. 

The storm now broke in all its fury, and the rain 
fell in torrents, completely deluging the deck of 
the boat. The wind increased until it was almost 
blowing a hurricane, while the river became a 
boiling cauldron. The ferry-boat tossed like an 
egg-shell, creaking and groaning like a creature 
in distress. At almost any moment we expected 
to see the little craft part from her moorings, and 
go spinning out into the inky blackness. But al- 
though the strain was terrific, the big ropes held 

The storm raged for several hours, but towards 
dawn it suddenly ceased, the water becoming as 
smooth as glass sfad hardly even the slightest 
breeze blowing. 

During the time that the storm was at its height, 
we hardly dared breathe. If the boat had left its 
moorings, we should have been powerless, and the 
boat would soon have overturned and sunk. 

During the storm the rolling of the boat had 
caused our wheels to fall. Upon examination we 
found that the top of the can containing our patch- 
ing cement had become loosened and had fallen 
off, and all the cement had run out, mixing with 
the waters of the Missouri. It was now a case of 

58 Around the United States by Bicycle 

'^liike'' to Bonesteel a distance of eleven miles, 
and we immediately started. 

The first part of our task was to ascend a hill 
which was over two miles np to the top. 

We reached Bonesteel at 8:40, having walked 
the entire distance, and being nearly famished we 
made a rush for a restaurant. 

This town was a sight. The ^ Rented cities'' at 
Chicago during the World's Fair were nothing to 
those here. Tents and ^^ prairie schooners" occu- 
pied every vacant square foot of space around 
the town for a mile or more. Carpenters were 
working as if their life depended upon it in con- 
structing frame buildings to be used as restaur- 
ants or lodging-houses. Every incoming train was 
loaded, and dumped its human freight into the 
already overcrowded town. The air was thick 
with dust caused by an endless procession of 
wagons and men on horseback. Whole families 
came, bringing the necessaries for a stay of sev- 
eral weeks. The only business street of the town 
was crowded with idle men. Here you would see 
the professional gambler, who had been attracted 
by the ^^boom," prepared to part the unsophisti- 
cated from their hard-earned ducats. There you 
would see the typical '^cow puncher" of the range, 
weather beaten, booted, and spurred, his belt filled 
with cartridges, while on one side the handle of a 
**six shooter" protruded, and by his side would 
be a **down east tenderfoot" anxiously plying the 

Around the United States by Bicycle 59 

ranger with all manner of questions, but doing so 
warily and in a very timid manner, looking as if 
at the slightest suspicious movement he would 
take to his heels. It was indeed a motley crowd. 

All this crush of humanity had been brought 
here in the hope to *^get something for nothing," 
to be more explicit: the United States Govern- 
ment was to open a part of the Indian Eosebud 
Eeservation for settlement. This land had been 
surveyed in certain plats, and for a small sum one 
could have his name registered, which would give 
him a chance to draw a certain plat to be specified 
and described by him when he registered. When 
the drawing took place, should his filing, or regis- 
tration, be the first for this plat, then it would be 
his; upon which it would be necessary for him to 
break the land and cultivate and live upon it for 
five years, after which it was his to do with as he 
wished. Therefore it was the desire of all to be 
the first, which had caused this terrible ^'rush.'' 

It was our intention to travel from Bonesteel 
across the Eosebud Eeservation in order to reach 
Valentine, Nebraska. By taking this short-cut 
we should save almost a hundred miles, besides 
avoiding a belt of sand which borders the whole 
northern portion of Nebraska. 

Upon inquiry at Bonesteel whether it would be 
necessary for us to carry food or water with us in 
crossing the Eeservation, or if we should have any 
trouble to find the right trail, we were told by 

60 Around the United States by Bicycle 

several parties in a positive manner that we should 
find the cabins of Indians at intervals of a mile 
along the trail where we should have no trouble 
in procuring food or water. We were to travel 
what is known as ''the old Valentine Trail/' which 
was a straight cut going directly to Valentine, one 
hundred and twenty-five miles across. 

From their description we had no fear whatever 
of losing our way, as this was a main trail which 
would be the easiest thing in the world to follow. 
So we started at 10:30 in the morning, leaving the 
pandemonium of Bonesteel behind us, to travel in 
fact across a one hundred and twenty-five mile 
stretch on which there was nothing but Indian 
aborigines, who talked but very little English; 
where water was scarce; where a net-work of trails 
covered the country, running to all points of the 
compass, one being as plain as the other, requiring 
a person endowed with superhuman instinct to 
determine the right one; where all that met the 
eye was a dreary and desolate expanse of rolling 
plains thickly covered by a long, tangled, parched 
grass, search as carefully as one might, a growing 
tree or bush could not be found; where fences and 
railroads were not known, and where the trails 
consisted in those three deep-worn ruts with which 
we had had experience on the plains of North 
Dakota; but all this we did not then know, nor 
that while on this Eeservation we were almost to 

Around the United States by Bicycle 61 

grasp the cold and clammy hand of the grim mons- 
ter, Death. 

For fifteen miles everything went well, there 
was only one trail and that was very plain, but 
cabins, or human beings of any kind, we did not 
see. We continued to travel until nearly one 
o'clock anxiously scanning the country for some 
indications of a human habitation where we 
should be able to get food and water. At last, to 
the right of our trail, we saw an object on the 
horizon which we thought to be a cabin. We 
found it six miles distant and all the way we had 
to walk, and push our bicycles through the long 

The cabin was that of an Indian who, on our 
approach, greeted us with a good-natured 
*' Howdy r' He had a considerable knowledge of 
English, and we had no trouble in procuring 
plenty of water and a supply of maize cake, which 
was very hard baked and looked very much like 
our * * johnny cake. ' ' 

We retraced our steps and again traveled on the 
same trail which we had been following. We had 
gone but a short distance, when our trail seemed 
to lose itself in a network of others which ran 
in every direction. We were at a loss to know 
which to take, but noticing one which appeared 
to go in a southwesterly direction, we followed it. 
Many other trails crossed the one which we were 
on, some even running parallel for long distances. 

62 Arou7id the United States by Bicycle 

We had great difficulty in picking out our own 
from this thread-work. Now we would be twisting 
in almost a direct eastern course, then we would 
find ourselves going north and west, and on the 
whole we began to have misgivings as to whether 
we were on the right trail or not. 

The sun beat fiercely upon us, there being no 
trees nor shelter of any kind where we could be out 
of reach even for a few minutes of those fiery 
rays. The temperature must have been something 
over a hundred degrees, as it was so hot that it 
was almost beyond endurance, and we were com- 
mencing to feel the terrible pangs of thirst. 

All that afternoon we continued to travel on- 
ward, every minute increasing our sufferings. 
Eight o'clock that night still found us wheeling 
mechanically along. We had not seen any living 
being, nor habitation of any kind. Our lips were 
cracked and broken, and from them a drop of 
blood would occasionally trickle; our throats were 
parched and swollen, and the vocal organs had be- 
come paralyzed. We could not talk but made 
strange guttural sounds, and our only thought was 
an insane desire for water. Still, like machines, 
we continued to ride. Oh! how we wished that 
that fiery ball would go out of the heavens and 
that darkness might relieve us of our sufferings. 

The physical frame had reached its limit. I 
swayed in the saddle and fell, while a few hun- 
dred feet farther on Darling was overcome, reeled 

Around the United States by Bicycle 63 

and groaned, and was stretched on the ground, 
apparently lifeless. 

There we lay all night, both in a sort of stupor. 
No sound disturbed the death-like quietness, ex- 
cept occasionally the howl of a coyote in the dis- 
tance, which sounded to our benumbed faculties 
like a greeting from the realms of the dead. 

Towards midnight the air became crisp and cool, 
which revived us, and at last we fell asleep. 

When we awoke, the sun was shining upon us 
with the same intensity as on the preceding day. 
Although we were very weak, we managed to 
travel all that forenoon, stopping to rest fre- 
quently. Finally we became so weak that we 
could not possibly go any farther. Stacking the 
wheels, which afforded us a very slight protection 
from the sun, we resolved to lie down and die, we 
prayed that the end might come soon. 

All that afternoon we lay there in semi-cons- 
ciousness. The first perception that we had of 
anything worldly was of an Indian stooping over 
us and roughly shaking our tired bodies. Leaving 
us, and going to his pony, which patiently stood 
a few feet distant, he took a canteen from the pom- 
mel of his saddle, returned, and lifting our heads, 
he poured the liquid down our thoats. This re- 
vived us somewhat, but still we were too weak 
to walk, although we tried our best. The Indian, 
noticing our weakness, lifted Darling up and 
placed him across his horse, then turning to me. 

64 Around the United States by Bicycle 

he said in very good English: ^*I will be back for 
you in a few minntes.'' 

It seemed to be hours and hours before he came, 
but at last I heard the rapid galloping of his ap- 
proaching horse. He carried me in the same man- 
ner. To my tortured mind and body it seemed as 
if I lay across that horse for almost a whole day, 
and that we should never reach our destination. 
But suddenly my benefactor stopped his steed 
with a jerk, and, dismounting, lifted me from the 
pony and carried me into a log cabin- There was 
Darling sitting propped up in the other corner. 
The Indian busied himself in preparing some liq- 
uid which he bade us drink, it soon produced a 
feeling of drowsiness and shortly we both fell into 
a sound sleep. 

When we awoke the next morning it was to dis- 
cover that we were alone in the cabin, the sun was 
well up in the heavens, and it must have been 
nearly ten o'clock. Outside of a soreness around 
our lips and throats, we felt well, except that we 
were so hungry that we were almost tempted to 
eat our shoes. Presently the Indian appeared, and 
soon set before us a big, iron kettle in which there 
was a sort of stew. 

"When we finished, the empty kettle told the 
story; during this operation, our host had silently 
watched us, and seemed to be much pleased at the 
size of our appetites. He requested that we tell 
him how we had got into such a predicament. We 

Around the United States by Bicycle 65 

told Mm our story in detail, saying that we did 
not know how we could ever repay him for saving 
our lives. He said that was nothing, and seemed 
to want us to forget the important part which he 
had played. He told us that the trail which we 
had been following was one which was disused 
and led to no place in particular, that he had been 
looking for some stray cattle, and seeing a sus- 
picious looking object in the distance, out of curi- 
osity had ridden over to investigate, and we knew 
the rest. The herbs which he had given us acted 
as a stimulant and had removed the swelling from 
our lips and throat. He advised us that it was 
only seven miles to the Nebraska line, and that 
there we should find the country somewhat settled. 
We tried to make him take a small sum of 
money, but he would not have it. Seeing our 
kodak, he asked what that was. We told him that 
it was a machine to take pictures, over which he 
was very much amused. Then he asked if we 
could take a picture of him and his cabin. We 
told him that we should be ^Hickled to death.'' 
So he posed, and we snapped the kodak. He 
wanted to see the picture, but we explained to him 
the process of developing, and that it would be a 
long time before we could get the picture. We 
suggested that we mail him one, but his face be- 
came very sober, and he emphatically shook his 
head. But to the remark that maybe he knew 
someone to whom we could mail it and then he 


66 Around the United States by Bicycle 

could go and get it, his face brightened, and he 
said that he knew a ^ ^ co w-pnncher " who got his 
mail at Lone Star, Nebraska, and that we could 
send it to him, and he (the Indian) would get it 
all right. This we promised to do, and shaking 
his hand, we bade him a fervent good-bye, and 
started toward Nebraska soil. 

We afterward learned that our kind Indian 
friend was a member of a band of ^ ' cattle rustlers ' ' 
i. e. those who make a practice of stealing cattle 
from the range. The chief of his band was a 
full-blood Sioux Indian, Canary by name, a most 
daring and wily leader. A heay}^ reward for the 
capture of the chief, or any member of his band, 
either dead or alive, was offered. In this section 
^^a cattle rustler '^ was dealt with summarily, and 
was considered the worst of criminals and out- 

An hour or so later found us fording the Keya 
Paha River, which forms the boundary line. It 
was with elated feelings that we set our foot upon 
the sands of Nebraska. We both realized what a 
narrow escape we had had from dying, and there, 
by the rushing waters of the river, we offered up 
a thanksgiving for our deliverance. 




We found the whole northern section of the 
state to be heavy sand. The country was but 
sparsely settled, and ranch-houses were few and 
far between, as it was a common thing for one per- 
son to own a whole section (640 acres) of land. 

For two days we were delayed by rain, staying 
on a ranch with an old and grizzled ranchman 
during that time. 

Several days were also lost at Valentine, where 
we had to wait for a shipment of our souvenirs, 
but even here we waited in vain. To bring mat- 
ters to a head, we telegraphed the company, re- 
ceiving the following message in reply. '* Aber- 
deen shipment billed to Denver." There was 
nothing left for us to do but strike out for Colo- 
rado's Capital City. As our treasury was not in 
the best condition, we decided to make the trip 
through to Denver as cheaply as possible, and to 
this end we slept nights in box-cars and almost 

Valentine to Rushville, something like a hun- 
dred and fifteen miles, we kept the railroad track 
altogether, walking nearly the entire distance. 
All through this section were the dreaded ^^sand- 
hills." These are masses of loose sand, the only 

68 Around the United States by Bicycle 

thing that would grow on them being different 
varieties of cactus, some of which were very small 
and played havoc with a bicycle tire. Considering 
this fact, the reader may rest assured that we did 
not leave the railroad track for one instant. 

A familiar sight in this state is the sod house. 
It is constructed entirely of turf, the walls are four 
to six feet thick, and are made by laying the large 
pieces of **sod'' flat-wise upon each other. The 
effect is very novel, but the houses are very warm 
during the severe weather, while in the hot season 
they are very cool. 

In coming into Alliance we were forced to carry 
our wheels for five miles on our backs over a cactus 
plain, in a sweltering sun, at each step the bicycles 
seeming to increase in weight. 

We arrived at Bridgeport on the morning of 
July 4th, at ten o'clock, after a twenty- three mile 
*^hike'' We had been walking since half past 
four, and owing to the fact that we had not had 
our breakfast, our interiors felt very peculiar. 

We discovered that although even by counting 
the number of people in the graveyard, Bridge- 
port boasted of only two hundred population, yet 
they were having a glorious and rousing celebra- 
tion. All the ranchmen from a radius of a hun- 
dred miles were there, and everything was moving 
at a mile-a-minute clip. Upon our arrival we were 
seized by the '^celebration committee" and hur- 
ried off to the office of ''The Bridgeport Weekly 

Around the United States by Bicycle 69 

Breezer, ' ' where our complete history was written 
up, and we were urged to take an active part in 
their celebration by giving an exhibition ride. 
We expostulated and argued, but all in vain; they 
were obdurate, and we saw that if we wanted any 
breakfast we had better consent, and very reluc- 
tantly we agreed. 

In the afternoon the races took place. There 
were several races by ^^cow-punchers'' on horse- 
back, who dashed down the only street in the vil- 
lage at a break-neck speed, leaving a cloud of dust 
so great that one would think that it had been 
raised by a cyclone ; the participants were cheered 
to victory by the multitude who lined each side of 
the street. Following this several of the ranch- 
men gave an exhibition of shooting with revolvers 
and rifles, their skill being really wonderful. The 
next thing booked was a roping contest, in which 
a number of ^^cow-punchers'' participated. The 
master of ceremonies, who was a tall, raw-boned 
specimen of humanity, got up in the middle of the 
street on an empty dry goods box and announced 
the fact that we would give a half mile dash in 
heavy riding order, and further added in the way 
of advice: ^^You shure want to keep out of the 
way, for when them fellers do come, they'll come 

The street was very rough, and although pos- 
sibly the race was very interesting to the specta- 
tors, there was no pleasure in being thrown nearly 

70 Around the United States by Bicycle 

a foot off the saddle when we hit the bumps, but 
we did our best with the result that we ^ * shure did 
come. ' ' 

In this portion of Nebraska there are many 
rocky canyons, which are extremely picturesque; 
from Bridgeport can be seen what is known as 
*^ Chimney Eock," 120 feet high, and composed of 
a sort of hard clay, its girth appearing to be not 
greater than that of an ordinary chimney. 

Our next objective town was Sidney, a place of 
about two thousand inhabitants, and the largest 
town which we would pass through until we 
reached Cheyenne, Wyoming. Here we turned 
from our southern course and went directly west- 
ward, following the line of the Union Pacific Rail- 

The country all the way to Cheyenne was fairly 
level, and the roads were of the rut-like variety. 
Occasionally along the railroad would be a tele- 
graph station, a store, and a cluster of houses, but 
outside of those ^'wide places in the road'* there 
were no towns at all. Sometimes in the distance 
we would spy a ranch-house, but these were very 

In traveling through the Dakotas and Nebraska, 
the sight of a prairie dog village was a frequent 
occurrence. These little animals are about the 
size of a musk-rat, brown in color, and have a 
stubby tail which is totally devoid of hair. They 
associate in villages, there being as many as fifty 

Around the United States by Bicycle 71 

** houses" in one village. These houses are each 
mounds of earth in a circular form thrown up 
around the entrance to their subterranean home. 
Their senses are very acute, and it is almost im- 
possible to get anywhere near the village without 
causing a scampering of the little creatures to 
their retreats. Many of them will lie on the top 
of their mound-like houses, shrilly squeaking, at 
every squeak the tail spasmodically jerking and 

We found Cheyenne to be a surprise, a town per- 
haps of twelve thousand inhabitants, metropolitan 
in many ways. It is the capital of Wyoming and 
has a fine capitol building. 

Fort D. A. Eussel is two miles from the city and 
here are stationed eight companies of Infantry 
and a battery of Light Artillery. 

Cheyenne to Denver is one hundred and ten 
miles. It was something like twenty-four miles 
to the Colorado line, through a very wild country. 
We spent the first night out of Cheyenne at a sheep 
ranch. On this ranch there were twenty thousand 
sheep. We slept in the sheep sheds with several 
of the herders, rolled up in blankets and lying on 
the floor. 

As we worked southward toward Denver, the 
country became very much better, more thickly 
settled, and with more land under cultivation. 
Irrigation seemed to be responsible for this ; nearly 
every field was irrigated with water forced 

72 Around the United States by Bicycle 

through it. Every two or three miles we would 
come to an irrigation stream, which would be as 
large as a good-sized river and across which there 
would be no bridge. It would be necessary for us 
to remove our shoes and stockings and ford it, and 
in a few minutes we would have the pleasure of 
repeating the operation. 

We were now passing through the great sugar 
beet belt; every little village of any consequence 
had a great crane-like apparatus at or near the 
railroad station, which was used in loading the 
beets for shipment, while the sight of large sugar 
beet factories was a daily occurrence. 

We were now traveling parallel with the Rocky 
Mountains, and to our right like giants rough and 
grim, were the foot-hills of the famous mountains. 
They looked so near, that it seemed as if we could 
almost throw a stone to them, but in reality they 
were eight or ten miles away. 

From Greeley to Denver it is indeed ^ ^ God's own 
country.'' Here farm houses line the way, sur- 
rounded by numerous shade trees and fragrant 
beds of flowers- Of fruit orchards there were 
many, every square foot of land seemed to be util- 
ized, while the very air seemed to breathe of fresh, 
young, and growing life, suggesting unlimited 
prosperity. Through this district the towns were 
many, and but short distances apart, a sort of 
metropolitan style characterizing them. 

Around the United States by Bicycle 73 

Our stay in Denver was of short duration. We 
did not receive our shipment of souvenirs, but in- 
stead a communication from the express agent at 
Aberdeen, S. D., that the package was there wait- 
ing for us after having traveled half over the con- 
tinent. It had been sent originally to Aberdeen, 
Nebraska, but after much difficulty had at last 
reached its correct destination. This necessitated 
another long period of rigid economy before we 
should be able to get the forwarded package. We 
immediately wrote the agent to send it with all 
dispatch to Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Although this was a long distance ahead of us 
we wanted to give it plenty of time to reach its 

Heavy repairs on our wheels and the purchase 
of some articles which were a positive necessity 
in crossing the Eockies, such as sleeping bags, 
canteens, and compasses, reduced our total worldly 
wealth to $12.60. It was bad enough to cross the 
mountains with a pocketful of money, but when 
prohibited from begging, working, borrowing, or 
even stealing, we began to feel the gloom of our 
position, in fact we got so ^^blue around the gills" 
that to smile would have been a physical impos- 
sibility. While in the capital city we subsisted 
on ten cent ^' meals,'' at the quality of which even 
a hog who had any self-respect would have uttered 
a grunt and turned away as if to say: ''Not for 
me! I'm used to better feed than that." 

74 Around the United States by Bicycle 

Denver is a Mecca for tourists, the streets being 
crowded with them, of all kinds and types. The 
State Capitol building here is an imposing struc- 
ture. In its museum is a very interesting collec- 
tion of the various products of the state, both 
agricultural and mining; while in war relics, and 
those which have to do with its early and blood- 
thirsty history as a frontier state, the collection 
cannot be surpassed. 

We left Denver with heavy hearts and strange 
forebodings of ill, wondering what was in store 
for us from the dark and menacing outlines of the 
Eockies which so ominously loomed in the dis- 

Eight miles brought us into the foothills, in 
which a half hour's further travel revealed, as 
we rounded a massive perpendicular wall of rock, 
several hundred feet high, a hamlet nestled in the 
bosom of a towering mountain. 

Here we learned that we should follow what is 
known as ''Turkey Creek Canyon;" that there was 
a fine trail all the way to Leadville, along which 
was a telephone line, and all through the moun- 
tains we should find small villages; all this pleas- 
ing information we looked upon with suspicion 
as we remembered our experience after leaving 
Bonesteel, South Dakota. 

As we proceeded we found that we were hardly 
able to pedal our bicycles up the slightest of in- 
clines. We thought this very queer, so dismount- 

'one way of getting a drink." turkey creek, rocky mts. 

Around the United States by Bicycle 75 

ed and made a thorough examination of our ma- 
chines, but could find nothing wrong. 

The scene around us was of awe-inspiring gran- 
deur. Here our road twisted and turned like a 
huge serpent, clinging to the base of a giant moun- 
tain, whose slopes were thickly covered by tall fir 
trees, its top indistinct. Beside us fiercely rolling 
and tumbling over the rocks was Turkey Creek. 
Then again we would make an arduous ascent of 
several miles; the road would be very narrow, 
hardly wide enough for one team, blasted out of 
the rock or built of solid masonry on the slope of 
a mountain. Just a misstep, and one would be 
dashed down an almost perpendicular incline, to 
the level where, two thousand feet below, our con- 
stant friend, Turkey Creek, roared noisily along. 

During the first day's travel in the mountains 
we covered something like twenty-six miles, and 
the greater part of this distance we walked. The 
high altitude seriously affected us. Our breathing 
took the form of gasps; we became very easily 
fatigued, and rested frequently. As the altitude 
of Denver is 5,000 feet, we were now up something 
like 8,000 feet above sea level. During the day we 
passed a large resort hotel, which was for the ac- 
commodation of tourists, and later a large board- 
ing house near which were many tents, it was 
stated that many consumptive people came here 
and occupied these tents, staying for weeks at a 
time. Occasionally the log cabin of some poor man 

76 Around the United States by Bicycle 

who was trying to eke an existence out of the stony 
slopes conld be seen, perched high up the moun- 
tain side. 

As we reach the summit of a tortuous incline, 
up which we have been toiling for over half an 
hour, perspiring and puffing, the sublimity and 
majestic grandeur of the panoramic view spread 
Before us forced from our lips an involuntary ex- 
clamation of rapturous delight. To our right and 
to our left and stretching away in the distance rise 
innumerable stately mountains, their slopes and 
summits a green mass of pines, spruce, and fir 
trees, and although these trees are in themselves 
forest giants, owing to the great altitude at which 
they are situated they resemble mere shrubbery. 
Ah! how wonderful are the works of Nature! As 
we looked, it was with reverential awe, and we 
bowed our heads. But the background of this 
marvelous scene was still more impressive. A 
range of giants, whose tops pierced the blue ether, 
and seemed to overlook all their neighbors, was 
silhouetted, a dim bluish outline, against the light- 
er azure of the heavens. 

The second night we spent at the cabin of a 
grizzled old mountaineer, who entertained us with 
many interesting tales of the Eockies. Upon our 
relating the experience which we had had with our 
wheels on entering the mountains, and mentioning 
that they ran so hard that we thought something 
was broken, he laughed uproariously- After his 

Around the United States by Bicycle 77 

hilarity had subsided, he explained to us that the 
cause of our trouble was the high altitude, and al- 
though the road to all appearances would be en- 
tirely level, such was not the case. He further ex- 
plained that after we had been in the mountains 
for a couple of days our excessive weariness would 
wear off and we should have less difficulty in 

The third day greatly changed the scenery. The 
mountains now became devoid of timber, being 
towering masses of bleak and bare granite. I 
distinctly remember one which was in the form 
of a cone, its apex apparently as sharp as the head 
of an arrow, and the whole mountain of solid 
rock. In localities the ground would be strewn 
with boulders, some of which would be as large as 
a house, as if they had been hurled there ages and 
ages ago as the result of some awful struggle 
waged by a race of giants. 

Here we came down a descent which we thought 
was never-ending. The road traveled around a 
mountain in a circuit, each time being a little lower 
down. In one place in this descent, but a few feet 
above us was the road which we had traversed 
twenty minutes before. At last we reached the 
bottom to find that a resort town called Bailey 
lay in a small valley between two frowning moun- 
tain ranges. Here the Platte Eiver dashes mer- 
rily along, ice-cold water clear as crystal from the 
melting snow of the white and glistening peaks. 

Y8 Around the United States by Bicycle 

while parallel with it for a distance, run the tracks 
of the Colorado Midland E. E., a narrow gauge 
road ; then leaving its noisy companion to wind its 
glistening way out of the valley over a towering 

Bailey was a very aristocratic mountain resort 
at which there were numerous hotels, but none 
within the reach of our depleted treasury. We 
found that a square meal would cost us a dollar, 
but in another hostelry we learned that we could 
get the same meal without the square corners for 
seventy-five cents, but we instantly decided that 
we weren't hungry enough to eat so much food, 
and accordingly bought a loaf of bread, some 
cheese, and bologna, at a grocery, which we 
washed down with '^aqua pura^' from the bub- 
bling Platte. 

At frequent intervals during the afternoon we 
would spy the diminutive tracks of the Colorado 
Midland, threading its perilous way through the 
realm of the giants. We passed many mountain 
villas, the greater part of which seemed to be occu- 
pied by people from the Atlantic coast cities, Bos- 
ton, New York, and Philadelphia seeming to have 
the largest representation. Here is Mt. Logan, 
whose altitude is 14,055 feet, and whose snow- 
capped summit can be seen very distinctly from 
Denver. We skirted the base of this noble and 
rugged monster, where, far up above the timber- 
line, the glistening whiteness of perpetual snow 

Around the United States by Bicycle 79 

seemed to act as a cloak for the bleak mass of bare 

At a water tank, where there was a siding, 
which bore the name of our illustrious American 
statesman, Daniel AYebster, we bought supper of 
a Hungarian family- They lived in a hovel which 
would have been a more suitable habitation for 
hogs than for human beings. There were four 
large raw-boned and uncouth youths. The mother 
was a fat and slatternly mass of humanity, whose 
black hair, tousled and unkempt, surmounted a 
flabby puffed face, in which two coal black bead- 
like eyes were deep-set, seeming as they turned 
toward you to cast an uncanny spell upon you, 
waddled over the floor in a heavy and uncer- 
tain step. The father was so exceedingly slov- 
enly, that it almost bordered upon the picturesque; 
a large dove-colored slouch hat, covered by such 
a mass of grease spots, that its color was almost 
a conjecture, was pulled down over a tangled 
mass of greasy hair. The face was utterly ex- 
pressionless. He wore a knitted shirt stiff with 
dirt, a pair of trousers which were patched 
with so many different colored cloths, that 
Joseph's coat would have suffered in comparison. 
These six interesting pieces of hmnanity formed 
the family. The evening repast was a very 
simple, but substantial affair. Before each was 
placed a tin basin full of steaming stew, the 
ingredients of which were a mystery to us, but 
certainly did taste good. The meal was eaten 

80 Around the United States by Bicycle 

in silence, the only sound to disturb the pro- 
found quietness being the heavy step of the mother 
as she replenished the empty basins from a mam- 
moth iron kettle which hung over a fireplace. Al- 
though our surroundings did not tend to increase 
our appetites, the keen mountain air had already 
done its work, and we ate voraciously. Upon ask- 
ing our host as to how much we owed him for our 
supper, we innocently started a whirlwind of ar- 
gument, which took place between the two heads 
of the family in their mother tongue and waged 
fast and furious, while their offspring listened 
with a stolid indifference, and we looked on with 
mouths agape with awe and wonderment, marvel- 
ing how it was possible for the contestants to 
understand each other, as they were both talking 
at the same time. But a lull came in the raging 
tempest, and we were informed that we owed him : 
^^Feefty Zance!'' 

We left Webster to mount a long ascent, at the 
end of which, through a narrow opening, walled 
in on each side by towering masses of rock, could 
be seen several snowy peaks. This was known as 
Kenosha Pass. 

Through the pass the railroad had to travel 
twelve miles to cover the same distance which we 
covered in five. From the home of the Hungarian 
we could see it winding and twisting in the most 
erratic manner around the mountain, until, high 
up near the summit, it straightens itself out and 

Around the United States by Bicycle 81 

crawls along a narrow ledge of rock, where for a 
mile or more it clings until, having made the as- 
cent, its tortuous winding tells that the descent 
has begun. 

As the shades of evening were falling, a cluster 
of buildings hove into sight. One proved to be 
that of an abandoned telegraph station, with 
boarded up windows and barricaded doors, as safe 
from meddlers as a fort would have been, a second 
was a dilapidated and tumble down two-story 
building, with window lights broken, while a sec- 
tion house standing near the railroad track seemed 
to be the only one of the three in which there ap- 
peared to be any signs of life. Here there shone 
from a chink in the wall a small ray of light. By 
vigorously pounding upon the door, we aroused 
one of the occupants, who, with a snarl like a bear, 
wanted to know: ^^What in h — 1 do you want!'' 
We replied that we desired lodging if possible. 
''Go away you d — n hobos, yeh can't sleep here!" 
We hastened to explain, through the closed door, 
that we were not tramps, and were willing to pay 
for our lodging, that we were traveling by bicycle, 
just a couple of boys, and neither robbers nor des- 
peradoes. The owner of the gruff voice listened 
to this outburst in silence, but we heard him mov- 
ing toward the door, which he unbarred, and to a: 
''Well d — n it, come in then!" We stalked into 
a room which was lined with bunks in which were 
sleeping forms, to confront a man with his face 

82 Around the United States by Bicycle 

hidden from view by a mass of whiskers. As 
we came into the range of the light, he lowered a 
six-shooter, which he had been holding. In rapid 
succession he flung these questions at us: 

** Where in h— 1 yeh goin'V' 

^^Wat in h — 1 did yeh come to this hellish lonely 
spot fer?" 

^^ Where 'd yeh come from!" 

To all of which we replied to the best of our 
ability, which seemed to satisfy him. But never- 
theless he informed us that there was no room in 
the house for us to sleep, but there was an old 
building nearby, and he guessed we should be all 
right there. We suggested that we could sleep on 
the floor here in the bunk-room, but with an em- 
phatic: ''NO! BY GOD!" from the man with 
whiskers, we meekly retired from the room, thank- 
ing him for his extrem^e courtesy and kindness, 
and made steps for the old house. We forced open 
a door and trundled our wheels into the room. In 
doing this we walked across a mass of broken bot- 
tles and glassware, with which the floor was 
strewn. I accidentally stepped upon the bottom 
portion of a broken beer bottle, which was stand- 
ing upright, it cut through the leather side of my 
shoe as if it had been paper, cutting a long gash 
in my foot. On lighting matches I saw that it was 
bleeding profusely, but thought that in a few 
minutes that it would stop as the blood would con- 

Around the United States by Bicycle 83 

Clearing some of the rubbish away we wrapped 
ourselves in our blankets and lay down on the 
floor. I could feel the blood dripping from my foot 
while it throbbed with intense pain, but I resolved 
to forget it and try to sleep. 

After lying here nearly an hour, my nerves were 
given a severe shock by a hoarse whisper from 
Darling, that there was surely somebody upstairs, 
as he had heard them whisper several times, and 
there was a noise just as if they were crawling on 
their hands and knees over the floor. 

We waited with bated breath, and in a few min- 
utes we distinctly heard a suspicious murmur, 
which sounded very much as if a conversation 
were being carried on in an undertone. We had 
no idea who the inhabitants of the upper floor 
were, and immediately resolved that we did not 
care to get acquainted. Taking blankets and 
wheels, we made a hasty exit. 

We went back and bearded ^Hhe lion in his 
den," explained our predicament, and asked him 
if I could come and see how badly my foot was 
cut and wash it out and bandage it; but the ani- 
mal nature in the man asserted itself, this being 
the answer received: ^^No! yeh can't come in 
here ! D 'y^h 'spose that we wanta set up all night 
fer yeh!" If yeh wanta wash yer foot, they's a 
ditch back here, where yeh can wash it to yer d — ^n 
heart's content." This made us quite angry, and 
we flung back something to the effect that if there 

84: Around the United States by Bicycle 

ever was a beast, he was one, and that we hoped 
that he would live to see the day when he would 
beg a favor from us. But to this he replied only 
with a loud laugh of contempt. 

Our only alternative was to walk to where we 
should be able to get accommodations, although 
the darkness was intense and it was dangerous to 
attempt to follow an unfamiliar mountain road. 

Many times we would get off the road to find 
ourselves stumbling against rocks, nearly falling 
headlong. Now we would climb a steep ascent 
and reach the top only to go down one fully as 
steep on the other side. At first at every step it 
seemed as if there were a thousand needles being 
forced through my injured foot, the pain being so 
great, that it seemed as if I must shriek. But, as 
we continued, the stiffness and numbness wore off 
and the pain lessened. 

Meanwhile we kept a sharp lookout for houses 
along the road. Seeing a large, dark mass, we in- 
vestigated only to find that it was an immense 
boulder. The air was freezing cold, as the altitude 
was something like ten thousand feet. Espying 
something which loomed up in the darkness on 
our right, we found that it was a large barn. The 
only entrance that we could find was a window 
which was fully fifteen feet from the ground. We 
climbed up and dropped down on the inside to a 
sort of hay-loft, made by laying small saplings 
across the barn, there being a space of about four 

Around the United States by Bicycle 85 

inches between them, over which there was a thin 
covering of hay. This loft was quite a distance 
above the floor. We tried to sleep, but were awak- 
ened frequently by the extreme cold. 

At half past four, we crawled out of the hay, 
and, climbing up to the window, were astonished 
to discover that not a thousand feet from us was 
a farmer's house, and we lost no time in getting 
out of that barn and away from the premises, as 
we might have had some difficulty in convincing 
the farmer that our intentions were all right. 

Upon looking at our cyclometers, we discovered 
that on the night before we had walked a distance 
of eighteen miles. I could now walk with little 
difficulty. The extreme cold had rendered my in- 
jured foot entirely devoid of feeling. 

Although our ears tingled and our hands were 
blue with cold, all this was forgotten in contem- 
plation of the marvelous scenery. 

Here was a large tract of land, entirely level, 
consisting of meadows and fields of growing crops, 
while, completely surrounding it, were innumer- 
able snow-clad peaks, which looked so near that 
it seemed as if we could reach them in a ten min- 
utes' walk. This flat land, we afterward learned, 
was called South Park, formed by some unaccount- 
able act of nature on the top of the mountains at 
an elevation of 10,000 feet. 

At a large sheep ranch, which consisted of one 
large mansion, around which were clustered a 

86 Around the United States by Bicycle 

number of small shanties, we walked up to the big 
house to make inquiry if it would be convenient 
for us to buy our breakfast there- The lady of the 
house ushered us into a room in which the furnish- 
ings were so magnificent, that it took us several 
moments to recover from our surprise. Every- 
thing was on so elegant a scale, that we felt ex- 
tremely out of place. Our clothes were dirty and 
torn, both our countenances needed to be made 
acquainted with a razor, while a big, jagged cut 
in my shoe surrounded by a mass of blood stains 
was something of which I was by no means proud. 

Our hostess appeared, and summoned us to the 
dining room. Here the same splendor prevailed. 
On the table was the daintiest of feasts. While 
we ate, the lady entertained us with the legends 
concerning the mountains in that vicinity. Upon 
learning the nature of our undertaking, she waxed 
enthusiastic. We found that she was a native of 
Boston, and that her husband was a New Yorker. 
She positively refused to accept any money from 
us for our breakfast, but was very glad to be able 
to assist us, wishing us the best of success in the 
rest of our journey. 

What a contrast between the brutal monster of 
the night before and this most gracious lady! 
Would that the world were filled with more of her 
type ! This kind act of hers we shall not soon for- 
get. To think that notwithstanding our dirty and 
ragged appearance, we should be accepted in the 

Around the United States by Bicycle 87 

same manner as slie would welcome her most aris- 
tocratic friends. This, indeed, is the true spirit 
of hospitality! 

At a little mountain village called Alma, where 
we purchased a lunch in a bakery, answering as 
a substitute for the noon-day meal, a physician 
made an examination of my wounded member. 
Upon my informing him that I had walked eight- 
een miles soon after cutting it, and had not taken 
off my shoe, he expressed great astonishment, and 
told me that I was taking great chances of blood 
poisoning. He found, however, no indications of 
it so far, and I felt very much relieved. After 
washing it thoroughly, and tightly bandaging it, 
he sent me on my way rejoicing. 

We were now very near to the summit of the 
Rockies, approaching Mosquito Pass, the altitude 
of which at its highest point is 13,700 feet. Alma 
is considered at the entrance of the Pass. 

We traveled eight miles over a rocky road which 
followed along the bottom of a valley, lined by 
white peaks. Occasionally deep, dark holes in 
the rock, surmounted by a rusty windlass, in the 
near vicinity of which were several dilapidated 
shanties, told the story of an abandoned mine. 
There were swift flowing rivulets, formed by the 
melting snow from the heights above, where the 
black stream could be seen oozing from every 
seam and crevice. 

88 Around the United States by Bicycle 

We finally readied the foot of the Pass proper, 
from which to the summit we had been told was 
seven miles. The trail was a mere path which 
wound and twisted up the mountain-side in the 
most sinuous fashion, the acclivity being so great 
that it appeared to be almost perpendicular. Here 
it was only with excessive muscular exertion that 
we were able to push our bicycles on. After trav- 
ersing a thousand feet we were more than willing 
to rest. The atmosphere was so rare, that even 
the slightest exertion caused one to putf like a 

With nearly four hours of this upward toil to 
our credit, we had covered five and a half miles. 
If what we had been told was correct, it was only 
one and a half miles to the summit. We were now 
on the edge of a field of snow, across which we 
very carefully picked our way. It may have been 
but a few feet deep, or else a thousand feet, where, 
if the snow should be soft, we should quickly sink 
from sight. In some places we found for some- 
thing like a foot beneath the surface it was very 
soft and slushy, but below it seemed to be hard. 
Less than half a mile through snow found us again 
picking our perilous way over the serpantine trail. 
The way was indeed rough and rugged. Huge 
boulders fallen from the rocky heights above 
blocked the trail over which we clambered. An- 
other bed of snow to cross, whose surface unlike 
the other was icy and slippery, a false step, and we 

Around the United States by Bicycle 89 

should be dashed to the yawning abyss perhaps 
three thousand feet below, where we could see the 
silvery thread-like gleam of a river. On our left 
a clean, clear-cut drop to the bottom of the rocky 
chasm, while on the right a wall of solid rock rose 
upward terminating in a boulder-strewn slope cov- 
ered here and there with patches of snow. 

Crossing another snowy tract, we found our- 
selves on the summit. Here indeed was revealed 
an enchanting picture. On every side of us were 
barren, rocky peaks, covered by their glistening, 
sparkling cloaks of dazzling white. The ruddy 
glow from the dying sun seemed to convert this 
scene of majestic grandeur into one still more 
wonderful, as it entered into every seam and hol- 
low, until the whole was changed to a mass of bur- 
nished gold adorned by the dazzling sparkle of 
a million diamonds. 

We had begun the ascent at exactly two o 'clock 
in the afternoon, it was now seven, and we had 
consumed five hours in traversing the distance of 
seven miles to the summit. 

At the high altitude, 13,700 feet, we noted a 
throbbing, aching sensation in our heads accom- 
panied by a whirring and ringing noise in the ears, 
while the taste of blood was in our mouths, telling 
only too plainly of the excessive rarity of the 

The descent proved to be fully as steep as the 
ascent, so that it was only by planting our feet 

90 Around the United States by Bicycle 

most firmly at each step that we were able to keep 
ourselves and our bicycles from plunging down 
the pass- 
Far below us the landscape was dotted by the 
buildings and debris of numerous gold and silver 

We at last reached the bottom in safety, and as 
it was quite dark now, we hastened to find some 
place where we could sleep. We found a build- 
ing used to stable the mules of the mines, the door 
not locked, and the building deserted. We dared 
not light matches for fear of discovery, and groped 
our way in the dark, laying our blanket in one of 
the stalls which seemed to be less filthy than the 
others. The smell which permeated the atmos- 
phere was the foulest imaginable, but notwith- 
standing this we were soon in the land of sleep and 
the realms of enchantment. 

We awoke early to enjoy the most beautiful 
of mornings. The cold crisp air made the blood 
go bounding through the veins, every nerve ting- 
ling with energy. We learned from a passing 
miner that Leadville was but five miles away. As 
we had had no food since the preceding noon, on 
reaching the city our first movement was to visit 
a restaurant. 

Leadville is a mining city of eleven thousand 
souls, at an altitude of 10,200 feet, and is the high- 
est city in the world. When gold was discovered 
in this vicinity and there was a rush from every 

Around the United States by Bicycle 91 

part of Uncle Sam's domain, and men were stand- 
ing in a long line waiting in turn to file their 
claims, some would be seen to stagger and fall to 
enter upon their last sleep, or after a long fight, to 
be nursed back to health. This was caused by the 
strain of the high altitude upon the nervous sys- 

Leadville to Grand Junction, by the way of 
Glenwood Springs, would carry us out of the 
Eockies. The distance which we had traveled in 
four days from Denver to Leadville, as registered 
by our cyclometers, was 114 miles. 

The trip to Glenwood Springs, something like 
eighty miles, was made in two days, and we now 
descended to an altitude of 5,800 feet. At all times 
we were near the line of the Denver and Eio 
Grande E. E., along which there were many small 
villages. The roads were very good and on this 
continuous descent, we made fairly good progress. 
We subsisted upon lunches purchased at grocer- 
ies, as it was necessary to practice the strictest 
economy until we reached Salt Lake City. The 
first night we slept in a school house, and the sec- 
ond in an abandoned telegraph station, where the 
railroad traversed a wild and lonely region- 
Through what is known as Eagle Canyon it was 
necessary to follow the railroad track. Again we 
saw some of the marvelous creations from the 
work-shop of Dame Nature. The Eagle Eiver, a 

92 Around the United States by Bicycle 

swift-flowing, noisy little stream wliich dashes and 
dances over the rocks in a channel walled in by 
two rugged precipices, nearly two thousand feet 
high, and nearly shutting out the light of day, fol- 
lows the many devious windings of this narrow 
gorge, beside which closely hugging the base of 
the rocky wall, and with the river making every 
erratic twist and turn, the railroad crawls through 
the picturesque canyon. Massive boulders perch 
on the precipitous sides with a hold apparently so 
slight, that it seems as if at any momxcnt that they 
may come crashing down into the bottom of the 
canyon. Here a huge mass of solid rock, high up 
near the top, closely resembles the head of an 
elephant. Everywhere the delicate hand of Na- 
ture has transformed grim and frowning rock into 
the most fantastic shapes, while growing in every 
available seam and crevice are small shrubs and 
dwarfed spruce trees. However, from a scenic 
standpoint, much of the picturesque grandeur has 
been robbed away by the hand of man. Many 
mines have been tunneled into the precipitous 
sides, and all these are distinctly marked, as all 
the soil, rocks, and debris removed is dumped 
down the sides of the canyon and covers some 
fantastic formation. 

We made the acquaintance of a miner, who 
proved to be a Norwegian by birth. We met him 
plodding stolidly along the railroad ties, carrying 
a large dinner bucket, followed by his two sons, 

Around the United States by Bicycle 93 

who trotted behind him in silence. As we walked 
along with them, we held quite a lengthy conver- 
sation with the father, learning that his past had 
been chequered. He had mined in Norway, Rus- 
sia, Alaska, and here in the Rockies ; at one time he 
had several thousand dollars in earnings, but re- 
verses had swept this sum from him; in Norway, 
he made a big *^ strike," but the government, on 
hearing of it, had levied so heavy a royalty upon 
the products of his mine, that it was impossible 
for him to make any money. Now high up near 
the top of the canyon he was working a claim of 
which he had great hopes. He had sunk a tunnel 
into the side for a distance of over two hundred 
feet, but in order to reach the mineral deposit 
which his mining experience had told him was 
there, he had to tunnel over a hundred feet far- 
ther. It was very slow work for himself and his 
two young lads, as they worked with the simplest 
of tools, not being able to purchase modern ma- 
chinery. He lived five miles from his mine, walk- 
ing daily the entire distance. He invited us to go 
up with him to his claim, and as we had never had 
the opportunity of seeing anything of this nature, 
we accepted. We crossed the foaming Eagle 
River on the trunk of a tree, and then began our 
arduous ascent up to the mine. The miner and his 
two sons were equipped with heavy raw-hide 
boots, the soles of which had long protruding nails, 
to give them foothold, while we with our light 

94 Around the United States by Bicycle 

bicycle shoes had great difficulty in making any 
progress up the steep path. The two boys scam- 
pered up ahead, and we could hear them tearing 
over the rocks at a great rate away up the slope, 
reminding one of a couple of sure-footed mountain 
goats. The old Norwegian, however, plodded 
wearily upward, stopping frequently, gasping 
and perspiring with the tremendous exertion. By 
clinging to trees and bushes, slipping, sliding, 
stumbling, and falling, we succeeded in keeping 
the miner in sight, but when he rested we were 
not loath to do the same thing. In a zig-zag up 
the precipitous sides we toiled, until we were told 
by our guide that we had only a little farther to 

It was a shaft sunk in the mountain side, 225 
feet long, which we explored with the aid of a 
couple of candles which the miner gave to us. As 
it was damp and muddy with water dripping from 
the sides and top, we reached the end only to have 
our lights extinguished, and not having any 
matches, we had to grope our way through the 
darkness, stepping in pools of water and slipping 
on the slimy mud, until we reached the entrance 
again. We were shown some gold ore, which was 
put up in sacks about as large as a common flour 
sack. When he got enough of this ore, he would 
ship it away, it being worth at that time some- 
thing like four hundred dollars per ton. The ore 
resembled chunks of yellow earth, and could be 

Around the United States by Bicycle 95 

easily crushed to fragments by a small pressure 
of the hand. 

