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Full text of "Following the tow-path and through the Adirondacks awheel"

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Following the Tow -Path 

AND 

\ Through the Adirondacks Awheel. 



BY ALLAN ERIC 

AND 

THE "JUNIOR PARTNER." 




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FOLLOWING THE TOW-PATH 

AND 

Throudi the Adirondacks Awheel. 



BY 

ALLAN ERIC 

AND 

THE ''JUNIOR PARTNER." 



Authors of :-''Bnckra" Land, The Old Well of Cartagena, 
A Vacation Tour Awheel, Etc. 



1898. 



' , 



BOSTON: 
N. E. R. G. PubllBhlng Co. 



THE urn TOItK ( 

PUI'LIC LIBSAEY 

333083B 

A.STOR, LENOX AND 

TiLDKX FOUNDATIONS 

« 1945 L 



Copyright, 1898, 
By the Autiioks. 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS, 



The "Junior Partner" Frontispiece. 

Page. 

Western Portal of the Hoosac Tunnel - - - - ii 

On the Cinder Path i6 

A Curious Road ^^ 

Lock on the Erie Canal 24 

A Lock-Keeper and Family 26 

View on the Erie Canal 28 

Scene in the Mohawk Valley 34 

View on the Mohawk River 42 

On the Aqueduct, Erie Canal 47 

On the Tow Path, Erie Canal 5° 

Congress Park, Saratoga 5^ 

An Adirondack Lake 55 

Stuck in the Sand .-.--.-- 67 

View on Lake Champlain 80 

The ''Ethan Allen" 82 

A Vermont Road 9° 






FOLLOWING THE TOW-PATH 

AND XHROUOH 

THE ADIRONDACKS AWHEEL. 



CHAPTER I. 

nrw FTER months of consultation and deliberation 
hA with regard to various routes for our second 
I JL bicycle tour, we decided that the one best 
suited to the time at our disposal would be 
out through the Mohawk Valley, in New York State, 
famed for its beauty, thence northward to the lake 
and Adirondack region ; and east, to Lake Cham- 
plain, that great inland sea of historic fame, which 
spreads across the boundary between the states of 
New York and Vermont, and stretches north to the 
Canadian border. 

With the aid of maps and our own knowledge of 
those regions, we had little difficulty in approxi- 
mately laying out the route ; but, concerning the 
roads that we might expect to encounter, we were 
unable to obtain any information. However, as 
tourists, we did not hesitate to set out, and we did 
80 with a grim determination to adhere to the route, 
(7) 



let come what might, and take things as they came, 
resolving to find pleasure in every incident which 
might be in store for us. 

The route planned was certainly a unique one, 
somewhat outside of the beaten track, which was 
one great attraction for us ; and we knew that we 
should see many interesting things, new life, and 
some of the most beautiful scenery on the conti- 
nent. 

On our former tour we wheeled west from Bos- 
ton to within about 35 miles of Albany, so this time 
we thought it advisable not to use up our time 
wheeling over the same route. We therefore, the 
Junior Partner and I, decided to go by rail to Al- 
bany and take our departure awheel from the capi- 
tal city of the Empire State. 

So, one beautiful, bright July morning found us 
luxuriously installed in a cool, comfortable car of 
the Fitchburg Kailroad, and at 9.30 o'clock the 
splendid train pulled out of the Union Station. Our 
wheels, touring-case and the canvas case containing 
a reserve supply of clothing, which was to go ahead 
of us throughout the trip, were in the baggage car ; 
and in the car with us were the camera, a small bun- 
dle which later would be carried on one of the 
wheels, and my pith helmet, which I had worn in 
the West Indies, and which I proposed wearing on 
this trip to protect my head from the direct heat of 
the sun. 

The experience of the combined luxury of the 
travel on the Fitchburg Railroad, through the un- 
surpassed scenery of Massachusetts, ever-changing, 
now of gentle, quiet beauty, and, as we approach 
the northwestern part of the State, gradually 
(8) 



merging into mountain grandeur, was not new to 
us. 

And yet it is ever new, for how can we tire of the 
beautiful in nature I The train flew swiftly along, 
first past the lovely towns joining and nearby Bos- 
ton ; past magnificent estates and blossoming gar- 
dens; across streams, skirting placid little lakes 
and flowering meadows; through rich intervales 
and past fertile farms that enjoy a high state of cul- 
tivation. It was the beginning of the haying sea- 
son, and the luxuriant grass was being laid low by 
the mowing machine, and busy workers were ev- 
erywhere seen. Now we would pass a field of 
strawberries, where men, women and children were 
engaged in gathering the luscious fruit from the 
vines; and then, on either side, the hills and dales 
were covered, some with yellow daisies, and others 
with white ones, the latter looking not unlike a man- 
tle of snow. Flowers grew in profusion along the 
line of the railroad, of many kinds and colors. 