We wished the miner the best of success, and, 
bidding him good-bye, we hastened to make the 

Before we reached Glenwood Springs, it was 
necessary to pass through another canyon which 
was called ^' Grand Canyon,'' but better known 
as *^ Glenwood Canyon." 

While Eagle Canyon was dark and gloomy, 
nearly all of the rock being of a sombre colored 
granite, and the Eagle River made short twists 
and turns, this canyon was directly the opposite. 
The Grand River, a very wide stream, flowed 
tranquilly and peacefully with hardly a murmur, 
its curves were broad and graceful, suggestive of 
majestic grandeur. The rock formation, a sand- 
stone, in some places rises perpendicularly to a 
height of twenty-five hundred feet. Now it rises 
terrace upon terrace, until the whole is capped 
by a spiral mass, resembling the side of a Chinese 
Pagoda. Here, great shelving recesses are formed. 
Towers, turrets, and spires, at the foot of which 
are m.assive bastions, represent the leading char- 
acteristics of Gothic architecture. One stops to 
pause in speechless contemplation of the miracu- 
lous work of Nature. 

This canyon is sixteen miles long, and on one 
side of the river the Denver and Rio Grande R. R. 
traverses a narrow ledge of rock at the base of the 

96 Around the United States by Bicycle 

chasm, while on the other side, is a wagon road 
which runs through the canyon from end to end. 
This road was built by the state of Colorado at 
enormous expense; stretches are made of solid 
masonry. Sometimes it runs close to the water's 
edge, then it leaves to mount the precipitous sides 
of the gorge, where it crawls for a distance on a 
narrow ledge, then making a sharp descent to the 
edge of the river again. Soon the daylight is shut 
out by a mass of overhanging rock perhaps a 
thousand feet high, forming a cavernous recess 
completely roofed, through which in semi-dark- 
ness the traveler cautiously proceeds over the 
rocky road. 

As we proceed up the chasm, we hear a dull 
thunderous roar not unlike the approach of an ex- 
press train. The noise increases as we go onward, 
echoing and re-echoing in the narrow gorge. "We 
round a curve to see a mighty, foaming cataract. 
The walls of the canyon become narrow, forcing 
the hitherto tranquil river to rush with incredible 
force and speed over large and mammoth boulders, 
a raging mass of seething water. We learn that 
this cataract is called *^ Shoshone Falls." 

We reach Glenwood Springs at supper time 
only to find that although it is a town of nearly 
five thousand inhabitants, hotel accommodations 
from a financial standpoint were far out of our 
reach. A lunch of cheese and crackers answered 
for the evening repast; but just where we were 



Around the United States by Bicycle 97 

going to sleep was a knotty problem. After a long 
and earnest consultation, we decided our only re- 
course would be to find a livery barn and work on 
the sympathies of the owner for lodging. This 
we accordingly put into execution. At the first 
we tackled our success was poor. This broad- 
minded philanthropist said that he ran a livery 
barn to keep rigs and horses in the same, and not 
as an accommodation-house for '^hobos'' and oth- 
er unfortunate objects of humanity, who were on 
their '' uppers, '' and no amount of argument 
would induce this cordial individual to change 
his mind. So we departed considerably discour- 
aged and crestfallen. We felt that rather than 
again go through the ordeal, we would prefer 
to spend the night in a police station under the 
guise of vagrants. But after due consideration 
necessity again dashed our pride to the ground. 
We found another livery barn, and approaching 
the proprietor, a genial pleasant-faced German, we 
told him our long tale of woe and hard luck. 
When we finished, he slapped us both on the back 
and said: **Sure I'll let you sleep here; boys that 
are trying to do what you are I would help every 
day in the weef 

He conducted us to the hay-loft, where there 
was an old shake-down made of an exceedingly 
dirty mattress covered by several inches of dust. 
With the aid of a couple of horse blankets per- 
meated with that odor which is so closely asso- 


98 Around the United States by Bicycle 

ciated with the equine quadruped, we spent an ex- 
ceedingly restful night in slumber. 

Glenwood Springs is completely surrounded by 
towering mountains, whose green slopes make a 
very pleasing picture. As a health resort, and 
from the marvelous curative properties of the 
water which flows from the " Yampah' ' hot spring, 
the city is known far and near. Hotel Colorado, 
which is situated but a short distance from the 
hot springs swimming pool, has a capacity of four 
hundred guests and is considered to be one of the 
finest hotels in the West. The hot water which 
fills the pool flows from the Yampali spring far 
up the mountain, being conveyed by means of 
pipes. The spring has a flowing capacity of 1,700 
gallons a minute, the temperature of the water 
being 127 degrees. 

The swimming pool is 600 feet long by 110 feet 
wide. The boiling water from the spring is mixed 
with cold, the temperature being reduced to an 
average of ninety degrees. Bathing is possible 
during the most rigorous weather. Winter some- 
times brings the novel sight of people bathing in 
this pool during the progress of a snow storm. 

A stretch of fifteen miles where there was not a 
drop of water; a walk of fifty-five miles along a 
railroad track through a district where the only 
liquid was the dreaded and poisonous alkali water; 
a tire on one wheel badly torn and the chain on the 
other twisted and broken into innumerable pieces ; 

Around the United States by Bicycle 99 

while we subsisted on wayside lunches and rested 
our weary bones at night in box-cars, telegraph 
stations, and the like, were just a few of the ex- 
periences that made our journey between Glen- 
wood Springs and Grand Junction amusing and 

Massive cliffs of light-colored rock rise verti- 
cally in the form of terraces and palisades, their 
height ranging from a thousand to eighteen hun- 
dred feet. These dot the country for a distance 
of eight miles around the little village of Pali- 

Ten miles out from Grand Junction we are in 
a valley walled in by frowning mountains, where 
we see some of the wonders of Colorado's great 
fruit district. The country is very level, and is 
entirely given over to the growing of fruits, in- 
cluding apricots, cherries, plums, apples and 
peaches. Every available acre of ground seemed 
to be converted into a fruit orchard, all being 
under irrigation. 

This being the first ripe growing fruit which we 
had seen since we had left ^^ Michigan my Michi- 
gan, '^ we lost no opportunity in filling our inter- 
iors with the luscious product. At first we always 
made it a point to get permission of the owner be- 
fore we dared go into the orchard; but we were 
given a ^^tip" after this manner: 

** Where you boys fromT' 

'* Michigan.'' 

100 Around the United States by Bicycle 

**I thought you were from the East somewhere. 
Now when you see any fruit in an orchard which 
looks good to you, don^t stop to ask anyone's con- 
sent to get it, but just you climb the fence and dig 
in ; that 's the way it is done out here- I know that 
rule wouldn't work back in your state, as some 
farmer is liable to give you a load of buck-shot 
to take home with you; but out here we don't care 
a continental how much a man eats providing that 
he don't bring a wagon along and fill that too. ' ' 

We reached Grand Junction foot-sore and very 
much fatigued after our ^^hike" of fifty-five miles. 
We were now entirely out of the Eocky Moun- 
tains. We had left Denver July 11th, and reached 
here on the 22nd, having spent eleven days in 
traveling 315 miles. 

We found a sympathetic bicycle repairman, who 
agreed to repair our machines for a reasonable 
sum, for whose concessions we felt very grateful, 
as our total worldly wealth was but a few dollars. 

There were innumerable people who made it 
their special duty to inform us of the many perils 
which lay in store for us in crossing the Green 
River Desert, the edge of which was but a short 
distance from Grand Junction, and to the other 
side of which was 173 miles. Many soberly shook 
their heads, and said that if they were in our 
position that they would never attempt it. Others 
cited instances galore of parties leaving Grand 

Around the United States by Bicycle 101 

Junction in the prime of life, a mass of bleaching 
bones somewhere out on the desert telling the 
gruesome tale of the finish. In vivid and terrify- 
ing word pictures the scarcity of water, the 
extreme and almost unendurable heat, and the 
fact that many roughs and desperados used this 
desolate waste as a hiding place safe from the 
strong arm of the law, were all in turn brought out 
into the lime-light, but to no avail; we stubbornly 
refused to be dissuaded from our purpose. 



After paying for the repairs on our wheels we 
took an inventory of our resources to find that we 
had the munificent sum total of twenty-seven 
cents. A little over a quarter of a dollar to cross a 
173 mile desert ! Certainly the prospects were far 
from bright, but we tenaciously clung to the old 
adage: ^^ Where there's a will there's a way;" and 
although we were far from feeling sure that we 
could reach the other side, we resolved at least to 
make the start. 

Noon of the first day on the desert found us 
reduced to but two cents. Being without souven- 
irs we had no means of replenishing our treasury 
before reaching Salt Lake City. We were resting 
at a station where there was a telegraph office and 
a water tank, the station bearing the name of 
Ruby, the name hardly suggesting the surround- 
ings. The thermometer here registered 120 de- 
grees in the shade. The operator had a boy about 
twelve years of age, who was very much interested 
in us and our bicycles- Upon his learning that all 
the money which we possessed was but the price of 
a postage stamp, he volunteered to get us some 

Around the United States by Bicycle 103 

We divided the crackers, which were of the 
large soda variety, to find that there were exactly 
six for each. Imagine six crackers making a 
meal for two famished boys! But now *^ beggars 
could not be choosers/' 

Affected by the furnace-like temperature 
together with the pleasant sensations resulting 
from an empty stomach, we were hardly in a mood 
to appreciate the wonderful scenery which sur- 
rounded us. Yet as this was something totally 
different from anything which we had hitherto 
seen, we gradually forgot our troubles and were 
lost to the world staring with open-mouthed ad- 

After trundling our wheels through a tunnel six 
hundred feet long, in which, had we been caught 
by a train, the chances for our escape would have 
been very small, there being but little space 
between the track and the sides of the tunnel, for 
a distance of sixteen miles we traveled through a 
canyon in which the color effect was grand beyond 
description. Vertical walls of rock to the height 
of several hundred feet rose alongside the rail- 
road track, their faces being very smooth, neither 
projections nor cracks or fissues to mar the sur- 
face, but cut down by some vast unseen force when 
the world was but an infant. All the rock in this 
vicinity was of a deep reddish color, which coupled 
with the grotesque, fantastic, and artistic forma- 

104: Around the United States by Bicycle 

tions wliicli met the eye on every side, presented 
an enchanting scene, causing one to wonder that 
this could really be possible outside the realms of 
fairy-land. Over to our left the rocks formed 
miniature volcanoes, seamed and furrowed, which 
told plainly of former volcanic eruptions. 

There was no riding the railroad track, which 
brought ''shanks mares ^' into use. We soon 
found that if we were able to walk a mile without 
resting, we were doing finely. This continual 
resting process gave us a great deal of time 
for reflection, and among other things, we thought 
how extremely fortunate for us, that we had a rail- 
road track to follow which traversed the desert 
from end to end. As we looked oif into the desert 
waste, upon which the sun mercilessly beat, an in- 
voluntary shudder shook our frames, and we 
thought of ourselves without the aid of the track 
trying to make progress against such overwhelm- 
ing odds. 

During the afternoon we crossed the boundary 
between Colorado and Utah, sometime after which 
Westwater, Utah, was reached. This consisted of 
a telegraph station and a water tank. The oper- 
ator was a kindly middle-aged man, who was a 
Michigander by birth. Upon hearing our story 
he invited us to partake of his own rough fare, 
which, as he was alone, had to be cooked by him- 
self. We feasted on leaded biscuits and canned 
beans, washed down by tea which was strong 


Around the United States by Bicycle 105 

enough to walk, but we disposed of all that was set 
before us, and without doubt, had we been given 
the opportunity, we should have eaten the entire 
month's supplies of the operator. It really seem- 
ed that we had never before eaten anything so 

We slept on the floor of the room which served 
as a kitchen, wrapped in our blankets, using as 
pillows our shoes covered with a large bandanna 
handkerchief. The night proved to be as cold as 
the day had been warm, so that an extra blanket 
which the operator brought in to us sometime 
during the night was very acceptable. We were 
aroused by our host calling us to breakfast. As 
this was Sunday morning, he had an extra supply 
for his morning meal. Fragrant, appetizing 
coffee, and a plate piled high with steaming pan- 
cakes, told of his last half hour's work. We were 
not in the least backward in disposing of our 
share; at the finish of which for the first time since 
we had left Grand Junction we felt that our 
hunger had been fully satisfied. The operator 
gave us a lunch to carry with us to serve as our 
dinner. We told him that we were a thousand 
times obliged to him for his kindness, but he only 
said: ^'A man that wouldn't do as much for one 
from his own state as I have done for you boys, 
wouldn't be worth the title of man; take it, and the 
only thing that I regret is that I have not more to 
give you. Keep a ^plugging' and don't lose your 

106 Around the United States by Bicycle 

nerve, and you will surely reach the other side 
of the desert in good style. ^ ' 

We will not weary the reader with detailed 
descriptions of our many trials and tribulations in 
crossing the remainder of the desert. Suffice it 
to say, that we reached Price, which was a small 
village on the other edge of the desert, consider- 
ably worse for wear. We covered the 173 miles 
in four and a half days. After the first two days ' 
travel the railroad track proved to afford very 
good riding on the well-filled in ties between the 
rails, so that we were compelled to walk but very 
little. Of water we had a plenty. Every tele- 
graph station and section-house had an ice-house 
which was kept filled at the expense of the rail- 
road company. The melted ice made excellent 
drinking water, and we had no trouble whatever 
in getting our canteens filled at intervals of ten to 
eighteen miles apart. For food we did not fare 
so well. After eating the Sunday lunch which 
the operator gave us, we had nothing more to eat 
until Monday noon, when an Italian section fore- 
man gave us several ^* biscuits'' which to us look- 
ed more like loaves of bread. Tuesday for supper 
we again had an opportunity to eat, through the 
kindness of another telegraph operator. This fel- 
low was a good cook, and we showed how well we 
appreciated his efforts by sweeping the table of 
every vestige of food. Tuesday and Wednesday 
nights we walked the track until nearly midnight, 

Around the United States by Bicycle 107 

finding the cool atmosphere a great contrast to the 
insufferable heat of the day. The only people on 
the desert were those employed by the railroad 
company as telegraph operators, section foremen, 
and section men, all of the latter being Japanese, 
Italians, and Chinese. 

Somewhere near the middle of the desert, we 
crossed a long bridge over a quarter of a mile in 
length spanning ''Green Eiver.'' For some 
reason the waters of this stream are indeed of a 
deep green, and we were told that the water was 
so highly impregnated with alkali, that should a 
person drink of it, it would cause a horrible death. 
This is the river from which the desert receives 
its name. 

Price, Utah, will always be a delightful spot in 
our memory, for here we received one of the most 
astounding and pleasant surprises of our whole 
trip. By chance we cultivated the acquaintance 
of a young gentlemen named Wm. Jardine, a 
Mormon. He was a capital fellow, and became 
exceedingly interested in our long tour. Upon 
learning of the low state of our finances, but that 
we hoped to receive our shipment of souvenirs on 
arrival at Salt Lake City, he remarked: 

*'I am mightily interested in your trip, and I'm 
just going to help you in a small way to get that 
wager. I'll just make you a present out and out, 
but when you get your souvenirs, I want you to 
remember me and send me one of them, and write 

108 Around the United States by Bicycle 

me from time to time just how you are getting 
along. You may reach me at this address: 
William Jardine, State Experimental School, 
Logan, Utah.'' 

He reached into his pocket, took out his pocket 
book, extracted a five dollar gold piece, and 
handed the same to us. We were dumbfounded 
and for several moments were speechless. We 
refused to accept the money, although we needed 
it badly, on the grounds that it was too much to 
give to complete strangers. But he insisted that 
he could easily spare the money, and that it would 
help us five times more than it would help him. 
Finally we agreed to accept it, but only on con- 
dition that we should pay it back to him just as 
soon as we were able. At first he would not hear 
to this, but as we were firm he at length consented. 

We were greatly touched by this act of kindness, 
and with tears of gratitude we grasped his hand, 
so overcome, that we were unable to speak. 



Helper, which is division headquarters of the 
Rio Grande Western Railroad, and which is locat- 
ed at the beginning of a range of mountains 
through which the railroad travels, gets its name 
from the fact that, owing to the heavy grades from 
this point onward, an extra engine is an absolute 
necessity until the summit of the range is reached. 
This extra engine is called a ^'helper." This vil- 
lage of such an odd name we reached in a little 
more than twenty miles' travel from Price. 

From this point it is necessary to travel the rail- 
road, as the wagon road makes a large detour in 
crossing ^^The Wasatch Range.'' 

On our way to the summit we passed through 
a small town called Colton, a typical western town. 
From time to time appear pictures of "wild and 
woolly" towns, of Montana and Wyoming in 
"Puck" and "Judge." Here was a striking ex- 
ample of such a town. 

One single crooked street, about as long as an 
ordinary city block, very narrow, lined with 
wooden buildings of all sizes, shapes, and colors. 
In front of nearly every building is a flaring sign, 
one announcing to the world that: "Harry's Res- 
taurant," is on the inside: another informs the 

110 Around the United States by Bicycle 

patrons of ^Hhe flowing bowP' that here is the: 
^^New Artie Saloon — The Largest Beer In The 
Country for 15 CENTS. ' ' The town seems to con- 
sist of nothing but saloons, restaurants, and lodg- 
ing houses. Some of the buildings have a plat- 
form in front which is built several feet from the 
ground and which answers for a side-walk, but the 
majority have none. Through the vista of the 
street the mountains are seen towering but a short 
distance away, reminding one of grim and austere 
sentinels guarding this little village from marau- 

Soldier's Summit, the highest point of the range, 
is reached, consisting of a telegraph station and a 
long train shed. From this place to Tucker, six 
miles, is the steepest and longest main-line rail- 
road grade in the United States. At the summit 
all trains are put into the train shed, and a 
thorough examination is made of all the running 
parts, after which every brake on every car is set, 
and the long and heavy train slowly creeps down 
the mountain-side. At intervals are placed side 
tracks, which run up into the mountain a half mile 
or more, so that should the train become un- 
manageable or in danger of accident, it could be 
turned into one of these side tracks, where the 
ascent is so great, that it would immediately lose 
all its headway. We were told that even though 
the greatest care was exercised accidents were of 
frequent occurrence. 

Around the United States by Bicycle 111 

Now we pass what is known as ^'Castle Gate," 
a gateway to the Rockies. Two perpendicular 
walls of bare, bleak rock rise to the height of five 
hundred feet, the space between which is only suffi- 
cient to allow the railroad track to pass. 

Here is a novel sight : A collection of hovels on 
one side of the track, while on the opposite is a 
row of fiery kilns in which coke is burnt, from each 
comes a continuous stream of dirty, black smoke, 
while on each side of this narrow valley two grim 
walls frown displeasure at the scene. 

Through this section the scenery partakes of a 
wild grandeur impossible to describe. High, 
rocky walls line the railroad for mile upon mile. 
Huge and massive boulders are carelessly perched 
high up the mountain side almost directly above 
the track, their outlines silhouetted against the 
deep blue azure of the heavens. As you look, they 
seem to lose their hold, to sway, and go hurtling 
with ever increasing force down the precipice to 
crush you with their gigantic weight. 

We came down out of the mountains through 
Spanish Fork Canyon to behold the wonderful, 
fertile Salt Lake Valley. A flat stretch of land, 
many miles wide, hemmed in by mountains, with 
prosperous towns but short distances apart, while 
the houses of the tillers of the soil dot the land- 
scape, this veritable ^^ Garden of Eden" stretches 
away to the northward until it meets the sky on 
the horizon line. 

112 Around the United States by Bicycle 

"We travel through Springville, Provo City, 
American Fork, Lehi City, and a number of small- 
er towns, all of which are strong Mormon com- 
munities, all being uniformly laid out with wide 
streets ornamented by shade trees, all streets run- 
ning only in the direction of the four points of the 
compass. All telephone poles and electric lights 
are placed in the center of the street instead of on 
the sides, all poles being painted black and white, 
the former color for a third of the distance from 
the bottom upward. Everything bears a neat and 
tasteful aspect, and the towns resemble large 

Along the road small fruit orchards are 
frequently seen, farm-houses are surrounded by 
shade trees and beds of flowers, while the nodding, 
golden heads of growing grain lend their touch of 
color to the home-like scene. 

Salt Lake City, or ^^The City of the Saints,'^ as 
it is sometimes called, hove into sight. Here we 
found the same park-like aspect which prevailed 
in the smaller Mormon cities. We learned that 
all the streets were 152 feet wide, including the 
side-walks, and to walk a mile one would traverse 
but seven blocks. All the streets were laid out at 
right angles, and were bordered with shade trees. 
On both sides of the street we noticed that there 
ran a stream of cold, clear water which flows from 
the mountains but a short distance from the city, 


Around the United States by Bicycle 113 

which, with the fruit orchards and flower gardens 
which surround nearly every dwelling, give the 
city an air of comfort, prosperity, and repose. 

One of the most interesting places in the city is 
^ ' Temple Square, ' ' a large square block surround- 
ed by a high stone wall inside of which are the 
leading ecclesiastical buildings of the Mormon 
Church. The Tabernacle, in which stands the 
famous pipe organ, second in size in America, is an 
immense structure of rectanguldr base and oval 
roof which is supported by forty-six piers of cut 
sandstone, these with the space between used for 
doors, windows, etc., constitute the wall. From 
these piers, the roof, constructed of wood, springs 
in one unbroken arch, being with one exception, 
the Grand Central Station, New York, the largest 
self-supporting roof on the continent. This 
structure has a capacity of 13,000 people, and is 
used not only for church purposes, but for other 
large gatherings as well. The dimensions of the 
building are 250 by 150 feet, and so great are the 
sound carrying properties of the dom^-like roof, 
that the sound of a pin dropped can be heard two 
hundred feet distant from the pulpit, while a con- 
versation in a whisper can readily be carried on 
from one end of the mammoth structure to the 

It was our good fortune to hear the colossal 
organ play. This indeed is a marvelous piece of 
mechanism. Its volume is such that it seems as 

114 Aro2ind the United States by Bicycle 

if the very foundations of the immense tabernacle 
would be shaken, but even as the thunderous 
echoes are reverberating throughout the great 
structure, by but the slightest pressure of a finger, 
it all changes, and tranquilly and peacefully there 
is borne upon the air an almost inaudible strain of 
music, tender and sweet. 

The voice stops, contralto and baritone, are so 
accurate a representation of the human voice, that 
one finds himself looking for the person from 
whom the sound proceeds, and it is hardly possible 
to detect the difference. 

The Temple, the Tabernacle, and the Assembly 
Building are all located within the stone wall or 
'^Temple Square." The Temple itself, about 
which there hangs such an air of mystery, is a 
building 187 by 118y2 feet, entirely constructed of 
grayish granite, and is surmounted by six colossal 
gothic spires, three at each end of the building, 
the highest of which is 210 feet from the ground, 
and resting on the pinnacle of this is a statue, 
twelve feet high, representing the Mormon angel 
Moroni, of hammered copper and gold-leaf plat- 
ing. This imposing edifice was commenced in 
1853, and completed in 1893, all of the stone being 
quarried from Cottonwood Canyon, in Utah. The 
estimated cost is $4,500,000. None but the high- 
est officials are allowed to view its sacred 
interior, or Mormons whose standing in the church 
is above reproach, who at marriage are allowed to 


Around the United States by Bicycle 115 

have the ceremony performed within its grim and 
austere walls. 

Occupying a mammoth square is the City and 
County Building, which at present is also used as 
the State Capitol building. It is from the exter- 
ior of great architectural beauty, resembling a 
medieval castle with artistic turrets and towers, 
the whole surmounted by a massive high tower, at 
the pinnacle of which stands a glistening statue 
of white marble representing ^'Civilization En- 
lightening The World.'' The interior is of white 
marble and costly onyx, all mined in Utah. 

Fourteen miles from the city lies that wonder- 
ful inland sea of salt water, the existence of which 
has puzzled the learned and unlearned, and which 
is one of the natural wonders of the world. Its 
dead, dreary, silent, slumbering waters are indeed 
an enigma to all mankind. It is 90 miles long by 
45 wide, having a surface of 2,500 square miles, the 
water containing exactly 22 % of salt. Here one 
can enjoy the novel sensation of floating upon the 
surface like a huge cork, it being impossible to 
sink, while surrounding the lake, one sees the 
grim, bleak sides of mountains, and you remind 
yourself that you are at an altitude of almost a 
mile above the level of the sea ! 

There is every facility for a day of pleasure at 
Saltair resort, a magnificent building of Moorish 
architecture, the original cost of which was a 
quarter of a million dollars, constructed two 

116 Around the United States by Bicycle 

thousand feet from the shore in the form of a mon- 
ster crescent. Here are bath rooms to supply a 
small-sized army, a game room, amusement enter- 
prises of every description, and a dancing pavilion, 
250 by 140 feet, claimed to be the largest in the 

During our short sojourn in Salt Lake City, 
Fort Douglas, a military post at which there is 
stationed infantry and light artillery, five miles 
out from the city, was favored by a visit from 
Lieut. Gen. Adna R. Chaffee, the military head of 
the United States Army, who was on a tour of in- 
spection of all the western army posts. We paid a 
visit to the fort and after a great deal of effort. 
Darling succeeded in photographing this *^big 
gun" of Uncle Sam's army. 

There are many other points of interest in ' ^ The 
City of The Saints," which, if we had the space, 
we would gladly describe, but we feel that we have 
already wearied the reader with facts and sta- 
tistics, and as we have touched upon the most 
important features of this noted city, we crave 
the reader's consent to proceed with our narra- 

We found Salt Lake City to be a very enthusias- 
tic bicycle town, and here is what is called ^^The 
Salt Palace," in which there is a large ^^ Saucer 
Track," where some exceedingly fast bicycle rac- 
ing events take place, in which participate some of 
the fastest riders in the world. We were royally 

Around the United States by Bicycle 117 

entertained by the bicycle enthusiasts, our ma- 
chines and accoutrements being placed on exhibi- 
tion m one of the show windows of the leading 
bicycle dealer in the city, while the gentlemen of 
the press rose to the occasion and embellished onr 
adventures so that even we ourselves did not re- 
cognize them. 

The consignment of our souvenirs, 1,400 in num- 
ber, which we had awaited while traveling through 
four different states, was safely delivered into 
our hands on our arrival in Salt Lake City. After 
paying the accrued express charges we found that 
we had but ten cents remaining. However, we had 
now many friends to whom we could sell our sou- 
venirs, and, lifted up as we were by the wave of 
popularity, our souvenirs sold very readily, so that 
on leaving the city we were in excellent financial 



For perhaps eighty miles north of Salt Lake 
City, through Ogden and Brigham City, the gen- 
eral characteristics of the country were the same 
as those in the southern part of the valley, the 
roads were good, there were small towns at short 
intervals in which our souvenirs sold fairly well, 
and altogether we were enjoying life. 

Mile after mile found us within sight of the 
shimmering, placid waters of the Great Salt Lake, 
while to our right it seemed but a stone's throw to 
the mountains, which, exhibiting here nothing of 
that wildness usually characteristic of mountain 
scenery rose near us in majestic and quiet gran- 

To guard against being reduced again to the 
financial extremities of our memorable crossing 
of the Green Eiver Desert, we resolved that as we 
were traveling through a rather uncivilized terri- 
tory, and had become accustomed to roll ourselves 
in our blankets and to lie on the soft side of a 
board floor, we would continue to follow this econ- 
omical practice until our financial condition should 
be beyond danger. To this end we slept in hay- 
lofts, in waiting-rooms, telegraph stations, school- 
houses, etc. 

Around the United States by Bicycle 119 

As the result of this ^^ roughing if we had a 
narrow escape from being forcibly detained on a 
very serious charge. Our first night out of Salt 
Lake City at nine o'clock, found us in the near 
vicinity of Kaysville. Finding a farm-house near 
which stood a large and spacious barn, we inter- 
viewed the owner, obtaining his consent to sleep 
in the hay-loft. The night was fairly warm, so 
that we did not use our blankets, even removing 
our coats, lying on the sweet smelling hay. 

We awoke at half past five to discover that the 
outside of our woolen sweaters were completely 
covered with barbed points of the grass which 
made up the hay. A great many of these had pene- 
trated to the skin, the sensation being far from 
agreeable. We spent the greater part of two hours 
in picking out these prickly little articles, which 
we afterward learned were called brome grass, 
or bastard oats. 

As it was Sunday morning, few people were 
abroad, and we decided to oil and clean our ma- 
chines before starting. Darling suddenly ex- 
claimed ^^Murph! Look at that smoke!'' Less 
than half a mile distant we saw a dense volume 
of heavy black smoke, in the midst of which ton- 
gues of fire shot forth. We dashed down the road 
as fast as our legs would carry us, rounded a turn, 
and discovered that a large barn was afire, the 
smoke and the flames almost completely envelop- 
ing it. At the side was a small enclosed yard in 

120 Around the United States by Bicycle 

which a horse was running to and fro, neighing 
with terror and pain, some of his hairy coat al- 
ready singed. We were the first on the scene, and 
we made haste to open the gate to let the horse 
out, in doing this we had great difficulty, as the 
heat was terrific. People were now hastening 
from every direction, and as we were the first 
there and without coats or hats, with hay project- 
ing from our sweaters, they concluded that we had 
been sleeping in the barn and had set it afire. 
All drew off to one side muttering in angry under- 
tones, leaving us isolated. We now saw that we 
were in a rather unpleasant position. Finally one 
of the men left the crowd and approaching us, 
said he guessed he would have to detain us until 
an officer arrived as that it was his opinion that 
we had set the barn afire. We protested that we 
had slept in a barn down the road, and seeing the 
blaze had rushed down here, being the first on the 
scene. But as we were unable to tell the name of 
the man's barn in which we slept, he muttered 
something about that being a likely story. The 
crowd was increasing at every moment forming 
around us with muttered imprecations and black, 
angry stares ; we began to feel our courage oozing 
out through the bottom of our feet. All this hap- 
pened very quickly, and we were so dumbfounded 
by the turn events had taken, that we were not 
able to collect our scattered faculties, but we saw 
that unless we made a decisive move, we might 

Around the United States by Bicycle 121 

come to personal violence at the hands of the 
crowd, as a thing of this sort arouses all the ire 
in farmers' natures. So with an effort we shook 
off our fears, and putting on a bold front, sugges- 
ted to our captor, that if he did not believe our 
story, we would prove it by going up to the far- 
mer's house in whose barn we had slept and ask- 
ing him personally. This he agreed to do, and, 
walking one on each side of our guardian, who 
roughly hung to our arms, and followed by the 
whole angry crowd, we proceeded thither. 

There were no signs of life around the house, 
but after much battering on the door, an upstairs 
window was raised, and a tousled head was put 
forth, wanting to know: **In the name of good- 
ness! What's all this commotion about T' The 
leader of the crowd soon explained, and the man 
who had been so rudely awakened from his slum- 
bers emphatically corroborated our story. Our 
burly captor apologized to us, and the rest of the 
crowd slunk away one by one, thoroughly 

We trembled to think what might have hap- 
pened had the farmer not been at home, for no 
amount of circumstantial evidence would have 
proved to this angry mob that we had not slept in 
the barn, and being utter strangers, our chances 
would have been small indeed. 

From a little community called Collinston, 
which boasted of a population of something like 

122 Around the United States by Bicycle 

two hundred inhabitants, our troubles began. 

Through a wild and uncivilized country, across 
another small range of mountains, walking the 
railroad track the entire distance, was but the 
prelude to that which followed. 

One night, close upon the hour of midnight, 
found us walking the track through what is known 
as Bear Creek Canyon. We had left Collinston at 
half past seven, the next station being Cache Junc- 
tion, which was on the other side of the canyon. 
The night was very dark, and the scenery being 
one of awful grandeur, as we proceeded the un- 
canniness and weirdness of the situation began to 
show its effect upon us in the way of a ticklish 
sensation down our spines. Down below in the 
bottom of the gorge we could hear the rushing, 
roaring black waters of the Bear Eiver, as it 
seethed and foamed over rapids and cataracts ; the 
track on our right was closely walled in by a per- 
pendicular precipice, the top of which was lost 
in the darkness. Now with trembling nerves we 
cautiously pick our way over a long and high steel 
trestle, beneath which, we can hear the angry wa- 
ters, and recover from this nervous strain when 
we find ourselves in a tunnel, where the air is 
close and stifling. We creep over two more high 
trestles, stumbling out of another dark tunnel, 
just as a fast passenger train rushes upon us with 
a roar of steam and rumbling of wheels, illumin- 
ating the dark gorge with its powerful headlight, 

Around the United States by Bicycle 123 

until every rock stands out in relief, but only for 
a second, and then the blackness of night swallows 
up this terrible monster as he rushes by. 

In the loneliest and wildest portion of the can- 
yon, ahead of us, we see a dancing red light, which 
is instantly suggestive of train robbers. The inky 
blackness helps to conjure up a picture of our be- 
ing captured, bound, and gagged, to await the 
pleasure of these ruffians. "With one hand firmly 
grasping the butt of our revolvers, we warily ap- 
proach. '^How are ye, be jabersT' To our tense 
nerves, this salutation sounds like a pistol shot. 
We find that our would-be train robbers are noth- 
ing but a lone track walker, an Irishman, whose 
duty it is to carry a red light, so that in case of de- 
fects or obstructions on the track, he could warn 

We reach Cache Junction to find that a water 
tank and a telegraph station completes the town. 
We get the permission of the operator to sleep on 
the floor. Our sleep is interrupted by the passing 
roar of trains and the frequent entrance of train- 
men to get their orders, every one of whom 
thought it his duty to flash a lantern in our faces 
with the remark addressed to the operator: 
* * Who Ve you got here. Bill ! ' ' Who would reply : 
^^Oh, they^re a couple of lads going around the 
world on bicycles." Which would bring an ejac- 
ulation of surprise from the interrogator, causing 
another inspection with the aid of his lantern, 

124 Around the United States by Bicycle 

while we awoke again, winking and blinking, daz- 
zled by the bright rays, upon which the man would 
good-naturedly laugh and disappear at the door. 
In a short time, on the arrival of another train, 
the performance would be repeated. 

We cross the Utah-Idaho line, to find that we 
are in a very barren and wild looking country. 
A fine, powdery, flour-like alkali dust covers what 
the people in this section call a road. Ploughing 
through this under a sweltering August sun makes 
very unpleasant traveling. 

All the way to Pocatello we find nothing but 
small stations, telegraph office and water tank, 
occasionally a town which boasts of several stores 
and a cluster of houses. We are in a valley ten 
miles wide, hemmed in by parallel chains of moun- 
tains ; in this valley all that meets the eye is a des- 
ert waste of sage-brush, through which the road, 
a mere wagon track, winds in devious twists and 

Two dejected, dusty, and dirty individuals, foot- 
sore and weary, hardly able to drag one foot after 
the other, trundling two bicycles almost ready for 
the scrap heap, could be seen at half past ten 
o 'clock on the night of August 19th, plodding into 

We lost no time in finding a restaurant, which 
proved to be operated by Chinamen. The almond- 
eyed Celestials stared in open-mouthed wonder- 
ment as we emptied dish after dish. 

Around the United States by Bicycle 125 

Scraping an acquaintance with tlie depot police- 
man, we made known our wants after a little pre- 
liminary conversation. He proved to be of a good 
sort giving us permission to sleep in an empty 
passenger coach which stood near the depot, tell- 
ing us that this did not leave the yards, but prob- 
ably would be switched a great deal during the 
night in order to get it into the proper place. 

This was surely beautiful; soft, luxuriant 
CUSHIONS, no hard board floor to-night! Every- 
thing went well until the ^^wee sma' hours,'' then 
the switch engine commenced to play ping-pong 
with our private car. The first bump threw us out 
of our seats and left us sprawling on the floor, 
where we endeavored to collect our dazed senses, 
trying to determine what had happened. Being 
awakened from sound sleep in this manner is far 
from a pleasing experience; just as we arrive at 
the conclusion that it is a night-mare, the engine 
makes another move, and we cling to the iron 
frame work of the seats while it is forced upon our 
minds that our first supposition was wrong. 

Pocatello has a population of nearly six thous- 
and inhabitants, a typical western town, in which 
gambling is looked upon as a profession. The 
railroad track divides the town into two sections, 
one of which is the ^'Tenderloin'' district, consist- 
ing of dives, gambling-houses, saloons, and low re- 
sorts which would do credit to a larger city. 

After much difficulty we found a repair shop, 

126 A7^ound the United States by Bicycle 

the proprietor of which was a native Texan. He 
was enthusiastic over our journey, and although, 
there were extensive repairs to be made on each 
machine, he thoroughly overhauled them until 
they looked almost as good as new, refusing to ac- 
cept any money in payment. 

We cross the Fort Hall Indian Eeservation, and 
for fifty miles we travel through a desolate waste 
on which there is nothing but sage-brush and 
chico bushes, or grease-wood, under which name it 
is better known. This is a portion of the Snake 
Eiver Sage Brush Desert. The soil is all sand, 
which necessitated our clinging to our old friend 
the railroad track. 

At Idaho Falls we see a sight that is astonishing 
in the eyes of an Easterner. "We arrive the night 
preceding the entrance of a circus, (Ringling 
Bros.). The town resembles the bivouac of an 
army. Camp-fires throw their ruddy glow upon 
the sleeping forms of men, while the outlines of 
^^ prairie schooners" are distinguished amidst the 
surrounding darkness. We learn that some of 
these people have been on the road for five and six 
days, through mountains and across rivers, bring- 
ing whole families, just to be able to see this cir- 
cus. Weather-beaten and grizzled '^cow-punch- 
ers" (cow-boys) riding in the saddle for several 
hundred miles, who have never before seen a cir- 
cus, dance and caper awaiting the arrival of '^the 
show" with as much eagerness and anxiety as 

^-XuJ^ t '""'"^t^^^^^ 

y^^-T/^'-'/v frHvro- 


Around the United States by Bicycle 127 

that manifested by an eight-year-old youngster 
back in the East. 

Owing to the sand-storms, which usually take 
place in this region daily, every afternoon at five 
o 'clock, only one performance was given. The at- 
tendance was 6,500, the population of the town 
being but 3,000. 

We find in this region many Indians, mostly 
Bannocks and Shoshones, some of whom are quite 
civilized, own small farms, and are fairly indus- 

One day we met with a withered, dried up old 
Indian squaw, her face disfigured by a flattened 
nose, part of which was missing, her skin resem- 
bling brown parchment, so tightly was it drawn 
across the flesh and bones. Her costume was in- 
deed a variegated one ; a tunic, of a material which 
looked very much like that of which gunny sacks 
are made, hung to the shoe tops, belted at the 
waist ; her hair was a scrawny tangled mass ; over 
her shoulder she carried a blanket in the form of 
a sack, in which she had trinklets which she was 
offering for sale. Accompanying her, decrepit and 
stone blind, was the remnant of an old Indian 
brave. We learned that the worthy pair were 
Shoshones, who had participated in the late In- 
dian war with chief Bear Hunter, and that in this 
encounter the squaw's nose had been nearly shot 

Butte, our objective point in Montana, was 

128 Around the United States by Bicycle 

reached after many trials and vicissitudes. Most 
of the time through Idaho found us traveling 
through the mountains or across a sage-brush 
desert. We stayed over night with * ^ cow-punch- 
ers ;' ' one time we met a rider on the range who in- 
vited us to come up to their camp not far from the 
Continental Divide away up in the mountains. 
We got onto the wrong trail, and wandered off 
through the mountains nearly ten miles, and at last 
were put on the right trail by a lone sheep-herder, 
it being close upon the midnight hour when we at 
last found the camp. We were entertained royal- 
ly, and in the morning the boys gave an exhibi- 
tion of ^^ roping," of which we took a photograph. 

Butte proved to be a city of 40,000 souls, an 
overgrown mining camp, in which gambling 
seemed to run riot, surrounded by mountains 
whose slopes were honeycombed with gold and 
silver mines. 

Northward bound for Deer Lodge and Missoula, 
we leave the ^^ Pittsburg of the West,'' as Butte 
is sometimes called, behind us. 

Sunday night finds us at a Montana settlement 
bearing the name of Gold Creek. A railroad sta- 
tion, painted fiery red; a general store; a saloon 
in the front of which was hitched to a long railing 
a dozen or more vicious looking broncoes. The 
clink of poker chips and the tinkling of glasses ac- 
companied by loud guffaws of laughter, as some 
fortunate individual would win, while curses and 

Around the United States by Bicycle 129 

imprecations told of some wlio were not so fortu- 
nate; these, together with several cabins and a long 
bunk-house, completed the so-called city, which 
was hemmed in on all sides by the woody slopes 
of dark, gloomy, frowning mountains. 

Since our entrance into Montana, we had found 
that the nights were freezing cold, making sleep- 
ing outdoors, in barns, box-cars, and the like al- 
most an impossibility. Having concluded that 
there was no particular glory in sleepless nights, 
we resolved in future to buy lodging whenever it 
was possible as now our finances were in good 

We entered the saloon to get warm, and found a 
very picturesque and interesting scene. A large, 
square room, at the end of which was a long bar, 
where several ^ ^ cow-punchers ' ^ were partaking of 
^Hhe flowing bowl;'' but a lively card game at a 
table on one side of the room seemed to be the 
chief attraction. Around the participants there 
lounged in all attitudes nearly a dozen of the fol- 
lowers of the range. Now several would leave the 
table to go to the bar, their spurs clinking at every 
step. Nearly all were dressed in bear-skin 
^^shaps,'' loose leggings of skin, the hair outside, 
reaching to the thighs; blue flannel shirts, felt 
hats, low-crowned and broad brimmed, red ban- 
danna handkerchiefs tied around the neck with 
the knot at the back; all which was artistically 
touched up by a belt full of cartridges from which 


130 Around the United States by Bicycle 

the butt of a healthy ''Coitus'' six-shooter peeped 
forth from its holster. Owing to the feverish ex- 
citement over the card game, no one noticed our 
entrance, so that we had opportunity for observa- 
tion. After absorbing as much of the heat as was 
possible, and in a visit of five minutes, failing 
to interest the company in our souvenirs, we again 
went out into the night. 

The air was freezing cold, which was intensified 
by the frigid rays from a full moon; the surround- 
ing mountains were bathed in silvery glory; the 
hollows and recesses were marked by black shad- 

There was no hotel or lodging-house, the depot 
was closed, and the only thing left for us to do 
was to keep a close watch on the cabins, to see a 
light or hear a noise which would indicate that 
there was someone inside. 

Nearly half an hour passed, at the end of which 
we were kicking our heels together with hands 
and faces blue with the cold; then we noticed a 
stray ray of light which escaped through a chink 
in the side of the bunk-house. We knocked on 
the door, which was opened by an old man whose 
face was enveloped with a mass of black whiskers, 
from the midst of which two bead-like eyes peeped 
forth. "We told him our story, ending up with a 
request for some place to sleep within his mansion. 
After many puffs from a stubby pipe, after a great 
deal of meditation, during which the bead-like 

Around the United States by Bicycle 131 

eyes took in our every detail from head to foot, lie 
said that he ^^ 'lowed that we could sleep with 

Imagine a room long and narrow, the inside of 
rough hewn hoards, lined with wooden hunks, 
only one of which had any bedding, illuminated 
by the sickly and fitful rays of a candle. We 
three all lay in this one bunk, resembling sardines, 
so closely were we packed. The covering consis- 
ted of two blankets, from which came smells sug- 
gesting that the last time they were washed was 
in the long forgotten past. 

Nevertheless we slept the sleep of the just, roll- 
ing out at seven o'clock the next morning into a 
cold, crisp air fresh from the mountains. 

Alternating between the wagon road and the 
railroad track, through mountains, some of which 
resemble colossal mounds of brown velvet; now 
passing debris at the side of the track, which we 
afterwards learn is the remains of a hold-up 
wreck of a Northern Pacific Express, two months 
before, in which two desperadoes kill the express 
messenger, dynamite the safe, and secure a hun- 
dred thousand dollars, we at length reach a little 
cluster of houses called Bearmouth. 

From this point onward we are able to follow 
the wagon road, rough and rocky, picking its way 
carefully through the mountains. 

Through what is known as Hell Gate Valley, a 
wild and uncivilized region deserving the name, 

132 Around the United States by Bicycle 

we followed to our surprise a most excellent road. 

At Missoula, a town of six thousand, we learn 
that to Spokane, Washington, a distance of 272 
miles, we shall traverse a very wild and uncivil- 
ized territory, through which there are no wagon 
roads, it being an absolute necessity to follow the 
track of the Northern Pacific R. R. It was repre- 
sented to be a most desolate region, heavily tim- 
bered, lumbering being practically the only occu- 
pation, and that it would be necessary for us to 
cross the Flathead Indian Reservation, when for 
forty miles we should see nothing but the primitive 
tepees of the Flathead Indians. 

After several hours' travel out of Missoula we 
cross the Marent Trestle at a height of 226 feet. 
It is 1,380 feet in length, and is the second highest 
railroad bridge in the United States- 

We find the terrors of the Flathead Reservation 
quite as represented. Now traveling through al- 
most impenetrable forests of giant pines and 
spruce, whose trunks rise straight as an arrow, 
their bushy tops a hundred or more feet from the 
ground; now on each side of us appear the out- 
landish and picturesque tepees of the aborigines, 
suggestive of the past when the red men and not 
the white were masters. Occasionally we would 
spy a brave mounted on a ^^cayuse'' (an Indian 
pony), neck, face, and arms grotesquely decorated 
with war paint, while a gaudy-colored blanket 
hung from his shoulders ; or possibly we would be 

Around the United States by Bicycle 133 

able to approach a tepee quite near to the track, 
without the squaw and her several papooses being 
aware of our presence, where we could get a 
glance at a real Indian family; but only for an 
instant, for, on seeing us, the mother followed 
by her offspring would flee precipitately, to take 
shelter within their flimsy dwelling. 