The first stop of the train was at Ayer, but in a 
few minutes it was speeding on again toward the 
Connecticut river valley, and we scarcely realized 
that we were making such rapid progress ere we 
were crossing the broad Connecticut river,when we 
were aflorded a fine view down that famed valley, 
whose rich alluvial lands are among the most pro- 
ductive in the whole country. 

"Greenfield !" called the train-men. That word 
is ever a welcome sound, for here the train stops 
for lunch, and the passengers lose no time in placing 
themselves in close touch with the excellent eatables 
there to be secured. Those who do not care to leave 
the train are waited upon by courteous young men, 



and are able to enjoy an acceptable lunch quietly in 
the car. 

As the train pulled out of Greenfield I sought the 
luxurious smoking apartment of the parlor car, 
while the Junior Partner occupied herself with a 
book and a box of ice-cream. The country had now 
changed its aspect, and the foot-hills, then the Hoo- 
sac Mountains themselves rose on either side. Cov- 
ered with thick foliage for the most part— though 
an occasional rugged crag frowned down upon the 
fair valleys — there was a delicious freshness after 
the showers of the evening before, which rendered 
the pictures flitting by even more pleasing. Now 
and then the train would roar over a bridge which 
spanned the Deerfield river, which now gently 
flowing and then foaming over a stony bed, appeared 
first on one side and then on the other. Again we 
were gazing down upon the Deerfield Valley, fair 
as the Garden of Eden, and then we were shut in 
by the mountains that now towered yet higher. 
Once in a while we caught a glimpse of a bit of the 
highway which wound along between the mount- 
ains, and here and there a quiet farm-house nestling 
in a mountain nook. 

"When the train passed Zoar I left the smoking 
apartment, for the famous Hoosac Tunnel would 
soon be reached, and we never tire of the experi- 
ence, and always make the most of it. The train 
hands came through the cars and closed all the ven- 
tilators and lighted the lamps. Looking from the 
windows we could now and then, as the train swung 
around a sharp curve, as it threaded its way in and 
out among the mountains, see the great locomotive 
as it pursued its ponderous way, sending up col- 
umns of black smoke from its stack. 
(10) 




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Hoosac Tunnel station was left behind, and then 
we watched for the great archway of the eastern 
portal of the tunnel. A few more curves, and then 
the locomotive, as though weary of turning aside 
for the mountains, seemed to charge the last mighty 
base, and then we went in out of the sunlight, and 
the train roared and the echoes roared back as we 
rushed securely along beneath the mountain, 
through its very vitals, pierced by the energy of 
man, with thousands of feet of rock above us. The 
great bore is nearly five miles long, and beside being 
one of the most celebrated railroad tunnels in the 
world, it is probably the safest, for it is bored 
through solid rock, which forms the everlasting 
foundation of the Hoosac Mountains. 

. Once more in the bright sunlight the Hoosacs are 
left behind, and before us were the Berkshire Hills, 
less grand but more beautiful than the mightier 
range. 

A brief stop at North Adams, then another at 
WJlliamstown, and we sped across a corner of the 
State of Vermont before crossing the line into New 
York. Shortly before reaching Troy, where we 
made a brief stop to see if our laundry was ready, 
the section of the train which was bound for Sara- 
toga dropped us ; for the Fitch burg Road is the main 
highway from New England to Saratoga and the 
adjacent lovely region of lakes and mountains. 

Soon we caught a first sight of the Erie Canal, 
near its eastern terminus, and we eagerly looked at 
the tow-path to see what it was like, for we intended 
to wheel over some sections of it later on. The canal 
seemed to be full of water to the very edges, and 
here and there the squatty-looking boats were drawn 
up discharging cargo. 

ai) 



Reaching Albany we went at once to our hotel, 
where we removed the dust of travel, and then 
started out to see a little of the city. Noticing steps 
leading up to the end of the railroad bridge nearby, 
which here spans the Hudson river between Albany 
and Rensselaer, we ascended them, and walked out 
on the footway along beside the tracks, to about 
the centre of the bridge, when we had a fine view 
of the broad Hudson, up and down, with its traffic 
of steamers and other craft; including one of this 
palatial steamers that ply between Albany and New 
York City. We next visited the Capitol, of which 
we had heard so much. State street leads up to it. 
It consists of a huge pile of brick and stone, but the 
style of architecture is more fitting for a magnificent 
hotel than for the Capitol of a great state. We were 
not impressed by it, as a whole; but the grounds 
surrounding it are fine, and the grand esplanade and 
the main entrance to the building are superb, some 
fine sculptures being grouped around the latter, but 
which cannot be fully appreciated except by a care- 
ful examination in detail. 