As we proceed northward the country becomes 
more heavily timbered, logging trails with deep- 
worn ruts, running for short distances along side 
the track, and these trails, bad as they are, we 
travel with pleasure to relieve the monotony of the 
railroad track. 

Through this heavily timbered region the long 
drought has played havoc. Forest fires are rag- 
ing, and at night, up the side of the mountain, the 
destructive demon can be seen making his way 
through dense forests. Frequently along the track 
we see tall, blackened trunks, and acres of forest 
reduced to a charred mass, marking the path of the 

The state line between Montana and Idaho is 
reached and we are brought into the *^ pan handle'' 
of Idaho ; and on our first day in this state we meet 
with several startling adventures. 

We must cross a trestle a mile and a half long, 
which spans one end of Lake Pend'd 'Oreille. The 
ties are nearly a foot apart and over these we 
bump our wheels; below us are the green waters 
of the lake. The trestle is in the form of a cres- 

134 Around the United States by Bicycle 

cent, and as we reach the middle we are terrified 
to hear the rumble of an approaching train. Our 
only recourse is to climb down to one of the beams, 
lie flat, and support our machines over the edge. 
We lost no time in carrying out this idea. Hardly 
a moment passes, when the train is on the bridge, 
a through express, which dashes across the trestle 
at a high rate of speed, causing the frame-work to 
groan, creak, and vibrate with the awful strain 
and weight, so that we are nearly shaken from our 

At last the ^^ flyer" has passed, and we clamber 
up from our perilous positions, somewhat nervous, 
but exceedingly thankful for our escape. 

Lake Pend 'd 'Oreille is a very large body of wa- 
ter, 60 by 20 miles, having a shore line of almost 
seven hundred miles. We followed its shore for 
a great distance. 

Just before reaching a station known as Koote- 
nai, we have rather an exciting experience in rid- 
ing through a forest fire. 

We learn that by following a logging road 
through the forest we shall save several miles, as 
it is a ^'cut-off" on the railroad. Everything goes 
well for ten miles or more; we travel through an 
almost impenetrable forest and thicket, and, owing 
to the many forest fires, a heavy pall of smoke 
hangs in the air. Frequently would be borne to 
us sounds as of the discharge of small cannon, 
accompanied by a crackling and crashing, as the 

Around the United States by Bicycle 135 

giants of the forest would be overpowered by the 
hungry flames. 

As we proceed, the air becomes stifling with 
smoke, while the raging forest fire seems but a 
short distance away, and it now resembles a ter- 
rific bombardment, huge trees falling every min- 
ute, while the rush and roar of the flames are suf- 
ficient to strike terror into the stoutest heart, 
Leaving our machines we go ahead to reconnoiter. 
Less than a quarter of a mile farther on we reach 
the edge of the path of the monster. It had eaten 
its way across the road, which was nearly covered 
by the smouldering trunks of trees and by a mass 
of burning fire-brands. The heat was blistering. 
We saw that the burnt district covered but a thou- 
sand feet down the road, and that by making a 
dash we could cover this distance in a few mom- 
ents. It was true that we were liable to stumble 
and fall, getting severely burned, or our clothing- 
might catch fire, yet it was worth taking the risk, 
for the forest was so dense, that it would be an 
impossibility to push our wheels through it by 
making a detour and going around the conflagra- 
tion, while to return to the railroad and follow 
that would be over ten miles out of our way, and 
we decided to make a run through the fire. 

Tying handkerchiefs around our mouths and 
nostrils to prevent suffocation by the smoke, and 
carrying our wheels over our shoulders, we brace 

136 Around the United States by Bicycle 

ourselves for the ordeal, and now we are off, run- 
ning like deer. 

Darling stumbles and nearly falls, but, dropping 
bis machine for a moment, he quickly regains his 
balance, arriving on the other side in safety. I 
was less fortunate, for a burning fire-brand fell 
upon my shoulders, setting fire to the light cloth 
of my khaki suit, and before I was able to extin- 
guish it, it had burned a large hole. 

On the other side we took an inventory, finding 
that we were but little the worse for our exciting 
experience, our hair and eye-brows being slightly 
singed and our suits being scorched. 



We reach Sand Point, a town of several thous- 
and inhabitants, the largest and in fact the only- 
place of consequence that we have passed through 
since leaving Missoula. Immediately upon leav- 
ing Sand Point, we walk another trestle, one and 
three quarters miles long, bumping our bicycles 
over the ties, and find it no pleasant experience. 

The general characteristics of the country until 
we cross the Washington-Idaho boundary are 
much the same as through Montana, and it is nec- 
essary to follow the railroad nearly all the time. 

As we near Spokane, a rolling country devoid 
of timber greets the eye, being an exceedingly 
pleasant change from the miles of dense forest 
through which we have traveled for the past ten 

During our brief stay in Spokane we are royally 
entertained by the Spokane Amateur Athletic 
Association, one of the strongest clubs in the states 
of Washington and Oregon. A magnifcent build- 
ing equipped and furnished on a marvelous scale 
of elegance, a spacious gymnasium, swimming 
pool, Turkish and shower baths galore, are a few 
of the many enticing advantages which it affords 
to its members. 

138 Around the United States by Bicycle 

At this city is located the famous Spokane Falls, 
consisting of ^*The Upper Falls'' and ^*The Lower 

The famous Davenport restaurant, claimed to 
be the most aristocratic cafe in the West, is also 
located here. 

While in one of the large department stores at 
Spokane we overheard the following conversation 
between one of the salesman and a true lineal des- 
cendant of Abraham. 

Mr. Isaacs — *^Und dit you told der boss dot I 
vas goin' to git married to my second vife to-mor- 
row, und dot I vanted der house shouldt gif me a 
nice bresent?" 

The Salesman — ^^Oh yes, Mr. Isaacs, I told 

Mr. Isaacs — **Und vot did he zay?" 

Salesman — ^^He said I should give you a neck- 

Mr. Isaacs (shrieking) — **A negtie! I don't 
vant no negtie! I vant me a goot some-account 
bresent ! You go dell der boss dot I traded myself 
here two t'ousand tollars cash und my node for 
-von t'ousand tollars; und I vant me a nice wedding 
bresent ! ' ' 

(The salesman departs, returning in a few mom- 

Salesman — ^'Well, Mr. Isaacs, I spoke to the 
boss and he's pretty busy this morning, but he told 
me to give you your note back. ' ' 

Around the United States by Bicycle 139 

Mr. Isaacs — '^All right. But led me asg you 
von ding. Vill dot boss endorse dot node?" 

Salesman — ''Endorse the note! Of course he 
won't endorse the note. What do you take him 

Mr. Isaacs — '^'Den I dake der negtie." 

For a hundred miles west of Spokane, until we 
reach Coulee City, we pass through a rolling coun- 
try entirely destitute of timber or underbrush, 
every acre being under cultivation with wheat. 
Harvesting is now in progress, and 
we see a puffing traction engine in the fields, which 
produces enough power to thresh the golden grain. 
The method of mowing differs from that in the 
eastern states. The grain is simply headed, being 
cut just below the head of the stalk, instead of 
being cut off four or five inches from the ground. 
A machine which is called a header, not drawn, 
but pushed by six horses, has a carrier, similar to 
that used on a threshing machine, which dumps 
the grain into a huge box-like wagon called the 
''header box,'' which is driven alongside the head- 
ing machine. As soon as this is filled it is driven 
away, and the grain is fed into the thresher, while 
another "header box" immediately takes its place. 
In this way the grain is cut and threshed all at 
the same time, avoiding a great deal of unneces- 
sary delay. 

Sometimes the rainy season in Washington and 
Oregon begins as early as the middle of Septem- 

140 Around the United States by Bicycle 

ber, after which it rains steadily during the win- 
ter months, turning the roads into one continuous 
stretch of mud. Unless we get out of these states 
before this wet season shall begin, we were 
doomed, for traveling by bicycle under such cir- 
cumstances would be an impossibility. 

Through this wheat belt, which, owing to the 
fact that the Columbia Eiver there makes a great 
turn in its course, is called the Big Bend Country, 
small towns, all of a good type, range eight or ten 
miles apart, the country being thickly populated 
as in a great many of the eastern states, in strik- 
ing contrast to Idaho and Montana. 

But a short distance out of Spokane, Darling 
begins to have trouble with the bearings in his 
bicycle, which become so bad that he is unable to 
ride the machine. For seventy-five miles we 
practice what we jocularly called our ''relay sys- 
tem, '^ one of us riding the good machine for a 
mile, while the other walked, pushing the broken 
bicycle, and for the next mile exchanging. In this 
way we both have an opportunity to rest while 
waiting for the other man to come up with the 
machine which is out of commission, and making 
much better time than by a steady walk. This 
relay system was not unlike the ''ride and tie'' 
plan as practiced by the cowboys when two men 
have to travel with one good horse. One rides the 
horse for a distance, then tethers the animal on 
the plain and proceeds on foot. His comrade 

Around the United States by Bicycle 141 

comes up, takes the horse, and he also, rides for 
a distance and does the same thing. 

"When within five miles of Coulee City, Darling's 
bicycle tightens up, and we are unable even to 
push it along. As it is too heavy to carry, we in- 
vert it and set it on top of mine, to reach at last 
our destination with our peculiar machine. 

Coulee City, with a population of something like 
one hundred inhabitants sits in the bottom of what 
is known as the ''Washington Coulee," sur- 
rounded by a sage-brush desert, a most desolate 
region. This coulee, an Indian word for canyon, 
is nearly thirty miles long, extending directly 
north and south. Several miles north of the vil- 
lage, perpendicular walls of brown, grim rock ex- 
tend upward for a height of eight hundred feet or 
more, one on each side of the bottom land, forming 
the sides of the canyon. At one point a spire 
of rock, 2,100 feet high, called Pilot Eock, can be 
seen for many miles. Here again we see what the 
fantastic hands of dame Nature has molded: a 
rocky cliff, six hundred feet in height, is made to 
resemble a castle of the medieval period, from 
which it gets its name, ''Castle Rock.'' 

W^ith the assistance of a blacksmith, and by 
using different parts of all the old bicycles which 
we could find around the village, after spending 
over a half a day working at it, we succeed in 
repairing the broken machine, so that we are able 
to trundle it along, but can not ride it until we 
reach some town where we shall be able to pur- 

142 Around the United States by Bicycle 

chase the necessary bearings- So we return to our 
^^ relay system.'^ 

Twenty miles' travel in a northwesterly direc- 
tion brings us to the Moses Coulee, this being very 
similar to the Washington Coulee, except that its 
precipitous sides rise to a far greater height, and 
it is but a half mile across the sage-brush covered 
flat bottom, from one side to the other. This 
coulee, like the other, extends due north and south, 
stretching away as far as the eye can see. 

We find the descent into this gorge to be com- 
paratively easy, but on the opposite side the ascent 
is a tortuous climb of over two miles. 

After forty miles of travel from Coulee City we 
reach Douglass, a community consisting of per- 
haps twenty weather-beaten cottages, which by 
their appearance lead one to believe that they 
were built but shortly after the discovery of 
America. These, together with a general mer- 
chandise and hardware store, complete the village; 
ah! yes! except a public well, which, judging by 
the trampled ground around it, is the best patron- 
ized and leading attraction of the village. The 
well, open and walled with stone, stands in the 
middle of the only street. 

We learn that Waterville, a progressive little 
town of nearly two thousand inhabitants, is but 
five miles distant from this village. As we are 
bound for Wenatchee via the Badger Mountains, 
the foot hills of which are only a few miles from 

Around the United States by Bicycle 143 

Douglass, it will be out of our way to go to Water- 
ville, although there might be a chance of our be- 
ing able to get the necessary bearings there for 
the disabled wheel. On learning that the two 
roads from Douglass and Waterville meet on the 
top of the mountain by an old saw-mill, forming 
the Wenatchee road, we decide that one shall take 
the good machine and ride to Waterville, to try 
to get the repairs, while the other takes the broken 
bicycle to walk with it up the mountains until the 
old saw-mill is reached, and that this shall be our 
meeting place. We toss a coin to decide who will 
ride to Waterville, Darling wins, and leaves imme- 
diately for that place. 

As it is close to the noon hour, I choose the most 
promising of the cottages, making inquiry if I can 
buy my dinner. A gaunt, spare old lady answers 
in masculine tones that if I am able to put up with 
her rough fare I am welcome to it. 

During the meal my hostess plied me with in- 
numerable questions concerning myself, my fam- 
ily, the city in which I lived, how old I was, ending 
by demanding a complete history of our trip since 
we had started. To all of which I replied in mon- 
osyllables between mouthfuls of food. After every 
incident of my life had been firmly imbedded m 
the memory of my interrogator, without any re- 
quests or suggestions on my part, she proceeded to 
pour out her history, talking so fast that the words 
seemed to trip each other. As my chief desire was 

14:4: Around the United States by Bicycle 

to finish my dinner and get away from this ex- 
tremely garrulous old lady, I heard but little ex- 
cept the fact that she had been born and raised in 
Missouri, which, according to her account, was 
the banner state in the Union, and that I had made 
a big mistake in not being born in that state in- 
stead of in Michigan. 

At last the meal was eaten and I succeeded in 
getting away from the house, although she even 
followed me to the gate, talking in a constant 
stream. Although she charged me nothing for my 
dinner, I felt that I had surely earned it. 

After a long and dusty walk through a powdery, 
flour-like dust which covers the road to a depth 
of four to ten inches, and a tough climb of several 
miles up the steep side of the mountain, I reach 
the summit, perspiration oozing from every pore, 
dirty streaming rivulets running down face, arms, 
and neck. Thoroughly fatigued, I lie down to rest. 

Although by sundown I have walked sixteen 
miles, as yet I have failed to see the old saw mill, 
neither have I seen my colleague. On the moun- 
tains I find but few houses, passing these early in 
the afternoon. For an hour or more I have seen 
no sign of a dwelling, and as the shades of night 
are fast closing around me, I begin to think that 
it will be necessary for me to sleep on the ground 
alongside the road. Ahead of me in the dusk, 
apparently level with the ground, appears the roof 
of some large building. This is a strange phe- 

Around the United States by Bicycle 145 

nomenon, but as I near it, the mystery explains 
itself. The house is situated at the bottom of a 
deep ravine, its roof being level with the ground 
upon which I had been traveling. 

I easily secured accommodations for the night. 
It is a large wheat ranch, there being three men 
here, one of whom responded to the name of ^ ' Jim- 
my'^ and did the cooking. I was told that Jimmy 
and I could sleep out in the hay-mow, he declar- 
ing that he had slept outdoors for such a long time 
that he was not able to sleep in a bed. We lay 
down in front of the open door on the soft hay. 
The air was extremely cold and the darkness was 
intense, while in the immediate vicinity of the 
barn there stood a number of pine trees, whose 
branches swayed by a slight breeze gave forth a 
dismal uncanny sound, suggestive of the despair- 
ing wail of a lost spirit. Altogether it was a weird 
situation, which was intensified during the night 
by my being awakened from a profound slumber 
by my sleeping partner who in noisy somnilo- 
quence was living over an exciting pugilistic en- 
counter recently had with one of the neighboring 
farm-hands. This, together with the surround- 
ings, was sufficient to cause cold chills to chase 
one another down my spine, while my hair per- 
sisted in standing on end. 

Morning found me with every joint and bone 
stiff and aching, with several blisters upon my 
feet, all caused by my long walk of the preceding 


14:6 Around the United States by Bicycle 

day. Nevertheless I bade good-bye to Jimmy and 
the others, and started for Wenatchee, which was 
but twelve miles distant. 

Six miles brought me to the *^ breaks," the edge 
of the mountains. Here my pains and aches were 
all forgotten in contemplation of the wonderful 
panoramic view which lay spread before me. The 
fertile valley of the Wenatchee, a veritable oasis, 
bounded by the Badger Mountains on one side and 
the Kittitasse Mountains on the other, between 
which on its way to the Pacific Ocean, flowed the 
Columbia River, a silvery thread, alongside which 
the town of Wenatchee lay nestled at the foot of 
the Kittitasse Range. 

I at last descended the steep sides of the moun- 
tain, to find that a ferry-boat would carry me 
across the river to the town of Wenatchee for the 
sum of ^*four bits,'' fifty cents. 

The Columbia at this point is a half mile wide. 
The water is of a greenish color which tells of 
great depth, it is claimed that at its shallowest 
point it is not less than a hundred feet deep. It 
has a very swift current, and owing to the fact 
that it rises among the snow clad peaks, its waters 
are ice cold. 

I had but set foot upon the other side of the 
river, when I spied my traveling companion. He 
had followed by another way over the range the 
tracks of a bicycle which he afterwards learned to 
be pushed by an old man. Upon crossing the ferry 

Around the United States by Bicycle 147 

he had learned from the ferryman of his mistake, 
but knowing that I would strike for this place, he 
had waited for me at Wenatchee. 

Wenatchee, a town of nearly three thousand in- 
habitants, for its maintenance depends upon the 
shipping of fruit, it being located in the heart of 
the great fruit growing district of the Wenatchee 
valley. The size of the fruit grown in this valley 
is marvelous, and it is shipped to all parts of tEe 
United States and even to foreign countries. 

We were unable to get repairs here, but found 
that at Ellensberg, which was across the Kittitasse 
Mountains, we should be able to purchase what we 
desired. It was represented that by following an 
old Indian path known as ''the Ananam Trail" 
we should be able to save nearly twenty-five miles, 
but had we known the difficulties which we were 
to encounter we would gladly have taken the 
longer wagon road. 

Our experiences before we got across the moun- 
tains were many and varied. The first night we 
became lost in the intricate depths of a pine forest. 
We had followed several logging trails, but each 
became dimmer and fainter until they lost them- 
selves. We shouted, whistled, and discharged our 
revolvers, but only the gloomy solitude of the for- 
est and the moaning of the pine trees greeted our 
anxious, listening ears. The prospect of spending 
a night in the forest was anything but pleasing. 
When we had almost decided that this was our 

14:8 Around the United States by Bicycle 

only course, the faint baying of a dog was borne 
to our ears. We started in the direction from 
which the sound came, shouting at intervals so 
that the dog might respond. After what seemed 
like an interminable time, during which we 
worked our way slowly through the underbrush, 
stumbling over rotten trunks, and pulling our ma- 
chines, we saw the glimmer of a light. We finally 
reached it to find that it was a cabin of an Indian. 
We received food, and slept on a pallet of straw 
on the floor. 

All the next day we traveled the trail, finding 
no human habitation, and after exhausting the 
supply of water in our canteens, we had neither 
water nor food until we succeeded in getting down 
off the mountains at nine o'clock that night. 

The trail ascended the steepest slopes of the 
mountain, being almost like climbing a perpen- 
dicular, over which we panted and puffed and 
dragged our bicycles with extreme difficulty, but 
making progres;^ by hanging to bushes and trees, 
stopping very frequently to rest our wearied 

At one o'clock in the afternoon, after six hours' 
travel, we reached the summit. Here was a net- 
work of trails which ran in all directions; we 
chose the plainest and followed it. 

For four miles we wend our way through a vast 
tract of land which has been devastated by a forest 
fire, climbing, and lifting our machines over felled 


Around the United States by Bicycle 149 

forest giants, burnt and charred, with which the 
ground is covered. 

As darkness was overtaking us, we came out 
upon a road, which we followed for a sharp des- 
cent of several miles, this bringing us down out 
of the mountains into a sage-brush desert. It was 
now very dark, and strain our eyes as we might, 
we were unable to see a light. We plodded wearily 
along for several miles, with no change in our sur- 
roundings when a dark object loomed before us, 
which proved to be a house. We wandered around 
it without seeing any indication of its being occu- 
pied, guessed that it was vacant, and were on the 
point of trying the door, when a window upstairs 
was suddenly raised and a stentorian voice de- 
manded: ^'What are you prowling around here 
forf We quickly told of our plight, how we had 
nothing to eat since morning and but little water, 
to which the owner of the house ejaculated: ^^To 
h — 1 you haven 't!'' Closed the window with a 
bang, and in a few moments met us at the door 

The whole house was aroused on our account; 
the wife and mother set forth a cold lunch for us, 
and while we were devouring this as only two fam- 
ished boys can, our every movement was closely 
watched by all the family, of which there were 
seven in number, including the parents. After 
we had eaten our fill, we were shown to what is 
called ^^a tarpaulin," a sort of portable bed, con- 

150 Around the United States by Bicycle 

sisting of several blankets enclosed by a heavy 
canvas sack. In this it is said that one can sleep 
out in a pouring rain without getting wet. It was 
spread out into the yard, where we could rest our 
weary frames. 

We learned that we were but thirteen miles 
from Ellensberg. As Darling had worn out the 
sole of one shoe, his bare foot resting on the 
ground, and his feet were a mass of blisters, while 
I, on the contrary, owing to the hardening given 
to my feet by my long walk through the Badger 
Mountains, was less affected. I suggested that he 
ride my wheel, while I would walk with the dis- 
abled one. To this he at first would not agree, 
but persistence finally won, and he agreed to ride 
on condition that I should rest at frequent inter- 

Ellensberg, though containing not more than 
five thousand inhabitants, proved to be the most 
metropolitan town through which we had passed 
since leaving Spokane. 

Glory Hallelujah! We at last were able to get 
the necessary repairs, which consisted of small 
cones and a number of ball bearings, for lack of 
which we had been compelled to walk all the way 
from Coulee City, a distance of 135 miles ! 

For forty-three miles we travel over a fairly 
good wagon road, through heavily timbered coun- 
try, and very mountainous, and we are very near 
to the eastern base of the Cascade Mountains, 

Around the United States by Bicycle 151 

whose sharp, jagged outlines we can see in the 

From a station called Easton, at the foot of the 
Cascades, consisting of a round-house and a rail- 
road boarding-house, this being a ''helper" sta- 
tion, where extra engines were put on each train 
to aid in making the heavy grade to the summit, 
it was necessary for us to follow the railroad, as 
here the wagon road ended. 

We find that we are again confronted with a dif- 
ficulty. A tunnel two miles in length, which cuts 
through the summit of the range, was closely 
guarded by a watchman, no one being allowed to 
walk through it. There is no other way to cross 
the mountain, and it is left for us to figure out how 
to get through this tunnel. 

After much meditation and consideration, we 
decided on a plan of action. Spending the night 
at a telegraph station called Martin, but a short 
distance this side of the tunnel, we arise the next 
morning at daylight. 

The grim mouth of this two miles of darkness, 
on one side of which was the watchman's shanty, 
seemed to scowl ominously at us. Judging by the 
loud snores which were borne through the walls 
of the shanty, we should be in no danger of being 
molested from that source. Seeing a number of 
torches in a large tool-box which had been care- 
lessly left unlocked, we selected two of the best, 
and entered the black and smoky tunnel. 

152 Around the United States by Bicycle 

The torches but slightly relieved the inky black- 
ness, casting their feeble rays bnt a few feet be- 
fore us. The track is ballasted with a broken rock 
over which we stumble, and, carrying our torches 
in one hand and hanging to our machines with 
the other, we sustain our equilibrium with much 
difficulty. After we have stumbled along for some- 
thing like a half mile, we hear a faint and distant 
rumbling, and as we strain our eyes to pierce the 
intense blackness ahead of us, a light apparently 
not larger than a pin's head appears. The rumb- 
ling becomes greater, and every passing moment 
increases the size of the light. We see that we are 
in a very dangerous position. The train will soon 
be upon us, there is but very little space between 
the track and the sides of the tunnel, while the 
gas and smoke which will come from three en- 
gines, the number usually required to draw a 
freight train, and the slow progress of this ad- 
vancing light showed that it was this, will fill the 
air, making breathing almost impossible. But 
we are too far from the opening to retreat, and our 
only course is to stand at the sides and hope and 
pray that there may be room. We readily saw 
that the handle bars of the bicycles were too wide 
to be able to clear, and, quickly loosening the ad- 
justments, we removed them, placing the machines 
one before the other, standing them as closely to 
the wall as possible, while we each selected a posi- 
tion, standing with our backs closely pressed to 

Around the United States by Bicycle 153 

the side of the tunnel. All this had occupied but 
a minute or two, but even now the headlight of 
the approaching train bathed us in its dazzling 
light. The hissing of steam and the thundering 
roar of the train was made deafening by its rever- 
beration in the enclosed space, and we almost lost 
consciousness through sheer terror. 

Three inches of space between our bodies and 
the steam chest, as the first engine hissed by us! 
There were still two more engines, one in the cen- 
ter and the other at the end of the train, two more 
ordeals and then we were safe! 

The train had passed, leaving us limp masses 
of flesh, quaking in every nerve. As we had ex- 
pected the gas and smoke were terrible, and in- 
credible as it may seem, we were unable to see the 
light of the torch two feet away. Tying handker- 
chiefs over nostrils and mouths, we endeavored 
to go onward. Every moment made breathing 
more difficult, until it seemed that unless we could 
get a breath of fresh air we should suffocate. We 
could stand it no longer, and, panic-stricken, we 
turn and flee toward the entrance again as fast as 
our shaking limbs will carry us. Several times 
we were nearly overcome by the gas, but by ex- 
traordinary effort we shook off the lethargic feel- 
ing, knowing that our only hope was in reaching 
the mouth. Suddenly we hear another thunder- 
ous roar, and, instantly divining its cause, we 
quickly place ourselves and the wheels at the side 

154 Around the United States by Bicycle 

out of harm's way, just as a monster of steel, a 
single engine, rushes past. 

Stumbling, half crawling, and half walking, we 
at last reached the mouth through which we could 
see the blessed daylight. Ah! it never seemed so 
beautiful as now! 

After we had recovered somewhat, we awoke to 
the living present, and, as we looked at each other, 
the ludicrousness of our personal appearance was 
speedily conveyed to us. The bright yellow of 
our khaki suits was mottled with huge blotches of 
soot and dirt, and our backs were as neatly and 
completely covered by the same commodity as 
if we had been carefully painted, while our hands 
and faces were so changed that we could easily 
have been mistaken for natives of the tropics. 

We found that the watchman had arisen, and we 
held a conference with him, so that he finally 
agreed to pilot us through for a certain sum, al- 
though he said : ' ' 'Tis strictly agin the rules, ' ' 
then winked his eye, and bade us follow. 

We walk meekly and obediently behind our 
brawny guide. After we had covered perhaps a 
mile, the alert ear of the watchman detects the 
faint rumble which tells of a distantly approach- 
ing train, though strain our ears as we might, we 
are unable to detect the slightest sound. He bade 
us increase our speed, and we finally reach a large 
recess cut out of the solid rock at the side of the 
tunnel. This recess is sufficiently large to accom- 

Around the United States by Bicycle 155 

modate a hand car and a half dozen men. Our 
friend explains to us that these are built for the 
safety of the employees in case they are caught by 
an approaching train. 

As the long freight train rolls slowly past us, 
it leaves the tunnel filled with gases and smoke. 
Our guide waits a number of minutes until the 
draught has carried out the gas-laden and impure 
air, and then we proceed, and reach the other side 
safely and without further incident. 



We are now on the western slope of the moun- 
tains, practically in the heart of the range. The 
railroad wound and twisted in the most erratic 
manner. At one place we see the railroad track 
at five different points down the mountains. Here 
again we see the awful results of forest fires, whole 
forests being stripped of every green twig and 
branch, leaving a mass of burnt and charred 
trunks scattered over the ground, lying like gigan- 
tic warriors after a terrific combat, out of which 
occasionally rose the tall, straight trunk of a mon- 
arch which had withstood the ravages of the des- 
tructive monster. 

Apparently but a few miles distant, but in real- 
ity nearly sixty, we see the sharp glistening snow- 
clad apex of Mt- Ranier, as it pierces the blue ether 
at the enorm.ous altitude of 14,519 feet, a most 
sublime sight. 

The mountains are very heavily wooded, pre- 
senting upon our eyes an expanse of solid green. 
Frequently we find ourselves peering down into 
a deep ravine or gorge, the bottom of which is so 
far below, that even the tops of the tallest trees are 
over a hundred feet beneath the railroad. 

At Palmer, which is but a telegraph station, we 

Arou7id the United States by Bicycle 157 

find ourselves out of the Cascades, from which we 
learn that it will not be necessary for us to walk 
the track any longer, as there is a wagon road 
from this point to Tacoma, and that there are 
small towns scattered along the route, which news 
we hail with delight. 

We spend three hours in Tacoma, a city of 70,- 
000 inhabitants, located on the famous Puget 
Sound, and built on the side of a chain of hills, 
which necessitates the use of cable cars and cleats 
nailed cross-wise on the sidewalks to aid pedes- 
trians to reach the upper part of the city. We had 
occasion to shove our bicycles up one of these 
hills, so that it was with genuine sympathy that 
we thought of the weary hill climbers of Tacoma. 

Here also we see something which appeals to us, 
considering our long tour, and may possibly be of 
interest to the reader. 

On the outskirts of the city is a bridge which 
is claimed to have been built exclusively for bicy- 
cle traffic in 1896 by the wheelmen of Tacoma, its 
length is 440 feet, width 12, and height from the 
ground 127, and, as indicated by the inscription, 
it is ^^the Longest, Highest, and only exclusive 
Bicycle Bridge in the World.'' 

The run of forty-two miles from Tacoma to 
Olympia was made in less than half a day, al- 
though the road was covered by eight to nine 
inches of flour-like dust, this condition having 
been general throughout the state. 

158 Around the United States by Bicycle 

Olympia, as a capital city, was rather a sad 
failure. A very common looking building, orig- 
inally built for a court-house and purchased by 
the state, is used as a state house. A population 
of something like six thousand inhabitants ; nearly 
all the principal streets covered with plank as 
pavement; located on one of the many octopus- 
like arms of Puget Sound and nearly surrounded 
by a dreary and desolate expanse of pine stumps 
with here and there dense forests of giant firs, 
which give one a slight idea of what the country 
consisted before it felt the magnetic touch of 
civilization; are the leading characteristics of the 
capital city of Washington. But when one con- 
siders the youth of this state, whose territory was 
formerly but forest primeval, one becomes more 
lenient in his criticism. 

On account of the heavy downpour of rain, 
which continues through the winter months, plank 
turn-pikes are constructed from town to town, 
without the aid of which it would be almost impos- 
sible to traverse the roads during the rainy sea- 
son. Mile after mile we travel these roads, finding 
them to be almost continuous through the re- 
mainder of the state. However, we were not loath 
to part with them, as the many punctures which 
were caused by the myriads of splinters which 
covered them, were far from pleasant and agree- 
able as most of our time was spent in repairing 

Arou7id the United States by Bicycle 159 

A distinct novelty in the way of a road was one 
built ten feet from the ground, and extending for 
nearly three miles, being virtually an exceedingly 
long wooden bridge. This, it was our pleasure to 
traverse on leaving Centralia. 

We leave a small village, Toledo, at nearly five 
o'clock in the afternoon, and several miles out 
while in the endeavor to make some repairs on our 
tires, darkness descends upon us before we are 
aware of the fact. Dense forests of fir trees, some 
of which are over a hundred feet high, with a 
diameter of eight to ten feet, whose gloomy depths 
causes a depression of the spirits, surround us. 
Caught as we are, our only course is to walk until 
we find a house and seek to obtain supper and 
lodging. For two miles we walk, seeing no habi- 
tation; while sitting down to rest amidst the 
ghostly quietudes of the impenetrable forest, but 
a short distance from us through an opening in 
the trees we see a ray of light. We find that it 
comes from a cabin. To our request a reply is 
made that they are unable to accommodate us, that 
they have no place nor room for us to sleep, that 
they are just about to retire, but that we shall be 
able to get supper at the next house where parties 
by the name of Gleason reside, and that ^'it was 
up the hill apiece, ' ' and we are forced to continue 
our lonesome walk. 

We had always supposed that ' ' a piece ' ' meant 
but a short distance, but after plodding wearily 

160 Around the United States by Bicycle 

along for an interminable length of time through 
the woods, now up and now down steep hills, now 
through the ghostly remnant of a burnt section, 
lone blackened trunks standing like sentinels, and 
stumbling over rocks in the road, we learned that 
the expression could mean almost any distance 
from a few rods to several miles. We were medi- 
tating on the miseries of life, when our reveries 
were suddenly interrupted by the barking of a 
dog, which in the darkness seemed but a short 
distance from us. We turned in that direction to 
find that there was a house set back in a small 
space, cleared of underbrush and trees, surrounded 
on all sides by dark woods. Had it not been for 
the dog we should have passed without seeing it. 
Upon attempting to open the gate, judging by the 
vicious and threatening howls which came from 
the canine, which in the darkness looked as large 
as a Shetland pony, our presence was not wanted. 
We speedily changed our minds and decided tQ 
wait on the safe side of the gate for developments. 
The continued growls and barks from our four- 
footed friend aroused the people of the house, who 
had retired, as it was nearly nine o^clock. The 
front door opened, and a head was cautiously 
thrust out. We were asked who we were and what 
we wanted at this time of night, all in one breath. 
Upon hearing the nature of our request, the feroc- 
ious specimen of the canine race was compelled by 
his master to retreat, a thing which immensely 

Around the United States by Bicycle 161 

relieved us, and we were invited to come in. A 
lunch was given us, and then we were shown our 

Kalama, a small town, is located on the Colum 
bia Eiver, which at this point is two miles wide, 
a truly majestic stream. Upon the opposite shore 
is the soil of Oregon; where rages a forest fire. 
Tongues of flame ever and anon shoot into the 
inky blackness of night. Occasionally with a 
thunderous crash some forest giant gives up the 
struggle and falls to earth, while the rush and 
roar of the flames can be distinctly heard. The 
illumination is superb, and is reflected in the dark 
waters of the river. 

We cross the Columbia at Vancouver on a ferry- 
boat, which lands us upon the soil of Oregon. A 
short ride brings us into Portland, the metropolis 
of the state. 

Unlike most of the western cities, we found 
Portland to be very level. It is a very pretty city, 
and nearly all streets are laid out at right angles. 
The business portion is close and compact, but 
there are no ''sky scrapers. '^ Here one can see 
many ocean-going boats, a regular line making 
trips to Seattle and San Francisco. 

Passing through a number of villages and towns 
which were but short distances apart, the principal 
being Oregon City, Salem, the capital, Albany, and 
Eugene; traveling over comparatively good roads, 
even though they are covered with deep powdery 

162 Around the United States by Bicycle 

dust; no longer through a wilderness of forest like 
Washington, bnt through a farming and fruit- 
raising country where the bulk of the prune out- 
put of the United States is raised, a frequent sight 
being orchards of vast dimensions, with trees 
weighed down with this near relative of the plum; 
all of which greatly reminded us of the thickly 
populated eastern states. 

First we see the snow-clad, cone-like summit of 
Mt. Hood, and as we travel southward in the state, 
the sparkling whiteness of Mt. Jefferson, followed 
by the dim outlines of ^^The Three Sisters," and 
lastly the shining and dazzling mass of pure snow 
which caps the summit of ^^The Diamond Peak," 
and all of these, from the different localities of 
the state from which we are able to see them, are 
nearly seventy-five miles distant. 

The northern part of Oregon is traversed by a 
line of railroad known as the Oregon and Califor- 
nia. Old style of engines, with the large, ancient, 
funnel-like smoke-stacks are used, and wood is 
burned for fuel instead of coal. All bridges are 
covered with huge sheds, as was formerly the type 
in early railroad construction. In fact, through- 
out the state, we found nearly all wagon bridges to 
be constructed on this plan. In the vicinity of 
stations the track was lined with piles of wood, 
stored up for use as fuel. 

Salem, the capital city, proved to be a very 
metropolitan town. There is a very novel and 

Around the United States by Bicycle 163 

attractive arrangement of three of the principal 
government buildings, which stand in a row, each 
occupying a whole square block, surrounded by 
well-kept grounds. First is the state capitol, of 
great architectural beauty, Corinthian style, with 
magnificent dome, next is the County Court House, 
and lastly the Post Office. 

Eugene to Ashland, we have our troubles. Rain 
compels us to walk the railroad nearly the entire 
distance, while the country becomes wilder and 
more rugged and very mountainous. 

Ashland is directly at the base of the Siskiyou 
Mountains. We had heard so much about the diffi- 
culties of crossing these, that we viewed them with 

However, we found that most of it was much 
exaggerated. Truly it was a long and arduous 
climb, and it took us nearly a half a day to reach 
the summit. The extreme exertion of toiling up 
the steep slopes bathed us in perspiration, and 
caused us to pant and gasp for breath; but, aided 
by an excellent road which seemed to continue to 
wind around the mountain, each lap bringing us 
nearer to the summit, our progress was much 
faster than we expected. The railroad ascends 
these mountains by a most circuitous route, twist- 
ing this way and that, back and forth across the 
slope, traversing eight miles and covering the 
same ascent which we make on the wagon road in 
three miles. 

164 Around the United States by Bicycle 

Siskiyou, a telegraph station, marks the sum- 
mit. From this place, as the railroad cuts its way 
through the mountains by a 1,300 foot tunnel, 
while the wagon road makes a long detour, we fol- 
low the track and walk through the tunnel. 

It was now dusk, yet there were no indications 
of any kind of a dwelling, only the densely wooded 
slopes of the mountains which towered on every 

From out of the gloom we are able to distinguish 
the shadowy shape of some large building. It is 
but a short distance from the track, and upon in- 
vestigation we find that it is an abandoned sum- 
mer hotel. A noisy stream ripples merrily on its 
way over a rocky bed near one side of the building, 
while its desolate, dark, and gloomy appearance, 
surrounded as it is on all sides by dense forest 
and underbrush, and the soft sighing of the trees 
as they are stirred by a slight breeze, produces a 
general feeling of melancholy and loneliness. We 
try all the doors and windows, but we find that 
they are securely fastened. A shed, which stands 
back of the main building and seems to be used 
as a sort of general storehouse is not so secure 
against intruders, for after a little persistence, 
we succeeded in forcing open the door. With the 
aid of some pieces of carpet and our blankets we 
made quite a comfortable bed upon the floor. 

Daylight lifts the hand of Darkness revealing 
the fact that unintentionally we have wandered 

Around the United States by Bicycle 165 

into what is known as ^^The Siskiyou Soda 
Springs, ' ' of which we had heard much. Not two 
hundred feet from where we had slept was a large 
summer-house, in the center of which was the 
largest of the three springs from which this won- 
derful water flowed. We drank our fill, it seemed 
to be heavily impregnated with gas and tasted 
very similar to carbonated water, virtually Na- 
ture's Soda Fount. 

By following the railroad we reached a small 
village called Hornbrook, which was in the state 
of California, the boundary line of which we had 
passed several miles back. This now brought us 
down out of the Siskiyous. 

Our route followed along the railroad as far as 
a village called Sisson, which consisted of nothing 
but saloons, dives, and gambling dens, a most cor- 
rupt place, and thence going eastward to McCloud, 
at the southern base of Mt. Shasta, which has an 
altitude of 13,350 feet above sea level. 

Before reaching Sisson, our cyclometers regis- 
ter the fact that we have traveled five thousand 
miles since leaving Jackson, Michigan, on May 2, 
having been continuously traveling for nearly ^ve 
months through eighteen different states. 

The snow-covered summit of Mt. Shasta can be 
distinctly seen at a distance of fifty miles. In com- 
ing from the north we were in constant view of it 
until we reached Sisson, which is at its western 
base. It is one of the most majestic of all the high 

166 Around the United States by Bicycle 

peaks. Standing alone like a huge and mighty 
sentinel, far from any other mountain range, it is 
monarch of all it surveys. The whole upper half 
is covered with perpetual snow, the lower half be- 
ing very heavily timbered, causing the glistening 
whiteness of the summit to be intensified. 

McCloud, a lumber camp containing three thou- 
sand souls, more closely resembles a prison or a 
fort. The entire town, including the only railroad, 
a branch line which connects with the Oregon 
and California at Sisson, which enters the city; 
the electric lighting plant; the only hotel and a 
general store which handles every known article 
of merchandise, compelling all to patronize it, is 
owned by the company which operates the saw 
and planing mills. Rows of houses constructed as 
near alike as is possible, form the streets, and all 
things are done in a systematic manner according 
to a certain rule. A mass of red tape, rules, and 
regulations surrounds every employee, until each 
has lost his personality and becomes a small part 
of a huge machine, his position being very similar 
to that of a convict in a penitentiary, so strict are 
the regulations. 

Through dense forests of towering pine and 
spruce, with nothing to relieve the monotony, we 
travel all day until we reach a village. Fall River 
Mills, just after Darling has a serious accident 
which breaks the frame of his bicycle. 

With the aid of a young electrician, who is a 

Around the United States by Bicycle 167 

sort of *^Jack-of-all-trades," Darling's wheel is 
wired up so that he is able to ride it until he can 
get it more substantially repaired. 

We learn that from this place to Susanville, we 
cross the Sierra Nevadas, a distance of ninety odd 
miles, through a most uncivilized district, there 
being but one house in the entire route. The road 
can hardly be called by that name, being simply a 
trail on which it is very easy to lose our way. 
However, with the assistance of an old settler, 
who draws us out a rude map of the trails, etc., 
we leave Fall River Mills behind us and face the 
knotty proposition. 

Something like an hour's travel brings us where 
it is necessary for us to cross a lava bed. Porous 
rock, from pieces not larger than a hen's egg to 
masses weighing tons, covers the ground. It is 
several miles through this bed, across which, pick- 
ing our way among the rocks, and trundling our 
wheels, we travel with difficulty. 

Soon we begin the ascent of the mountains. The 
steep slope is covered with underbrush and dense 
forest. We climb upward for several miles, then 
seem to travel on a level for a distance, after 
which we again climb a gently ascending acclivity, 
and it is an hour or more before we reach the sum- 

It is now nearly four o'clock in the afternoon, 
we have long since exhausted the supply of water 
which our canteens contained, and have found no 

168 Around the United States by Bicycle 

springs nor running water of any description. "We 
also have a sort of empty feeling, which reminds 
ns that the last time that we had food was at 
breakfast. We had been told that the only house 
between Fall Eiver Mills and Susanville was but 
thirty miles distant, and as we have already trav- 
eled twenty-five miles as registered on our cyclo- 
meters, we are keeping a careful lookout for it. 

As we reach the top of a hill, we see nestled at 
its foot the object for which we are so earnestly 
looking. A large, spacious barn on one side of 
which is a long, low house surrounded by a fence. 
As we dismount in front of the barn, a pack of 
dogs seem magically to appear from out of the 
ground, all endeavoring to snarl and growl at the 
same time, and each striving to make more noise 
than the other. The reader can easily imagine 
what a delightfully pleasant sensation such an 
onslaught would produce. 

Although we tried all kinds of coaxing and teas- 
ing, we were unable to make friends with the ca- 
nines. Evidently the owner of th<^ house was ab- 
sent, as this commotion would almost have aroused 
the dead. At the back of the house we could see a 
pump, but here we were held back from procuring 
the water which we needed so badly, by the yelp- 
ing and savage curs. As an interval of several 
moments brought no change, we decided to beard 
the lions in their den. Arming ourselves with 
large clubs, we climb the fence and advanced in 

Around the United States by Bicycle 169 

force on the enemy. Strange as it may seem, the 
dogs no sooner saw this sally, than their attitude 
changed immediately, and they came running to- 
wards us, barking and capering in play, jumping 
on us in the endeavor to lick our hands. Natur- 
ally we were somewhat suspicious of this change 
of tactics, but after we reached the pump and be- 
ban to put it into operation, all our friends de- 
parted, each hunting a sunny spot to stretch him- 
self at full length, to go immediately to sleep, 
utterly oblivious of our presence. 

We waited sometime, but as the owner did not 
appear and we were very much in need of food, 
which we knew must be in the house, we began an 
investigation and found a window which was un- 
fastened, through which one of us climbed, unlock- 
ing the front door of the house. 

We had no trouble in locating the pantry, and 
the amount of edibles with which we covered a 
nearby table caused a feeling of joyousness. 

Just as we were finishing our sumptuous repast, 
and were preparing to clear up the table, with a 
clatter of wheels the owner drove up to the barn! 
A nice predicament, now! To enter forcibly a 
man's house and help himself to what one wished, 
was bad enough, but to be caught in the act itself, 
was far worse. We lost no time in interviewing 
the gentleman, although it was a very embarrass- 
ing position, apologizing for our actions and offer- 
ing to pay whatever the charges were for food 

170 Around the United States by Bicycle 

consumed, or any other damage, telling how very 
hungry we were, having not had anything to eat 
since leaving Fall Eiver Mills that morning. He 
was a short fleshy man, almost as long as broad, 
with sandy hair and a large, sandy mustache, 
above which two merry blue eyes kindly beamed 
upon us, from the midst of a round, good-natured 
face. He listened to agitated apologies and frank 
admissions of our guilt in silence, and, after we 
had quite finished, remarked, in a soft m.odulated 
drawl, which betokened a native of the South, 
^^ You 'all needn't feel so bad; we 'all doan cahw 
jus' so you 'all left the house and did 'en caiw it 
away with you 'all." Here indeed was a specimen 
of the hospitality of the true Southerner. Would 
that our travels through the southern states found 
more of his type. Forcibly enter a man's house, 
and then have him almost thank you for doing it! 
Back in the East, we should have been immedi- 
ately jailed. 

The name of our genial host was Shird Eldridge. 
He was a native of Tennessee, and that evening 
entertained us with anecdotes of the South. 
Among other subjects the large manufacture and 
consumption of whiskey in his native state was 
discussed. Here he confidentially informed us: 
^^Boys, Ah've drang 'nuif whiskey in ma life, so 
ah could swim from heaw to the bawn in it, 
'swraght!" We spent a very pleasant evening, 
and after a most restful sleep in the downy depths 

Around the United States by Bicycle 171 

of a feather bed, we arose the next morning shortly 
past daylight. 

Our host gave us all the instructions that he 
could to aid us in following the rather faint and 
indistinct trail, admonishing us to be very care- 
ful, as it was a very easy matter to get lost in the 
mountains, where we might wander until we died 
of starvation. In the sixty miles to Susanville, 
we should find but one place where we could get 
water. Filling our canteens, and giving us a lunch 
to carry with us, he bade us Godspeed with tears 
in his eyes. Owing to the novelty of our under- 
taking, he had been very much interested in us. 
We also were rather loath to depart, the warm, 
affectionate, and genial manner of our host having 
completely won our hearts. 

The sun was just peeping over the mountain 
tops, the air was almost freezing cold, causing us 
to stop ever and anon to plunge our hands deep in 
our trouser's pockets to warm our stiff and ach- 
ing fingers, or to clap a hand very suddenly and 
unceremoniously over an ear; but as the sun be- 
came higher in the heavens the atmosphere be- 
came warmer. 

Many times we nearly lost the trail, which 
twisted in every conceivable manner through the 
dense forest. Now we would ascend for a mile or 
more, then go down the other side, following an 
almost level stretch for a long distance. Nothing 
relieved the death-like stillness of the forest as 

172 Around the United States by Bicycle 

we were winding in among the tall forest giants, 
whose trunks rose straight as an arrow, not a 
branch until near the top, where an interlaced 
mass of green foliage majestically swayed to and 
fro a hundred feet from the ground. 

Twenty-eight miles from our sfarting point we 
are brought to the stream of water which our host 
had described to us. As it is nearly noon, we eat 
our simple lunch, washed down with the clear, 
limpid waters of the mountain stream. So far, 
at least, we are on the right trail, even though we 
walked nearly the whole distance. From here to 
Susanville we had been told that we should find a 
more traveled trail, and that we should be able 
to do more riding, and this we found to be the case, 
arriving at our destination at a little past five 
o'clock, the last five miles of our travel being a 
heavy and steep descent, the village being at the 
foot of the mountains. 

A most delightful, neat, and attractive little 
hamlet, situated on a small plateau, on each side 
of which is a range of mountains, entirely inland, 
being connected by stage with the railroad, was 

We cover the distance of nearly a hundred 
miles, from here to Eeno, Nevada, under adverse 
circumstances, crossing a sage-brush alkali desert, 
composed of loose sand, through which it is an im- 
possibility to ride, sinking nearly a foot at every 

Around the United States by Bicycle 173 

step and laboriously pushing our machines under 
a sweltering sun. 

For a long distance we follow the shores of 
Honey Lake, surely a misnomer, as the waters are 
deadly poisonous, so greatly are they impregnated 
with the dreaded alkali. It is a very large lake, 
and, standing as it does surrounded by a desert 
waste, and its terrible qualities being known, it 
gives one a most uncanny feeling. 

As we near the boundary line between Califor- 
nia and Nevada, vast and massive mountains of 
bleak and bare rock frown down upon us. Here 
we cross the dry bed of a lake, hard-baked ground 
covered with a white crust, evidently alkali, re- 
vealed by the evaporation of the water, across 
which it is nearly two miles. 

We cross the line into Nevada, where we follow 
near the diminutive tracks of a narrow gauge rail- 
road all the way to Keno, something like twenty 

Over a sort of rocky plateau, surrounded by 
mountains of solid rock, the toy railroad wends its 
way. Near one edge of this plateau, one of the 
curious little trains, consisting of several passen- 
ger coaches drawn by a midget of an engine, 
laboriously puffing, its speed being not much 
faster than a horse could trot, slowly creeps by 
us. "We again pass it, and keep ahead for a time, 
but by traversing a very long tunnel, it wins the 
race, and as we are descending the steep sides of 

174 Around the United States by Bicycle 

the plateau into Eeno, we see it slowly moving 
away down below us at the foot of the mountains. 

At Eeno we are delayed nearly two days by a 
steady downpour of rain, but the time is very 
pleasantly spent, as we are guests of the Eeno 
Wheelmen 's Club, a very strong bicycling associa- 
tion which has a membership of six hundred, their 
own club house, containing reading and writing 
rooms, large gymnasium, swimming pool, and 
numerous other conveniences, which make it an 
ideal place to come for rest and recreation. 

On the afternoon of the second day, during a 
slight cessation in the continuous and heavy rain- 
fall, we decide that if we wish to make any pro- 
gress at all, now is our opportunity. The roads are 
very muddy, so we walk the track. All the after- 
noon, at frequent intervals, showers compel us to 
take shelter under trees or bridges; but finally 
these gave place to a very slight and disagreeable 
drizzle, which lasted nearly all night. 

"We reach Truckee, walking the track the entire 
distance, in a continuous downpour of rain. This 
town boasts of a thousand inhabitants, and is a 
collection of saloons and gambling dens, with not 
one store in the place which did not partake of the 
nature of a dive, truly a cesspool, and headquar- 
ters for gamblers and criminals. 

Two miles from Truckee we enter a continuous 
thirty-five mile stretch of snow sheds and tunnels, 
practically a subterranean passage, as but little 

Around the United States by Bicycle 175 

light is admitted, all being in a state of semi-dark- 
ness. This chain extends over the summit and 
half way down the other side of the Sierra 

These snow sheds are very large, and bnilt of 
heavy and massive timbers. The top forms a solid 
roofing, but the sides have openings of several 
inches between each timber, through which some 
of the light of day penetrates; during the severe 
winters upon these mountains tons upon tons of 
snow fall upon these sheds. 

The track makes the most erratic twists and 
turns, the grade is very great, causing even three 
engines on a train to make but very slow progress. 

We have been traveling in the snow sheds but 
a short time, when we have our first hair-raising 
experience, as one of the Southern Pacific Flyers 
passes us. 

We hear it slowly and laboriously ascending 
the grade behind us, and take steps to place our- 
selves and our machines in a safe position on the 
sides. Soon it approaches with a deafening and 
thunderous puff and chug-chug of the engines, 
sparks, fire, and dirty black smoke belching forth 
from the smokestacks, fire shooting from beneath 
the fire-boxes on each side of the track, for on 
these engines oil is burned, every sound made 
a thousand-fold louder by being enclosed in such a 
small space. To us, with our nerves at their high- 
est tension, eyes nearly bulging from their sockets. 

176 Around the United States by Bicycle 

it seems as if we shall never live throngh the 
ordeal. It seems an age until the two foremost 
engines pass us, and then comes the long string 
of passenger coaches, which gives us a chance to 
recover and be prepared for the puffing and hiss- 
ing monster which brings up the rear. But there 
is an end to all things, and at last as from a dream 
we find ourselves to be staring vacantly after the 
departing train. 

Before we reach the summit we have many such 
experiences, trains passing us frequently, coming 
from each direction. Great watchfulness had to 
be exercised in listening for trains coming down 
from the summit, as the grade was so great, that 
the momentum would carry the train swiftly and 
it would approach almost noiselessly, so that it 
would be upon us before we were aware. 

We pass through many tunnels, ranging from 
four hundred to thirteen hundred feet in length. 
In one of these, which was almost semi-circular, 
it was as dark as Egypt, and as we had no light 
nor torch, we could see nothing whatever; by 
walking the rails we manage to keep in the track. 
There was no room on the sides, so that we knew 
that if we should be caught by a train, we should 
immediately be made into mince-meat. As we get 
well into the center, we find our courage oozing 
out at our toes, our knees knock together, hair 
stands on end, and perspiration springs from every 
pore at the slightest noise which resembles the 

Around the United States by Bicycle 177 

** chug-chug" of a locomotive. Nevertheless, we 
arrive at the other end in safety. 

This is indeed almost one continuous tunnel, 
even the telegraph stations being built into the 
sides of the sheds. 

We reach the summit, which has an altitude of 
7,017 feet, to find that while it has been continu- 
ously raining lower down on the mountains, here 
a fierce snow-storm is in progress, there being a 
covering of fifteen inches of the beautiful, accom- 
panied by a freezing temperature. 

Owing to the many fires occurring in the snow- 
sheds, a fire train stands at the summit in readi- 
ness to respond to an alarm. 

Twenty-three miles more of walking brings us 
out of the subterranean passage of the snow-sheds, 
and it is still raining steadily. We had many 
thrilling escapes from being run down by trains 
which came from our rear down from the summit. 
Eunning almost without a sound they would glide 
around a curve bearing down upon us, causing 
consternation and terror, which would nearly 
paralyze our muscles. There we would stand un- 
able to move ; but even though each time it seemed 
as if this surely would be the end and that even 
now we were staring into the cadaverous features 
of Death, we always succeeded at the very last 
instant to avoid the danger, the train passing us 
leaving limp masses of flesh stunned with fright 
and terror. 


178 Around the United States by Bicycle 

Now that we were out from the protection of the 
sheds, we have the full benefits of the shower bath 
so unsparingly dealt by the elements, and we are 
soon wet to the skin. It rains nearly all the next 
forenoon, but sometime past noon the rain ceases 
and we have the pleasure of again viewing the 
beaming countenance of ^'Old Sol.'' 

Unhidden by any snow-sheds the glorious and 
majestic grandeur of the Sierras lay before us. 
Now we find ourselves high on the side of a moun- 
tain ; nearly two thousand feet below us is a seeth- 
ing, rushing, roaring mountain torrent angrily 
leaping like a thing of life. Here the track dizzily 
describes a complete half circle traversing a 
mountain but a short distance from its summit, 
clinging to a narrow ledge, and as one looks into 
the terrible abyss, a tremor shakes one's frame. 
Now from the heights we look down upon a pano- 
ramic view of a beautiful valley, hemmed in by 
mountains on each side, where across from us 
apparently a river seems to be flowing along the 
side of the mountain. Here we nervously and 
cautiously pick our way across a high steel trestle, 
where nearly a hundred and fifty feet below us 
the diminutive tracks of a narrow gauge railway 
pass under this gigantic structure. 

We are nearly out of the mountains, coming 
down into the fertile valley of the Sacramento. 
Vineyards dot the slopes of the mountains. 

Now beside the track is a portion of a mammoth 

Around the Ufiited States by Bicycle 179 

vineyard, its other side lost in the distance. The 
vines are in the form of small bushes, so that the 
whole at a distance resembles an orchard. We 
hasten to drop our wheels and help ourselves to 
the luscious fruit, but in our haste we fail to note 
that the gaze of a man who carries a gun over his 
shoulder is upon us, until we stoop to pick some of 
the large bunches of grapes when we are very- 
much surprised to be challenged by a stentorian 
voice, and we abdicate immediately in favor of 
the man with the gun. 

From Auburn to Sacramento we are able to ride 
over a good wagon road, a pleasant change, as we 
have followed the railroad continuously since leav- 
ing Eeno. 

We pass through a most enchanting and beau- 
tiful country, a specimen of the kind from which 
California gets its great reputation. Koses and 
other flowers in full bloom; farm houses sur- 
rounded by palm and magnolia trees; all kinds of 
fruit growing by the roadside; occasionally we 
spy orange and lemon trees on which we can see 
the green fruit. 

Sacramento, the capital, is a most beautiful city. 
The capitol building is a very fine structure, sur- 
rounded by spacious grounds half a mile square, 
which contain every known variety of palm tree. 

In one section of the city is what is known as 
** Chinatown.^* Although we afterward saw the 
famous one in San Francisco, we were far more 

180 Around the United States by Bicycle 

impressed by this in Sacramento. The streets 
are rather dimly lighted by the sickly glow from 
Chinese lanterns, several hanging in front of every 
business place. Quaint and dirty looking dens, 
which are so small that an American would hardly 
be able to turn around in one, much less find room 
for a stock of goods. On one side of the street 
was a sort of free show of some Chinese musicians, 
who according to appearances seemed to be itin- 
erant. There were four of them, one played on a 
reed-like instrument, which gave forth a sound 
similar to the high notes of a clarinet, droning 
a weird chant; ever and anon, apparently on im- 
pulse, one of the other performers would strike a 
cymbal which would clang forth like a fire-bell; 
a third kept a monotonous accompaniment by con- 
tinuously pounding a Chinese drum; the fourth 
member of this glorious orchestra, during the 
very few minutes when he was not engaged in 
puffing at a long-stemmed pipe, played an instru- 
ment which somewhat resembled our violin, but 
on which there was but one string. This sounded 
like the wail of a lost spirit. Truly it was a great 
aggregation, and yet the Chinese call this music! 

Nearly all the way to Benicia, which is situated 
on the northern arm of San Francisco Bay, we are 
compelled to walk the railroad track on account 
of the low and swampy condition of the country, 
which is not more than ten to twenty feet above 
the level of the sea. Fourteen miles of this dis- 

Around the United States by Bicycle 181 

tance, between Sacramento and Davisville, are 
almost a continuous chain of trestle-work. On 
each side of the railroad is but a swampy low- 
land. We had many hair-breadth escapes from 
being knocked off the trestles by trains, which 
pass frequently. As the railroad has virtually 
built its way across this morass, during the pass- 
ing of a heavy train the track vibrates terribly, 
causing engine and cars to sway dangerously from 
side to side. 

For several hundred yards along a trestle we 
see the bloody dismembered portions of some ani- 
mal, a little farther on we find its head, which for 
some reason or other is intact, having been cut off 
the body at the neck. The head tells us that it 
must have been a most gigantic Newfoundland 
dog. The poor creature had been killed instantly, 
not knowing what struck him. 

From Vallejo, which is but seven miles from 
Benicia, and is also located on the shore of the 
bay, we take a ferry-boat for San Francisco. It 
is nearly two hours' ride, a distance of thirty 
miles, and a most interesting trip. First we pass 
the black hull of a Kussian war sTiip, which lies 
dismantled, as necessitated by international law, 
and near by are several American gun boats, one 
of which is the ^ ^Petrel,'' the baby gun boat of the 
U. S. Navy. Here we pass the famous Mare Island 
Navy Yard, and we see a grim and black torpedo 

182 Around the United States by Bicycle 

boat destroyer, and in its immediate vicinity the 
diminutive hull of a torpedo boat. 

As we approach *Hhe city," we pass Alcatrez 
Island, which is used by the government as a mili- 
tary prison. By one of the passengers on the boat 
we are told many tales of the sufferings of the 
poor wretches confined here. No visitors are al- 
lowed on this island under any circumstances, 
and only certain government boats are allowed 
to approach it. 

Here we obtain our first view of ^*The Golden 
Gate." A small channel between rocky cliffs, be- 
yond which the broad expanse of the Pacific Ocean 
is seen. Just now the sun, a golden orb of fire, is 
sinking below the horizon, throwing its ruddy 
glow across the bosom of the ocean, transforming 
the rock and bleak sides of ^^The Golden Gate" 
into masses of burnished gold, a sight which is 
really worth traveling across a continent to see. 

From the bay San Francisco's sky-line im- 
presses one greatly- The tops of many tall sky- 
scrapers are silhouetted against the blue empy- 

We spend three days here, in which we see 
the leading attractions of the city, the most im- 
portant of which are the United States Mint, the 
Cliff House, Golden Gate Park, and Chinatown. 
In the Mint we are shown the various departments 
where money is made, first seeing it in large ingots 
of gold and silver, and following it through the 
various processes, until we see its last examina- 

Aromid the United States by Bicycle 183 

tion before it is placed in sacks preparatory to be 
shipped to the Treasury Department at Wash- 
ington, D. C. In one room on a small truck, we see 
one million dollars in twenty dollar gold pieces, 
tied securely in small sacks. 

The Cliff House was formerly constructed and 
used as a hotel, but of late years it has been con- 
demned as unsafe, now being used as a cafe in 
part of which all manner of drinks and refresh- 
ments are served. As the name infers, this mam- 
moth building of architectural beauty is built upon 
a high cliif which is directly above the waters of 
the Pacific. 

Stretching away to the southward of the Cliif 
House until lost in the distance is the sandy beach 
of the ocean. Here the sands are black with all 
kinds and types of people of both sexes lounging 
in all attitudes, some lying flat on their backs, 
others amusing themselves by playing with the 
pure white sand, but the majority dreamily gazing 
out upon the placid and calm waters of the bound- 
less Ocean. 

Under the direction of a licensed guide we see 
the wonders of San Francisco's famous *^ China- 
town, ' ' about which so much has been written and 
told. Although there were many interesting local- 
ities shown us, and we learned many of the peculi- 
arities of our almond-eyed cousins, we were im- 
pressed but little, as the most of this section is so 
Americanized, that there are left in it but few 
characteristic Chinese mannerisms. 



We finally leave the glories of the western 
metropolis behind ns, going southward into what 
is really the garden spot of the state. Here we 
find the country thickly populated, fruit groves 
on every side, beautiful residences completely hid- 
den from view by myriads of flowers, from which 
emanates a delicate perfume permeating the entire 
atmosphere, and lastly, and to our idea, the best, 
a fine hard wagon road on which we spin along in 
supreme enjoyment. 

We pass through San Jose, a most beautiful city, 
where the streets of the residence portion are lined 
with palm and magnolia trees, which lent to it a 
distinctly tropical appearance. After a severe 
climb over the Coast Range of mountains, but over 
an excellent wagon road, which is nearly as hard 
as pavement, kept in this condition by constant 
sprinkling, we descend into San Cruz, which is 
on the coast. 

From Salinas, which is about one hundred and 
fifty miles south of San Francisco, the topography 
and general characteristics of the country are very 
much changed. Although there are many small 
villages ranging from ten to twenty miles apart, 
a wildness and ruggedness with very little of the 


Around the United States by Bicycle 185 

ground under cultivation, farm-houses being in- 
deed few and far between, takes the place of the 
fairy-like scene which has met our eyes in the 
region between this and the metropolis. 

Here at Salinas we spend a most memorable 
night, having our first experience with real, live, 
genuine Californian mosquitoes. 

We found on retiring that we were not the only 
occupants of our room for, judging by the audible 
buzzing and humming which seemed to fill the 
air, there must have been a small army of mos- 
quitoes flitting to and fro in supreme contentment 
and enjoyment. Although we tried our very best 
to transport ourselves into the land of Nod, all to 
no avail, we were forced to listen to sweet lulla- 
bys sung by the winged insects in our very ears. 
Many of the more venturesome would light on the 
exposed parts of our bodies, immediately to plunge 
their probosces deep into our tender and quivering 
flesh, extracting their fill of blood. We killed 
hosts of them, but it did not seem to lessen the 
number. Finally, after waging warfare an hour 
or more, we decided that it was a hopeless under- 
taking to try and exterminate these pests, and, 
wrapping ourselves in sheets until we resembled 
ancient Egyptian mummies, we succeeded in pass- 
ing the remainder of the long night in compara- 
tive safety. 

In the morning our features were so puffed and 
swollen that we might have been mistaken for vie- 

186 Around the United States by Bicycle 

tims of that dreaded pestilence, small-pox. The 
number of dead mosquitoes which lay around our 
pillows told well of the able manner in which we 
had defended ourselves. 

At San Miguel we have the pleasure of seeing 
the ruins of an old Spanish Mission, which was 
constructed in 1797 A. D. The entire structure is 
made of adobe, sun-baked brick, with red-tiled 
roof, altogether a very quaint affair. It was in 
charge of a priest, an old man, who kindly gave 
us permission to inspect the building. This priest 
had a voice of such shrill nasal tone, that it re- 
sembled the creaking of a rusty door hinge. Much 
of the main part of the Mission was in a fairly 
good state of preservation, considering its great 
age. When originally built it was enclosed by a 
high wall of adobe, as a protection against In- 
dians, answering as a fortress, but time has left 
but the mouldering ruins of this wall. At one 
side of the building which was formerly the court- 
yard, lying on the ground, nearly buried by weeds 
and grass, is an old Spanish cannon. The priest 
told us that this cannon was forged in Spain vnd 
was brought over by the old Spanish missionar- 
ies, and took an active part in many a conflict 
with the red men. 

Every mile southward finds the country partak- 
ing more generally of Spanish mannerisms and 
customs, and the majority of the buildings are 
constructed of adobe, a large percentage of the 


Around the United States by Bicycle 187 

inhabitants being Mexicans and Spaniards. 
Nearly all the villages and towns have Spanish 
or Aztec names, to pronounce which it is almost 
necessary for an American to have his tongue slit, 
this being a few of the easy ones: Atascadere, 
Chaular, Hueneme, Tehachapi, Encinitas, etc., 
some of which nearly twist the alphabet out of 

Following the coast, passing through San Luis 
Obispo, we are in a mountainous territory all the 
time, and finally make the ascent of the Coast 
Range over the Refugio Pass, down into Santa 
Barbara, a resort town of three thousand inhabi- 
tants located on the ocean beach. 

The climb by the Refugio Pass was over one of 
the finest mountain roads it has yet been our plea- 
sure to traverse. The road reaches the summit 
winding completely around the mountain several 
times. At one point we look down and see the 
road over which we had traveled but a short time 
before, at four different elevations. At the summit 
a most delightful view lies before us, the shim- 
mering, vast expanse of the Pacific stretching 
away until the earth and sky become one. It 
seems to lie at our feet, but in reality we are over 
ten miles from its shore line. 

Summerland, a small village six miles south of 
Santa Barbara, is very famous, as here are situa- 
ted the noted ocean oil wells. The village is lo- 
cated directly upon the ocean beach, and extend- 

188 Around the United States by Bicycle 

ing out into the waters are innumerable piers, 
where the creaking, pumping oil wells draw crude 
petroleum from the ocean's bed. 

We spend a night as guests of a Spaniard whose 
house is a few hundred feet from the ocean, being 
lulled to sleep by the thunderous pounding of the 
waves on the beach. 

In the morning we partake of a breakfast which 
is strictly Spanish. A stew containing meat and 
all kinds of vegetables, seasoned with cayenne 
pepper and a few other '^hot things'' of a like na- 
ture, a mouthful of which made us feel as if a red- 
hot iron had been thrust into our lips. Our host, 
learning that we are strangers in this country, 
courteously shows us the interesting features of 
his home and fruit farm. We see olive trees, on 
which hangs a reddish, dark-colored fruit, closely 
resembling a cherry. We pick one and bite into it, 
to make immediately a very wry face and to hurl 
what is left of the offending olive far from us. 
Ugh! For nearly an hour this bitter and nauseat- 
ing taste remains. A tree on which is fruit looking 
very much like small green apples, but pear 
shaped, the Spaniard tells us bears the luscious 
lag, requesting us to pick one and eat it, but as our 
experience with the olive is suddenly recalled, we 
decline. He picks one and cracks it open revealing 
a pinkish seed-like pulp, which he ate, throwing 
the outside peeling away. Next we are shown sev- 
eral lemon and orange trees, but he explained that 

Around the United States by Bicycle 189 

these were far from good specimens, being dwarf- 
ed by some cause unknown to him. 

For sixteen miles we ride on the wet sand of the 
sea-shore, until we reach Ventura. It is fairly 
good riding and a distinct novelty. But a half 
mile back from the sandy beach are large cliffs 
of rock, rugged and bleak, along the foot of which 
the railroad picks its way. As a train passes by 
slowly, many of the passengers watch us curiously 
from the car windows, and doubtless it is an inter- 
esting sight to behold bicycles being ridden on 
the edge of the sea. 

Sitting on some rocks we rapturously gaze out 
upon the ^^sad sea waves." It is indeed a most 
sublime and impressive scene. The huge combers 
just before breaking would be a solid wall of green 
water, eight or ten feet high, then the top at one 
end would curl over, changing into a mass of foam, 
gradually traveling along its surface until the 
whole was a churning white mass, to hurl itself 
upon the beach with a thunderous sound, and with 
a force which separates the gigantic mass of water 
into a million particles of foam. We watched this 
glorious action of the elements, as wave after wave 
comes crashing upon the sands, fairly fascinated 
by the scene. 

Ventura was also situated directly upon the 
ocean beach, and suggested a Spanish town, there 
being flat-topped adobe houses in large numbers. 
An ancient Spanish church which had a bell strik- 

190 Around the United States by Bicycle 

ing the hours of the day, producing the most mel- 
ancnoly tones imaginable, reminding one of a 
death-knell; a small hut made by the Indians in the 
year 1790 out of the adobe bricks and tiles from a 
Spanish mission, on each side of it two stately 
palms, while the sides of the door are decorated 
by the ribs of a whale ; these form the chief attrac- 
tions of the town. 

We leave Ventura behind us, bidding farewell 
to the ocean, as this is the last time that we shall 
see it, and are bound for Los Angeles. 

For many miles we travel over a road sprinkled 
with oil for the purpose of adding consistency to 
the sandy soil. We had had experience with these 
oiled roads before on approaching Sacramento 
and this was far from satisfactory. There seemed 
to be a great resistance to our wheels, possibly 
owing to the rubber tires, and we had as much 
difficulty as when traveling through heavy sand. 

Through a most desolate region, practically a 
desert waste, we cross a range of mountains by the 
Santa Susanna Pass, not a very difficult climb, but 
over a fearfully bad road, strewn with numerous 
rocks. Through these mountains the railroad 
makes its way by the aid of a four mile tunnel. 

Thirty-five miles' travel from the mountains 
brings us into Los Angeles. Many orange groves 
line the way, at most of which we stop and fill our 
interiors with juicy oranges. Occasionally we pass 
a grove of English walnut trees. As the ground 

Aroimd the United States by Bicycle 191 

is strewn with the ripe nuts, we lose but little time 
in taking advantage of our golden opportunities. 

A short distance from the road we see the ruins 
of an old Spanish mission now used as a stable 
for cattle. A decayed mass of ruins, the remnant 
of an adobe wall which surrounded the buildings, 
lent to it a most desolate appearance. Three ma- 
jestic palms, standing in the near vicinity, seem to 
bow their bush-like tops in sympathy, grieving 
for the former owners, to whom they undoubted- 
ly owed their existence. 

All the land is very sandy, but notwithstanding 
this fact many orchards of various kinds of fruit 
and a large number of vineyards can be seen on 
every side. 

Los Angeles proved to be a most disappointing 
failure. Our idea had been that it was a metrop- 
olis, one that would compare favorably with San 
Francisco, but we found instead a confused col- 
lection of adobe and one-story wooden structures, 
intermingled with mammoth ten and twelve story 
buildings, with no uniformity of architecture, 
which gave it the appearance of an overgrown 
town rather than a large city. Owing to the ex- 
ceptionally fine climate, which is of an even tem- 
perature the entire year, inhabitants of all the 
tropical countries flock hither in great numbers, 
Chinese, Japanese, Italians, Spanish, Mexicans, 
etc., being in every nook and corner of the city. 

The resident section, however, is truly beauti- 

192 Around the United States by Bicycle 

fill. Magnificent dwellings surrounded with 
palms and flower beds galore, seem to breathe of 
rest and comfort. 

In one section of the city every available square 
foot of ground is covered by the huge tower-like 
derricks of the oil-wells, for here is a most unlimi- 
ted supply of oil. 

Six months ' travel had brought us a distance of 
six thousand miles, an average of a thousand 
miles a month, and although this was the first part 
of the month of November, the average daily tem- 
perature was eighty odd degrees in the shade. 

The route from Los Angeles to Eedlands was 
through a portion of the large orange growing 
district of Southern California. Orange groves of 
every size and kind are on every side. 

Pomona, which gets its name from the mytho- 
logical goddess of the Eomans, is a beautiful little 
city of seven thousand inhabitants, and a most en- 
chanting spot. It is located between Los Angeles 
and Redlands. Wide streets lined with tropical 
trees; a most neat and metropolitan business por- 
tion; and a general air of prosperity characterizes 
the town. One street called San Francisco Ave. is 
so beautiful that it deserves especial mention. 
Possibly half a mile in length, an exceptionally 
wide street, lined with rows of majestic, awe-in- 
spiring palm trees, and magnificent mansions 
which are almost hidden from view by orange 
and lemon trees, and whose lawns are beautiful 


Around the United States by Bicycle 193 

with gay flower beds; certainly a most desirable 
place to spend the remainder of one's days in 
peaceful contentment. 

Eedlands, also, is a very beautiful little city, 
somewhat larger than Pomona, but it is peopled 
mostly by aristocrats. Here is situated the hotel 
Casa Loma, which caters to the most aristocratic 
guests, and, as it is generally well-filled, it is a 
most popular hostelry with that class. Some of 
the modern improvements which this ideal and 
progressive little city possesses are such as only 
the larger cities can afford, a conclusive evidence 
of the enterprise and public spirit of its wealthy 




Since leaving Los Angeles we had heard much 
concerning the perils of the tract which we were 
soon to cross. This was called the Colorado Des- 
ert, and extended from a few miles east of Red- 
lands to the Arizona line, a distance of 162 miles. 
We were also given to understand that this strip 
was but a beginning; that all the way until we 
reached Western Texas we should have desert 
and wilderness, on which there would be no in- 
habitants except those employed on the railroad. 

At Colton, which is several miles east of Red- 
lands, we made the acquaintance of a most pleas- 
ant and affable old gentleman, who was a circuit 
judge. He was very much interested in us and 
the trip, and gave us rather a lengthy talk, dwell- 
ing upon the horrors of this barren waste, calling 
our attention especially to the fact that there were 
many wild and desperate characters who would 
not hesitate to take a life for a paltry sum. This 
he knew to be a fact as in his vocation he had op- 
portunity of personally coming in contact with 
these individuals, as the law gathered them into 
its toils. He also told us that it was most fortunate 
that we were about to cross at this time of the 
year, for should we have attempted it in either 

Around the United States by Bicycle 195 

September or October, it would bave been a pbysi- 
cal impossibility as the heat would have been un- 
endurable and that even now the temperature 
would average nearly ninety in the shade. He ad- 
vised us to be well armed; to be very careful and 
not overdo, as the heat was terrible and might 
cause complete prostration, resulting in death; 
to see that our canteens should be well-filled at 
every telegraph station or section-house; under 
no circumstances to be lured away from the rail- 
road track to some lake which seemed but a 
short distance, as we should never reach it for it 
would prove only a mirage. 

Bright and early on a Sunday morning we leave 
Banning, a small village on the western edge of 
the desert, this being the last of civilization until 
we reach Yuma, Arizona, nearly one hundred and 
seventy miles distant! Eather a pleasant pros- 
pect, is it not, gentle reader? 

Financially we were in far better shape than 
we had been at any time since leaving our home 
city, for our souvenirs had sold very readily 
through all the coast states, this being especially 
the case in California, so that we now had the 
round sum of $160.00, with the aid of which we 
surely ought to be able to cross this wilderness 
of sand, which was represented to us as extending 
to Western Texas, nearly a thousand mile stretch. 

By walking all day long and well into the night, 
we reach Indio, which consists of a telegraph sta- 

196 Around the United States by Bicycle 

tion, a depot, a water tank, and coal sheds. We 
passed several telegraph stations during the day, 
but, though we used all our powers of persuasion, 
mixed with diplomacy and stratagem, being very 
particular to convey to the ^'men with the grub" 
that we had the almighty dollar and were willing 
to pay almost any fancy price for eatables, when 
we reached Indio we had tasted no food since leav- 
ing Banning that morning. The chief arguments 
put forth by the operators had been that they or- 
dered their supplies but once a month, simply 
ordering enough for their own needs, that every- 
thing was in the form of canned goods; if they 
should sell to all the travelers who passed through 
the desert, and these were many in number, as 
there were a constant stream of tramps passing 
to and fro at all times, that they would sell 
themselves short, and as there was no nearby 
place to buy more, it meant go hungry for them. 
For once we found that there was a place where 
even money would not buy food. We had no 
trouble for water, as we found that every 
section-house and telegraph station had a large 
cistern, the interior of which was cemented, 
dug down into the sandy soil of the desert, 
and this was kept filled with water which was 
hauled in mammoth steel tanks, similar to those in 
which crude petroleum is carried on the eastern 
railroads, the railroad company having a regular 
water train, which at certain intervals made trips 

Around the United States by Bicycle 197 

across the desert to see that every cistern was 

As Indio was headquarters of a freight division, 
we found here a lunch counter which was operated 
by the railroad company for the accommodation 
of its employees; only after much pleading and 
begging, we succeeded in breaking down the frigid 
exterior of the man in charge, at last obtaining 
at a most exorbitant price the food which we 
needed so badly. 

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday still found us 
wearily following the gleaming lines of steel which 
stretched away in the distance. The heat was al- 
most intolerable during the day, but at night the 
temperature was almost freezing cold, and, as we 
slept on the floors of telegraph stations, we were 
not any too warm. We found stations at inter- 
vals of eight to nineteen miles at which we could 
obtain water, but that to purchase food was not 
so easy a matter, and in the last three days, since 
leaving Indio, we had had two cans of beans, a can 
of sardines, and a quantity of soda crackers. 

The character of the desert seemed to change 
from time to time: here a white blinding expanse 
of shining sand, not a blade of grass nor a growing 
thing to be seen, on which the sun glared in fiery 
intensity, making a veritable furnace. Again a 
gravelly formation, stretching away in the dis- 
tance on every side, as level as a floor, until earth 
and sky merged, a blue indistinct line, far, far 

198 Around the United States by Bicycle 

away. Now low-lying, jagged mountains, com- 
posed of bare and bleak rock, could be seen but a 
short distance from the track ; again we would see 
mountains composed apparently of innumerable 
miniature volcanoes, the whole merged into one 
mass, producing a jumble of ragged mounds and 
jagged points. 

In the region surrounding Salton, which is 265 
feet below sea level, and is one of the lowest places 
in the United States, the surface is furrowed, 
rough, and baked, in many places there being 
deep cracks and fissures, which indicate that in 
some prehistoric age the whole was innundated 
by a raging torrent. Also, in this vicinity, 
we frequently see mirages. The clear limpid 
waters of a lake beckon to us from out of 
the desert waste, inviting us to bathe our hot, 
aching bodies in its cool depths, but we know all 
too well that to attempt to reach it would be an 
endless search. 

We meet many tramps, some of whom are in- 
deed disreputable and villainous pieces of human- 
ity, who, unable to steal a ride, are walking across. 
All are very curious, attracted by our bicycles and 
outfits, to know who we are, and what we are do- 
ingj and where we are going, etc., stopping to chat 
in the most friendly spirit. There was not one 
but wished us the best of success, one even making 
the remark: ^^Look yere pals, I ain't got only a 
nickle, but if yez think that yez'll need it, why 

Around the United States by Bicycle 199 

take it along.'' Owing to the novelty of our un- 
dertaking and our extreme youth, we were not 
molested in any manner, but all seemed very much 

Forty miles distant from Yuma, chains of sand 
dunes appear off to our left, while in places the 
loose, drifting sand nearly covers the track, lying 
in wavelets. No matter which way one looks, it 
is the same bare, dreary, monotonous, barren 

It had been our custom to walk until nearly nine 
or ten o 'clock at night, as we found that we could 
make much better progress in the cool night air, 
than in the torrid heat of day-time. The night 
before reaching Yuma, which was Wednesday, we 
walked until midnight, when we reached a station 
called Ogilby, and, as there was a night operator 
here, we obtained his permission to sleep on the 
floor of the office. The next morning he invited 
us to help him dispose of his breakfast, a thing 
which we were not loath to do. 

Nearly all the section men are Mexicans, a dirty 
lot, swarthy in color, and mostly inferior in stat- 
ure. They are but half-civilized, ignorance and 
filth seem to predominate, living in squalor in a 
long, low building which is constructed from old 
railroad ties, something like two hundred feet 
long, divided into small pig-pen like compart- 
ments about eight feet square by five and one-half 
feet high; Mother Earth provides the only floor. 

200 Around the United States by Bicycle 

Here they live on cigarettes and a baked cake 
made of flour and water, called a ^Hortilla," baked 
in the most primitive manner on heated stones. 
They receive but a dollar a day, but will easily 
support a wife and several children on this 
amount. The women are very slovenly and coarse 
looking. Nearly all wear a sort of mantilla closely 
wrapped about the head. 

At noon on Thursday, after having spent exact- 
ly four and a half days on the desert, we cross the 
railroad bridge which spans the Colorado river 
on the boundary line between California and Ariz- 
ona, and enter Yuma. 

Here, indeed, is the '^getting off place" at the 
end of the world. A most infamous place, a verit- 
able den of iniquity and hot bed of crime. Gam- 
bling and all other forms of dissipation seem to 
hold sway. Owing to the proximity of the Yuma 
Indian Reservation, the town is filled at all times 
with Indians, who cling to their barbarous cus- 
toms, wearing their hair plaited, are wrapped in 
gaudy colored blankets, and some being grotesque- 
ly and hideously daubed with war paint. Most 
of them are physical giants, masses of bone and 
muscle. The majority of the inhabitants of Yuma 
are Spanish and Mexicans, with numerous 
^^ chinks" scattered broadcast here and there. 
Nearly all the buildings are made of adobe, one- 
story and flat-topped, with side walls whitewashed 
and blazing in the sun-light. The main street is 

Around the United States by Bicycle 201 

a chaotic and incongruous mass of odds and ends, 
a typical Arizona town as caricatured by the 
eastern magazines and newspapers, but even in 
its very oddity there is a picturesqueness. 

The water supply is obtained from the Colorado 
Eiver, the waters of which are heavily impreg- 
nated with alkali. By a filtering process much of 
this is removed, but still there was enough remain- 
ing to make both of us deathly sick. For three 
days we ate no food and drank no water, and were 
hardly able to raise our heads. The morning of 
the fourth day found us extremely weak, but that 
deathly sickness had left, and we resolved to tarry 
no longer in Yuma. For the length of time that 
we had thus unavoidably been detained, the tem- 
perature had hovered around ninety-two degrees. 

"We found that our short period of sickness had 
cost us exactly seven pounds of flesh. This illus- 
trates what a fearful thing is alkali sickness. 

Walking the railroad track almost continuous- 
ly, buying canned food when it was possible and 
eating on the average about once a day, sleeping 
nights in the Mexican tie houses with the tem- 
perature down to thirty odd degrees, experienc- 
ing much trouble with cactus and mesquite, which 
punctured our tires galore, after eight days ' travel 
from Yuma, and having covered two hundred and 
fifty-seven miles, foot-sore and weary, with khaki 
suits ragged and torn, hair long and unkempt, we 
slowly came into Tucson, and surely two more 

202 Around the United States by Bicycle 

forlorn or tramp-like pieces of humanity could 
not be found anywhere. 

In this two hundred and fifty mile stretch the 
country remained unchanged and there was but 
very little to relieve the monotony. Sixty odd 
miles east of Yuma, occasionally the barren waste 
would here and there be dotted by cactus and mes- 
quite bushes. The mesquite is a low bush which 
is but a mass of long, sharp thorns. As we con- 
tinued to travel eastward the number of these in- 
creased until no matter which way one looked in- 
numerable cacti met the eye, of all kinds and spec- 
ies. One species to which I wish to call the read- 
er's attention grows like a tree, one straight horny 
trunk, sometimes two feet in diameter, and rising 
sixty to seventy feet. Twenty feet or more from 
the ground there would be several branches from 
the main trunk. The mesquite bushes also be- 
came thicker until the sandy waste was but an in- 
terlaced mass of thorny briars. 

For the entire distance mountains could be seen, 
sometimes but a short distance away, and again 
their jagged outlines would be seen silhouetted 
against the horizon. There were no towns nor 
communities, the only inhabitants being the tele- 
graph operators and the section foremen, these 
being white men, but all others, section men and 
track walkers, were Mexicans, in fact, there was 
nothing whatever to relieve the monotony, the 


Around the United States by Bicycle 203 

same scenes every day, the same dreary waste, no 
roads, nothing but mesqnite and cactus. 

One day we had a narrow escape from being 
caught in a sand storm, but a change in the wind 
carried it away off to our right. We could hear 
the howls and shrieks of the wind and see the air 
a dull yellow, so closely was it filled with swirl- 
ing sand. We heard much concerning these 
storms, how the torrid temperature in the twink- 
ling of an eye will change to almost freezing; a 
fierce wind, almost a hurricane, will blow, catching 
up swirling sand as if by magic to hurl it along 
at an immense velocity, until the particles of sand 
will cut like razors, blinding one, until dazed and 
bewildered he loses his way, wandering this way 
and that, until from sheer exhaustion he falls and 
freezes to death. 

Tucson, the lung town, with a population of 
twelve thousand souls, is the largest city in Ari- 
zona. Owing to the dry atmosphere, and being 
situated as it is, in the heart of the desert, it is an 
ideal place for the cure of consumptives, this really 
supporting it. Although in some portions, owing 
to the large number of adobe habitations and the 
narrow streets, one is reminded of a foreign city, 
for the most part it is quite American, and has sec- 
tions which are very respectable. Like nearly all 
the western towns, it has its quota of infamous re- 
sorts, gambling dens and saloons. 

Considerably refreshed by two days' rest, we 

204 Around the United States by Bicycle 

leave the precincts of Tucson behind ns and con» 
tinue to wend our way across the wilderness, with 
the railroad track as our guide. 

We reach Deming, New Mexico, on December 
2nd, having traveled 228 miles since leaving Tuc- 
son, through the same kind of desert and wilder- 
ness which has characterized the country for the 
past six hundred miles. 

We have many startling adventures, one of the 
most important of which is when we are forced 
to spend the night in company with eight treach- 
erous Mexicans, at a tie house where we are the 
only white persons, the section boss having gone 
away to spend Sunday, a most lonely place in the 
heart of the desert, where we are at the mercy of 
the villainous Mexicans. They are able to under- 
stand but a very few words of English, while we 
know but very little of their language. We sit 
at the end of the den-like room with hands on our 
revolvers, and alternate in keeping watch all 
night, while our unpleasant companions, muffled 
to the eyes in blankets from over the top of which 
their black and treacherous eyes watch us fur- 
tively, all lie stretched in all positions, at the op- 
posite end of the room. In a sort of fire-place, we 
keep up a roaring fire, as the night is almost 
freezing cold, but at last, although that night 
seems never-ending, a cold gray dawn informs us 
that day is close at hand. We lose no time in leav- 
ing our unpleasant companions behind us. 

Around the United States by Bicycle 205 

At two days' travel from Tucson Darling has 
an accident which breaks the frame of his bicycle. 
This can be repaired only by brazing, and will 
necessitate our walking to El Paso, 236 miles dis- 
tant. But as we have been walking most of the 
time anyway, since we have been on the deserts, 
we view this new misfortune with but little con- 

Twenty miles' dusty travel across an alkali flat, 
the surface of which is covered by a coating of 
white powdery alkali dust, as level as a table, 
stretching away on each side as far as one can see, 
not a living, growing object to be seen, with no 
water in the entire distance, nor a habitation of 
any description. Down upon this the sun unmer- 
cifully beats. These are the first things which 
greet us immediately upon our arrival in New 

We pass through several small villages, Benson, 
Bowie, and Willcox, which consist of a cluster of 
stores at which we are able to buy a supply of 
canned goods from time to time. At one place 
there is a telegraph station, water tank, and a sort 
of *^make shift" restaurant, a building construc- 
ted of rough boards, the front of which was orna- 
mented with a scrawling sign on which was the 
legend: ^'Meeles heer all oures." The proprietor 
was a tall raw-boned six footer, whose face was 
nearly covered by a magnificent growth of fiery, 
red whiskers. He was dressed in a red flannel 

206 Around the United States by Bicycle 

shirt, cow-hide boots, and belted pants. This gi- 
gantic specimen of humanity was indeed a fit rep- 
resentative of the former inhabitants of the West 
when it was in its infancy. In reply to our ques- 
tion as to how much he would charge us for din- 
ner, looking down upon us fiercely, and with a 
savage roar, and with Spartan-like brevity, he 
said: ^'One dollar and a half.'' We decided in- 
stantly that we did not need any dinner, and lost 
no time in putting ourselves on the outside of the 
** restaurant." 

We celebrate the annual holiday of ^^Thanks- 
giving'' by not being able to get any food for 
twenty-four hours, as unfortunately we had mis- 
calculated, and our supply of canned goods had 
become exhausted. But late on the night of 
Thanksgiving day we reached a telegraph station 
called Ochoa. This is in charge of a most kind 
hearted middle-aged individual, who invites us 
to stay with him all night. He makes prepara- 
tions for supper, while we amuse ourselves in read- 
ing some of the latest periodicals before a blaz- 
ing fire. This surely is a dream! In a short time 
he calls us to supper, and, wonder of wonders, 
what do we see upon the table but chicken! We 
learn that he has a chicken-coop back of the sta- 
tion and has nearly fifty fowls, from which he 
gets fresh eggs and occasionally a juicy stew, cer- 
tainly a most clever idea. We find that he is an 
excellent cook, and we are not in the least back- 

Around the United States by Bicycle 207 

ward in disposing of our share of the steaming 
potatoes, chicken gravy, tea, and fried chicken. 
This indeed is a most pleasant change from eating 
sardines out of a can with one's fingers, munching 
dry soda crackers, washed down with a scanty 
mouthful of water, for this had to be used sparing- 
ly, as it might be miles to the next place where we 
should be able to get our canteens filled, our way- 
side repast usually taking place alongside the 
railroad track in the slight shade afforded by a 
pile of ties. 

While we meet many kindly and accommodating 
people, there are some who are just the opposite, 
and several times we were compelled to sleep out- 
doors, or in some flimsy shelter, because the oper- 
ator refused to let us sleep in the telegraph office. 

Deming, a small town, is supported almost en- 
tirely by the stock growing interests, cattle rais- 
ing being the chief industry in this vicinity. 

A heavy downpour of rain which lasted two 
days prevented us from leaving Deming, but on 
the morning of the third day we noted with sur- 
prise a great change in the temperature. Blind- 
ing sleet and snow, urged onward by a freezing 
wind, took the place of the rain of the last two 
days. The mercury was below the freezing point, 
and already the ground was covered with a mass 
of ice and snow, presenting a smooth and slippery 
surface. However, we had been delayed too long 
already, and decided to brave the elements. With 

208 Around the United States by Bicycle 

the aid of heavy gloves which we purchased, and 
by wrapping our large bandanna handkerchiefs 
around our ears and throat, and by walking ex- 
ceedingly fast, we kept from freezing. 

Just as the sun is about to set, which at this 
time of the year is but a little after four o'clock, 
we commence to have troubles galore. We are 
over seven miles from Cambray, at which we had 
been told there was a section-house, with telegraph 
office, water tank and pump-house, and a small 
store. The road-bed here was but a mass of soft, 
sticky mud, which at every step would cling to 
our shoes in the most brotherly way, and in a very 
few moments there would be so much attached to 
our feet that it was only with difficulty that we 
could walk. The ground by the sides of the track 
was even worse. Here it was utterly impossible 
to take a step without sinking ankle-deep in the 
soft clinging soil. We were surely in a predica- 
ment, darkness had already closed upon us, to roll 
our machines was impossible, as with but one revo- 
lution of the wheels so much mud would be cling- 
ing to them that they would not revolve; they 
were too heavy to carry, and even to walk in this 
awful stuff was bad enough without being ham- 
pered by a heavy load; the outlook was indeed 

By resting frequently we carry the bicycles 
short distances, and making very slow progress. 