We entered the Capitol, and were surprised to 
find, on the street floor of the immense pile, all sorts 
of establishmenis foreign to state departments. 
''Guides" lurk in the dimly-lighted corridors, and to 
even glance Jit one of them is to have him pounce 
upon you and urge the importance of his services. 
Even if you do not look at them you will be lucky 
if you escape. After taking a glance around at the 
dim corridors, we concluded that the only guide we 
should want would be a compass. However, we 
quickly found what we were in search of — the oflice 
of the Superintendent of Public Works, for we 
(12) 



wished to inquire particularly as to whether there 
was any objection to our riding on the tow-path of 
the canal, and to obtain other information. We 
were very pleasantly received by the Superintendent, 
who paid us particular attention, explaining that we 
were at liberty to ride on the tow-path, provided we 
would take things as they came, which meant that 
we might now and then encounter men with rough 
edges, connected with the canal boats. The official, 
before we went out, kindly presented us with a set 
of maps, in a substantial cover, of the entire canal 
system, giving its course, locks, levels and stations, 
a very valuable possession. 

After supper we rode completely around the city 
on an ''A" Belt Line electric car, obtaining a good 
idea of how the capital looks. It is, on the whole, 
a very pretty, enterprising, and lively city ,* but the 
streets are a terror to cyclists, for they are nearly all 
paved with cobble stones, though we saw several 
paved with bricks. This was quite a novelty to us, 
but it makes a very acceptable street for the wheel- 
man. 

We left the car at Washington Park, which is a 
lovely piece of greenery, with fine trees and a pretty 
lake and fountain. In the twilight we sat and 
watched the people promenading, driving, and cy- 
cling, until the cyclists lighted their lamps and the 
"silent steeds" were gliding along, each with its one 
bright eye of fire flashing upon the shrubbery and 
across the road as the noiseless tires of inflated rub- 
ber sped over the smooth gravel roads. 

We walked back down town, and after making a 
few inquiries as to the road by which we should 
leave the city in the morning, finally deciding to 
(13) 



follow the ciudcr cycle path, fifteen miles iu length, 
to Schenectady, constructed by the wheelmen, we 
returned to the hotel to secure a good night's rest, 
for to-morrow we would mount the wheels and be- 
gin the long and interesting tour awheel which we 
had laid out. 



(W> 



CHAPTER II. 



Albany to Schenectady, Over the Bicycle Cinder-Path.— First 
Sight of the Erie Canal.— Following the To w-Path.— Canal 
Boats and Tow-Horses.— Domestic Life on the Canal. 



VE arose at an early hour— for us— the next 
morning, and, having had breakfast, after 
I had deposited enough cash with the 
hotel clerk to pay the water-tax for the 
next six months, we gathered up our effects and set 
out for the railroad station by an unnecessarily cir- 
cuitous route, as it proved, where we secured our 
wheels from the baggage room and at once set to 
work fastening the luggage to the two bicycles. The 
touring case, which is seen in the engravings, going 
upon my Victor, also the foot-pump, which was 
strapped to the frame, and the camera on the handle 
bar. A bundle of necessary miscellaneous articles 
was fastened under the saddle of the Junior Part- 
ner's Victoria. The baggage master at the station 
was very courteous and obliging, and quite an au- 
dience gathered around to watch the expedition get 
under way. Everything secure, all the bearings 
were carefully oiled, and we started. We found it 
necessary to purchase a new carrier for the camera, 
and spent nearly two hours visiting the different 
bicycle stores in search of such a one as we required, 
(16) 



but without success. We found some of different 
styles, most of them being apparently designed for 
taking babies out for a spin. yr/»ether or not this 
was an indication of the popu'^r '-equirement and 
demand in the line of luggage carriers in Albany 
we could not say, but it was not until we applied at 
a hardware store that we found what we required. 

Now we were ofi, following Central avenue in 
a northwesterly direction out of the city. For some 
distance Central avenue is paved with brick, an 
easy surface over which to ride a wheel. At the 
outskirts of the city we turned sharply to the left 
and entered the fifteen-mile-long cycle path, which 
extends from Albany to Schenectady. It was con- 
structed by the wheelmen, and its surface is covered 
by coal cinders, which pack very hard, making a 
traci over which the wheels spin, giving a delight- 
ful sensation to the rider. The morning was bright 
and the sky was clear. The path, beside the apology 
for amain highway between the two cities, followed 
close to the walls and fences, and beneath overhang- 
ing trees, which afforded delightful shade for most 
of the way. Now and then the cycle path passed 
through tall grass, and now through low bushes and 
shrubbery, which would brush us as we glided on. 
All along the way the roadside was sprinkled with 
white and yellow daisies, and the fields and pastures 
were dotted with many wild flowers. 