Around the United States by Bicycle 209 

we finally reach Cambray sometime past nine 
o'clock in the evening. 

We offer money, pleading and begging, to the 
operator, section foreman, the night fireman in 
charge of the pump-house, and even to the ranch- 
man, all in turn, merely asking for shelter, so that 
we may be protected from the freezing tempera- 
ture, but all to no avail. One sends us to the other, 
and he in turn sends us back again, while we find 
that the first parties have extinguished all their 
lights and have retired, and no amount of pound- 
ing or knocking on the doors brings forth a re- 
sponse from within. We tried them all, but ob- 
tained no satisfaction, and our only course is to 
build a fire out of some old railroad ties and en- 
deavor to keep warm as best we may. 

We try this for several hours, but instead of 
getting warmer, we continue to become colder, so 
that finally we could stand it no longer, and with 
our ire fully aroused we make steps for the tele- 
graph station. There we pound on the door with 
the butt of our revolvers, telling him that we are 
nearly frozen to death and demanding that he let 
us in to get warm or there would be ^^ trouble in 
the air. ' ' Evidently noting the rather determined 
way in which we spoke, he unbolted the door and 
invited us to come inside in the most gushing man- 
ner. After we got thawed out, he allowed us to lie 
on the floor the rest of the night, and treated us 


210 Around the United States by Bicycle 

very courteously, for apparently a six-shooter is 
a good persuader. 

Eighty-eight miles' travel from Deming brings 
us, on crossing the Rio Grande, to El Paso, which 
we reach over a long steel railroad bridge over 
half a mile in length, and we land upon Texas soil. 

To get the machines repaired, obtain supplies, 
and to get ourselves into such a condition that we 
shall be able to stand the hardships resulting from 
crossing a three hundred mile strip of wilderness 
in western Texas, we spend several days here. 

El Paso, the outpost of Uncle Sam's domain with 
a population of thirty thousand souls, over half 
of whom are of Spanish blood, is situated at the 
base of a monster mountain of bleak, bare, and 
cheerless aspect. The Pio Grande river, marking 
the boundary between United States and Mexico, 
flows through one portion of the city; a small, 
muddy-colored stream, sluggish, filling one with a 
loathsome feeling as he looks upon it. The busi- 
ness section of the city is but a jumbled mass of 
crooked, narrow streets, and is packed into an in- 
credible small area. Most of the streets are un- 
paved, and during our short sojourn here, we had 
the pleasure of wading through a miry and muddy 
mass. The city at all seasons of the year is 
crowded by eastern tourists, attracted by its prox- 
imity to old Mexico, and chiefly from them the 
town derives its support. 

As we are in El Paso over Sunday we cross the 

Around the United States by Bicycle 211 

river into old Mexico, to the unique and interest- 
ing city of Ciudad Juarez, where we see a genu- 
ine Spanish bull-fight. 

One story flat-topped adobe buildings, with sides 
whitewashed, forming streets which are so nar- 
row that they are merely alleys, turning and twist- 
ing in sinuous fashion, the inhabitants lounging 
in doorways, most of them asleep, no one seems to 
have work to do, with a general air of indolence 
and neglect clinging about this collection of habi- 
tations which the Mexicans call a town; this is 

A '^fiesta'' is now in progress which lasts for 
nearly a week, and during which the chief and, in 
fact, as far as we could learn, the only diversion 
is to gamble, in which sport, man, woman and 
child participate. 

A very large circular building surrounding a 
court-yard filled with a horde of gesticulating, 
shouting Mexicans playing the games ; these of all 
manners and kinds; here one can play with centa- 
vos, two of which are equal to an American cent, 
up to an unlimited sum of money. Apparently 
to lose is an impossibility, but as a matter of fact, 
the impossibility is to win. The noise and din 
made by the gamblers coupled with that made by 
innumerable men and women who are scattered 
throughout the building and squat before small 
tables laden with various kinds of fruits and can- 

212 Around the United States by Bicycle 

dies, shrilly crying their wares, makes the scene 
a bedlam of confusion. 

The city jail is strictly guarded by a company 
of Mexican soldiers in resplendent uniforms, with 
guns and bayonets. Although we are not allowed 
to approach very near to its walls, through the 
barred door we can see the poor wretches who are 
confined here, probably for an indefinite period, 
as the wheels of Justice move but slowly in Mex- 

It is now nearing the hour of the bull fight, the 
streets are a jamming mass of humanity. Spanish 
Senoritas resplendent in gaudy dresses, Mexican 
peons with tight-fitting corduroy pants and sacos, 
(short jackets) all surmounted by an enormous 
sombrero, gorgeous with silver and gold tinsel, 
perhaps weighing ten or twelve pounds, but car- 
ried with perfect ease. Americans in great num- 
bers, come from El Paso, are in great evidence. 
There is a long empty space leading to the bull- 
pen which is lined with the rude tables of huck- 
sters, the majority of which have large upright 
piles of sugar cane, of which the natives eagerly 
buy. It is, indeed, a most ludicrous sight to see 
a Mexican chewing on the end of a stalk of sugar 
cane perhaps ten feet in length, but judging by 
the immense number engaged in this novel occu- 
pation it seemed to be very popular with the low- 
er classes. 

At last the ticket office opens and the sale of 

Around the United States by Bicycle 213 

tickets for the bull fight begins. For the small 
sum of fifty cents (American money) we procure 
tickets. The building in which the performance 
is held is a large amphitheatre, the whole center 
of which is an open court, a large circular space of 
ground surrounded by stone wall, this being sur- 
mounted by steel pickets, which make it impos- 
sible for the frightened bulls to scale it. Tiers of 
stone seats rise one above the other, while the top 
part of the building is covered by a sort of roofing 
under which wooden benches are arranged in tiers. 

To the chants of a march played by a Mexican 
band seated in a balcony in one end of the struc- 
ture, the participants parade around the arena. 
The Matador, the one who kills the bulls, gorgeous 
in a black velvet suit, with knee pants and long 
hose, and a black wig, which answers as a hat; 
over his shoulder hanging in loose folds a bright- 
colored red robe, precedes the procession; he is 
followed by four assistants who are called Pica- 
dors, whose duty it is to wave red cloaks in front 
of the animal, then to dodge nimbly to one side as 
he rushes past, the object of this being to enrage 
the animal ; several Mexicans mounted on decrepit 
horses which are blindfolded, and are hardly able 
to walk, much less carry a man, completes the pro- 

The matador and the picadors take their places 
in the arena, amid the plaudits of the audience, 
and through a gate a frightened and enraged bull 

214 Around the United States by Bicycle 

comes dashing, eyes wild and dilating. A picador 
waves a red cloak, which the bull charges, but 
just as he dashes forward another cloak is waved 
at another point, and then on his other side an- 
other, until the poor dumb brute becomes so con- 
fused that he stands stock still unable to move. 
If he does not move and charge the cloaks, long 
steel barbs are plunged into his neck, one on each 
side. We saw during the fight one bull which had 
no less than six of these cruel barbs hanging from 
his neck. After the picadors become weary, the 
decrepit horses are put into the ring, and the bull 
is permitted to gore them at will. Here, indeed, is 
a scene to cause one to shudder at its atrocious 
cruelty and barbarism. A horse which has been 
terribly gored, with the life blood flowing in a 
large stream from his shoulders, was being 
spurred by the Mexican who bestrides it in the en- 
deavor to make the dying animal gallop, while 
another is scourging it with an ugly looking lash. 
One horse, whose entrails were protruding, was 
taken out of the arena, the opening was sewed up, 
and then he was brought back to participate 
anew in the performance. At every plunge of 
the bull as he sinks his horns into a horse, the 
Mexicans in the audience shout with pleasure 
and delight. The bull is finally despatched by 
the Matador, who hurls the sword into the an- 
imal's shoulder, where it is buried to the hilt, 
the point penetrating the heart. This is really 
a clever performance requiring a great amount 

Around the United States by Bicycle 215 

of skill. According to the rules of this atrocious 
and blood-thirsty amusement which is called a 
bull fight, it is necessary to kill four bulls before 
the performance is concluded. 

In no sense of the word is it a fight, for the ani- 
mal has no chance to protect itself in any manner. 
It is positively a most barbarous and loathsome 
custom, merely a torture and slaughter pen for the 
poor dumb animals, and yet this race of people 
call this sport! This was the first and only bull 
fight which we had ever seen, and we were fully 
satisfied that it would be the last. 

Our past experience had taught us much, so that 
upon leaving El Paso we carried upon our backs 
large sacks containing all kinds of canned goods, 
so that for once we were going to be prepared in a 
measure to face the food question. 

It is hardly necessary to weary the reader with 
our many trials in crossing Texas. Suffice it to say 
that it was absolutely necessary to follow the Tex- 
as and Pacific Eail Road all the way to Big 
Springs, 350 miles from El Paso, which we reached 
on Christmas day, having walked almost the en- 
tire distance. A few days' travel out of El Paso 
we find that the ground is covered by a vine which 
is called a grass burr, having innumerable sharp 
and needle-like thorns which completely fill our 
tires. Although we pass through many villages, 
we are unable to purchase the kind of tires which 

216 Around the United States by Bicycle 

it is necessary for us to have to meet this difficulty, 
and we are therefore obliged to walk. 

A week's travel out of El Paso brings us into 
the unlimited and vast ^'staked plains" of West- 
ern Texas. A flat surface stretching away on 
every side until earth and sky meet; this scene 
greets our eye every day and becomes, possibly 
monotonous, but as we have been in sight of moun- 
tains every day for the past five months it forms a 
great relief from the bluish indistinct outline of 
a mountain range in the distance, or the rough 
and jagged masses near at hand. 

Cattle raising is the chief industry, all the land 
being a range. Some of the ranches occupy as 
much territory as several counties would in the 
Eastern States. We find the Texans a most ac- 
commodating and generous people, and we are 
treated royally by them; it is, indeed, both amus- 
ing and interesting to hear the native Texans talk, 
for they seem to have an accent all their own, a 
soft modulated drawl, a broadening of the sound 
of ' ' r ' ' which gives it the sound of ^ ' w. " 

Christmas morning dawns a warm, sunshiny 
day, and surely this must be some mistake; we 
pinch ourselves to see whether we are not dream- 
ing. We find that this holiday is celebrated very 
much as if it were Fourth of July instead of 
Christmas. The discharge of fire-arms and the ex- 
plosion of fire crackers and torpedoes can be heard 
on every side. 


Around the United States by Bicycle 217 

From Big Springs to Fort Worth, 264 miles, we 
are told that we will find the land more thickly 
settled, as much of it is under cultivation, and 
small agricultural communities will be but short 
distances apart. 

Although through Texas we had been having 
most delightful weather, the nights and early 
mornings being very cold, but during the day the 
sun becoming so warm that it caused the perspir- 
ation to flow freely, the first day after leaving Big 
Springs the tropical temperature is speedily re- 
duced to zero, during the time in which a genuine 
Texas ''Norther'' holds all within its freezing and 
icy grasp. That night we spend with a bridge 
gang, and as we lie in one of the bunks with which 
the interior of the car is lined, we hear the wind 
howling and whistling outside, blowing with such 
force that it sways the car from side to side. The 
' ' Norther' ' rages for two days. We travel just the 
same, but it is under difficulties, and we make but 
little progress. 

We remain over night at Sweetwater, a small 
village, at a ''hotel" which is a ramshackle affair, 
the proprietor is a lady whose native state is Geor- 
gia. She was assisted by her daughter, who was 
a young lady in the twenties, who waited at the 
table. She was very solicitous to see that one had 
a constant supply of edibles, particularly biscuits. 
The plate containing them would be shoved under 
our noses about every minute and a half, while the 

218 Around the United States by Bicycle 

maiden would hurl this bunch of English at you, 
sounding like this : ^ ^ Habisct ! ' ' The first time she 
shot this cannon ball interjection at me I dumbly 
shook my head, and was so surprised that I nearly 
choked on a piece of bread, but after the opera- 
tion had been repeated several times, I regained 
my self-possession, and by listening carefully con- 
cluded that the English translation must have 
been: ^^Have a biscuit?'' 

Every mile eastward brings us into a more civ- 
ilized region, and farm houses become more fre- 

One peculiarity, which we learn in rather an 
amusing manner, is the fact that there are no wells 
of water through this section, drinking water be- 
ing obtained by catching rain water in what is 
called ^' tanks,'' but which to the uninitiated 
would be difficult to recognize as such. We stop 
at a farm house to get a drink, and are told by the 
lady who answers our query that we shall be able 
to get a nice fresh drink at the tank, which is sev- 
eral hundred yards back of the house, handing us 
a cup with which to drink. We search diligently, 
but find nothing that resembles a tank, and the 
only water we see is a sort of mud-hole which is 
filled with dirty, muddy water. We finally give 
up in despair, and go back to the house telling her 
that we could find no ^^tank," but we are in- 
formed that the ^^tank" is the dirty puddle which 
we had noticed. The water is kept in this by an 

Around the United States by Bicycle 219 

embankment which surrounds it, and is really used 
as drinking water, but we concluded that we did 
not want a drink of water anyway. 

The roads continue to get better as we travel 
onward, but still we must walk as we are unable to 
get the tires. The distance from Weatherford to 
Fort Worth is something like twenty-five miles, 
and is over a crushed stone pike. Imagine with 
what anguish we walk and trundle our wheels 
along over such a road. 

Fort Worth is a city of thirty-five thousand in- 
habitants, very metropolitan in many respects. 
The elements forcibly detain us here for two 
days while it rains incessantly, but as we have to 
make extensive repairs on our bicycles, (new sets 
of tires throughout) we notice the delay but little. 

Immediately after the rain ceased the tempera- 
ture dropped to eighteen degrees above zero, with 
the result that we walked the railroad track near- 
ly all the way to Dallas, thirty-one miles. As we 
neared the latter city there came a storm of sleet, 
which as fast as it fell turned to ice, leaving the 
ground an icy, slippery mass, over which we 
walked with such difficulty that we had to relieve 
our pent up feelings by delivering a few pet names 
for the weather man, and the State of Texas, 
rounding up by giving a generous slice of the same 
kind of praise to bicycles, and bicycle trips in 

Dallas and Fort Worth being but a short dis- 

220 Around the United States by Bicycle 

tance from each other, and connected by two rail- 
roads and an electric railway, are virtually ^'sis- 
ter cities, ' ' which therefore causes a large amount 
of rivalry between them. However, Dallas has a 
population of nearly seventy-five thousand, and 
in appearances is more the metropolis than Fort 
Worth. • 

As it is now the twelfth of January, and we are 
to travel northward out of Texas via Sherman and 
Gainesville, thence through Indian Territory 
across Oklahoma to the Kansas line, which will 
then be our most northern point, and we will trav- 
el from there in an easterly direction, we look for 
severe and rigorous weather, and, as events prove, 
we are not in the least disappointed. 



Partly by walking the railroad track and partly 
by riding the wagon roads which are a glare of ice, 
we reach the Eed river, which forms the boundary 
line between Texas and Indian Territory. 

A distance of 107 miles nearly all of which we 
walk brings us across Indian Territory. For a day 
or so the weather became warmer, with the result 
that the snow and ice melted to such an extent, 
that the roads, or at least what is called by that 
name, were transformed into muddy rivers, the 
soil possessing that ^'stick-to-itiveness" that made 
traveling by wagon road an impossibility, with 
the result that the good old railroad track again 
did the honors. The country generally is rather 
hilly, but abounding in swamps and morasses; 
small villages are short distances apart, but a neg- 
lectful and dingy air hung about them suggesting 
that prosperity was far distant. The inhabitants 
generally seemed to be an ignorant and indolent 
class, inclined to talk and gossip rather than work. 
We learn that it is a most unhealthy country, to 
which fact the innumerable drug stores, which 
every village possesses, plainly testify. It is with 
pleasure and relief that we cross the Canadian riv- 
er and step upon the domains of Oklahoma. 

222 Around the United States by Bicycle 

Following is an interesting conversation which 
we overheard in a depot, between the ticket agent 
and a big, old farmer who had a long gray beard, 
slouch hat, with pants tucked into his boot tops; 
after stowing a monster plug of tobacco in one 
side of his mouth so that he was able to talk, he 

^'What's the fare to Perry r' 

^^Just a minute, my friend, and I will look it 
up." (After an interval of several minutes the 
ticket agent announces: ^^ Eleven dollars and 
thirty cents. Want a ticket 1 ' ' 

^^Naw, got a pass, just wanted to see how much 
I saved.'' 

We find Oklahoma a great improvement over 
Indian Territory, a most prosperous country, with 
good wagon roads, all of which are laid out on 
section lines running to the four points of the 
compass. All of the towns bear a prosperous look, 
and things generally seem to be in very good con- 

We pass through Norman, Oklahoma City, Guth- 
rie, Blackwell, and Newkirk, all of which are fair 
sized towns; Oklahoma City especially being a 
most metropolitan city, the largest in Oklahoma 
Territory. Cold weather still remains, and a light 
covering of snow is on the roads, but as the soil 
is all frozen hard, we have but little difficulty in 

A week's travel in Oklahoma, and we find our- 

Around the United States by Bicycle 223 

selves crossing the Kansas line, several miles from 
which is Arkansas City. 

The morning following our arrival in the state 
of Kansas, the mercury dropped to zero, but not- 
withstanding this fact, alternately riding and 
walking, we cover a distance of thirty-six miles, 
reaching a small village, Cedarvale by name, that 
night, although it was necessary for us to stop at 
nearly every farm house to thaw ourselves out. 

During the day we pass through what is known 
as the ^^ Flint Hills;'' since leaving Texas we had 
heard much concerning the difficulties of crossing 
this chain of rocky hills, but although we toiled 
up many steep hills, we did not know that we had 
traveled over these dreaded objects until, upon 
reaching Cedarvale, we learned that we were on 
the eastern side of them. 

Thirty-six hours pass, and we arise on a bitter 
cold morning when the temperature is down to six 
degrees below zero, to note that during the night 
there has been nearly a foot fall of the beautiful. 
However, there is one alternative, and that is to 
make what progress we can by following the rail- 
road track. No train had yet passed, so that we 
trudge through the deep, soggy snow and push an 
unwieldy bicycle which rolls along like a two-ton 
dray, the extreme exertion from which, although 
the temperature is below the zero mark, causes the 
perspiration to ooze from every pore. As it is a 
physical impossibility to go much farther than a 

224 Around the United States by Bicycle 

vthousand feet without stopping to rest, our total 
mileage for the day was but eight miles, at the end 
of which we were so exhausted, that we were hard- 
ly able to drag one foot after the other. 

Plodding along a little each day, there having 
been several light falls of snow since the first 
heavy storm, which now increases the depth of this 
snowy covering to nearly a foot and a half, and 
with the temperature still hovering around the 
zero mark, we cover 171 miles, traveling very near 
to the southern boundary line of the state, and 
reach Joplin, Missouri. 

In Kansas we passed through numerous towns 
and villages, the district being thickly populated, 
as this is the famous natural gas belt and the oil 
fields. The frame work of the tower-like derricks 
of the oil wells dot the snowy landscape, while the 
rhythmic sound of the pumps as the petroleum is 
drawn from the bowels of the earth, fills the air. 
Here we see natural gas burnt with such extrava- 
gance and wastefulness, that we shudder to think 
what the cost of ^Hhe gas bill" would be if it were 
artificial gas. Oil was first discovered in this re- 
gion two years ago, but now the land is honey- 
combed with wells, there being the largest number 
and the greatest oil field of the whole state in 
Chautauqua County. We learn that the average 
depth of these wells is 900 to 1,000 feet, while the 
cost of boring is something like two thousand dol- 

Around the United States by Bicycle 225 

lars. The flowing capacity of the largest well in 
the fields is 225 barrels per day. 

While in Kansas we find that the date of Feb- 
ruary 2 makes nine months that we have been 
traveling continually, covering 8,000 miles. As 
the snow brought us so very much trouble, we kept 
a wary and anxious eye for the man that wrote 
that most touching bit of poetry entitled: ''Beauti- 
ful, Beautiful Snow.'' If we had succeeded in find- 
ing him, there would undoubtedly have been an 
opportunity for an undertaker to earn a few 

Joplin, a city of thirty thousand inhabitants, 
situated in the midst of rich and vast mineral de- 
posits of lead and zinc, is a bustling, humming 
city of prosperity. Surrounding it for a radius 
of ten or fifteen miles many shafts of lead and zinc 
mines dot the landscape, some abandoned and rot- 
ting, while from others, at regular intervals, the 
droning of machinery attests the fact that mother 
Earth is slowly and surely losing a small portion 
of her mineral resources. 

The weather in the last several days seems to 
have become much colder, so that, as we dress 
with chattering teeth in our room in a hotel in 
Joplin, and make haste for the hotel office where 
there is a roaring fire in a large stove, we find 
that many have preceded us, there being a circle 
of shivering individuals hugging the source of 
warmth. There were all kinds of speculations 


226 Around the United States by Bicycle 

and rumors hurtling througli the air as to just 
how cold it was. A driver of a delivery wagon 
declared that was at least twenty-five below; 
the meat boy swore that he saw a dozen differ- 
ent thermometers which registered twenty below, 
and the laundry man said eighteen below; every 
time anyone came in and made a weather re- 
port, the group around the stove would hug up 
just a little closer, congratulating each other 
that they did not have to go out into the bitter 
cold. Even after all these rather discouraging 
comments on the weather, we said we were going 
to start, and start we did amidst all sorts of ex- 
postulations, remonstrances, and exclamations 
from the frozen brethren who were solicitously 
engaged in absorbing the heat from the stove. 

After we got started and commenced to walk, 
although it was extremely cold it seemed to be 
a sort of dry cold, and affected us not so much as 
we expected. We found that the actual tempera- 
ture as registered by the government thermome- 
ter was twenty-nine degrees below zero ! 

Naturally, under the circumstances, we look 
upon this most marvelous SNOWY scenery with 
tender and delightful feelings. On every side the 
SNOWY fields glisten in the embrace of the 
SNOWY SNOW; while even the SNOWY hills are 
shrouded in the SNOWIEST of the SNOWY 
SNOW; in fact, it is the most SNOWY of SNOW- 
IEST scenery. 


Around the United States by Bicycle 227 

We follow the tracks of the Kansas City South- 
ern E. R. which travels in a directly southern 
course, through Missouri to Arkansas. Five miles 
out of Joplin, we commence to arrive into the out- 
lying foot-hills of the Ozark Mountains while 
every mile's travel onward found them larger and 
wilder with rocks, the railroad winding among 
them in the most erratic and tortuous manner. 
The majority of them seem to be huge mound-like 
masses, oval in shape, covered by a sparse growth 
of scrub trees, near the top encircled by a large 
ledge of bleak rock. 

Here, indeed, we behold scenery which in its 
wild and majestic grandeur greatly surprises us 
in this region. Here the track winds at the base 
of a huge bluff of solid rock, grayish and somber 
tinted, which rises perpendicularly to the height 
of a hundred and fifty feet, furrowed and seamed 
in many strata ; at and near its top small, dwarfed 
trees of the evergreen family grew out of crevices, 
the green freshness of their foliage lending an ar- 
tistic touch of color to the grim and rocky mass. 
On the other side of the railroad the glistening 
expanse of snow-covered ice which holds a river 
within its grasp, this blinding whiteness on all 
sides, the winding track, form a picture which 
causes one to pause and look in deepest admira- 

Fifty miles' travel brings us out of Missouri, 

228 Around the United States by Bicycle 

and we enter the much talked about and the much 
abused state of Arkansas. 

A few miles over the boundary line is a very 
small village, a health resort, called Sulphur 
Springs, there were three springs not less than 
twenty feet apart, yet the water that flows from 
each is totally different. The first is pure, ice 
cold water, as clear as crystal; the second is what 
is known as white sulphur water, while the third 
is black sulphur water, the strongest in minerals 
of all. We were very eager to taste of this water, 
but after our desire had been gratified, we were 
very, very sorry that we had been so enthusiastic, 
and felt that we should have been much better 
satisfied had we viewed it at a distance, as the 
taste of this water resembled that of an egg which 
could boast of a ripe old age. 

We reached Gravette, a small village, from 
which we follow the line of a branch railroad 
which connects with Bentonville, traversing what 
is in reality the plateau of the Ozarks, having left 
the mountains behind us on approaching Gravette. 
In following this railroad, we see a fair specimen 
of a railroad ^4n ole' Arkansaw.'^ The curves 
are so many and so short that it was necessary for 
an engine to have a hinge in its boiler, while we 
had to exercise great care and caution to see that 
we did not become confused and find ourselves 
traveling back over our route. A train creeps 
slowly, very slowly, upon us, and for a long dis- 

Around the United States by Bicycle 229 

tance as we walk alongside the engine we hold an 
interesting conversation with the engineer, but as 
we are in a hurry, we can ill afford to lose so much 
time, bid good-bye to the man on the engine, and 
walk onward. 

The following is characteristic of travel in Ar- 
kansas: A lady passenger on one of the prover- 
bial ^ ' slow trains ' ' becoming provoked at its slow 
progress asked the conductor if it were not pos- 
sible to travel faster; that august official gives re- 
ply, that if she is not satisfied with the speed of the 
train she is at liberty to get off and walk. But this 
is the spicy answer which he receives: ^^I would 
with pleasure, but my friends are not expecting 
me until the train arrives.'' 

Dizzy and giddy from following the many twists 
and turns of the railroad track, we reach Benton- 
ville. Here we have the pleasure of seeing a the- 
atrical attraction which in itself and its surround- 
ings is put before the audience in true Arkansas 
style. We find that the '^opery house" is a large 
forlorn looking, bleak and cold, brick-lined hall. 
There are chairs in rows for the accommodation 
of the audience, while back of these are perches 
built on the same plan as circus seats, and con- 
structed of old boxes, kegs, and boards. These 
may be regarded as representing the balcony or 
gallery, but judging from the appearance of them 
one would place his life in jeopardy should he 
climb to the heights and endeavor to enjoy the 

230 Around the United States by Bicycle 

performance from so lofty and wabbly a perch. 
At one end of this modern cold storage, an impro- 
vised stage has been bnilt which is sufficiently 
large for a good sized man to comfortably turn 
around without bumping into himself; the heat- 
ing department consists of a small wood stove, in- 
to which a continuous stream of fuel is fed, and 
which nobly and heroically struggles to reduce the 
zero temperature of the barn-like structure, so 
effectively, that if one should stray six feet from 
the source of the heat, he would be frozen stiff. 
We paid our admission fee, but on taking an in- 
ventory decided that we didn't believe we cared 
to see the performance anyway, and departed. 

Plodding and trudging through deep snow 
which still covers the ground, we travel south- 
ward, passing through many small villages which 
are typical of the state, arriving at Fayetteville, 
a town of several thousand people, at which the 
University of Arkansas is situated with an at- 
tendance of nine hundred students. 

It is sixty miles from Fayetteville to Van Buren, 
through a mountainous district called the Boston 
Mountains. Between these two towns there is 
nothing but very small villages, consisting of a 
few stores and a cluster of houses. 

The scenery through these mountains possesses 
many of the characteristics of the Ozarks. Bleak 
and grim rocky walls frequently line the track, a 
snowy covering over all. 


Around the United States by Bicycle 231 

Winslow, at the summit of the range, is reached, 
from which we are compelled to walk through an 
1,800 foot tunnel. We reach the other side just as 
a passenger train comes dashing after us, a nar- 
row escape. In turn, we walk over three high tres- 
tles, the first of which is 125 feet from the ground 
at one point, and is over a quarter of a mile long, 
the other two being 120 and 105 feet respectively 
in height. 

As we come down out of the mountains, the 
snow becomes less, so that when we reach Van 
Buren there are only a few patches of it here and 
there. We reach this town at nine o'clock at 
night, having walked a distance of twenty-five 
miles during the day, over a rock ballasted track, 
a mass of sharp and jagged points which nearly 
cut our shoes. For the last eight miles of this lone- 
ly walk we are accompaned by an Italian, whom 
we dubbed ' * the Count. ' ' His general appearance 
would have made a scare-crow wild with envy. 
The most impressive features of this were a pair 
of pants which were easily large enough for two 
men, the surplus wrapped around the wearer's 
waist in the manner of a sash; the large balloon- 
like pant legs idly flapping in the wind like the 
sail to a ship, for evidently the former owner must 
have been a ^* heavy weight;" a pair of shoes 
which were a wonder, immediately absorbing our 
attention, large enough for an elephant to wear; 
a dilapidated coat; a shock of greasy, black, un- 

232 Around the United States by Bicycle 

kempt, and matted hair, which would have made 
a manufacturer of hair mattresses a fortune; a big, 
heavy Scotch cap set rakishly on the back of the 
head; all this crowned by an exceedingly large 
specimen of red nose, to which Cyrano De Ber- 
gerac's would have been small indeed; a pair of 
mild looking, large eyes, of a type unusual for an 
Italian, having the most appealing of looks. His 
knowledge of English consisted of about six 
words. By motions and grimaces, he succeeded in 
conveying the fact to us that he had had nothing 
to eat for a long time, and we gave him a small 
sum of money to purchase food. ^^The Count'' was 
also very much fatigued and wearied, as he 
dragged himself along, stumbling over the rocks 
on the track with his huge brogans, as if every 
step caused him pain. The darkness was intense, 
and as we cross several trestles, where a false step 
would jeopardize life and limb, it is not to be won- 
dered at that we hear the ^' Count" creeping across 
these trestles on his hands and knees. Foot sore 
and weary with aching limbs, we stop often to rest, 
^^the Count" squats immediately down on the 
track near us, and when we start, he starts, for all 
the world like a huge Newfoundland dog. We 
have much amusement at his expense, although 
we know that the poor fellow is suffering, for he 
is so ludicrously grotesque and awkward in his 
actions that it would make a dead man laugh. 
We inspect our machines at Van Buren and find 

Around the United States by Bicycle 233 

that they are in exceedingly bad shape, as pushing 
them through the deep snow has played havoc 
with the tires and rims. We endeavored to get 
repairs here, but found that it was impossible. 
We now are to travel along the northern side of 
the Arkansas Eiver, going in an easterly direc- 
tion to Little Rock, 160 miles distant. 

Van Buren, a town of several thousand inhab- 
itants, is a typical southern community. The 
larger part of the population consists of negroes, 
with which the streets are crowded, lounging here 
and there; about everything there hangs an air 
of indolence and sleepy repose. 

Spring weather, with warm sunshiny days and 
melting snow, which leaves small trickling streams 
of water and the soil transformed into a sticky 
and oozy mass ; walking the railroad track day by 
day over the worst kind of rock ballast; follow- 
ing near to the Arkansas River the most of the 
distance, where in some places the scenery is very 
picturesque; the railroad winding along the foot 
of rocky bluffs for miles, passing through innum- 
erable small villages and several towns of fairly 
good size; having many and varied experiences 
with the native Arkansawyers in canvassing with 
our souvenirs; we finally reach Little Rock, the 
capital and metropolis of the state. 

Before reaching the capital, at a small village, 
which boasts of a tavern for the accommodation 
of strangers and the traveling public, we spend 

234: Around the United States by Bicycle 

the night. As we sit in the '^office'' of this so- 
called hotel, it is with interest that we view the 
scene before us. Although the days are very 
warm, the nights are still quite chilly, so that a 
fire is necessary, and there is a small wood stove 
in the center of a low-ceiling room; a bare floor 
and the only article of furniture to accompany the 
lonely stove is a small table, on which a smoke be- 
grimed lamp throws out a dull, yellow light. This 
heroically endeavors to penetrate the darkness 
in the corners of the room, but even as it tries, it 
realizes that it is a hopeless task, and contents 
itself with lighting the darkness for a radius of 
a few feet, while the remainder of the room is in 
semi-gloom. Sitting in various awkward and 
unique postures, some with tilted chairs, are eight 
or nine fairly good specimens of the native Arkan- 
sawyer. Tall, slim, and bony, heads and faces a 
mass of hair, from which at first sight it is diffi- 
cult to distinguish the features, all trying to talk 
at the same time, this being a few of the things 
discussed: *^Did yew hear heow Sam Jenkins' 
little mare has dun got the heaves?" ^^Widder 
Brown h'aint been deown to the Post Office tew 
get her mail since last Friday, reckon as heow 
maybe she's sick." ^'I 'low Skinny Perkins is get- 
tin' better, as I heern tell that he's takin' the 
^^ Weekly Breezer" agen, an' he aint the man to 
throw away money for a paper 'less he cud read 
it." Generally each remark was punctuated by 

Around the United States by Bicycle 235 

a resounding splash of tobacco juice on the floor. 
Truly Arkansas is a great state ! 

On the southern shore of the Arkansas Eiver, 
which at this point is but a dirty muddy colored 
stream perhaps a half mile wide, Little Eock, 
boasting of a population of nearly 50,000, is lo- 
cated. An air of ease, refinement, and wealth 
seems to be predominant here. Innumerable 
strangers and tourists seem to aid with their ready 
money in supporting the city. Large, wide streets, 
well paved, lined with the best type of buildings, 
form the business section. The capitol building 
is a very inferior structure of ancient style of ar- 
chitecture, and is far from impressive, but we 
understand that plans are under way for the con- 
struction of a new state capitol which is to be 
magnificent, the estimated cost to be something 
like $6,000,000. 



Having succeeded in getting all the necessary 
repairs for our bicycles, leaving Little Rock, 
RHDING all the way to Pine Bluff, a distance of 
forty-five miles, we enjoyed our first ride on our 
machines for just an even month! 

After nine miles' travel over the wagon road 
out of Pine Bluff, we began to get into what is 
virtually a swamp. Pools of water stand in the 
road, a sticky mass, which clings to our bicycle 
tires, making riding impracticable; to increase our 
discomfiture, it begins to rain. For a half hour 
or more we plod along through the mud, while the 
rain descends in torrents, and we see no habitation 
or place where we can get shelter. By the time 
that we are nearly wet to the skin, we espy the 
log shanty of a negro, which is in the midst of a 
most lonely and desolate region. Here we stay 
until the rain slackens somewhat, and learn from 
him that the swamp becomes worse as we go on- 
ward, and that the railroad track is but two miles 
distant through the swamp, and that there is a 
makeshift road which we can follow. We decide 
that we will risk the road, and so head for the 
railroad. After getting mud-bespattered from 

Around the United States by Bicycle 237 

head to foot; wading through deep water, crossing 
running streams by walking the decayed trunk of 
a tree; carrying our machines over morasses; at 
each step sinking nearly a foot in the slime; 
forcing our way through apparently impassable 
underbrush; we at last unexpectedly stumble 
upon the tracks of the railroad. This is indeed 
*^the Wilds of Arkansaw." 

We follow the railroad all the way to Camden, 
and from thence to Eldorado, being able to ride 
nearly all the distance, as there is a very good 
path alongside the tracks, and through this sec- 
tion there are innumerable lumbering camps, from 
two to five miles apart, and many people walk 
the track in visiting back and forth. Although 
this is very low land through the whole southern 
part of the state, and is known as the * ^ bottom.s, ■ ' 
it is heavily timbered with yellow pine, lumbering 
being extensively carried on. 

Occasionally we see a belated native, with long, 
tangled, tawny beard and a shock of unkempt hair 
on his head, whose general appearance and cos- 
tume would make the **wild man from Borneo '^ 
look like a member of New York's Four Hundred 
in comparison. 

As we near Camden we cross many long and 
dangerous wooden trestles, one of which in par- 
ticular was curving, forming nearly a half circle, 
and was a mile in length. Camden proved to be 
a town of five thousand inhabitants, and was the 

238 Around the United States by Bicycle 

largest place after Pine Bluff, almost a hundred 

A thirty-four mile stretch from Camden to El- 
dorado is through a wilderness, no settlements in 
the entire distance. Here and there we would 
occasionally see the dilapidated remnants of for- 
mer prosperous saw-mill camps abandoned and 

Eldorado, a county seat, the court-house occu- 
pying a square, surrounding which the business 
portion of the town is built, in neatness and attrac- 
tiveness greatly surprises us. This is one of the 
prettiest little towns which we have seen in the 
whole state of Arkansas. 

A downpour of rain which continues for nearly 
forty hours detains us here, so that when it did at 
last stop nearly all the surrounding country was 

In many places the road bed of the railroad is 
washed away. It is a most desolate and dismal 
scene. The country is but a low-land, covered 
with forest and heavy underbrush, which is now 
transformed into a vast lake of dirty, muddy 
water. As we proceed, even the railroad for short 
distances is nearly covered with water, so that it is 
necessary to walk the rail to escape getting wet. 

Now we come to a wash-out, where the water 
is rushing over the track like a miniature Niagara 
Falls, being completely overflowed for nearly a 
half mile. It is a stiff proposition, but our only 

Around the United States by Bicycle 239 

course is to wade it. Eemoving pants, shoes, and 
stockings, and carrying our bicycles, we start. 
The current is so swift that it almost carries us 
off our feet, while judging by the way the water 
feels it must be around the zero mark in tempera- 
ture. But we reach the other side with nothing 
more serious than with feet blue and aching from 
the ice cold water. 

Before the day is over we are compelled to wade 
through another wash-out, where the track is over- 
flowed for a mile to the depth of nearly three feet, 
but as this is still water, we have not so much 
trouble as in wading through the former. 

We reach Junction City, half of which is in the 
state of Arkansas, while the remainder lies under 
the jurisdiction of Louisiana. 

Through a swampy wilderness, heavily timbered 
with dense forest, lumbering camps being the only 
communities, still clinging to the railroad track, 
we travel into Louisiana down to Euston, which 
is a fairly good sized town; from thence to Winn- 
field; thence to Colfax, which is well into the in- 
terior part of the state. We are hindered and de- 
layed much by the rain, and sunshiny days are un- 
known. Most of the time there is a drizzle, for we 
have chosen, or rather have been forced to choose 
the very worst time of year to travel through this 
state, as this is the rainy season. 

Colfax is a little village, where there are per- 
haps a dozen stores. Green sward, in fresh virid- 

240 Around the United States by Bicycle 

ity, surrounds the stores and all tne dwellings, 
while rest, quiet, and contentment seem to invite 
us to linger longer in this oasis in the wilderness. 

We find that from this place to Boyce about 
twelve miles, we can travel by a good wagon road. 
We follow near to the Eed Eiver, the banks of 
which, owing to recent flood-water, have been 
washed away so that they are now perpendicular 
embankments rising thirty feet or more above the 
waters of the stream. The road in places runs 
dangerously close to the edge of the bank. In some 
inexplicable manner I lost my balance, and to- 
gether with my bicycle went tumbling head fore- 
most down this steep declivity. The machine re- 
bounded, rolled, and tumbled, going away to the 
bottom, finally stopping on the very edge of the 
river. However, I was more fortunate, as I 
dropped straight down for about six feet, landing 
on a ledge of dirt, somewhat dazed but unhurt; it 
was surely a miraculous escape, for the river at 
this point was very deep, and should I have fallen 
into it, the story might have been different, or had 
the bicycle fallen into it and sunk to the bottom, 
its recovery would have been extremely dubious. 
With the aid of a long rope which we borrowed, 
and with much tugging and pulling, we finally got 
the machine on top of the bank, and it proved on 
examination to be none the worse for its fall. 

The remainder of the ride to Boyce was indeed 
interesting. We were now commencing to see the 

Around the United States by Bicycle 241 

South in all the peculiar mannerisms for which it 
is so noted. This region is very fertile, cotton 
fields line the road; the stalks are nearly twelve 
feet high; at frequent distances the shanties of 
negroes, surrounded by laughing, boisterous pick- 
aninnies; while at one particular place the harsh 
voice of the ^' mammy" can be heard on the inside 
calling her off-spring into the house, whereupon, 
as they do not respond, she appears at the door, 
dressed in a flaming red calico wrapper, with her 
head wrapped in a red turban, and with arms 
akimbo on her fat hips, delivers the following 
harangue: *^Aw say dah you all Gawge Wash'n- 
ton Jones, and you all Cynthy Jones, ef you all 
doan cum raght into this hyar house, ah's sholy 
goin' to give you all a lickin'.'* 

To reach Boyce, it is necessary for us to be fer- 
ried across the river in a skifp; the stream being 
nearly a mile wide. 

All the way to Alexandria we follow the rail- 
road track, and most of the distance we are able 
to ride. We find Alexandria a typical southern 
town of twelve thousand inhabitants. It has many 
modern improvements, chief of which is an abund- 
ance of asphalt pavement. It boasts of a very fine 
government building and postof&ce, and other very 
fine public edifices. 

To a small village which is called Morrow, and 
is nearly fifty miles south of Alexandria, we are 
able to ride the wagon road most of the distance, 


242 Around the United States by Bicycle 

traveling through, a most interesting scene. Nearly 
all of the land is under cultivation, sugar cane, 
rice and cotton being the chief products. Fields 
on every side are being ploughed by negro labor- 
erSj while here and there will be a cluster of cabins. 
The day is ideal, warm and clear, wild flowers are 
growing in profusion, and occasionally we see a 
meadow of greenest grass. 

From Morrow southward until we reach the 
Mississippi Eiver, which flows but a short distance 
from Baton Eouge Junction, is through a country 
very swampy and low, through which we travel 
the railroad the entire distance. For the most 
part it is necessary to walk, although for short 
distances we are sometimes able to ride. 

There are many small villages, all with French 
names, to pronounce which correctly at first sight 
is an impossibility. We find that many of the old 
French customs still adhere to these villages, and 
learn that this state of affairs will increase the 
farther south we travel. 

We note that there are many methods employed 
in this state which are behind the times. Most of 
the wagons are drawn by yokes of oxen. Along 
the road we pass several large and heavy wagons 
piled high with household effects, each of which 
is drawn by six yoke of brawny, mild-eyed steers. 
Surely this is a slow manner of moving from one 
locality to another. 

In places we see the most tropical of scenes, 


Around the United States by Bicycle 243 

especially through the low-lands and swamps 
which line the track for long distances. Here in- 
numerable trees, whose branches are literally cov- 
ered with festoons of moss hanging in long ragged 
pieces, sometimes twenty feet in length; the 
ground is covered with moss and a small plant 
which is three feet in height called the Palmetto, 
practically a small-sized palm tree, the leaves be- 
ing of the same shape and growing in the same 
profusion; while there is but little of the ground 
that is not covered with pools of stagnant water. 
Here all running streams are called bayous, and 
some of these are black and treacherous looking. 
They are but short distances apart, and over them 
we cross on railroad trestles. 

As illustrating the contemptuous and unfeeling 
manner in which the negro is regarded here in 
the South, here is an incident which came under 
our personal observation. In a most lonely spot, 
morass and swamp on each side of the track, the 
nearest village four miles away, at the bottom of a 
twenty foot railroad embankment, blood-stained 
and dirt covered, lies the body of a negro, who m 
the darkness of night had been murdered, robbery 
being the motive. The body is discovered by a 
section foreman at 7 a. m., which fact he reports 
to the coroner, whose presence is necessary before 
the remains can be removed. In the hot sun the 
corpse lies all day, and up to daylight of the next 
morning, as the coroner had not yet arrived. The 

244: Around the United States by Bicycle 

section foreman then digs a deep hole near the 
remains and tumbles the body into it, with the re- 
mark : ^ ' Well, there 's another nigger got rid of. ' ' 
Buried much in the same manner as an animal, 
even though the man was married and had a fam- 
ily who lived at a village not many miles away! 
Could anything be more brutal or barbarous I 

As this state was originally laid out by the 
French, the political divisions instead of being 
called counties are parishes, and we find many of 
these are prohibition, although occasionally we 
find one in which the statutes permit liquors to be 
sold. The Atchafalaya Eiver forms the boundary 
line between two parishes, one of which has pro- 
hibition, while the other on the opposite side of 
the river has not. Milville, a small village, is 
located in the prohibition parish, situated on the 
banks of the stream. The only means of crossing 
this swift-flowing river, almost a mile wide, is by 
skiff. If one wishes to ^'partake of the flowing 
bowl," a negro will row you to the opposite bank, 
to which is moored a large scow, which is fitted up 
as a saloon. After you have satisfied your desires, 
the negro will row you back to Milville across the 
river, there being no charge whatever for ferriage. 

Again we view the turbid waters of the mighty 
Mississippi, after having been absent from it for 
over nine months, our last sight of it having been 
at St. Paul, Minnesota, in June, 1904. For thir- 
teen miles we ride northward on the levee to Port 

Around the United States by Bicycle 246 

Allen, from which it is necessary to take a ferry 
across the river to Baton Bouge. The levee is a 
very high embankment, two feet wide on top, and 
sloping at the sides which are covered with green 
turf. At the bottom this huge dyke is nearly forty 
feet wide, and boasts of a height of nearly eighteen 
feet from the ground. There was a fairly good 
path on the top, from which, owing to our high 
position, we had an excellent view of the surround- 
ing territory. Occasionally, we pass stately and 
majestic mansions with spacious grounds beauti- 
ful with a wealth of shade trees. These remind 
one of the old times when slavery was in vogue. 
Possibly a half mile from the plantation house 
would be a cluster of negro cabins. 

The Mississippi winds with devious twists and 
turns on its way to the gulf. Something like a 
mile wide, a dirty muddy color, immense quanti- 
ties of driftwood and large masses of earth borne 
onward by its irresistible current, one stops to 
wonder and doubt. Can this really be the famous 
river about which there is so much written! Sure- 
ly this is not impressive, nor is it beautiful. Fre- 
quently we pass negroes whose sole occupation is 
to row out into the stream and tow in driftwood, 
which they chop into firewood, and sell to the 
natives. A great many of these do nothing but 
this and are able to save money, beside earning 
their living. 

As we cross from the western bank of the river 

246 Around the United States by Bicycle 

to the eastern, it is with exuberant feelings, for 
we are leaving the uncivilized country of the West 
and again landing in ''God's country." 

Baton Eouge, the capital city of the state, with 
a population of 12,000, is virtually a French city. 
The architecture is mostly of French type, large 
iron balconies being in front of nearly every busi- 
ness place. The streets are narrow, but well paved 
with asphalt, and a magnificent hotel and a very 
fine Post Office building, help to offset the other 

The Capitol is constructed of gray granite, and 
as it was built by the French settlers of Louisiana, 
it bristles with turrets and battlements, with the 
result that it more closely resembles a prison or 
a castle of the medieval period, than a modern 
state capitol building. 

We learn that New Orleans is one hundred miles 
distant, and that we shall be able to travel the 
wagon road nearly all the way. Leaving Baton 
Eouge at two o'clock in the afternoon, we travel 
over a fairly good road for ten miles, when sud- 
denly without warning, rain descends in torrents. 
We take shelter in a house and stay there for an 
hour or more, at the end of which, as it slackens 
slightly, we decide to start. We have not gone far 
when the water again commences to come down in 
bucketfuls. We can find no shelter, and are com- 
pelled to ''grin and bear it." Covering several 
miles in the driving rain, with every stitch of our 

Around the United States by Bicycle 247 

clothing wet, we finally come to tlie tumble down 
shanty of a negro, which is located in the heart 
of a swamp. Near the house is a dilapidated shed 
in which we take shelter. There are several 
negroes in the house, which number is increased 
at frequent intervals by the arrival of others, some 
walking, some on horseback, and some in carts, 
until there are nearly a dozen, all of whom are 
burly, villainous and treacherous looking. They 
all stand on the porch and look in our direction in 
a furtive manner. We are not in the least desirous 
of becoming acquainted, and ^ ^ stay in our own cor- 
ner. ^ ' We stay here for nearly two hours, during 
which every passing moment makes the outlook 
more dubious. We are not in the most pleasing 
position, assuredly; here alone in the center of a 
wilderness, with a dozen black ruffians as our com- 
panions. But finally, as we see that there is not 
likely to be a cessation of the rain, and noting 
that the negroes appear to be more uneasy and 
restless, we decide that we can easily part com- 
pany with them, and so, when circumstances seem 
most favorable, we quietly depart, and our depar- 
ture is not noticed until we are seen down the road 
nearly a quarter of a mile from the shanty, from 
which a chorus of derisive yells bids us farewell. 
The soil, which is of a clayish consistency, is 
now transformed to a sticky mass, through which 
we are unable to push our bicycles, and we are 
compelled to carry them; the road is covered with 

248 Around the United States by Bicycle 

water at different places, and altogether we have 
a most delightful time in the endeavor to make 
any progress through the pouring rain. After an 
hour of this sort of adventure, glory of glories, we 
behold a large plantation house, which is but a 
short distance from the road. Yv^e look upon this 
with delight, and make haste to inquire if it be 
possible for us to be permitted to get a lunch or 
supper, lodging, and a place to dry our wet cloth- 
ing, for which we offer to pay any price. But we 
are refused on the excuse that they have company, 
and it would be impossible to accommodate us. 
We argued, pleaded, and begged, all to no avail; 
offered any sum of money just for shelter, said we 
were accustomed to '^ rough it," and almost 
anything was good enough for us, anything to be 
sheltered from this driving rain, but notwithstand- 
ing all our entreaties, we are given a curt refusal, 
and the door is closed in our very faces. Ah! Is 
this a specimen of the famous southern hospital- 
ity! Hospitality, indeed! One must have a heart 
of iron to turn a human being out into such a 
night ! 

A short distance from the mansion, we see the 
shack of one of the negro laborers, for which we 
make steps. We approach it noiselessly, and 
through the open door we see a most humble and 
touching scene. Two middle-aged men, one 
woman with a sleeping babe at her bosom, all 
negroes, closely hugging a scanty fire which burns 

Around the United States by Bicycle 249 

sleepily in a fireplace at one end of the small room; 
the only articles of furniture are a rickety rocking 
chair, a make shift bed, and a rude wooden table 
on which are a few dishes containing the remnants 
of the evening repast, by appearance far from 
bountiful. We pause a moment, and look at this 
scene of dejection and misery, before we make 
known our presence. We are told to come in 
amidst a bowing and scraping by the inmates; all 
arise, and we are offered the only chair which 
they are able to afford, together with a small box 
which answers for the same. We ask them if we 
can sleep there for the night, and are told by one 
of the men that: ^'Ah 'spose we all can fix you'- 
all." After a short conversation in an undertone 
in which the spokesman and the woman take part, 
the latter arises, and laying the baby on the pile 
of rags which answers for a bed, she goes into the 
other room of the shanty, from which after a very 
few moments she returns, carrying what was sup- 
posed to be a mattress, but more closely resembled 
a huge, very heavy and ragged quilt; this she 
spread on the floor in the room in which we were, 
then told us that we could occupy the other room, 
and could retire at any time. We thanked her and 
went into the other room, and made haste to re- 
move our wet and soaked clothing. Evidently this 
was the room which the woman occupied with her 
offspring, and which she had vacated in our favor; 
what a contrast between these simple-minded peo- 

250 Around the United States by Bicycle 

pie and the rich owner of the plantation who lived 
next door. Even though they were black, they 
were at least human. 

The bed had no springs over the slats, and no 
mattress, nothing but a couple of blankets, with 
the result that when we arose in the morning there 
were several small depressions worn into our 
bodies into which the slats neatly fitted. We had 
spent far from a pleasant night, but we were very 
thankful to be able to be sheltered from the ele- 
ments, as it rained a continuous downpour during 
the whole night. 

When we arose in the morning it was still rain- 
ing, and as we saw that the negroes had but very 
little to eat themselves, much less feed two hungry 
individuals like us, we paid them for our night's 
lodging, and started out in the pouring rain to 
walk three miles to a point where the negro told 
us was a grocery called Hope Villa, located on the 
bank of a bayou, across which as there was no 
bridge, it would be necessary for us to be ferried. 
Although it was but three miles, before we reached 
the store it seemed like ten. We were compelled 
to carry our bicycles on our backs for the entire 
distance, slipping and sliding through the slippery 
clay, now wading through water knee deep, and 
completely submerging the road for a half mile 
or more, with exactly three hours' travel to cover 
three miles. We finally reached the store, where 
we purchased food, this being the first since leav- 

Around the United States by Bicycle 251 

ing Baton Eouge yesterday at twelve o'clock, 
nearly twenty-four hours. 

We continue to wade all the afternoon through 
water which covers the road, passing many houses 
at each one of which we endeavor to obtain lodg- 
ing and accommodations for the night, but upon 
different pretexts we are refused. At almost ^ve 
o'clock in the afternoon we apply at a house, 
where, after a slight discussion, we are told that 
we can remain all night. We are so surprised, 
shocked, and dumf ounded, that we are hardly able 
to stammer our thanks. Is it a dream, or really 

Here we stayed all night, while it rained inces- 
santly. The house, like the majority in the South, 
was constructed of rough boards, unpainted, the 
inside being finished in the same manner; the 
floors are bare, carpet being almost unknown; a 
porch, which in this region is called a ^* gallery,'' 
extends across the entire front, while through the 
center of the house there is a long hallway, which 
extends from the front to the back, the rooms 
opening from the sides. All the furniture is of the 
most simple and practical kind, there being a 
noticeable absence of small knick-knacks which 
are so dear to the feminine heart. Like all south- 
ern homes, a fire-place serves to heat it, from 
which amidst the cheerful crackling and sputter, 
enough heat radiates to dry our dripping clothing 
in a short time. We find our host, an industrious 

252 Around the United States by Bicycle 

and very simple-minded individual of middle-age, 
whose wife is also possessed of the same charac- 
teristics, they being blessed with three children, 
all of which were very young. The fare was most 
simple, consisting of corn-bread, or pone, as it is 
called, and pork, but of which there was a goodly 
quantity, so that, if one was not particular regard- 
ing the quality, he would not go hungry. 

We spend a most delicious night in profound 
slumber, buried in the depths of a feather bed, and 
arise in the morning to find that it has finally 
stopped raining, although the sky is overcast and 
cloudy. Before we are dressed our host enters 
bearing two steaming cups of coffee, which he 
bids us drink. We afterwards learn that this is 
an old French custom which has been handed 
down from one generation to the other, and that 
this coffee is ^'French dripped," being made by 
pouring water on coffee which is in a receptacle, 
the bottom of which is a sort of sieve. This stands 
for twenty-four hours or more, the water which 
has percolated falls into another dish, from which 
the beverage is made, with the result that it is as 
strong as lye and as black as can be, neither milk 
nor sugar being used when it is drunk. 

We bid our host a cheery good-bye, and start 
to wade the roads again. He had told us that it 
was eleven miles to the railroad, and that it was 
very low country the entire distance, and undoubt- 
edly the most of the wagon road would be under 

Around the United States by Bicycle 253 

water, so that we foresaw a most pleasant and de- 
lightful experience in store for us. We were not 
in the least disappointed, as the water was very 
cold, and the roads were so awfully muddy that 
we removed neither shoes nor stockings, but 
waded through the deep water with our clothing 
on. At one place the water was so deep that it 
was necessary for us to remove all our clothing, 
first carrying this in a bundle over our heads, then 
to return and carry our machines in the same man- 
ner. Through this it was almost half a mile. 

At another point a big stream had swollen until 
the road was submerged to the depth of three feet 
for a half mile on each side of the bridge, and even 
over it the water was quite deep. We hesitated 
somewhat in attempting this, but while we wait 
we see a negro on horseback start across from 
the other side, and we watch his progress with 
interest. The water mounts to the animal's 
flanks, but horse and rider safely reach us, so that 
we conclude that we will risk it. Eemoving our 
clothes and tying them upon the machines, we 
hoist the whole above our heads and start. Dar- 
ling is perhaps twenty feet ahead of me as we near 
the middle, when suddenly I see him sink out of 
sight in the swift-flowing muddy waters, machine 
and all, and as he goes down with terror depicted 
in every feature, he hoarsely ejaculates: ^^My 
God! Save me!'' I rush to his assistance as soon 
as possible, and succeed in pulling him out after 

254 Around the United States by Bicycle 

much difficulty, and as lie had tenaciously clung 
to his machine, that also was safe, which was very 
fortunate. Apparently he had made a misstep, 
and fell oif the edge of the bridge into the swirling 
depths where the water was ten or twelve feet 
deep. With exception of this mishap, we reached 
the other side in safety. 

Darling took an inventory to find that his blue 
flannel shirt was gone, and that one of his leather 
leggings was also counted among the missing, both 
of which were doubtless decorating the bottom of 
the river bed. 

After much wading and paddling we succeeded 
in arriving at a point from which we are told it is 
but two miles to the railroad track, but here we 
learn that the difficulties that we have been 
through are nothing compared to what is in store 
for us. Although this stretch of road between us 
and the railroad is not covered by water, it is far 
worse. A mass of sticky adhesive clay, in which 
one sinks at least a foot at every step, and from 
which it is almost impossible to extract one's foot. 
Here we are indeed in trouble in its very worst 
form. To make a long story short, two hours 
pass before we reach the railroad, after such an 
experience as we shall not soon forget. This in 
all probability will seem fictitious to the reader, 
that we should consume two hours in covering two 
miles, but when it is considered that we were 
forced to carry our bicycles, that we were not 


Around the United States by Bicycle 255 

physically able to take a dozen steps without stop- 
ping to rest, and that the clay stuck to everything 
in the most brotherly manner, our slow progress 
can possibly be understood. 

After scraping a few tons of mud off the wheels 
and ourselves, we overhauled the machines to find 
that Darling's was away beyond repair, the water 
having so badly warped the rims, that the wheels 
would revolve only with difficulty. However mine 
was in much better condition, except that both 
tires were punctured, but, after repairing this 
slight damage, it was all right. All the way to 
New Orleans, which was sixty-nine miles, we fol- 
low the railroad, and use our now famous ^^ relay 
system" the entire distance, i. e. one walks a mile 
with the broken machine, while the other rides, in 
the next mile to alternate. 

We now pass through immense sugar planta- 
tions. There are a few straggling and scrawny 
villages, but for the most part the entire land is 
under cultivation with sugar cane. Sm.all armies 
of negro laborers can be seen at work in the fields, 
while at frequent intervals are the mammoth 
plants of sugar factories. Here we learn and note 
that the negro is not in much better condition than 
when he was a slave. He receives sixty-five cents 
a day, for which he must agree to work for a cer- 
tain period of time, signing a paper to that effect. 
They live in small shanties, which are in clusters, 
possibly a hundred or more, which are built so 

256 Around the United States by Bicycle 

near alike that it is almost impossible to distin- 
guish one from another. 

As we enter New Orleans, we note that the out- 
skirts are nothing but swamp and low-land, the 
majority of the houses being built on piles. 

We remain in this, the twelfth city in size in the 
United States, but a day and a half, in which time 
we see the leading and most interesting features 
of this French City. Canal Street, which has a 
width of two hundred feet, is the principal busi- 
ness street, and divides the American from the 
French Section. St. Charles Street is practically in 
the heart of the American district, a rather narrow 
and twisting thoroughfare, on which the famous 
St. Charles Hotel is located, the finest hostelry in 
New Orleans. We stroll through the French sec- 
tion which is most interesting and quaint. Very 
narrow streets, twisting and turning in the most 
devious manner, resembling alleys rather than 
streets; the buildings are small, musty and dingy, 
the majority constructed of a sort of cement, 
which is of a somber color and helps to increase 
the general gloomy aspect. The buildings are 
adorned with immense iron balconies which pro- 
ject over the walk into the street itself, and all 
the windows are equipped with iron shutters. 
French is the chief language spoken in this sec- 
tion. At one place I remember a group of negroes, 
who were engaged in a very active conversation 
carried on in French; these we were told are called 

Around the United States by Bicycle 257 

** French Niggers.'' French customs, architec- 
ture, and mannerisms face one no matter which 
way he turns, so that one does not need to possess 
a very vivid imagination to think himself in the 
heart of Paris. 

Owing to the fact that the city is built on vir- 
tually made land of the Mississippi, there is prac- 
tically no system of sewage, nor is it even possible 
to bury the dead in the ground, but they are laid 
away to their last resting place in stone vaults 
which are built on top of the ground in tiers, one 
above the other. Even here in New Orleans we 
find the same state of affairs existing with respect 
to drinking water as in the remainder of the 
state, at least in the portion through which we 
have traveled. Owing to the swampy condition 
of the country it is not possible to get water from 
the ground, the drinking water being obtained by 
catching rain water in huge tanks, which in the 
majority of cases are constructed of wood, and to 
drink the water from which is to take the most 
nauseating of doses. In fact we have not had a 
good drink of water since leaving Arkansas; all 
over the city behind every house is a large wooden 
tank where the water is caught, while there hangs 
about nearly every dwelling the mustiest of 
smells. Although New Orleans is a very large 
city, it is far from being modern, up-to-date, or 
metropolitan, and the highest building is but eight 
stories. The scene along the levee is a busy one. 


258 Around the United States by Bicycle 

Here one can see cargoes of sugar, spices, coffee, 
and bananas unloaded from ships which hail from 
all the South American countries, there being a 
continuous swarm of negro laborers passing to and 
fro, which remind one of bees in a hive. Here are 
the stately and majestic outlines of an Ocean 
Liner, which plies to foreign climes, and moored 
next to it is the awkward but picturesque typical 
Mississippi River boat, which makes trips up the 
river as far as Memphis, Tennessee; now a string 
of barges laden with coal which have been towed 
all the way from Pittsburg, down the Ohio, thence 
into the Mississippi; innumerable one-masted 
oyster luggers, lined up to the wharves, whose 
owners are busily engaged in unloading their car- 
goes of oysters preparatory to making another 
trip; and so no matter which way one looks one 
sees something interesting, a continuous change 
of scenes and transactions, at which the stranger 
and tourist is never tired of looking. Now we 
pass along toward the cotton wharves, where 
every foot of available space is piled high with 
huge bales of cotton, whose monetary value is 
fabulous, when one considers the immense quan- 

Small parks, whose cool, shady nooks invite one 
to rest in peace and comfort, abound in almost 
every section, chief of which are Lee Circle, Jack- 
son Square, and Lafayette Square. 



We leave this quaint city in the same manner 
as we entered, over the railroad track. For forty- 
four miles, until we cross the Louisiana-Missis- 
sippi state line, it is low-land, swamps, and salt 
marshes, there being only small hunting and fish- 
ing lodges, which are built on piles at the sides 
of the track, and even they are few and far be- 
tween; in this space there are also a great number 
of trestles, but the longest is but half a mile in 
length, and although there are many trains con- 
stantly passing, which travel at a high rate of 
speed, we have no very narrow escapes from being 
run down, our chief difficulty lying in the fact that 
we are compelled to walk the entire distance, as it 
is impossible to ride on the track or alongside. 

After four miles ' travel into MississiiDpi we find 
that the country is higher and better, and we have 
an excellent wagon road of powdered oyster shells, 
and packed so that it is almost as hard as pave- 
ment. This condition exists for nearly fifty miles, 
in which space we pass through some of the lead- 
ing resorts of the Gulf of Mexico, chief of which 
are Bay St. Louis, Pass Christian, Long Beach, 
Gulfport, Mississippi City, Beauvoir, Biloxi, Ocean 

260 Around the United States by Bicycle 

Springs, and Scranton. The wagon road follows 
the shore of the Gulf nearly all the way, and on 
one side we look out into the placid expanse of 
shimmering water, which lies calm and undis- 
turbed; on our other, the shore is lined with mag- 
nificent dwellings, which breathe of sumptuous 
elegance, surrounded by palatial grounds. This 
surely is a haven for the wealthy and the aristo- 
cratic. In front of each mansion there extends 
out into the waters of the Gulf a long pier, perhaps 
a quarter of a mile in length, at the end of each 
is a summer-house and bath-house combined, as 
the shore is so strewn with shells tJiat it is impos- 
sible to bathe on the beach. Although there are a 
number of distinct resort towns, it is virtually one 
continuous city, as the shore is lined with houses 
the entire distance. Another thing which we 
hailed with delight upon entering this state is the 
fact that the drinking water is most excellent, no 
small matter, and one which we are able to appre- 
ciate at its true worth and value. 

At Bay St. Louis we cross a trestle two miles in 
length. We reach the center, when a fast mail of 
the Louisville and Nashville R. R., bound from 
New Orleans to Mobile comes rushing upon us. 
The telegraph poles are connected to the sides of 
the trestle by a large plank, and on one of these 
we stand in safety until the train dashes by us. 

All of these resorts are very pretty and attrac- 
tive, there being numerous, large, and palatial 

Around the United States by Bicycle 261 

hotels at each; but the largest of these is Biloxi, 
which has a population of nearly twelve thousand, 
an ideal place, neat business portion, streets well 
paved and very neat in appearance, while the resi- 
dence section is truly magnificent. On the shore 
of the Gulf there stands a lighthouse, painted 
white from top to base; beside it is the glistening 
powdery whiteness of the shell road which threads 
the shore line; these, contrasted with the mass of 
green foliage which surround the magnificent resi- 
dences, together with the many colors of myriads 
of blooming flowers, form a color picture which is 
indeed ideal and divine. 

In leaving Biloxi it is necessary for us to walk 
across another long trestle, a mile and a quarter 
long, and reach the other side just as the train 
passes us, but, as, according to the old adage, ^^a 
miss is as good as a mile, ' ' we are safe. 

We follow the railroad all the way to Mobile, 
necessarily, as the land all the way from Biloxi is 
very low, and after we cross the Alabama line, ow- 
ing to the large amount of sand, it is also our only 
recourse. Within fourteen miles of Mobile we find 
a shell road over which it is delightful riding, but, 
^ve miles from the city, Darling who had had his 
wheel repaired at New Orleans, has the misfortune 
to have a blow out, which entirely destroys the 
tire, an injury which it is impossible to repair on 
the road, so for the remainder of the distance we 
use our ^^ relay system.'' 

262 Around the United States by Bicycle 

We find Mobile to be a city of forty thousand, 
and almost a pocket edition of New Orleans, nar- 
row streets, with many buildings of French type; 
but, unlike New Orleans, it has a very fine water 
supply, and the land on which it is built is high. 
Government Street is the main residential street 
of the city and is well paved, very wide, lined with 
a wealth of shade trees and most beautiful dwell- 
ings; while Eoyal Street is the main business 
street. It has many miles of asphalt pavement 
kept extremely clean, and in the heart of the city 
there are many parks and jDlazas, which lend to it 
a most pleasing aspect. This also, like New Or- 
leans, is a very large banana center, in fact it is 
represented that more of this luscious fruit is 
brought into this port than into that of its com- 

As has lately been our wont we leave Mobile 
over the railroad track, which we are compelled 
to follow for twenty-six miles, as the country is 
very swampy, and there are many rivers which we 
cross over long trestles. We have never seen so 
many rivers in so short a space and we come to 
the conclusion that they must have been placed 
there for our especial benefit. On one long half 
mile trestle, we reach the center, when we hear the 
rush and roar which tells of an approaching train, 
but as there is a draw-bridge over this river, the 
Alabama, which is navigable, we get upon this 
out of harm's way just in the nick of time. 

Around the United States by Bicycle 263 

We reach a small village which is called Bay 
Minnette, from which we take a short cut over 
land for Pensacola, Florida, which is said to be 
some fifty miles distant. 

Before we reach our destination, we find that 
though we had thought that upon crossing the 
Mississippi we had left the wilderness behind us 
and henceforth would travel through a thickly set- 
tled territory, we now discover that such is far 
from the case, as in this tract we thread our way 
with difficulty through a wilderness of pine 
stumps, with here and there, few in number, a lone 
and solitary tree. The soil is very sandy, and the 
road is but a logging trail which runs at will, up 
hill and down, turning and twisting in the most 
erratic manner, across a barren waste on which 
fences are unknown, and where to espy a settler's 
cabin is a rare occurrence. Owing to the fact that 
our rather indistinct road is frequently crossed 
by others, some of which run parallel for a short 
distance, then merge with the main road, leave it 
altogether, starting in another direction, we have 
much difficulty in keeping on the right way. 

For thirty miles all is beautiful as far as our 
machines are concerned, and we are able to ride 
most of the distance, although occasionally an 
exceptionally heavy bed of sand compels us to 
walk, then events change, and the bearings in 
Darling's rear wheel grind into pieces; he repairs 
the damage by replacing new balls, but he rides 

264 Around the United States by Bicycle 

it hardly a half mile when it occurs again. He 
replaces these broken parts three different times, 
but in vain, until finally he has used all his extra 
supply, so that for the remainder of the distance, 
which is seven miles, to a lumber camp called 
Muscogee, we are compelled to adopt again that 
now familiar ^^ relay system.'^ 

At two o'clock in the afternoon, when our in- 
teriors are loudly clamoring for the noon-day 
meal, and, as we have not seen a house since we 
left Bay Minnette, we are rapidly coming to the 
conclusion that we shall be unable to get food until 
we reach Muscogee. We reach the summit of a 
hill, and, joy! what do we see but the cosiest 
of cottages surrounded and almost completely hid- 
den from view by a wealth of shade trees, nestling 
almost at our feet. 

We find the people here very accommodating 
and hospitable, as they had' once been residents 
of Michigan. We partake of a most bountiful re- 
past served in the good old Michigan manner, for 
even though these people are at present residents 
of Alabama, their northern method of cooking still 
clings to them. Here indeed is an oasis in the 
wilderness, for the interior of this diminutive and 
cozy little nest is fully as attractive as the exterior. 
As to the latter, innumerable beds of flowers, the 
fragrant perfume from which fills the air, are on 
all sides; the green clinging tendrils of vines of 
ivy tenaciously hang to the sides of the house; 

Around the United States by Bicycle 265 

while several large tree-like masses of purple flow- 
ers, fairly dazzle the eye with their rich colors. 

We cross the Perdido River, which forms the 
bomidary line between Alabama and Florida, and 
immediately upon the other side is Muscogee. 

This IS but a large saw mill, employed in which 
there are perhaps two hundred men. A company 
store, which deals in all kinds of merchandise, sup- 
plies the needs of the people; outside of these there 
is virtually nothing, the whole being merely a 
large lumbering camp. 

We are now but twenty miles from Pensacola, 
and we cover three-fourths of this distance by 
using the ^^ relay," but as we find that in the last 
■^ve miles there is an excellent built road all the 
way to Pensacola, we tie the machines together 
and tow the broken bicycle, the man in front doing 
the pulling while the other calmly sits upon the 
disabled machine and views the passing landscape. 

Although Pensacola has a population of but 
twelve thousand inhabitants, this is greatly in- 
creased for the time being by hordes of ^' Uncle 
Sam's Blue Jackets," there being at present in 
the harbor the entire Atlantic Coast Fleet of war- 
ships, consisting of nearly thirty-five battleships, 
cruisers, gunboats, and torpedo boats. The com- 
plement of one of these battleships is something 
like seven hundred men. On each day a hundred 
men are given shore leave from each vessel, with 
the result that the small and tranquil town of 

266 Around the United States by Bicycle 

Pensacola fairly bristles with ^^Jackies." Owing 
to the fact that the majority of them had been 
kept on the sea for such a long time, more privil- 
eges were allowed them, so that with this immense 
number of ''salts'' turned loose and bidden to do 
what they chose, pandemonium reigned supreme. 

Pensacola Harbor is counted one of the best 
south of Boston on the Atlantic Coast; long and 
narrow, almost land locked, and even though a 
storm be raging upon the Grulf, the waters of the 
harbor are affected but little. 

On a small gasoline launch we take a trip across 
the bay to the life-saving station, which is situated 
on the Coast of the Gulf of Mexico. A strong gale 
is blowing so that the rollers are dashing upon the 
shore line with terrific and thunderous force. On 
our passage over and back we dodge among the 
battleships, colossal masses of steel, the hulls of 
which are painted white, while the upper works, 
turrets, etc., are yellow. 





As Pensacola is the only city whicli we are com- 
pelled to pass through in Florida, our route now 
lies directly northward back into Alabama to 
Montgomery, the capital city. 

For sixteen miles we traverse the same road 
over which we so recently entered Pensacola. This 
is the only distance in the entire tour of 13,407 
miles that we doubled on our route. For the re- 
mainder of the state of Florida, until we enter 
a small village called Flomaton, which is just over 
the state line in Alabama, it is heavy sand, very 
hilly and through dense pine forest, over a greater 
part of which it is necessary for us to walk. It is 
now the first week in April, and the weather is 
very torrid, so that we toil wearily along under 
a blazing sun with perspiration trickling down 
our faces and arms, and welling from every pore. 
But as Flomaton is but forty-four miles from 
Pensacola, an end soon comes to this state of 

Five days' travel from Pensacola brings us to 
Montgomery, 119 miles from Flomaton, our way 
alternating between the railroad and the wagon 
road. As the latter was in poor condition, we 

268 Around the United States by Bicycle 

made ^^slow but sure" progress. The soil is of 
reddish clay, and but a small percentage of the 
land seems to be under cultivation; copses of tim- 
ber several acres in size dot the landscape. The 
bulk of the labor is performed by the negroes, 
their dilapidated and tumble down shanties being 
a frequent sight. There are quite a number of 
small villages and fairly good sized towns, but in 
many features it is far behind the general march 
of civilization. 

We pass through a fruit belt, where strawber- 
ries and garden vegetables are raised, the entire 
output being shipped to northern consumers. At 
one farm radishes are being packed with ice into 
barrels and for these the producer receives from 
the jobbers nine dollars per barrel, it is left for the 
reader to calculate how much the poor frozen 
Northerner is compelled to pay for this toothsome 

Since we have entered the southern states, we 
note that the snuff habit is very general amongst 
the women. This is a most disgusting and loath- 
some habit, especially for the fair sex. The snuff 
is tobacco ground to a powder. A conversation 
with a ^ ^ snuff fiend ' ' is punctuated by her stopping 
ever and anon to expectorate, while the sides of 
the mouth are artistically decorated with a brown- 
ish streak. 

Montgomery, population 38,000, is a most beau- 
tiful city built in a hollow from which it is impos- 

Around the United States by Bicycle 269 

sible to reach the outskirts without climbing steep 
hills. In the heart of the business section five 
streets radiate from a common center forming the 
points of a star; in this large paved area, known as 
Court Square, is a magnificent fountain. The most 
of the streets are very wide, and an air of refine- 
ment and wealth hangs about the residence sec- 
tion. A vast horde of northern tourists have 
homes here in which they spend the winter, and 
from these the city gets much of its prosperity. 
The state capitol is very old and is built on a hill. 
At its side is a massive monument consisting of 
a stone column nearly a hundred feet in height 
surmounted by a statue which represents ^'The 
Confederacy;" at the base are four statues, one at 
each corner, representing different types of Con- 
federate patriots. The corner stone of this monu- 
ment was laid on April 29, 1886, by Jefferson 
Davis. This state house boasts of having been the 
first Capitol of The Southern Confederacy; a large 
bronze plate inlaid in the floor at the entrance 
bears an inscription which states that Jefferson 
Davis stood upon this exact spot when taking the 
oath as President of the Confederate States of 

We leave Montgomery, taking a northeasterly 
course until the state line between Georgia and 
Alabama is reached, from which we will travel 
in a direct northerly course to Chattanooga, Ten- 

270 Around the United States by Bicycle 

For twenty-seven miles out of Montgomery 
everything is beautiful, and we travel over a built 
road which is as hard as pavement, and over 
which we fairly fly. But darkness envelopes us 
within its folds seventeen miles from the first 
town, which is Tuskegee, immediately following 
which we cross a long stretch of low-land and 
swamp, where the mud is sticky, and puddles of 
dirty and stagnant water are in the road. Our 
cyclometers by the light of a match show that we 
have walked five miles through this mud, and as 
there is no hope of reaching the town tonight, and 
we are nearly exhausted, we keep a wary eye for 
some place where we can sleep for the remainder 
of the night. Nothing but the occasional shacks 
of negroes, which are dilapidated and tumble 
down affairs, can be seen along the road. But we 
finally come to a church, which, after a slight in- 
vestigation, we enter through an open window, 
and prepare to stretch our weary bones on the 

About midnight we are awakened from a pro- 
found slumber by most terrific peals of thunder, 
accompanied by frequent and vivid flashes of 
lightning, while the rain beats against the roof 
and sides of the church as if it might at any time 
wash it away. This is accompanied by a terrific 
gale of wind, a veritable hurricane, causing the 
building to creak and groan like a human being. 
We listen to this unusual frenzied disturbance of 

Around the United States by Bicycle 271 

the elements with trepidation, expecting at almost 
any moment to have the rickety church crashing 
down upon ns. But nothing so serious happens, 
although the storm rages until almost daylight, 
when it suddenly subsides, and we arise at five 
o'clock just as the sun in all its ethereal glory 
rises above the horizon, causing the dripping 
twigs and branches of trees to sparkle like dia- 

The heavy rainfall had increased the muddy 
condition of the road so that the red clay persisted 
in adhering to any object with which it came in 
contact, and for the remainder of the way to Tus- 
kegee we have the delightful recreation of carry- 
ing our machines on our backs while we slip and 
slide in the mud. 

Here is located the famous Booker T. Washing- 
ton Colored Institute, which is doing much to 
improve the condition of the negro. This school 
has many large and spacious buildings, and has 
an enrolled attendance of thirteen hundred stu- 
dents. In connection with and owned by the col- 
lege are six thousand acres of land. The aim of 
this educational movement for the uplifting of 
the negro is to teach the different crafts of prac- 
tical benefit to the working class. 

In the course of one day we pass through three 
towns, the names of which are tongue twisters, 
Loachapoka, Notasulga, and Opelika. 

Now following the track, then again for a few 

272 Around the United States by Bicycle 

miles traveling the wagon road, delayed consid- 
erably by night rains, which keep the soil muddy 
and soft, we travel through the remainder of Ala- 
bama and cross the line, entering Georgia at a 
small but neat little town called West Point. 

From here we journey in a northward direction, 
passing through numerous small villages and a 
few towns, chief of which are Newnan, Tallapoosa, 
Carrollton, and Rome. 

Here at Rome we find that we have traveled 190 
miles from Tuskegee, Alabama. This is a small 
city of possibly twenty thousand, metropolitan in 
some ways, and like its ancient namesake built on 
seven hills. 

Following is a clipping from a weekly news- 
paper in one of the small Georgia villages, the 
proprietor and editor being an exceedingly crusty 
old individual, who always makes it his policy to 
print items of local interest in an honest straight- 
forward manner, and one wonders how it is pos- 
sible for him to have any circulation at all. 

Here are several items reproduced word for 
word from the issue of the paper which we saw : 

^'John Doyle, our grocer, is doing a poor busi- 
ness. His store is dirty, dusty, and odoriferous. 
How can he expect to do much?'' 

^'Rev. Styx preached Sunday night on charity. 
The sermon was punk. If the reverend gentleman 
would live up a little closer to what he preaches 
he'd have larger congregations." 

Around the United States by Bicycle 273 

^^Dave Sonkey died at Ms home in this place 
last Sunday. The doctor gave it out as heart fail- 
ure. The fact is he was drunk, and whiskey is 
what killed him. His home was a rented shack on 
Eowdy Street.'' 

^^ Married — Miss Sylvia Ehodes and James 
Canaan, Saturday evening, at the Baptist parson- 
age. The bride is a very ordinary town girl, who 
don't know any more about cooking than a rabbit, 
and never helped her mother three days in her life. 
She is not a beauty by any means, and has a gait 
like a fat duck," 

All over the South we find that the negro is not 
considered as a human being, but more as a chat- 
tel, something made to work like a machine, with 
no human feelings or desires such as the white 
man possesses. He is treated with contempt and 
scorn, with the result that a negro lives in abject 
terror of a white man. So closely is the color line 
drawn that in all public places a separate com- 
partment is always reserved for the negro. At 
all railroad stations and all trains signs of 
** Waiting Eoom For Colored Only," and ^^This 
Car For Colored Passengers Only, ' ' will be seen. 

Now as we proceed northward, toward the Ten- 
nessee line and approach the southern end of the 
Alleghanies, the country becomes more rugged 
and very hilly, while in the distance the blue and 
indistinct outlines of mountain ranges are seen. 

If the gentle reader has infant offspring which 


274 Around the United States by Bicycle 

he is at a loss how to name, we suggest the follow- 
ing, all being names of rivers in Georgia: Chat- 
tahootchie, Oostanaula, Etowah, and Coosa. 

We cross a small range of mountains through a 
gap, the road winds and twists, and the grade is 
very steep, but we succeed in crossing without 

La Fayette, a small hamlet twenty-eight miles 
from Chattanooga, we reach by an excellent turn- 
pike built by the government. 

When within ^ve miles of Chattanooga, we enter 
into the boundaries of the Chickamauga National 
Park, which consists of 5,000 acres, and is reserved 
by the government to commemorate the Battles 
of Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge fought 
here during the Civil War. Huge metallic tablets 
giving names and detailed description of the 
bodies of troops which occupied this ground dur- 
ing the battles, have been erected at hundreds of 
places all over the battle ground, so that even a 
child could follow the movements of the armies 
during the battle. In many places batteries of 
cannon are drawn up, occupying the very position 
which they held during the engagement. There 
are monuments without number scattered all over 
the Park in memory of different divisions and 
regiments, some of them works of art and costing 
fabulous sums of money. 

Chattanooga, with a population of thirty-five 
thousand, is completely surrounded by mountains, 

Around the United States by Bicycle 275 

chief of which is Lookout Mountain, which vir- 
tually overhangs the city, although its base is two 
miles from the city. Through this valley, with 
many devious twists and turns, the Tennessee 
Eiver, a yellow, dirty, and muddy stream, flows 
through the city. The city itself is a conglomera- 
tion of odds and ends, and impresses one but lit- 

The summit of Lookout Mountain is three thou- 
sand feet above the level of Chattanooga. It is 
reached by a cable car, which ascends almost per- 
pendicularly up the side of the mountain, and is 
a most daring engineering undertaking, as in some 
places the grade is fifty-seven feet to every one 
hundred, and as one looks at it from the city it 
appears as if it were indeed a vertical incline. 
For a novelty we decide to climb up the mountain 
side, although we are told that it will be a most 
arduous task. We consume several hours in mak- 
ing the ascent, but as we near the top, the govern- 
ment has built steps, with the assistance of which 
we easily reach the summit. The mountain is in 
the shape of a triangle, and terminates in a most 
abrupt and sharp point. A perpendicular wall of 
bare, bleak rock, nearly fifty feet in height, ex- 
tends around it near the summit, and this wall is 
called ^ ' The Palisades. ' ' All the way up the slope 
of the mountain we see many markers and monu- 
ments which are commemorative of the Battle of 
Lookout Mountain. 

276 Around the United States by Bicycle 

On the extreme point, with one of its extended 
ends overhanging an abyss which is a sheer drop 
of several thousand feet, stands what is known as 
^^ Umbrella Eock,'' a huge balanced mass which 
somewhat resembles an umbrella. 

As the top of the mountain was held by the Con- 
federates during the battle, but was afterward 
evacuated, it has a great deal of historical import- 
ance attached to it, so the United States Govern- 
ment is building a massive wall which will en- 
close this space, the entrance through a most 
artistic gateway, on each side of which are tur- 
rets, a very clever arrangement. 

There are many beautiful mansions here, a 
street car line, and a magnificent and mammoth 
hotel, which is called ** Lookout Inn.'' We walk 
farther back on the mountain, where we see ^ ' The 
Natural Bridge," one of the many strange works 
from the hand of Dame Nature. 

We descend by means of the cable car, and al- 
though several of the lady passengers aboard sit 
in the bottom of the car and fervently pray for 
their safe arrival at the bottom, there is nothing 
very thrilling or hair-raising in the ride down- 




From Chattanooga we head for Atlanta, which 
is 138 miles distant, passing through Dalton, Cal- 
houn, Cartersville, and Marietta, all of which can 
boast of a population of several thousand, and are 
very neat and attractive. For fifty miles south- 
ward it is very mountainous, but we at last get out 
of the real mountains, yet find that the country is 
very hilly all the way to Atlanta, while the wagon 
roads are so very poor, that we are compelled to 
follow the railroad nearly all the time, although 
occasionally for a few miles at a time we are able 
to ride the dirt road. 

At a village called Einggold we spend the night 
with an ex-Confederate General, who was in the 
Civil War from the beginning to the bitter end, 
taking active part in thirty-two different battles, 
in all of which he received but one slight wound, 
certainly a most remarkable record. He enter- 
tained us with many glowing accounts of various 
battles, one of which, the Battle of Einggold Gap, 
was fought in the immediate vicinity of the vil- 
lage. He exhibited many relics of this battle, giv- 
ing us out of his large collection, a rusty old bayo- 
net and several bullets, which we appreciated very 

278 Around the United States by Bicycle 

Along the entire distance to Atlanta, we are 
constantly passing battle grounds. We spend the 
night at what is known as Kennesaw, but during 
the Civil War was Big Shanty, which occupies a 
most prominent page in history. Here it was that 
Capt. Andrews of the U. S. A., together with twen- 
ty volunteers, who were afterward dubbed **The 
Andrews ' Eaiders, ^ ' in broad daylight, and in the 
heart of the enemy's country, captured a valuable 
and important railway engine of the Confederates, 
known as "The General." They were immedi- 
ately pursued, but not until they had traveled 
nearly a hundred miles, and had almost reached 
their destination in safety did lack of fuel compel 
them to abandon ^ ' The General, ' ' and these daring 
Yankees were compelled to flee for their lives. 
This is counted one of the most daring acts of 
the war. 

We finally reach Atlanta, capital of Georgia and 
metropolis of the South, having the usual run of 
troubles with our machines, and delayed and hin- 
dered by rains. 

Atlanta is sometimes called ^ ^ the Chicago of the 
South," owing to the numerous high buildings 
known as ''sky-scrapers," there being a number 
of fourteen and seventeen story structures, while 
the ''Coca Cola Co." are building one of twenty- 
three stories. However, the business section is far 
from artistic, it being jumbled into a small area^ 
a bewildering mass of irregular streets. 

Around the United States by Bicycle 279 

As it is Saturday evening, and the day preced- 
ing Easter, we stroll down Decatur Street, which 
is narrow, dimly lighted, and lined with infamous 
resorts, a veritable den of iniquity. The bulk of 
the ^'dens^' are operated by negroes, and it is a 
<< nigger street.'' Here we enjoy a sight which is 
certainly unique. The sidewalk is a seething mass 
of negro men and women, all of whom seem to be 
in the best of spirits, laughing boisterously and 
chatting in loud exuberance; innumerable low- 
class lunch rooms are crowded to overflowing with 
both sexes, who seem to be eating as if their very 
lives depended upon it, meanwhile being active 
participants in the hilarous scene which is taking 
place around them; here surely is a most happy- 
go-lucky race of people, whose chief desire in life 
seems to be to have a light heart and a full stom- 
ach always. 

At Grant's Park, which is located near the out- 
skirts of the city, we gaze upon a most wonderful 
painting which is supposed to represent the Battle 
of Atlanta as it was originally fought during the 
War. This is in a large circular building called 
^ ^ The Cyclorama, ' ' the painting forming the entire 
side walls of the structure, which one views from 
a raised platform in the center of the building. In 
the enclosed ground space are strewn rusty and 
dilapidated cannon, while through the center there 
extends what is remaining of a railroad, the orig- 
inal road-bed now being strewn with twisted rails 

280 Around the United States by Bicycle 

and debris from the battle, while at different 
places are dummies representing dead soldiers 
lying prone upon the ground. The whole is so 
constructed, and the painting and the real so 
blend, that for a moment one is unable to distin- 
guish one from the other. The painting itself is 
a panoramic view of the battle, and represents 
territory which has a radius of twenty miles. The 
soldiers, cavalry, artillery, and even the topo- 
graphy of the surrounding country, is so realistic, 
and the desultory firing, volleys, and discharge 
of cannon, so accurately depicted, that one almost 
imagines himself an eye witness to the battle. 
The cost of this most wonderful painting was 
$37,500, and ^ve years were consumed in pre- 
paring it. 

From Atlanta our objective point is Greenwood, 
South Carolina, which we reach after five days' 
travel through a most hilly country, where the 
roads run at will and are bounded by neither 
fences nor section lines, twisting and angling in 
all directions, so that many times we are at a loss 
to know which is the right one. 

We are entertained at "Winder, Georgia, by one 
of the officials of the town, which has a population 
of nearly five thousand; and while on our way to 
a lecture scheduled for that evening and consid- 
ered one of the social treats of the year, our atten- 
tion is attracted to a large blaze which seems to be 
on the outskirts. We lose no time in rushing to 

Around the United States by Bicycle 281 

the scene of the conflagration, for as there is no 
fire protection whatever here, the aid and assist- 
ance of each person is more than welcome. It is 
a long run of more than half a mile, now across 
a ploughed field to vault a fence, now to run at 
break-neck speed down a steep hill, up the other 
side, and so on. Our august friend, who was very- 
portly and had exceptionally short legs, was eas- 
ily distanced, and the last time I remember 
seeing him was when, upon looking over my 
shoulder, I saw him frantically endeavoring to 
crowd his huge avoirdupois through an eighteen- 
inch opening between a pair of bars which 
answered as a gate, meanwhile puffing like the 
exhaust on a locomotive, while an ejaculation of 
surprise and disgust at his failure to crowd 
through this small space was hurled in rather 
slow and uncertain accents upon the air. This 
I pieced together as being: ''B-B-B-1-e-s-s M-M-y 
S-S-S-o-u-1 b-u-t this is HELL!'' 

The fire proved to be a barn from which a house 
was not far distant, and as there was a stiff wind 
blowing, there was danger of this catching fire. 
By this time half of the population of the town 
was present, some carried buckets of water, while 
others made haste to carry the furniture out of 
the house, and all helped in any way that it was 

As soon as the night watchman had discovered 
the fire, he shot his revolver into the air, mean- 

282 Around the United States by Bicycle 

while shouting like a maniac with all his might 
and main; every school and church bell rang fur- 
iously; while the whistles of several manufactur- 
ing institutions located here tooted in ear-piercing 
shrieks, so that pandemonium was on all sides. 

But at last the fire is under control, after the 
structure is almost razed to the ground, and we 
depart for the lecture, after having been taken in 
tow by our fat friend. 

We find that the state of Georgia on the whole 
is much better than Alabama, and as we proceed 
northward and eastward, we note that there are 
fewer negroes and more white men at labor in the 
fields. The country seems to be somewhat better, 
although the houses are of the same type which is 
predominant in all the southern states, small one- 
story, unpainted, dreary, and bleak looking cot- 

The Georgia-South-Carolina Boundry is crossed, 
and we are compelled to take the railroad track 
for a short distance, after which we find a wagon 
road which looks fairly good, but we travel less 
than five miles when we meander off into an im- 
penetrable forest where the road loses itself. We 
wander around for a time and play hide and seek 
with ourselves. Accidentally straying upon a lone 
individual chopping trees into firewood, we are 
directed aright and go on our way rejoicing. 

Here at Greenwood we find that we have trav- 
eled 10,031 miles, and have been on the road con- 


Around the United States by Bicycle 283 

tinuously a year, lacking four days, covering 
twenty-nine states and four territories in that 

Owing to a heavy rain we are compelled to 
walk the track for fifty miles, passing through 
small villages, thus consuming two days and fin- 
ally spending the second night at a place called 
Whitmore. Here, through the courtesy of one of 
the officials, we are shown through a cotton mill. 
We see the raw cotton fed into a huge machine 
which is located in the basement ; then we are tak- 
en to the top floor, -Q^e stories up, and shown the 
next process, then every floor in turn until we come 
to the first floor, where we see the cotton cloth be- 
ing packed into large bales, the size of which are 
nearly the same as those which contained the raw 
cotton when it was first fed into the machinery. 
Our guide tells us that the machinery alone in this 
mill cost something like a million dollars, and some 
of these machines are so complicated and perform 
so many almost impossible things that they ap- 
pear almost human. Owing to the fact that there 
is no compulsory school law in this state, we see 
innumerable small children, both boys and girls, 
some of them mere tots, ranging from five to ten 
years of age, employed at simple tasks, thread- 
ing their way among the dangerous, roaring, and 
humming machinery with apparent unconcern. 
This is surely a touching sight, and is a disgrace 
to modern civilization. "We are told that many of 

284: Around the United States by Bicycle 

the older employees are unable to read or write, 
having been employed since childhood in the mills, 
so that no opportunity was given them to acquire 
an education. 

With a walk of thirty more miles on the rail- 
road, during which we cross numerous long and 
high wooden trestles on which the ties are nearly 
two feet apart, so that one has the enjoyable sen- 
sation of peering down into the depths below, 
Chester, a town of three thousand inhabitants, is 
reached. The weather now is very hot and sultry, 
and we perspire freely. 

For thirty-six hours, during a continuous down- 
pour of rain, we are held in Chester, but on the 
morning of the second day, although the sky is 
overcast and threatening, we make what little 
progress we can by walking the railroad track. 
As Chester is but a short distance from the North 
Carolina state line, during the afternoon we enter 
into this, our thirtieth state. 

Covering a little over one hundred miles, and 
passing through Monroe and Wadesboro, we ar- 
rive at Eockingham, having been compelled to fol- 
low the railroad track all the distance, and having 
several rather peculiar mishaps. 

Across a most dangerous trestle spanning the 
Peedee Eiver, a half mile long, from which on the 
preceding night a man was hurled into eternity, 
we pick our way with trembling and shaking 
limbs, momentarily expecting a train to dash upon 

Around the United States by Bicycle 285 

us, perhaps to throw us into the waters of the 
swift-flowing stream fully a hundred feet below. 
But it is the only way by which we are able to 
cross, and though the risk is great we reach the 
other side to find that we are still together and 

At another point, while we step off the track to 
permit a freight train to pass, an iron rod fully 
eight feet long, projecting from the trucks of one 
of the cars deals me a teriffic blow on the leg 
which fells me to the ground like a log. The pain 
is so great that I almost faint, but though Darling 
afterward tells me that my face became as white 
as chalk, I succeeded in retaining consciousness. 
Gradually the faintness leaves me, and in the 
course of twenty minutes, with Darling's assis- 
tance, I hobble beneath the shade of a tree nearby. 
By chafing and constant rubbing I am somewhat 
relieved and an hour later I am able to proceed, 
very slowly, it is true, and then only with acute 
pain at every step. But as we are only a few 
miles from a village where I procure medical as- 
sistance, and where we spend the night, I think 
myself most fortunate. 

We leave Eockingham headed for Ealeigh, and 
after a few miles' travel we find ourselves in an 
immense wilderness consisting of sand, grub oaks, 
and underbrush, not a habitation of any descrip- 
tion to relieve the monotony, and counting our- 

286 Aro2md the United States by Bicycle 

selves fortunate that this is traversed by a rail- 

But like an oasis, after an all day's weary, 
weary journey in the wilds, Southern Pines, a very 
pretty resort town, settled by northern people ex- 
clusively and dubbed "The Yankee Town" by the 
natives, is reached and forms a delightful surprise. 

At Southern Pines we learn that Raleigh is sev- 
enty-five miles away. We follow the railroad until 
within eight miles of that capital city, but I have 
great trouble with my tires. I stop frequently 
to repair punctures, and, at one place, I spend 
nearly half a day in this pleasing occupation. But 
strange to relate, I succeeded in riding all the way 
to Raleigh, a distance of eight miles, over a most 
excellent road without a single further mishap. 

Raleigh is a very pretty little city. The resi- 
dential portion is traversed by wide streets, well- 
lined with shade trees and paved with asphalt. 
At the head of Fayetteville St., the main business 
thoroughfare on which the brick pavement is so 
rough that it is really a disgrace to the city, the 
state house is located. This occupies a square 
block and is surrounded by well-kept grounds. 
The building is of very ancient architecture, and 
the interior is gloomy and forbidding. For such 
a small city there are quite a number of small 
park-like resting places in different localities. 

An all night rain which extends into noon of the 

Around the United States by Bicycle 28T 

next day prevents us from leaving Ealeigh, but 
finally, at two o'clock, ''Old Sol" presents his 
beaming countenance from behind the clouds, and 
we make haste to depart. 

For fifteen miles we have good riding, up hill 
and down over a built macadamized road, but after 
this we accidentally stray into a bed of red clay 
which extends for nearly four miles, and which, 
for adhesiveness, we found unequaled. 

Six o'clock finds us 21 miles from Ealeigh at a 
small town called Wake Forest, at which there 
is located a small college. Owing to commence- 
ment exercises in progress, every available lodg- 
ing and boarding house in the place is filled to 
overflowing, of which we are fully satisfied when 
we make a house to house canvass, all to no avail. 
Just as we enter this place, I discover that I have 
a puncture in one of my tires, and as it is now 
too dark to attempt to repair it to-night, and we 
can find no accommodations here we walk four 
miles to the next village, and arrive only to meet 
another disappointment. There are only three 
places in the village where accommodations are 
to be obtained, and these, owing to the fact that 
there is a traveling concert company from a re- 
form school giving entertainments here, are com- 
pletely filled. We buy a lunch of crackers and 
cheese in a grocery and succeed in obtaining the 
consent of the night operator to stretch ourselves 

288 Around the United States by Bicycle 

out upon the floor of the station-room, using our 
shoes for pillows. During the night a terrible 
storm rages, the wind blows a gale, while terrific 
peals of thunder rend the air, which is illuminated 
by the ghastly flashes of lightning; meanwhile the 
rain falls in torrents, and all this is made more 
enjoyable by the passing fast trains which shoot 
through as if hurled from a catapult. 




We follow the railroad through the remainder 
of the state, and cross the line into Virginia, which 
is the last of the Southern States, for which we are 
extremely thankful. We pass through Hender- 
son, where we are delayed by rain; while we are 
canvassing the town, a sympathetic barber takes 
compassion upon us, and donates to each of us a 
shave. We certainly do need it, as before the 
*' shearing act'' was performed we both looked as 
if we might be near relatives of '^ Jo-Jo, The Dog 

We cross several wooden trestles, which are 
very high and are constructed in the most pecu- 
liar manner. A long, shed-like affair, completely 
enclosed; on the top of which the track is laid, vir- 
tually on the roof. 

Since we have entered the Southern States, we 
have experienced a very poor sale for our souve- 
nirs, and this we account for in many ways. The 
South is far from being in a prosperous condition, 
and consequently money is not plentiful; there is 
more prejudice existing against the Northerner, 
or ^ ^ the Yankees, " as we are called, than one can 


290 Around the United States by Bicycle 

imagine; upon canvassing towns, onr accent very 
readily branded us as such, so that the sales were 
few and far between. Of the $160.00 which we 
possessed on leaving California, we have but twen- 
ty-five dollars, which includes monies received 
from souvenirs sold in the meantime. According- 
ly we have far from a pleasant prospect. Moreover 
we shall soon travel from Washington, D. C. on- 
ward up the Atlantic coast to Portland, Maine, 
through almost a continuous chain of large cities, 
so that we shall hardly be on the outskirts of one 
before we shall find ourselves within the precincts 
of another, which state of affairs will hardly be 
propitious for a large sale of souvenirs, so that we 
begin to have forebodings of not being able to live 
up to the conditions of the wager for the purse of 
$5,000, but we resolve at least to do our best. 

One hundred and six miles of travel over the 
railroad track in Virginia brings us to Eichmond, 
passing through a country which is not much bet- 
ter than any of the other Southern States, more 
particularly Alabama, Georgia, South and North 
Carolinas, presenting a wild and barren appear- 
ance, although there seems to be more acreage cul- 
tivated in Virginia than in some of the others. 

We have several amusing experiences with the 
aristocratic Virginian families, many of which, af- 
ter the war, having lost all their negro servants, 
are forced to earn their living by other means than 
tilling the soil. Many, especially in the smaller 

Around the United States by Bicycle 291 

towns and villages, conduct a sort of combination 
hotel and boarding-house. 

At a small village in which there is only one 
place where strangers are accommodated and 
which a family, descendants of the old aristocracy 
of Virginia, are the proprietors, after much hag- 
gling and pleading and being compelled to pay our 
bill in advance, we are finally admitted, but even 
then only with suspicion and overbearing con- 
tempt, to which we are subjected chiefly because 
our apparel does not appear genteel. The hostess, 
gowned in spotless white, is accompanied by her 
mother, and both examine us much as if we are 
a species of animal recently discovered, but, as the 
scrutiny appears to be dissatisfying, each with an 
aristocratic toss of the head, which has doubtless 
been practiced many times until proficiency has 
been acquired, turn on their heels and leave, ad- 
vising us, in a voice which would transform burn- 
ing flame into icicles, that if there is anything 
about which we need information we shall find 
the negro porter in the back room. 

At supper we are not permitted to eat at the 
table with the others, but are given a small table 
at one side, and by many ways we are given to un- 
derstand that we are social inferiors to these aris- 
tocratic lineal descendants of the blue-blooded 
Virginians. Instead of being hurt by these many 
snubs, on the contrary we are much amused. We 
learn that these people are dependent upon quests 

292 Around the United States by Bicycle 

for their support, and that even the house in which 
they conduct their hostelry is rented, and yet they 
think themselves AEISTOCRATS! This is a fair 
sample of many of the old Virginian families, too 
proud to work, some of which nearly starve them- 
selves that they may be able to dress in the height 
of fashion. 

We have much difficulty on account of frequent 
rains, and nearly every night there is a thunder 
storm, followed the next day by a hot, sweltering, 
and blazing sun. 

So far in this state we have passed through but 
one town, which is Petersburg, and outside of this 
there are only a few scraggy and forlorn-looking 

Richmond is but twenty-two miles from Peters- 
burg, and to reach the capital we follow the rail- 
road the entire distance, there being little villages 
and stations but a few miles apart. 

Of all the cities which it has been our pleasure 
to see, Richmond has positively the worst and 
roughest pavement of any. It is situated in a most 
hilly region, and it is hardly possible to travel over 
a quarter of a mile on any street without being 
compelled to climb a steep ascent. If one desires 
to live in Richmond, lessons should first be taken 
of the famous and world-renowned Swiss moun- 

There are innumerable historical features at- 
tached to this rather sleepy old city. We view the 

Around the United States by Bicycle 293 

former residence of Eobert E. Lee and Jefferson 
Davis; an old and quaint building used by George 
Washington as his military headquarters during 
the Eevolutionary War; the famous Washington 
monument which stands in the capitol grounds; 
the Robert E. Lee monument; the former site of 
that den of horrors, Libby Prison, and many oth- 
ers of a like nature. 

The state capitol is situated on the side of a hill 
and is a most common affair, but is placed in the 
midst of a spacious park, at one side of which is 
the Governor's Mansion. 

Directly back of the state house, on Broad St., 
stands the city hall of Richmond, a most magnifi- 
cent building, a bewildering mass of turrets and 
spires, the interior of which is resplendent in mar- 
bles and color decorations. 

There are but few metropolitian features in 
Richmond, and the architecture of the buildings 
is of very old style, although the residential sec- 
tion does much to off-set the uncouth appearance 
and narrow streets of the business portion. There 
are innumerable small parks, while ^^The Jeffer- 
son," ^^ Murphy's,'' and ^'The Richmond" are the 
leading hotels in the city. 

Li many sections throughout the South we have 
noticed that prisoners are compelled to labor in 
digging excavations, improving roads, and many 
other menial tasks of a like nature, dressed in the 
regulation striped suits under the scrutiny of a 

294 Around the United States by Bicycle 

guard who carries a loaded gun ready for instant 

We find that we are 116 miles from Washington. 
We travel nearly seventy miles on the railroad 
track, a double track system nearly all the way, on 
which there is fairly good riding. The country is 
fully as wild as it was in the southern part of the 
state, and small villages consisting of a few stores 
and about the same number of houses range sever- 
al miles apart. 

We reach Fredericksburg, which is a town of 
six thousand inhabitants, and, judging from ap- 
pearance, about that many years old. Narrow 
streets, with styles of architecture which were in 
vogue during the Revolutionary times, while a 
quietness and air of indolence and repose hovers in 
the air. Certainly a most sleepy town. Here is 
located the home of George Washington's mother, 
a very small yellow brick house. 

Shortly after leaving Fredericksburg we cross 
the historic Rappahannock River over a very high 
and long steel railway trestle, beneath which at 
least a hundred feet the yellow waters eddy and 

At a small village called Quantico, we are unable 
to purchase either meals or lodging, and are com- 
pelled to buy a lunch in one of the stores and spend 
the night in the depot. 

Mile after mile we follow near the shore of the 
mighty Potomac, which at its widest point is four 


Around the United States by Bicycle 295 

and a half miles in width. This is a beautiful riv- 
er, its clear limpid waters rolling onward without 
a murmur or ripple. 

When fourteen miles from Alexandria we learn 
that from this point onward there is a good wagon 
road, and we gladly leave the track to travel over 
the hilliest kind of country, but over a fairly good 
road. When within seven miles of our destination, 
Darling has the misfortune to break the frame of 
his machine, which necessitates our covering the 
balance of the distance by the aid of the ^^ relay." 

Alexandria is practically a suburb of Washing- 
ton, being but seven miles distant, and has a pop- 
ulation of about twenty thousand. There are 
many historical features attached to it, chief of 
which are, ' ^ the Old Christ Church, ' ' where Wash- 
ington worshipped; ^^Ye Braddock," and ^^Ye 
Carlyle'' hotels, very ancient and interesting 
structures ; while seven miles from the city, at Mt. 
Vernon, is the birth-place and home of Washing- 
ton. In various portions of the city are many an- 
cient and old-style colonial structures suggestive 
of Revolutionary days. 

As Darling is unable to get his bicycle repaired 
in the manner that he wishes here in Alexandria, 
we arise early and use our * ^ relay, '^ reaching 
Washington, the capital city of the glorious 
United States of America, before the city is astir. 



Without doubt Washington is the most beautiful 
city in the whole United States. Wide, park-like 
streets, lined with a wealth of shade trees, even 
the main business thoroughfare, Pennsylvania 
Ave., being softened and made beautiful by the 
green foliage of occasional trees. 

Washington Monument, rising to the stupen- 
dous height of 555 feet, being the highest monu- 
ment in the world, and undoubtedly one of the 
most famous, towers above the city, a grim and 
austere sentinel. It is surrounded by spacious 
grounds, which are in the form of a circle, in the 
center of which is situated the monument, con- 
structed of huge granite blocks. The base is fifty 
feet square, and from this the monument gradually 
becomes smaller, until, five hundred feet from 
^' terra firma," the four sides begin to slope more 
abruptly inward until they form a sharp apex, 555 
feet from earth. On the interior the top is reached 
by an elevator which is in charge of a most cour- 
teous uniformed attendant, an employee of the 
G-overnment, there being no charge whatever; or 
if one wishes to walk, there are iron stairs, by 

Around the United States by Bicycle 297 

climbing which one can see the innumerable 
memorial stones which are inlaid in the walls at 
various places from top to bottom, there being 
one from every state and territory in the Union, 
and from the majority of the large cities. Five 
hundred feet upward is as far as one is permitted 
to ascend; here are four small windows, one on 
each side of the towering structure, through which 
one can obtain a view of the city. Owing to the 
enormous height it seems as if the wind is blowing 
a gale. 

The Executive Mansion, or ^' White House," by 
which it is better known, we visit. A portion is 
open to tourists and strangers, so that we have an 
opportunity of seeing the much talked about and 
famous ''East Room," in which the Presidential 
receptions and the more important social functions 
are held. The interior is so beautiful, that the 
furnishings and decorations fairly dazzle the eye; 
the chandeliers by which the room is lighted are 
hugh masses of cut-glass which shimmer and 
sparkle like myriads of precious jewels. The ex- 
terior and interior of the mansion is most closely 
guarded by innumerable Secret Service men, but 
while the visitors are treated by them in the most 
courteous manner, beneath their suave manners 
one can detect a most wary watchfulness. 

In turn we are shown through the Army and 
Navy building, a most magnificent and imposing 
edifice, in which are the offices of the heads of the 

298 Around the United States by Bicycle 

Army and Navy, the two departments employing 
some hundred of clerks; the United States Treas- 
ury Building, in which, under the leadership of a 
guide, we see more currency and money than we 
ever hope to see at any future time. In this insti- 
tution there are a host of ladies employed, young 
and old, and we are told that the salaries paid are 
very good, so that it makes a most pleasant and at 
the same time, lucrative occupation; the Bureau 
of Printing and Engraving, which is also a most 
interesting sight; the National Capitol, which is 
situated at the head of Pennsylvania Ave. We in- 
spect it from the top of the dome to the basement 
and from wing to wing, and surely it is a most 
wonderful and beautiful structure, and the native 
American can well feel proud that America has 
such a building as the real seat of the Nation. The 
interior decorations and furnishings are most 
beautiful. As we ascend to the dome, we pause 
an instant in horror to observe several painters 
on a narrow ledge not much more than two feet 
wide, which extends on the interior of the dome, 
where a slight misstep or a sudden giddiness 
would precipitate them through space to be 
dashed, a pulpy mass of flesh and bones, on the 
marble floor fully two hundred feet below! Next 
we visit the Congressional Library, which is lo- 
cated directly back of the Capitol, and is without 
doubt the most wonderful and most beautiful 
building in the whole world. The interior is im- 


Around the United States by Bicycle 299 

possible to describe with justice; suffice it to state 
that the total cost of this magnificent edifice was 
$6,500,000, and on its shelves are 2,300,000 vol- 
umes. Immediately upon entering an exclamation 
of delight and surprise is forced from the most 
apathetic, and one pauses to wonder how the hand 
of man could possibly construct such a veritable 
scene of enchantment, transported apparently 
from the realms of fairy land. Many kinds of mar- 
bles and precious stones aid in making this the 
most artistic achievement of the age, as even the 
best connoiseurs of the world admit. 

It is with feelings of regret that we leave this 
most beautiful and attractive city behind us, and 
travel to Baltimore, which is fifty miles distant, 
and at which we arrive at ^ve o ^clock in the after- 
noon, having left the capital city at 8:35 a.'m. 

We ride over a fine stone road nearly all the way, 
and are constantly either climbing hills or being 
dashed with terriffic velocity down a steep decline, 
but as the road is excellent, we notice this rug- 
gedness but little. A little more than an hour's 
travel brings us out of the boundaries of the Dis- 
trict of Columbia into the state of Maryland. 
From here on until we arrive at Baltimore our 
way is through a most beautiful and picturesque 
country, all land under cultivation, green fields on 
every side, either of growing crops or green mead- 
ow, here and there dotted by small clumps of trees, 
surely a most pleasant and refreshing scene after 

300 Around the United States by Bicycle 

having traveled through the barren and desolate 
Southwestern and Southern States. 

In this entire ride we have no trouble with our 
machines except that we are compelled to stop to 
repair one or two punctures. When within ten 
miles of our destination, we virtually enter into 
the precincts of Baltimore, as from here onward 
the space is occupied by suburbs, of which there 
are many, and which seem to adjoin one another, 
so that it is almost a continuous thickly populated 
district, until we reach the heart of Baltimore. 

Although this is the sixth city in size in the 
United States, it gives one the impression of a 
small boy who has outgrown himself. It is located 
in a most hilly region, and the most of the pave- 
ment in the business section is of a rough-hewn 
granite block, which makes far from a beautiful 
or smooth surface. The extensive area of the 
burned district, in which the principal business 
houses of the city were located, and was practical- 
ly the city's heart and industrial center is larger 
than any one could imagine. Laborers and skilled 
mechanics are laboring with all possible haste in 
constructing huge and massive ^^sky-scrapers;" 
everywhere in this region is a scene of confusion 
and bustling, and of teeming energy; the air is 
filled with the hoarse shouts of men in command, 
the wheeze and clatter of dummy engines, and the 
hissing and escaping steam from the colossal 
cranes. Although innumerable mammoth struc- 

V f^^-nj •*• 

nwi iF^'iB 


Around the United States by Bicycle 301 

tures have already been erected in this district, to 
the casual observer it hardly seems noticeable. 

The city has many beauty spots, chief of which 
is Mt. Vernon Place. It is a small park, a square 
block, which is situated on the side of a hill in the 
most aristocratic portion of the city, in the center 
of which is an impressive monument, a stone tower 
something like a hundred feet in height, the top of 
which is surmounted by a bronze statue of George 
Washington. The bottom has several fountain 
arrangements, which lend to the scene attractive- 
ness and freshness. 

This is positively a city of flats, there being 
block after block and mile after mile of nothing 
else. We also see the Johns Hopkins Hospital, 
which is claimed to be the largest institution of its 
kind in the world. 

We leave Baltimore in the afternoon bound for 
Wilmington, Delaware. Darkness finds us at a 
small village Which bears the name of Abingdon 
at which we are unable to obtain accommodations, 
es there is no hotel or boarding-house, or any peo- 
ple who make a practice of sheltering the weary 
traveler. Although we are ravenous, we can find 
no place to buy a meal, and are forced to resort 
to a grocery, where the old story is repeated, and 
we fill our interiors with a lunch of sardines, 
crackers, and cheese. While we eat our rather 
scanty repast, we are plied with many questions 
with reference to our trip by several persons, who 

302 Around the United States by Bicycle 

with a number of others are lounging in all atti- 
tudes on cracker barrels, boxes, etc., as is the cus- 
tom in small villages, to all of which, between 
courses of cheese and crackers, we do our best to 
reply. One of the group, an old man, upon learn- 
ing that we have no prospect of a place to sleep, 
proffers his assistance, telling us to come with him 
down to his house, and that even though he and his 
partner were living together, and sort of keeping 
bachelor's retreat, he thought that possibly he 
would be able to find some place for us to stretch 

Our friend, with the aid of several horse blank- 
ets and pieces of carpet, makes us a most comfort- 
able ^'bunk" on the floor, in which we spend a 
very restful night in delicious slumber. 

We are awakened the next morning at five 
o'clock, and bidden to partake of a breakfast 
which is most appetizing, and to which we surely 
do justice, fully attesting to the success of the cul- 
inary efforts of our hosts. 

We make a ride of fifty-four miles today, reach- 
ing Wilmington, over very fine roads, with no dif- 
ficulty with our machines, through a pretty coun- 
try with small towns and villages scattered every 
few miles, and what more can we wish! This cer- 
tainly is '^Grod's Own Country." 

From Havre De Grace, which is situated on the 
banks of the Susquehanna Eiver, we are compelled 
to cross the river on a trestle nearly a mile across. 

Around the United States by Bicycle 303 

We ride over this on a ten incli board which is laid 
between the tracks, rather a ticklish experience, 
but made necessary by the frequent passing of 

Wilmington, although it has a population of 
eighty thousand, has a business section which is 
more fitting for a large village, there being a not- 
able absence of the high buildings which are so 
common to the Eastern cities. This also is a city 
of tenements, and their grim, forbidding, and 
squalid rows greet one on every side. This me- 
tropolis of the state of Delaware boasts of forty- 
eight miles of paved streets, and the same mile- 
age of street car lines. 

Here is situated the Old Swedes' Church, built 
in 1698 A. D. by the Swedish colonists, the origi- 
nal building now standing and in use, being the 
oldest church in America founded by the colonists 
now in actual use. The walls at the base are sev- 
en feet thick and at the eaves two feet, a most 
quaint looking building, located in the midst of 
a grave yard, where are buried bodies which have 
lain at rest for the last two hundred years. The 
inside of this ancient structure is fitted with pews, 
the same style as those in vogue in colonial times. 

Something like a half mile from the church in 
the midst of a dumping ground for the city's sew- 
age and garbage, there is a small rock enclosed 
by an iron fence, which bears the following in- 
scription: '^This stone is a portion of the rock on 

304 Around the United States by Bicycle 

whicli landed the first Swedish colonists in Amer- 
ica, 29, March, 1638. On this spot stood Fort 
Christina. Here the Swedes held their first civil 
courts, and in the chapel of the fort celebrated 
their first Christian worship in the New World. ' ' 

A scanty stream of water which flows sluggish- 
ly with extreme difficulty over innumerable rocky 
boulders with which its bed is completely covered, 
and which closely resembles a brooklet, is the not- 
ed Brandywine, which Washington made famous 
during the unequal struggle for independence in 

A thirty mile ride over the best kind of roads, 
all turnpike, brings us into Philadelphia. This 
road is so thickly populated that it is almost the 
same as traveling through a continuous city. Ches- 
ter, which is sixteen miles froih the metropolis, 
and located on the Delaware Eiver, has connected 
with it a most historical event. Standing on the 
exact spot on which William Penn landed on the 
soil of America in October 28, 1682, protected from 
the unscrupulous by stout iron bars, is a portion 
of the original rock on which this most historical 
individual disembarked in his new domain. 

Philadelphia, which ranks third in size of the 
large cities of the United States, is the most per- 
fectly laid out city in the Union. No crooked, ang- 
ling streets here, but all extend directly to the 
four points of the compass, and this, together with 
the most simple method of numeration of dwelling 

Around the United States by Bicycle 305 

and business places, makes it an ideal city for the 
tourist and stranger to visit. Most metropolitan 
in build, with innumerable towering and frowning 
structures, the highest of which is the Land and 
Title Building, boasting of twenty-three stories, 
and the next highest being that of the Philadel- 
phia North American, two stories lower than its 
neighbor. The main business street of the city is 
Broad St., which extends due north and south, 113 
feet wide and of uniform width in its entire length, 
the longest street in the world, being exactly twen- 
ty miles from end to end, paved m^ostly with as- 
phalt. As the city occupies the entire County of 
Philadelphia, the City Hall is also the Court House 
and is a most impressive and magnificent struc- 
ture occupying a whole square, situated in the 
very center of the bustling life of the metropolis. 
This is built in the form of a castle, the center of 
which is a huge court yard ; seven stories in height, 
surmounted by a colossal tower on the top of 
which rises a statue of William Penn, this image 
of the founder of this glorious city being in itself 
thirty-seven feet in height. The crown of Penn's 
hat is exactly 548 feet above the pavement, or 
only seven feet lower than the apex of the Wash- 
ington monument in Washington. As appear- 
ances with reference to height are very deceptive, 
we are inclined to be incredulous, but through the 
courtesy of one of the officials of the city we are 
permitted to ascend to the very top, a platform 


306 Around the United States by Bicycle 

whicli extends around the base of the statue of 
William, and after taking one look upon the tops 
of the tall sky-scrapers, the tallest of which are 
far below us, we are speedily convinced. We are 
told that this glorious edifice has a floor space of 
fourteen and a half acres, and occupies four and 
a half acres. 

We are courteously shown through the Bellevue 
Stratford Hotel, which is the most aristocratic in 
Philadelphia, and are well nigh dazzled by the 
splendor and luxuriousness of its equipment. 

In the evening we stroll through the tenement 
district, and behold a most unique and interesting 
scene. All sizes, types, kinds, and colors of chil- 
dren, ranging from small tots hardly able to walk 
to large boys and girls, are playing in the most 
boisterous manner, meanwhile dodging the traffic 
and just stepping aside in the nick of time as a 
street car passes. The street from curb to curb is 
crowded with laughing, shouting, playing children 
and one stops to pause and wonder where they all 
came from. The side walk is also a crowded jam 
of hurrying humanity, young girls and young men, 
with a goodly number of the older generation; the 
majority of the business places which line the 
street are proprietored by descendants of the Heb- 
rew family, being mostly pawn shops, second hand, 
and clothing stores, in passing which it is almost 
impossible to evade the sentinels who are stationed 
on the walk and whose duty it is to keep a wary 

Around the United States by Bicycle 307 

eye for all the promising pedestrians, to persuade 
them and to use if necessary a small amount of 
force to direct the wandering foot steps of the pros- 
pective customer to the inside of the shop, where 
he turns him over to the tender mercies of a 
gentleman with a hooked nose, whose duty it is to 
sell you something before you leave, and in which 
he generally succeeds. 

As Philadelphia abounds with historical local- 
ities and features, we spend the greater part of 
a day in ** sight-seeing. " On Chestnut Street 
stands that building most famous, most noted, and 
dearest to the heart of the true American, Indepen- 
dence Hall, where this grand and glorious repub- 
lic received its birth by that simple act, yet which 
meant so much, the signing of the Declaration of 
Independence, on July 4th, 1776. The entire 
building is open to visitors and is full of all man- 
ner of relics, chief and most important of which 
is the Liberty Bell, which is about three and a 
half feet high. This is a brief history of it: cast 
in England in 1752; recast in Philadelphia 1753; 
rang for Independence July 8, 1776; July 8, 1835 
broke while tolling for death of Chief Justice Mar- 
shall of the U. S. 

Independence Hall exhibits the silver ink stand 
which was used in the signing of the Declaration 
of Independence ; a piece of the original elm under 
which Wm. Penn in 1682 made the treaty with the 
Indians; (this tree blew down on March 5, 1810) ; 

308 Around the United States by Bicycle 

sofas and chairs used by Washington and Penn; 
through a glass plate inlaid in the present floor 
we see beneath it the original floor, when the hall 
was first built; and lastly, the Declaration of In- 
dependence, the original document, guarded from 
wear and injury by a covering of glass. 

Next we have the pleasure of standing in the 
very room of the ^' Betsy Eoss House" in which 
the first American flag was made, ' ^ the real birth- 
place of Old Glory, ^ ' this quaint little house of pe- 
culiar architecture stands on Arch Street and is 
surrounded by frowning and gloomy buildings. 
Also, a little farther up this street, in the very 
heart of the bustling life of the city, separated 
from the street by a stone wall, is a very small 
cemetery, where rest many of the noted persons 
who labored to build this present nation, which 
is one of the powers of the world, among which 
peacefully resting beneath two large slabs of 
stone are that noted scientist and statesman, Ben- 
jamin Franklin, and his wife. 

In course of construction are an elevated rail- 
way which is to traverse the outskirts, and a sub- 
way which will undermine the business section, 
and by which the present transportation system 
will be very much relieved. 

Philadelphia is an ideal city in almost every 
respect. It is very level, and Broad Street, its 
principal thoroughfare, is positively without a 


Around the United States by Bicycle 309 

As we leave the heart of Philadelphia behind 
us, it is with feelings of genuine regret, and we 
feel as if are leaving an old friend. Our route 
now lies up the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware 
to Trenton, New Jersey, at which place we cross 
into our thirty-fifth state. 

As Trenton is but thirty-eight miles from Phila- 
delphia, and nearly half of this distance is cov- 
ered before we are even out of the real limits of 
the latter city, we reach our destination traveling 
over the best of stone road in less than half a day's 

Trenton, although the capital of the state, and 
with a population of seventy thousand, has not 
much which would interest the stranger and tour- 
ist. The Capitol building is of the dome variety, 
but not so pronounced as the majority, rather 
small and insignificant from the exterior, but the 
interior is one of opulence, magnificence, and 
splendor, made as beautiful as lavish decorations 
and tinted marbles and costly stones can make. 
It is claimed that Washington crossed the Dela- 
ware but eight miles above Trenton, and as a com- 
memoration of this most historical event there 
stands in a small park a large, stone column, one 
hundred and fifty feet in height, surmounted by 
a statue of the General. 

We are now but seventy miles from New York 
City, to reach which we travel through almost a 
continuous stretch of towns and cities, among 

310 Around the United States by Bicycle 

wMch are Princeton, New Brunswick, Elizabeth, 
Newark, and Jersey City, all of which are large 

This distance we travel over a most beautiful 
macadamized road which is as smooth as a floor. 
We meet hosts of automobiles going in the oppo- 
site direction, and these we learn are on their way 
down to the sea-shore, the most of them hailing 
from New York City, this being Saturday after- 
noon, and all business ceasing at noon in the 

Six miles from Trenton brings us to Lawrence- 
ville, where there is a preparatory school for 
Princeton University, and four miles farther on 
this same road, we come to the University itself 
situated in the town of the same name. Most 
beautiful and spacious grounds surround the Uni- 
versity buildings, and an air of delicate refine- 
ment, wealth, and luxury suggests that this is a 
college of learning for the aristocrats only. 

For long distances the road runs alongside the 
tracks of the Pennsylvania E. E., which has a four 
track system from Baltimore to New York, and 
on which innumerable passenger trains dash by 
us at frequent intervals at an incredible rate of 

We stop only long enough in Newark, although 
it has a population of over two hundred thousand, 
to get our credentials, after which we leave im- 
mediately for Jersey City, which is but seven 

Around the United States by Bicycle 311 

miles distant, there being a solid stretch of marsh 
between the two cities over which a plank road 
has been bnilt. 

Jersey City, being across the Hudson Eiver from 
New York City, has most of its vitality sapped by 
its more powerful neighbor, so that there is not 
much of which to boast, though it has more than 
200,000 inhabitants. 



We spend the night in New Jersey and early 
Sunday morning we cross on the ferry to New 
York, landing at the foot of Cortlandt Street, up 
which we travel until the famous Broadway is 
reached. As it is only about seven o'clock in the 
morning, and Sunday, we are disappointed at the 
quiet scene which meets our eye, for there are but 
few upon the streets, and that unceasing jam and 
crush of humanity with which we supposed that 
Broadway would be filled either day or night was 
absent, so that we voted it a failure. 

We spend three and a half very pleasant days 
in this the greatest and most wonderful city in the 
world, in which we see many of those attractions 
and stupendous undertakings from which it has 
acquired so much of its fame and prestige. 

To attempt to describe New York by piecemeal, 
would be trying to accomplish the impossible, so 
I will but touch on the most interesting and im- 
portant points. 

Hosts of ^'sky scrapers'' line Broadway from 
the Battery northward for several miles, so that 
although the width of this street is much more 
than the average, the towering structures on each 

Around the United States by Bicycle 313 

side almost shut out the daylight and make it re- 
semble an alley. The highest building in the city 
is the Park Eow, thirty-two stories in height, 
which stands but a short distance from the City 
Hall, in the heart of the down-town section on 
lower Broadway. After we see the city on a week- 
day, when Broadway at almost any point is a hur- 
rying, rushing, and jamming mass of clanging 
street cars, wagons, drays, automobiles, runabouts, 
and almost every other kind of vehicle, and 
through this maze seemingly in danger of life 
and limb, pedestrians thread their way, surely this 
hardly seems the tranquil and peaceful street 
which we beheld but yesterday. 

''The Tombs,'' the city jail, which has been 
made famous by many writers, stands on Garden 
St. in the heart of the down-town section, a grim, 
gloomy, and forbidding looking structure, brist- 
ling with turrets and surrounded by a high wall. 
This structure is connected with the Court-House 
which stands on the opposite side of the street by 
a stone passage-way extending from the second 
story of each building, which, after the more fa- 
mous passage of Venice, is called ' ' The Bridge of 
Sighs," certainly a most fitting appellation. 

''The noted "Flat Iron'' building, which has 
a height of twenty stories, and stands at the inter- 
section of Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and Twenty- 
third Street, is indeed a peculiar novelty in archi- 
tectural construction. 

314 Around the United States by Bicycle 

Central Park, made as beautiful and attractive 
as fabulous expenditures of money can make, is 
situated four miles from the city hall, beginning 
at 59th Street, and extending to 110th Street, fifty- 
one blocks or a little more than two and a half 
miles in length, bounded on one side by Fifth 
Avenue and on the other by Eighth Avenue. This 
vast park is the more wonderful because of the 
fact that it is located almost in the very heart of 
the city, occupying ground which is extremely 

Commencing at 72nd Street and extending 
northward, directly along the banks of the Hud- 
son, is the famous Eiverside Drive, which is to 
New York what the Lake Shore Drive is to Chi- 
cago, a very wide park-like boulevard lined with 
delicious resting-places made attractive with the 
aid of beds of flowers, small fountains, green turf, 
and garden seats without number. 

Also on this Drive, at 123rd Street, stands the 
tomb of General U. S. Grant, a fitting mausoleum 
for so great a general and statesman. 

Madison Square Garden, which is one of the 
most noted convention and assembly halls in the 
Union, is situated at 28th Street and Madison 
Avenue, occupying a complete square, surmounted 
by a very high tower capped by a glistening 
statue of bronze representing Mercury. 

The New York Hippodrome, at 43d and Fifth 
Avenue, the largest theatre in the world, with a 

Around the United States by Bicycle 315 

capacity of 5,200 people; the Grand Central Sta- 
tion, which is located but a few blocks from the 
Hippodrome, from which one can step onto trains 
which will carry you to any portion of this vast 
continent; the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, located at 
34th and Fifth Avenue, the most famous hostelry 
in New York City, are a few of the most noted 
edifices in the vicinity of upper Broadway. 

A maze of elevated railway, surface electric 
lines, and the Subway, handle the enormous and 
crushing traffic with perfect ease, and although 
all things move with the characteristic swiftness 
of a large city, there is no confusion, but like a 
gigantic machine the mechanism rolls smoothly, 

We ride on the Subway and marvel at this stu- 
pendous undertaking to complete which cost the 
city of New York $50,000,000, there being a total 
of twenty miles of this subterranean transporta- 
tion. Four tracks are parallel to each other, on 
each pair trains running in opposite directions; 
on two of the tracks the trains stopping at every 
station, all underground about five blocks apart, 
while on the remaining two tracks the Subway 
Express, which travels at almost the rate of a 
mile a minute, runs through in each direction. The 
Express stops but five times in traversing seven 
miles, with the result that residents of the out- 
skirts who desire to reach the down-town section 
as quickly as possible patronize the Express. The 

316 Around the United States by Bicycle 

trains, like those on the Elevated, are run in seven 
to eight cars on each, the power being taken from 
an electric ^^ third raiP' which extends alongside 
of the tracks. 

It is a pleasure to travel with a bicycle or any 
other kind of vehicle over the streets of New 
York, the predominating pavement being asphalt 
which is as smooth as glass. 

Wall Street, which holds largely in its control 
the commerce and finance of all the powers of the 
world, is a crooked and narrow street lined with 
towering and frowning buildings, between which 
it is almost impossible for the rays of sunlight to 
penetrate to the gloomy depths below. It is only 
a few blocks in length, and insignificant in ap- 
pearance. Around the corner from Wall Street 
on Broad Street, is situated the Stock Exchange, 
to which after much difficulty we obtain a permit 
to pass into the interior to the spectators' gallery. 
Below us is a scene of pandemonium. The air is 
filled with a thunderous roar of human voices, 
while the vast marble floor below is filled with a 
struggling, shouting, jamming mass of men, while 
intermingled with the members of the Exchange 
and almost as large a number are messengers in 
gray uniform, who dart hither and thither, so that 
the whole looks very much like a very large hive 
of bees at work. 

New York is built on a very long and narrow 
island which is called Manhattan, and the south- 

Around the United States by Bicycle 317 

ern portion of this island terminates in a sharp 
point on which is located Battery Park, where 
one can gaze out upon the waters of New York 
Harbor to the point where on Bedloe's Island, her 
uplifted hand grasping the torch of civilization, 
stands the colossal statue of Liberty, Enlighten- 
ing the World; near it is Ellis' Island, headquar- 
ters for the emigrants immediately upon their ar- 
rival on American soil; while on its other side is 
the circular mass of Governor's Island. 

With the intention of climbing to the top of the 
Statue of Liberty, we board a small steamer bound 
for Bedloe's Island. 

With the assistance of iron stairs on the interior 
of the structure, we ascend to the very top of this 
noted statue, and, through an orifice in the top of 
the head we have a most perfect view of the city 
of New York, which lies three miles away, pre- 
senting a solid front of high buildings. This 
statue, which was a gift from France to the United 
States, is 351 feet in height, including its stone 
base. Also on the island there is an army post, at 
which troops are stationed at all times of the 

The Brooklyn and the New Williamsburg Sus- 
pension Bridges, both of which connect New York 
City with Brooklyn, are indeed most wonderful; 
the length of the former is one and one-fifth miles, 
while the latter is one and one-half. The distance 
above the water is about the height of a common 

318 Around the United States by Bicycle 

five-story building, while two lines of elevated 
railway, two lines of street railway, two road- 
ways for vehicles and a passageway for pedes- 
trians traverses each. 

To leave New York without seeing Coney Island 
would be like partaking of a most sumptuous din- 
ner without having any dessert. Here is the cul- 
mination of the efforts of the amusement enter- 
prises of the country, which places before the pub- 
lic many and varied forms of glittering attrac- 
tions, to see all of which would take a small for- 
tune. Without doubt there is only one Coney 
Island in the world, and nothing else along its 
own peculiar line can in any way compare with it. 

At last our sight-seeing is completed, and we 
leave this most wonderful city behind us. We 
travel thirteen miles before we are out of its pre- 
cincts, the streets numbering as high as 236th 

The first place of any importance reached is 
White Plains, twenty-seven miles from New York, 
with a population of fifteen thousand. 




We work eastward as far as New Haven, which 
is sixty-four miles' ride from White Plains, 
through a thickly populated district, virtually be- 
ing one continuous city, there being towns and 
cities but short distances from one another, with 
good roads all the way, and having no trouble with 
our bicycles. Surely the tide has turned, and we 
have seen an end of our trials and tribulations. 

New Haven is a very large city, but hardly 
worthy of especial mention except that in the very 
heart of the city the famous Yale College is 

A ride of fifty miles over excellent roads and 
through a somewhat hilly country, with innumer- 
able towns, brings us to the capital city of the 
state of Connecticut, Hartford, a most beautiful 

The citizens of Connecticut may well feel proud 
of their state house, a most magnificent and im- 
posing edifice of Gothic architecture, bristling 
with spires, and to the stranger appearing like a 
cathedral. Spacious and beautiful grounds sur- 
round it, and but a short distance from it there 
flows a small stream which winds in graceful 

320 Around the United States by Bicycle 

curves througli the park-like grounds, at one place 
this stream is spanned by a massive stone bridge, 
at one end of which is an arched gateway, each 
side capped by two high stone turrets. This is 
called the Memorial Arch, and is commemorative 
of the veterans of the Civil War and those who in 
the bloody struggle lost their lives. 

The distance of ninety-three miles between 
Hartford and Providence, Ehode Island, we cover 
in one day. The roads are very bad, frequent 
beds of sand, and such hills ! These are the worst 
roads that we have traveled since leaving Wash- 
ington. In this space there are a few straggling 
villages, Willimantic being the largest, most of 
which are supported by woolen and cotton mills. 
The country on the whole surprises us by its 
roughness, especially in this portion of Connecti- 

Although Providence has the distinguished 
honor of being the capital city of the smallest 
state in the Union, namely Ehode Island, and 
ranks as twentieth in size of all the cities of the 
United States, most of the city is composed of 
twisting, irregular, and very narrow streets, while 
the most of the pavement is frightfully rough. 

The capitol building, interior and exterior, is 
constructed of white marble throughout, and as 
it is built on a hill, this is transformed into a white 
glittering and dazzling mass. 

While being photographed in the office of the 


Around the United States by Bicycle 321 

Providence Telegram, our machines peacefully 
resting in front of the building, in some explicable 
manner a blundering drayman, in attempting to 
drive through a very narrow alley alongside the 
newspaper building, accidentally knocks the bicy- 
cles down, and before any of the bystanders, a 
crowd of whom were curiously examining the vet- 
erans of long travel, could rescue them, one of the 
machines, which happened to be mine, was imme- 
diately and in the twinkling of an eye transformed 
into a twisted mass of steel spokes and splintered 
wood, with a gaping hole cut in the tire. For- 
tunately the other bicycle escaped injury. 

We were delayed nearly a day before the re- 
pairs could be completed on my machine, imme- 
diately whereupon we leave for classic Boston, 
which we are told is fifty miles away. 

We arrive at our destination in less than half 
a day's travel, having found all the way excellent 
roads, although somewhat hilly, with innumerable 
villages and towns scattered along the way. 

We spend but a day and a half in this the fifth 
city in size in the U. S., and part of this time there 
is a steady drizzle. We are very much disap- 
pointed in Boston as a city, a jumbled mass of 
crooked and very narrow streets, a veritable 
''mystic maze." Our '' sight-seeing ' ' here is 
under great difficulties, for even though we ask 
many of the inhabitants the exact location of some 
of the principal historical points of interest, they 


322 Around the United States by Bicycle 

state that they themselves would be able to find 
the places, but are at a loss to know how to direct 
us; one gray-haired old man, who stated that he 
had lived in ^^the Hub'' all his life, in answer to 
our queries, rummaged in one of his pockets, pro- 
ducing a pocket map of the city, on which he en- 
deavored to show our route through this most 
tortuous and weblike city, adding that as a matter 
of safety he oftentimes was compelled to refer 
to his map to be able to find his way home. 

Heading for Faneuil Hall, ^Hhe Cradle of Lib- 
erty," after turning and twisting along the ang- 
ling streets and inquiring of innumerable pedes- 
trians, and just when we were about to give up 
in despair, we turn another corner, and there the 
object of our search stands surrounded by reek- 
ing shambles, and upon investigation, we find 
that even the lower part of this most famous and 
historical structure is devoted to the use of a large 
meat market, from which the pleasant and delight- 
ful odors of fresh meats are wafted, surely a 
strange place for the venders of meats! With 
what reverential patriotism the inhabitants of 
Boston must regard this grand old building to 
allow such proceedings. The second story of the 
building, however, is reached by a stairway in the 
rear, and the interior is decorated in a most fitting 
manner, the hall being open to tourists at all 
times and in charge of a courteous old man. 

After taking several more doses of the crooked 

Aroimd the United States by Bicycle 323 

streets, after which our physical condition is bor- 
dering upon sea-sickness, we see the following 
interesting historical buildings: the Old State 
House, the front of each corner of which is sur- 
mounted by gilded images of the Lion and the 
Unicorn, emblems of the British Government, at 
one side of which structure was the scene of the 
Boston Massacre; the Old North Church, from the 
high belfry of which the lanterns which started 
Paul Revere on his famous ride, were hung, and 
which is hemmed in by foul-smelling and dirty 
tenements; the Old South Church, once used as 
barracks for British Red Coats, almost hidden 
from view by towering ' ^ sky-scrapers ; ' ' the home 
of Paul Revere, a three-story tenement, now occu- 
pied by natives of ^ * Sunny Italy. ' ' 

We visit the present capitol building, the gilded 
dome of which is the pride of Boston and of the 
state of Massachusetts, and which is situated at 
one side of the famous Boston Common, the latter 
being a very large area of land, part of which is 
fitted as a park, but the greater part resembles a 
large field. The exterior of the Capitol, crowded 
as it is into a small space, bordered by residences 
on one side and a small park-line area on its other, 
impresses one but little; however the interior is 
most beautiful and artistic. The Memorial Hall 
seems positively aglow with soft tinted marbles 
and beautiful decorations. Next we see the North 
Union and the South Union railway stations. 

324 Around the United States by Bicycle 

which handle the entire railroad traffic of the city ; 
and take a ride on the elevated, which also carries 
you through the Subway, of which Boston is most 
proud, but which as a matter of fact is but a very 
short tunnel as compared with the most perfect 
Subway of New York City. And after seeing the 
plate which marks the spot of the Boston Tea 
Party; Bunker Hill Monument, with a height of a 
little over two hundred feet, the model of the 
Washington Monument at Washington; we come 
to the conclusion that we have seen all that we de- 
sire of this most classical city, and take steps to 

During our stay here, it is perhaps needless to 
say, the majority of our meals consisted of 

The following is an incident which was told to 
us by one of the natives which without doubt is 
truthful in substance, although we do not care to 
vouch for it. 

*^What shall we get for little Emersonia's 
Christmas gift?" said Mrs. Backbay, of Boston, to 
her husband. 

*^Yes, what shall we get? What is her age now 
at her next birthday?'' 

^^She will be six years old next June." 

**Is she that old? Don't you think that we 
should get her a pair of gold-rimmed eye- 
glasses ? ' ' 

We cross the harbor to East Boston, from which 

Around the United States by Bicycle 325 

we proceed in a northerly course, traveling very 
near to the coast line, passing through numerous 
large cities, Salem, Beverly, Newburyport; a short 
distance from the latter place, we cross into New 
Hampshire, something like twenty miles' travel 
in which brings us into old Maine, and even in 
this very short crossing of New Hampshire we 
pass through a number of towns, Portsmouth be- 
ing the largest. 

Our first meal in the state of Maine we eat at 
Ogunquit, which is but a coast village, a sea-side 
resort situated directly on the shore of the mighty 
Atlantic. Although we before had an opportunity 
of viewing this most impressive expanse of water, 
it was under difficulties, for through the almost 
land-locked harbor of Boston, the vast Atlantic 
was seen only at a distance. 

For a number of miles we ride on the beach, the 
huge combers break upon the sands with a thun- 
derous roar, and at one point where the white 
sands of the beach lose themselves amongst in- 
numerable boulders of all sizes and shapes, the 
waves beat with irresistible fury, crested with 
foam, and come with unceasing action, hurtling 
in from the sea, to dash themselves like a mad 
creature against this rocky barrier, the spray from 
the impact being forced high in the air. Ah, is 
there anything more sublime than this continued 
action of the boundless element ! 

We reach Portland in the evening, and spend 

326 Around the United States by Bicycle 

the night here. Immediately after retiring we 
are awakened from a doze by the clanging of bells, 
blowing of whistles, and the shouts of people in 
the street. We see a lurid glare in the sky, and 
decide instantly that our presence is needed at 
that fire. We hastily dress, and dash out into 
the blackness of night. The streets are filled with 
people, all like ourselves running as fast as they 
are able. We follow the crowd, racing down one 
street to turn a sharp corner into another, almost 
falling headlong over depressions and stumbling 
over rocks, but at last, although it seems as if we 
had been running at our highest speed for half 
an hour, we reach the scene of the conflagration. 
Already several fire engines are emitting a fiery 
stream of sparks from their funnels, while the 
machinery is pumping water at a terrific speed. 
The crackling flames transform the inky dark- 
ness into daylight, and the hoarse shouts of the 
firemen, lost in the gigantic roar of the engines 
and the flames, make it indeed a pandemonium. 
We learn that it is a very large planing mill, which 
employs over a hundred skilled workers. We 
watch the conflagration for several hours, sur- 
rounded by a multitude, apparently the entire 
population having turned out en masse, but finally 
decide that sleep would be a much more comfort- 
able occupation, and depart. 



As Portland is our most nortlierii point, we now 
leave the Atlantic Ocean behind us, and travel in 
a direct westerly course heading joyfully for 
* ^ Michigan, my Michigan. ' ' 

We leave Portland with heavy hearts, as we 
have but one dollar in cash in our treasury. Along 
the coast, as we had anticipated, owing to the 
many large cities, we sold but few souvenirs, while 
our expenses were high. Now we find that we are 
to travel through a country, from here to Mont- 
pelier, Vermont, which is thickly settled with 
farmers, but through which there are only strag- 
gling hamlets, consisting of a dozen stores and a 
clump of houses. Our finances are so depleted, 
that it is an absolute necessity that we make our 
expenses from day to day, or we shall starve, for 
if we are not able to meet our expenses otherwise, 
we shall be compelled to work, which will be con- 
trary to the provisions of the wager, and we shall 
fail to win the purse. Although the future is in- 
deed dubious, we resolve that we will not acknowl- 
edge defeat until we have really tasted of the bit- 
ter beverage. 

A half day's travel, in which we cover thirty- 
five miles, is through a most hilly country, the hills 

328 Around the United States by Bicycle 

becoming larger and steeper and the country more 
wild and rugged as we go onward. Most of the 
time the road crosses the country in almost any 
manner, with no fences or anything else to indi- 
cate whether it is a road or simply a disused cow- 
path. For ten miles we make slow progress 
through a wilderness of forest, the road but very 
faint and indistinct, and crossed by many others at 
frequent intervals, all becoming so tangled, that 
it is with the utmost difficulty we follow the cor- 
rect path. However, night brings us to a little 
hamlet nestled cosily among the hills, a postoffice 
and general store forming the business portion. 
We learn from the postmaster, an old man with a 
flowing beard, that there is only one place in this 
small community where we shall be able to obtain 
accommodations for the night. 

We find the house to which he directs us situ- 
ated at the bottom of a very steep and long hill, a 
most cozy place. In answer to our knock, a pleas- 
ant faced old lady with snowy white hair appears, 
and to our query heartily invites us to come right 
in and make ourselves at home. She plies us with 
questions without number and, having satisfied 
her curiosity, explains that the reason she is so in- 
terested in us is because she has a boy who is about 
our age and who left home years, years ago, and 
she has never heard from him since; then her an- 
guish asserts itself and she seeks comfort in weep- 

Around the United States by Bicycle 329 

We find her husband to be very pleasant and 
agreeable, a hearty, robust, and rugged old man 
who has passed his seventy mark but who labors 
every day tilling the soil. Here indeed is life por- 
trayed in all its naturalness and simplicity; this 
affectionate and doting old couple live happily 
day by day and year by year, exemplifying the 
simple life near to nature, contented and peaceful; 
what more can one wish I 

The next day brings us trials and discourage- 
ments, night overtaking us but thirty-three miles 
from our starting place, having traveled through 
the mountains with difficulty nearly all day. 

As we pass a farm house a rather healthy rep- 
resentative of the canine family comes dashing 
forth with angry growls and barks, and lessens 
the distance between ^^your humble servant'^ and 
himself in surprisingly short time. I pedal with 
all my might, but to no avail, for he quickly 
reaches me, and before I am able to withdraw my 
foot from the toe clip, buries his teeth in the fat- 
test and choicest portion of my calf. 

Shortly afterward, in descending a mountain 
side, the coaster brake on Darling's wheel refuses 
to act, with the result that he goes dashing down- 
ward at an incredible rate of speed, but luckily 
the grade becomes less steep farther down the 
side of the mountain, finally terminating in a level 
stretch a mile or more in length, which serves to 

330 Around the United States by Bicycle 

decrease the speed of the machine. In descending 
all hills afterward he was compelled to walk. 

About noon a drizzle of rain starts, and this con- 
tinues the remainder of the day, while we iBlnd that 
we are unable to buy dinner at any farm house, 
and are forced to buy a lunch at a grocery in a 
small hamlet, called Ossipee. We are now again 
in New Hampshire. 

Two hours after our sumptuous noon-day re- 
past Darling further complicates matters by 
breaking the frame of his wheel in attempting to 
shove through an exceedingly heavy bed of sand, 
after which we adopt the now familiar ''relay" 
system, in which my machine plays a most prom- 
inent part. 

While riding my mile, Darling far behind plod- 
ding onward with the broken machine, I ride very 
swiftly down a very steep hill to find a deep bed 
of sand at the very bottom, which I strike in the 
most solid manner, the wheel stops very suddenly, 
while I am hurled like a projectile describing 
beautiful and artistic curves in mid-air, and land 
with a most solid and realistic thud, head foremost 
in the soft sand. After five minutes consumed in 
the vain endeavor to understand just how the 
whole thing happened, I collect my dazed senses, 
and discover that neither the bicycle nor myself 
are any the worse for this exciting experience. 

For seventy miles we are forced to continue the 
''relay" through the mountains, there being no 

Around the United States by Bicycle 331 

towns of any size where we can get the broken 
machine repaired, although we pass through a 
number of hamlets and village resorts, among 
which are Multonboro, and Center Harbor, just 
before reaching which place we skirt the rocky 
shores of Lake Winnepiseogee. After traveling 
for several miles within sight of this wild lake we 
climb a high mountain, and pass through Ashland, 
Plymouth, Wentworth, Pike Station, and Woods- 

We are delayed much by heavy rain, and receive 
numerous soakings because we are unable to find 
shelter. While it is very mountainous, the scen- 
ery impresses us but little, being but a succession 
of high towering green slopes on all sides, with 
only once a change in scenery, afforded by a range 
of mountains whose slopes were covered with 
heavy, dense, and impenetrable forest, the road 
winding at their base ; one of these mountains tow- 
ered far above the others, a rugged mass of bare, 
bleak rock, the top somewhat oval, and called the 
^^OwPs Head.'' 

We spend the night at Pike's Station, in the 
mountains, where in the vicinity a certain kind of 
stone is quarried which is cut up into scythe stones 
and whetstones. This one-man town consists of 
stores, a planing mill, a large factory where 
the stones are ground, and a large boarding house, 
everything owned by one individual, a Mr. Pike, 
a multi-millionaire. 

332 Around the United States by Bicycle 

At Woodsville we cross the Connecticut River 
by a bridge and land on the soil of Vermont, two 
miles' travel in which brings us to a small village 
called Wells River, at which there is a machine 
shop, and we find that we are able to get the dis- 
abled bicycle repaired. After much explanation 
and haggling, as our money is rather limited, for 
in crossing New Hampshire we found that we 
could hardly give our souvenirs away, much less 
sell them, but had managed to dispose of enough 
to pay what little our expenses had been, so that 
we still had the dollar with which we had left 
Portland, the machinist agreed to charge but a 
dollar. This, together with several of our souv- 
enirs would be entirely satisfactory to him, al- 
though he added that the regular price for re- 
pairs of this kind was two dollars and fifty cents. 

We are surely now in a predicament. Here we 
are without a cent of money, in a country where it 
is almost impossible to dispose of our pin trays. 
Unless there is a rift in the clouds we are very 
near the end. 

However, it was necessary to have the machine 
repaired, although even it did dispose of our last 
cent, for now with both machines in good repair 
we could travel much faster. It is hardly nec- 
essary to dwell upon the unpleasant details of 
the following two days. As we look back upon 
those dark times it seems like a cruel nightmare, 
and it seems an impossibility that such a thing 

Around the United States by Bicycle 333 

could really happen. We travel nearly ninety 
miles in crossing Vermont, from Wells River to 
Burlington, situated on the eastern shore of Lake 
Champlain, which forms the western boundary 
line of Vermont. In this space we pass through 
many towns, including Montpelier, the capital, 
and consume two days in the journey, in a most 
rugged country, for we are compelled to cross the 
Green Mountains. Immediately upon entering 
Vermont, after our experience with the bicycle 
repairman, our good fortune seems to desert us, 
and although we talk, in canvassing the villages, 
until we are nearly blue in the face, in this entire 
space we are unable to dispose of even a single 
souvenir, with the result that, as we have no mon- 
ey, we taste of no food for over two days, and the 
nights we spend sleeping outdoors. Every hand 
seems to be turned against us, no one will help us 
by even the purchase of one of our souvenirs for 
the most trifling sum. Strange as this is to relate, 
nevertheless it is a fact. Although, after the first 
day, we suffer untold pangs of hunger, we press 
onward, too stubborn to acknowledge defeat and 
stop and work, but continue buoyed up by the 
hope that the next village or town will prove dif- 
ferent, but we arrive there only to find the same 
old story. Finally, in desperation, even though 
we know it to be somewhat on the begging order, 
we tell the people that we have had nothing to 
eat for over twenty-four hours, and that we are 

334 Around the United States by Bicycle 

weak for want of food, but we are greeted with 
loud guffaws, and advised to go to work and we 
shall be able to get enough to eat, and on every 
hand we are treated with contempt and as mono- 
maniacs. This provokes, irritates, and angers us 
to such an extent, that we resolve to push on, al- 
though we die in the attempt, and never again 
shall we throw ourselves upon the sympathy of 
the people in this manner. 

Weak from loss of food, half sick, discouraged, 
aching in every muscle, we reach Burlington. We 
attempt to collect a crowd around us, but are ad- 
vised by an officer that if we desire to sell our 
souvenirs, it will be necessary for us to procure a 
license, which will cost us three dollars. Three 
dollars! And we haven't tasted food for over 
two days ! This is the last straw, and we see that 
Fate is indeed against us, and that it is no longer 
possible to continue the unequal struggle. 

We call at a cheap restaurant and lunch room, 
and tell the proprietor our story, how we are now 
compelled to work and lose the wager, but that 
we cannot stand it any longer; to all of which he 
listens very impassively, but offers to feed us, 
and then we can go in his kitchen and wipe and 
wash dishes in payment for our meal, to which 
we eagerly agree, snapping at this proposition as 
a hungry dog reaches for a bone. 

When the proprietor saw the amount of food 
which we consumed, without doubt he was hear- 

Around the United States by Bicycle 335 

tily sorry that lie had made us such an offer, for 
we ate as only one that is nearly starved can eat. 
Plate after plate of bread disappeared, while I 
distinctly remember Darling passing his cup to 
be filled with hot steaming coffee at least the 
eighth time, for our good host served us with 
bread (without butter) and coffee, but we cared 
not, so it was eatable, and we were past that stage 
when one becomes particular and critical at the 
quality of the food. 

After our hunger was satisfied we were rele- 
gated to the kitchen, and there initiated into the 
mysteries of dish washing. 

It was with heavy hearts that we filled out the 
report which told of our inability to live up to the 
conditions of the wager, and thought of the times 
without number when we had nearly lost our lives, 
of the innumerable sufferings and hardships which 
we had been forced to endure in order to cover all 
but three* states, Ohio, West Virginia, and Ken- 
tucky, of every state in the Union, and now vir- 
tually on the '^home stretch," and almost within 
sight of home; and now it had all come to naught. 
Surely the cup of defeat is most bitter ! 

Meanwhile we make arrangements to have 
money sent to us with which we shall be able to 
continue and finish the tour, for after much reflec- 
tion we make a grim determination to finish the 
journey as it was originally mapped out, even 
though we have failed to win the five thousand 

336 Ar^ound the United States by Bicycle 

dollar purse. During the time in which we await 
the arrival of funds, we succeed in continuing the 
culinary act in the restaurant, for which we re- 
ceive our board. 

Several days pass before we are able to leave 
Burlington behind us, and we have an opportunity 
of noticing what a most beautiful little city is 
Burlington. With a population of almost twenty 
thousand, a very pretty business portion, small 
parks in all parts of the city, situated directly on 
the shore of that most beautiful body of water. 
Lake Champlain, it is indeed an ideal place for 
rest and comfort. 

We had found the Green Mountains much the 
same as those in New Hampshire; and in Mont- 
pelier we had found a very sleepy little town. 
The capitol was rather unique in appearance, of 
dome variety, the entrance being six large stone 
columns forming a portico. 

In some inexplicable manner, the press, which 
have been lauding us to the skies heretofore, 
learns of our defeat, appears with double leaded 
columns giving a graphic description of our trials 
and defeat, when victory and success is seemingly 
an assured fact, which helps to increase our gen- 
eral feeling of misery. 



Plattesburgh, New York, our next objective 
point, lies on the opposite side of the lake. To 
reach it by land would be impossible, and we take 
a ferry steamer, the distance across being twenty- 
five miles. 

We reach Malone, fifty-four miles from Plattes- 
burgh, only after much difficulty. A downpour 
of rain transforms the clayish soil to a sticky mass, 
and as the country is very hilly, with but a single 
village called Ellensburg, consisting of a store 
and a few houses, and one small town, Chateaugay, 
by name, in the entire distance, we labor under 

A ride of seventy miles through a much better 
country than we have yet traversed in this state, 
farm houses at frequent intervals along the road, 
all the land under cultivation, with green fields to 
meet the eye everywhere, and although it is quite 
hilly, the roads are fairly good for the time of 
year, while there are innumerable small villages 
and towns along our route. 

Ogdensburg is situated on the banks of the 
mighty St. Lawrence, which at this point is nearly 
two miles wide. For a number of miles the road 
runs alongside of this famous river, whose clear 


338 Around the United States by Bicycle 

waters flow calmly on their way to the Atlantic, 
while occasionally a freighter heavily laden, or 
a passenger liner bound from Toronto to Quebec, 
will quietly glide by us almost without a sound 
save their whistles, which echo and re-echo until 
the roar dies quietly in the distance. 

From Morristown to Alexandria Bay we have an 
opportunity of viewing those most noted ** Thous- 
and Islands," which are perhaps the most aris- 
tocratic pleasure resorts in the United States at 
the present time. Here the St. Lawrence widens 
out into a large bay, the bosom of the stream being 
dotted with innumerable islands, some of which 
are but small masses of rock, while others perhaps 
consist of a thousand or two thousand acres. The 
larger are fitted in the most magnificent and sump- 
tuous scale, some of the palaces which are built on 
these islands representing the investment of sev- 
eral millions of dollars. Some of the most wealthy 
and influential in the nation here have their sum- 
mer residences, some of which would be fit for the 
greatest monarchs of Europe. 

After covering a hundred miles through a most 
thickly populated region, where there are many 
villages and towns, hampered much by rains, and 
over roads which are far from being first-class, 
while the country is seamed and furrowed with 
hills, we find ourselves at Oswego, located on the 
shore of one of the Great Lakes, Lake Ontario. 

"We spend the night here at a railroad Y. M» C. 

Around the United States by Bicycle 339 

A., for as we are members we are able to obtain 
lodging for but the small sum of ten cents. The 
beds are but small cots, but are clean, and are 
placed in rows, there being as many as twenty 
beds in one room, which fact places a most amus- 
ing incident under our personal observation. 

As we are very weary we retire at eight o 'clock, 
after the attendant has shown us the beds which 
we are to occupy. By nine o'clock nearly every 
bed was in use; when we hear the most astonish- 
ing wheezing and puffing, accompanied by slow 
and heavy steps, as if some very large individual 
were climbing the stairs. Preceded by the attend- 
ant, we see a middle-aged man, with a florid and 
perspiring face, his body being nearly as broad as 
long, who at first appearance resembles a very 
large ball. Between gasps caused by the tremen- 
dous exertion of climbing to this height, with a 
voice which sounds like the muffled roar of dis- 
tant cannonade, and with contempt and disap- 
pointment in tone and feature as the attendant 
pointed out the bed which he was to occupy, he 
succeeded in blurting out: ^ ^ H-H-H-a-v-e I 
g-g-g-o-t t-t-t-o s-s-s-1-e-e-p in THIST' The nod 
of the attendant which confirmed his question he 
seemed to be unable to comprehend, and looked 
dumbly around at the other sleeping forms, all of 
whom had been awakened by the unusual com- 
motion, and were sleepily watching his move- 
ments through half-closed eye-lids. However, 

340 Around the United States by Bicycle 

with a wild look in Ms eyes, he seemed to be rec- 
onciled to the inevitable, and prepared to settle 
his huge avoirdupois in a chair, where, after much 
groaning, puffing, and wheezing, he removed his 
clothes, and was ready to retire, when something 
happened ! With a crashing and rending of wood, 
from which emerges a roar as of an enraged bull, 
from beneath a tangled mass of bed clothing, the 
bed sinks to the floor, while the air is filled with 
the fat, flying arms and legs of our friend, who 
is vainly trying to extricate himself from the 
wreck. His antics are so ludicrous, that everyone 
in the room bursts out in hilarious laughter, and, 
hearing the commotion, the attendant rushes in. 
By this time the heavy man had separated himself 
from amongst the bed clothes and the debris, and 
stood like an infuriated lion glaring around him, 
lack of breath preventing him from freeing his 
mind by speech. 

The attendant, by the use of a mattress and a 
large amount of bed quilts, blankets, and sheets, 
spread a bed on the floor, where soon our angry 
friend lies down to rest, and as it is now nine- 
thirty, the time at which the lights are extin- 
guished in the rooms, we are left in total darkness. 
Less than an hour passes, when the most horrible 
snoring emanates from the vicinity of the latest 
arrival; this is a sort of combination rumble and 
wheeze, which terminates in a long drawn out and 
most shrill whistle. With this disturbance sleep 

Around the United States by Bicycle 341 

is an impossibility, and as the majority of the men 
are railroad men who are compelled to rise in ^^the 
wee sma' hours/' they become very angry, crying 
and grumbling: ^^Cut that out!'' '^Hey, wake 
up!" Put him out!" and numerous other expres- 
sions of a like nature, but nevertheless our friend 
peacefully sleeps unaware of the small revolution 
which he was causing. Finally one of the men 
calls the attendant, who, after much vigorous 
shaking and pounding, wakes the fat man, and 
tells him that if he cannot sleep without making 
that terrible noise, he will have to seek lodgings 
elsewhere, and so, for a short time at least, peace 
and comfort is restored, but not for long as sub- 
sequent events prove. 

Some time past twelve o 'clock we were all again 
awakened to see that the room was flooded with 
light, and there stood our fat friend industriously, 
amidst grunts and groans, examining with min- 
ute care the sheets and bed clothing upon which 
he had been sleeping. One of the men, who was 
provoked beyond measure at the continued antics 
of this individual, inquired in no gentle voice: 
''Now, what in HELL are you doing!" To which 
our heavyweight replies: ''B-B-B-B-1-e-s-s 
M-M-M-Y S-S-S-S-o-u-1, I think that there is a 
bed-bug in my bed!" The earnest manner in 
which this is uttered, accompanied by a most 
baby-like and wistful expression, causes all to 
burst out with loud and side-splitting laughter. 

342 Around the United States by Bicycle 

To which our friend listens in silence for some 
time, but as it seems to increase instead of sub- 
side, he wraps his garments in a small bundle, and 
with haughtiness, contempt, and anger, our trou- 
blesome friend, with a waddle which he intends 
to be most majestic, but which is so absurd and 
ludicrous that it only increases our merriment, 
leaves the room. 

We spend the remainder of the night in quiet 
and comfort, and arise the next morning to learn 
that our friend dressed himself at the top of the 
stairs, and had then quietly left the building. 

Following very near to the shore line of Lake 
Ontario we reach Eochester, with a population 
of nearly two hundred thousand inhabitants. 
Situated but a few miles from Lake Ontario, on 
the Genesee Eiver, and on the famous Erie Canal, 
with railroads entering it from almost every direc- 
tion, it has most excellent transportation facili- 

The Genesee Eiver here forms two very large 
falls, called The Upper and The Lower Falls, the 
highest of which is the former, having a fall of 
one hundred and fifty-one feet. 

As the Erie Canal flows directly through the 
heart of the city, all traffic has to be suspended 
during the passing of a flotilla of barges, as all 
bridges are raised high in the air. These barges 
are long and narrow, and will hold a vast quantity 
of merchandise; they are towed in strings of four 


Around the United States by Bicycle 343 

to ten by a team of horses whicli travel far ahead 
on the tow-path, and by means of a long heavy 
rope which is fastened to the foremost barge they 
speed along about as fast as the ordinary man 
would walk, providing that he was walking very 
slowly. We time the passage of one of these 
fleets, and find that all traffic is suspended exactly 
eight minutes. Surely it seems in a busy city like 
this some other arrangement more satisfactory 
to the public might be made. 

We cover but eighty-three miles in traveling 
from Rochester to Buffalo, for most of the way 
we have a stone road, and although there are 
many hills, and a heavy downfall of rain does not 
help matters, we have a pleasant trip. 

Buffalo, which ranks eighth in size of the cities 
in the United States, is a most level city. With- 
out doubt it is the best lighted and best paved 
in the Union. There are many large parks in the 
city, while the proximity of Niagara Falls, one of 
the natural wonders of the world, which is twenty- 
two miles distant, and is reached either by electric 
or steam cars, makes it a city to which the tour- 
ist and the pleasure seeker direct their steps. Be- 
ing situated at the head of Lake Erie, it is a most 
important shipping point, especially for grain 
and coal; the wharves being one solid mass of 
large steel elevators. Here one sees as large boats 
as one can see on the Atlantic, astonishing as it 
may seem, which ply between here and Detroit. 

344 Around the United States by Bicycle 

Buffalo has several very pretty squares, with large 
monuments, scattered at different localities in the 
business section. 

We pay a visit to Niagara Falls, a small town 
of the same name being located on the banks of 
the river. It is hardly necessary to give a very 
lengthy description of these most wonderful and 
marvelous water-falls, the main facts and features 
concerning them are familiar to almost every per- 
son. Suf&ce it to say that the height of the Amer- 
ican Falls is one hundred and sixty feet, while 
that of the Horseshoe Falls, Canadian, is one hun- 
dred and sixty-five feet. There are many attrac- 
tions in the vicinity of the falls, chief of which 
are the Whirlpool Rapids, the Cave of the Winds, 
Ambush Rock, and the DeviPs Hole, while a trip 
on ''The Maid of the Mist,'' a plucky little boat 
which steams almost directly beneath both the 
American and Horseshoe Falls, through a mad- 
dening, swirling mass of angry waters, or on an 
electric car which traverses the famous and noted 
*' Gorge Route," the round trip covering eighteen 
miles, where in places the track is overhung by 
masses of rock which seem apparently at any 
moment to dash downward to crush the car to 
atoms, are novel experiences. 



We leave Buffalo bound for Erie, Pennsylvania; 
we follow what is known as the Lake Shore Turn- 
pike, which travels very near to the shore of Lake 
Erie, and for almost the entire distance, sixty- 
seven miles, we are within sight of this very pretty 
body of water. We find the road fairly good, and 
many villages along the way. 

Erie, although it has a population of nearly 
sixty thousand inhabitants, and is a well laid out 
city, with wide streets, which are well paved, and 
extend to the four points of the compass, and has 
many fine public buildings, seems to have some- 
thing lacking, and there are here but few of those 
industrial corporations and manufacturers which 
give to a city a solid foundation for prosperity. 

At something like two hours ' travel out of Erie 
we are again stalled by the watery element, which 
descends from the sky in sheets, a fierce driving 
wind blowing the rain before it in torrents. We 
take shelter in a farmer's barn; here we stay for a 
long time, but finally the rain stops, the sky clears, 
and everything looks promising, except the road, 
which is a slimy, slippery surface over which to 
ride a bicycle is far from a pleasure, as the slight- 

346 Around the United States by Bicycle 

est swerve either to right or left throws one 
sprawling upon the muddy road. 

In coming down a very steep hill our machines 
attain such momentum, that owing to the condi- 
tion of the road we are unable to check them, with 
the dire result that near the bottom a slight 
swerve throws us both head foremost into the 
mud, where, so mixed with the bicycles that a 
spectator would declare that we and the machines 
were one, we slide at a terrific rate, until with a 
grand splash we land in the center of a muddy 
puddle of water! 

We travel exactly fifty miles in crossing this 
neck of Pennsylvania, entering Ohio at Conneaut, 
a small town. From here to Cleveland, 79 miles, 
the country is very thickly populated, and, al- 
though the roads are good, it is most awfully 

We enter Cleveland via the noted and famous 
Euclid Avenue; we have but entered the outskirts, 
when a terrific wind and thunder storm bursts 
upon us. We take shelter in a shed in which are 
stored stone and materials for the construction of 
a nearby building. For at least three hours we 
have the delight of listening to the howling of 
the wind and the beating of the rain upon the roof 
of the structure in which we are sheltered. How- 
ever, during a perceptible slackening of the down- 
pour, in desperation we start onward, reaching 
the heart of the city in four miles' travel. 

Around the United States by Bicycle 347 

In the list of large cities, preceding even Buffalo 
by one place, Cleveland stands seventh, and for it 
is claimed the greatest wealth and the most banks 
of any city for its size in the Union. The heart 
of the business section is a large square which 
consists of four square blocks, two of which are 
fitted as parks, with an abundance of garden seats, 
beds of flowers, fountains, and green turf; one 
other abounds in features which force one to imag- 
ine himself in the heart and bosom of Dame Na- 
ture: a merry brooklet flows noisily along over a 
bed strewn with pebbles and rocks ; rustic bridges 
are in abundance; while a profusion of trees and 
dense underbrush completes this most perfect imi- 
tation of the solitudes of the forest; the remain- 
ing square is occupied by a most massive monu- 
ment, which has an extensive base, out of which 
rises a large stone column perhaps one hundred 
and fifty feet in height, surmounted by a huge 
statue. This monument is in commemoration of 
the soldiers and sailors who took part in the late 
Civil War, and is a fine work of art. Cars from all 
part of the city travel through this square before 
making their outward bound trips, so that, no mat- 
ter what is one's destination, the correct car can 
be boarded here in the square, certainly a most 
convenient system for the public. 

As the city is located on the shore of Lake Erie, 
it is a very large shipping port, for from here any 
one of the great lakes is easily reached. 

348 Around the United States by Bicycle 

This city is our most westward point for the 
present, and we now take a south easterly course, 
Wheeling, West Virginia, being our objective 

We pass through Akron, which has a population 
of fifty thousand, and is the location of a number 
of large manufacturing institutions, industrially 
a most enterprising place, but for modern and 
public improvements far behind. Situated in a 
most hilly country, the city itself being but a num- 
ber of hills, it is by this also placed at a disad- 

We spend the night at a small village called 
Canal Fulton, getting its name from the fact that 
it is located upon a canal which extends from 
Cleveland to Portsmouth, emptying into the Ohio 
Eiver at the latter point. Here we found the coun- 
try to be indeed a surprise; villages were few and 
far between, while every mile southward increases 
the ruggedness of the country, and we wonder 
if this can be thickly populated and progressive 

Just after our arrival in this village it com- 
mences to rain. We make a house to house can- 
vass to obtain accommodations for the night, as 
there is but one hotel here and that is filled to over- 
flowing. With clothing wet, we finally succeed in 
finding a house, although it is a most dirty and 
loathsome place, where we can stay. Filth and 
squalor seem to prevail, while the food which we 

Around the United States by Bicycle 349 

receive is worse than prison fare, but we are very 
thankful to be out of the storm, and our previous 
experience in traveling has taught us not to be 
over particular. 

In Canton, the home city of President McKinley, 
we find a most beautiful and delightful little city. 
The public buildings and modern improvements 
here are positively astonishing for a city of this 
size. At West Lawns Cemetery, near the outskirts 
of the city, we see the temporary tomb of our be- 
loved martyred President, William McKinley; 
this is guarded day and night by soldiers, and will 
continue to be, until the completion of the perma- 
nent tomb, the money for which was raised by pop- 
ular subscription in all sections of the Union. 
The new tomb is to be constructed in this ceme- 
tery, but at quite a distance from the present 

After a journey through country where minia- 
ture mountains stare one in the face on every side, 
with but few and scrawny villages, we reach the 
town of Wellsville, which is on the Ohio River. 
As we remain here over night, in the evening we 
take a stroll down to the river, as we are told that 
the boat bound from Pittsburg to Cincinnati will 
soon arrive. It is a dark night, and as there is no 
wharf, we wonder how it is possible for the boat 
to make a landing. Soon we see the lights of the 
boat away up the stream, and perched on the very 
top is a most powerful search-light, which is 

350 Around the United States by Bicycle 

turned upon the shore in our vicinity for the pur- 
pose of ascertaining if there are any passengers 
or baggage. As it nears we see a long bridge like 
affair suspended high in the air in the manner of 
a derrick, and this together with the searchlight 
and the many twinkling lights of the vessel, makes 
it resemble some grim and fiery monster of the 
deep. After much maneuvering, the unwieldy 
craft is brought to a stop at something like a hun- 
dred feet from the shore, and with the creaking 
of blocks the bridge-like affair descends until the 
end touches the shore, across which the passengers 
reach the deck of the boat in safety. 

We follow along the Ohio, which with many 
devious turns and twists flows between high rocky 
mountains and bluffs, all the way until Martin's 
Ferry is reached; then we cross over to the east- 
ern shore, on which Wheeling, West Virginia, is 
located. Along down the river we find many vil- 
lages and small towns, but a few miles apart; most 
of which are supported by potteries, while at a 
few there are mammoth steel and iron plants. 

Wheeling is a most disgusting city, dirty, nar- 
row streets which are poorly paved, and most aw- 
fully hilly, while frowning down upon it are two 
mammoth mountains directly back of the city. 

We again cross the Ohio back into the state of 
the same name, bound for Columbus, the capital 

We follow the old National Pike the entire dis- 

Around the United States by Bicycle 351 

tance, which is one hundred and thirty-one miles; 
it is very mountainous until we are within twenty 
miles of Columbus, when it changes and becomes 
very level. These hills are sometimes almost a 
mile in length, curving and twisting very much 
like a mountain road; we coast down these at a 
terrific rate of speed, striking depressions and 
many rocks, bouncing nearly a foot off our sad- 
dles, which cause us to make a vow that if we ever 
reach the bottom of this alive, we will immedi- 
ately take steps to have a policy of accident in- 
surance issued to us, but after we reach the bot- 
tom safely and commence the tortuous and steep 
ascent of the other side, under a sweltering sun, 
we forget all our fears, until within a few minutes 
the performance is again repeated, and this is the 
way we cover the distance between the Ohio Eiver 
and Columbus. 

Several heavy rains delay us, but owing to the 
stone road, we have no trouble from this source. 
As this National Pike strikes across the country 
free from the line of any electric or steam rail road, 
we find but very few settlements, and these sug- 
gest that prosperity has been long absent from 
their immediate vicinity, being composed of one 
or two most uncouth stores, combining the sale 
of carpets, furniture, hardware, drugs, dry goods, 
and groceries, while the cluster of houses which 
surround the ^'business section" presents a most 
dilapidated and sorrowful appearance, and the in- 

352 Around the United States by Bicycle 

habitants seem to be in keeping with their sur- 

However, we pass through one most enterpris- 
ing city, where perhaps are situated the most fa- 
mous potteries in the country, this city is Zanes- 

Columbus, with a population of 125,000, the 
chief attraction of which is its state capitol, a most 
oddly constructed building, grim, bleak, and very 
thick gray stone walls surrounded or capped by 
a mass of stone which looks very similar to a large 
inverted water tank, the entire structure more 
closely resembling a prison or a fortress. However 
it is located in the very heart of the business sec- 
tion, and surrounded by spacious and well kept 
grounds. The city for the most part has wide 
streets, and is very metropolitan. One feature 
especially is a distinct novelty, an arch system of 
lighting the main business streets. Steel arches 
at the height of forty feet extend across the street 
from curb to curb, on which are innumerable in- 
candescent lights. These arches are about a block 
apart, the effect at night is very pretty and artis- 

On our way to Cincinnati we pass through a 
small city, Springfield; and Dayton, which has a 
population of 100,000; together with numerous 
other towns of small size, and this portion of Ohio 
is most thickly populated and threaded by lines 
of electric railroad. 

Around the United States by Bicycle 353 

We at last ride into Cincinnati, the largest city 
that we shall pass through until our home city is 
reached. Cincinnati is the tenth city of the Union 
in population, and is a most industrious city, but 
is very smoky and dirty, with narrow streets, 
while the business section seems to be crowded 
into the smallest possible space. There are but 
few beauty spots here, the chief attractions being 
the beer gardens, of which there are a large num- 
ber, as the majority of the population of the city 
are of German descent. There are also many high 
and massive buildings, the tallest being seventeen 
stories in height. 

Here at Cincinnati we again cross the Ohio, and 
land upon the soil of Kentucky. We travel in a 
direct southward course until we reach George- 
town, from which we go to Frankfort, the capital 
of the state, and thence to Louisville, covering a 
total mileage in this state of one hundred and fifty 

In our short journey to Georgetown we see 
much which does not tend to leave a very favor- 
able impression of this noted "Blue Grass State.'* 
The topography of the country borders upon the 
mountainous, and we again have the pleasure of 
toiling up steep hills over a most fearful road, 
which is made by strewing crushed rock upon the 
surface, it being left to the general traffic to com- 
plete the process by packing into a solid mass. 
To make matters worse, in this entire space, the 


354 Around the United States by Bicycle 

only water which we can obtain is rain-water, 
most of which we invariably found to be mixed 
plentifully with dirt and filth. We aA told that, 
owing to the formation of certain strata of rock, 
it is impossible to obtain water from the ground. 
"We see none of the famous green meadows of 
which this state boasts, but on the contrary hilly 
and rocky fields are on every side. 

We find in Frankfort a town of but a few thou- 
sand inhabitants, located in a hollow surrounded 
by high hills; it is a most sleepy and lazy place, 
most of the architecture of old style, while an air 
of depression and lack of energy permeates the 
very atmosphere. The state house is a very small 
building, which the stranger would mistake for 
the city jail; the inside is cold, damp, most for- 
lorn, and uninviting. 

Our one desire is to leave this town behind us 
as soon as possible, but as darkness finds us still 
here, we are compelled to remain all night. We 
procure accommodations at a hotel which is in 
keeping with its surroundings, a dilapidated 
wooden structure, which looks as if at any moment 
it would collapse, while the interior is permeated 
with the mustiest of smells. The room which we 
occupy is located on the third and top floor; an 
old wooden bed, the style of which antedates our 
time fifty years, together with a wooden chair, the 
back of which is missing; a wash-stand which 
stands nobly upon its three legs, supported by the 

Around the United States by Bicycle 355 

wall, while a cracked and begrimed lamp serves 
to illuminate this most pleasant and comfortable 
scene. But we accept the situation and surround- 
ings good-naturedly, and prepare to retire, for at 
least we can sleep, even though the situation is 
not as pleasant as it might be, but subsequent 
events prove that in this we are destined to have 

We have lain in bed but a short time and are 
almost sliding off into Dreamland, when a mouse 
has the audacity to scamper across the bed run- 
ning over our bodies; we lose no time in arising 
and lighting the sickly lamp, with the aid of which 
we proceed to make war on our small rodent. 
After much dodging and running, we corner him 
far from his retreat, and as he also sees his pre- 
dicament, he prepares to risk the chances of utter 
extinction, and dashes for it. He runs the gaunt- 
let successfully, but just as he is within a few feet 
of his haven of refuge, a very small hole in the 
flooring, Darling hurls a shoe with such accuracy, 
that our small friend with a last despairing squeal 
is put *'hors de combat.'' After hurling the re- 
mains out of the window, we extinguish the light, 
and again prepare to sleep. 

We have been sleeping several hours, when 
with a crash and a bang, followed by a clatter of 
broken glass, we are awakened very suddenly. 
We arise and investigate to find that the window 

356 Around the United States by Bicycle 

in our room had fallen, smashing every pane of 
glass in it. 

This is followed shortly afterward by the tumb- 
ling of a tin pail down three flights of stairs, which 
with a deafening jangle and clatter bounces from 
step to step, in the stillness of the night appear- 
ing to be hours in reaching the bottom. But we 
find that even this is not the end, for simultane- 
ously and with one accord, we both declare that 
there is SOMETHING in the bed which bites, and 
that something must be BED BUGS. Again press- 
ing the smoky lamp into service, we make a most 
careful and minute examination to find that the 
bedding is infested with a small army of these 
delightful crawling creatures. We conclude im- 
mediately that we do not care to occupy the bed 
again, and so dressing ourselves, we lay upon the 
floor and spend the remainder of the night without 
further incident. 

Frankfort to Louisville, a distance of fifty-two 
miles, we cover in a day; we have those most de- 
lightful hills to ascend and descend, and the scen- 
ery is much the same as it had been elsewhere in 
this state, until within eight miles of our desti- 
nation, when the country becomes very level, 
while occasionally the brightness and freshness 
of a green meadow relieves the monotony. 

While Louisville ranks among the large cities, 
the impression is given to the stranger that it is 
but a village which has been continually added to 

Around the United States by Bicycle 357 

until the city is made; there is no uniformity of the 
business section, which is scattered over an enor- 
mous territory. It is also smoky and dirty. It has 
however very fine public edifices, among which are 
the Court House and the City Hall, both artistic 

As Louisville is situated on the banks of the 
Ohio, we again cross this muddy stream and for 
the last time, landing at Jeffersonville, which is 
on the opposite shore and in the state of Indiana. 

One hundred and thirty-four miles' travel 
through a rolling and most thickly settled country 
brings us to Indianapolis, the capital of the state. 
In this space we find that nearly every acre of land 
is under cultivation, the farm-houses are of a su- 
perior type, and breathe of prosperity, while we 
pass through hosts of villages and towns. 

Indianapolis, with well paved and carefully 
kept streets, with a most uniform and artistic bus- 
iness portion, with a magnificent array of public 
edifices, which are marvels of architecture, is most 
pleasing to the tourist and stranger. In the very 
center of the business section in what is known 
as Monument Circle, around which in circular 
form are built massive structures, a most beautiful 
monument stands which is dedicated to the Sol- 
diers and Sailors. The height from base to sum- 
mit is 284 feet, the top being reached by either ele- 
vator or stairs. A colossal statue with out- 
stretched hands adorns the top, while the base on 

358 Around the United States by Bicycle 

two sides has fountains in the form of cascades, 
the water falling into a huge stone basin perhaps 
thirty feet square, this making a very pretty effect. 
The state capitol is a massive rectangular build- 
ing, four stories in height, from the center of 
which rises a high dome. The interior is beautiful 
with marbles, while the top of the interior of the 
dome is of blue glass, which throws a soft and mel- 
low light down upon marble corridors and floors. 

We also find that our cyclometers register the 
fact that, upon entering the city of Indianapolis, 
we have traveled exactly thirteen thousand miles, 
while we have been traveling continuously for al- 
most a year and three months. 

We leave the capital city behind us traveling 
in a north-easterly direction and passing through 
Anderson, Muncie, Hartford City, Bluffton, and 
Fort Wayne. We go through the heart of the nat- 
ural gas region and the oil fields, these being prin- 
cipally in Madison and Delaware Counties. In 
the vicinity of Anderson and Muncie even the air 
smells of gas, while creaking oil wells are on every 

The city of Fort Wayne, county seat of Allen 
County, is graced by a most magnificent Court 
House, the cost of which was some millions of dol- 
lars. It occupies a solid square, and is situated 
in the heart of the city. No expense has been 

Around the United States by Bicycle 359 

spared to make it a marvel of architectural beauty, 
both on its exterior and its interior. 

From Fort Wayne we cover seventy-two miles 
in this state, and then we cross the Indiana-Mich- 
igan line, which is in the center of a village called 
Eay; our hearts thrill with joy, and our pulses 
quicken, as we again step upon the soil of our 
native state after having traversed every state in 
the Union. It is indeed ^'Michigan, my Michi- 
gan, ' ' and the words never sound so sweet as now. 

As according to our route as originally mapped 
Detroit is our objective point we reach that city, 
passing through Hudson and Adrian, and covering 
127 miles, over fairly good roads, except that it 
is quite hilly, and we occasionally find beds of 
deep sand. 

Without doubt Detroit is one of the cleanest 
and best paved cities in the United States. Al- 
though it is laid out in the manner of a spider-web, 
and streets angle in all directions. Woodward 
Ave., which is the principal thoroughfare, a very 
wide street which extends directly north from the 
Detroit River, acts as a sort of guide to the strang- 
er, so that as it divides the city, running through 
its very center, one cannot wander in either direc- 
tion very far without crossing this avenue. In- 
numerable parks are in all parts of the city, while 
an air of neatness hangs about everything. As 
it is built on the bank of the Detroit River, and as 

360 Around the United States by Bicycle 

this stream is the sole passage of all the lake traf- 
fic from the upper lakes, Huron, Superior, and 
Michigan, to the lower lakes, Erie and Ontario, 
the enormous amount of shipping which passes 
this ^^City of the Straif in the short time of 
twenty-four hours is incredible. 

We are now but seventy-six miles from our 
home city, and we arise at four o'clock in the 
morning intending to make the trip in one day, 
but we hardly reach the outskirts when without 
warning there is a crunching and grinding on 
Darling's machine, and on investigation he finds 
that the coaster-brake is broken into several 
pieces, which necessitates our walking to the near- 
est repair shop, where we are forced to wait sev- 
eral hours until the proprietor appears. 

As the damage is more serious than we at first 
thought, we are not able to leave the city until 
noon. We find the roads quite heavy owing to the 
excessive rainfall, but travel to Ann Arbor, a ride 
of forty miles, where we remain over night. 

Ann Arbor, a small town which relies upon the 
University of Michigan, that most famous and 
noted college, for its support, is located in a most 
hilly region. Like most college towns there is a 
scarcity of manufacturing institutions, so that 
during the vacation at the University business is 
practically at a standstill. 

By easy riding we cover the remainder of the 

Around the United States by Bicycle 361 

distance which lies between here and our home 
city, Jackson, in less than half a day, although 
the roads over which we travel are far from being 
in good condition, arriving, at the exact spot 
from which we had departed, at 12:45 p. m. on 
August 11, 1905, having covered 13,407 miles, hav- 
ing traveled through every state in the Union, and 
four territories, namely Arizona, New Mexico, Ok- 
lahoma, and Indian Territory, and the District of 
Columbia, making this most lengthy and arduous 
journey in one year, three months, nine days, six 
hours, and forty-five minutes. As we dismount in 
front of the Otsego Hotel on almost the identical 
spot from which we had departed on the second 
of May in 1904, our friends press forward in large 
numbers all wishing to be the first to grasp our 
hands. In the midst of this scene of delightful 
confusion the same photographer who had pho- 
tographed us on the morning of our departure 
appears, and, after much difficulty, succeeds in 
pushing the crowd back long enough to ^^ press 
the button, ' ' after which we make haste to reach 
our homes, where those who are nearest and dear- 
est to us are awaiting our arrival in feverish ex- 

So ends the story of our hazardous journey, a 
tour which has never before been accomplished 
by means of a bicycle, and perhaps never will 
again. While we had many delightful and pleas- 

362 Around the United States by Bicycle 

ing experiences, the majority were of the opposite 
nature, so that, as we look back upon them, we 
shudder and tremble to think what miraculous 
escapes we had, and it is with overwhelming grat- 
itude and ecstatic joy that we offer up a prayer to 
the Kind Hand of Providence, Who watches all, 
for our safe home-coming. 

C 310 88 



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