The highway, so-called, attracted our undivided 
attention, and several times we dismounted in order 
that we might more fully feast our eyes upon this 
"natural wonder," and thank our stars that there 
was such a thing as a cinder path ; for, in the entire 
distance from Albany to Schenectady, there is not 
(16) 



a single rod of this road which could be ridden on 
a wheel. It is sand, deep sand for the whole fifteen 
miles, except at rare intervals, when the sand is va- 
ried by a short strip of rough road, over which light 
artillery would pass with extreme difficulty. 

The only objectionable feature about the cycle 
path is that it is not wide enough for two to ride 
abreast ; but we mention this only in a descriptive 
sense, without in any way wishing to criticise this 
most enterprising and commendable work on the 
part of the wheelmen. 

Once, noticing a sign in front of a house shaded 
by great trees, to the effect that there was milk for 
sale, we wheeled into the yard and purchased some. 
I usually take a drink of water after a glass of milk, 
but I did not find it necessary on this occasion. 

We soon after crossed the Albany County line, 
which was indicated by a sign over the path. Just 
before that we passed a curious little chapel which 
stood back among the trees at some distance from 
the road, on the opposite side from us. Beside the 
path there was a sign which read as follows: 
'Lishas Kill Church— Wheelmen Welcome." At 
least, that is how we read it as we rode past. Road- 
houses, where refreshments could be obtained, were 
numerous. Here and there, near the path, a large 
painted sign warned all persons in these words: 
''$50 fine for driving cattle on this path." This 
regulation, it seems, is rigidly enforced, as it ought 
to be. Pedestrians may walk upon the path, but 
they are required to give wheelmen half of it, or 
the whole of it if the path is not sufficiently wide to 
allow the wheelman to pass without dismounting. 
We found the pedestrians whom we met to be very 
(17) 



obliging, indeed. The cyclist in New York State is 
always treated with the greatest consideration by 
every one, whether walking or driving in carriages 
or carts. 

The forenoon was replete with surprises for us 
with regard to Ihe road beside which we were rid- 
ing ; and when near by Schenectady we came to 
a piece of the most novel road that we had ever seen ; 
or perhaps we should say the most curious contri- 
vance for getting over the road, which was nothing 
but a streak of deep sand, so deep that the road 
would have been practically impassable for teams 
had it not been for two lines of flag stones laid 
parallel to each other so that the wheels of vehicles 
would roll along upon them. At the first sight of 
this wonderful example of nineteenth century pro- 
gress, as exemplified in New York State, we dis- 
mounted, unpacked the camera, and took a photo- 
graph of it. A party of ragged small boys who were 
playing in a disused dwelling flocked over to watch 
the operation, and took pains to stand where they 
thought they would be in the picture, each with his 
mouth open. We requested them to stand out of 
the way, as we were not photographing zoological 
freaks while on this tour; but one of them managed 
to get within the field of the camera. The Junior 
Partner, wishing to reward this boy for his calm 
perseverance, told him that if he would tell her his 
postoffice address, she would send him a picture. 
As he did not seem to know what ''postoffice ad- 
dress" meant, the Junior Partner asked if he knew 
where his father's and mother's letters came ; but he 
did not. He had never heard of Boston, and did 
not know that New York had been annexed to Long 
(18) 



Island ; and all within about ten miles of the classic 
halls of the capitol at Albany. 

As we entered Schenectady we had to take to the 
streets, which were in pretty good condition. At 
any rate we managed to worry along by keeping 
close to the curbstone a part of the way. At the 
foot of the hill we crossed the bridge over the Erie 
Canal, and, as it happened, a line of boats was 
coming along bound east ; the tow horses moving 
slowly along at the end of a long line called the 
tow-line. We dismounted to watch the boats go 
under the bridge ; evidently one of the boatmen had 
gone ashore to procure supplies, for, as the boats 
passed under the bridge he lowered down, by means 
of a cord, a large tin pail of milk, and then let him- 
self drop upon the deck of the moving boat. 

From the brief glance at Schenectady which we 
allowed ourselves at this time, we do not feel quali- 
fied to pass judgment upon the city. 

Stopping only long enough to get dinner, we re- 
turned to the canal, and descending, with the 
wheels, a long flight of steps between the abutment 
of the bridge and a building, we stood upon the 
tow-path. It had the appearance of being a very 
good road for the wheels. Although called a **path," 
it is really a broad road-way ; as wide as the average 
carriage road, and as we mounted and started west- 
ward it promised to be very good, with a fairly 
smooth surface. 

The first sight of the canal was very interesting 
to us. It is a wonderful work, and even in the pre- 
sent time of improved methods and facilities, it 
would be a most wonderful piece of engineering. 
The great artificial water-way reaches from Buffalo, 
(19) 



at the western end of the state, to Albany, at the 
eastern end. Ii's length is three hnndred and fifty 
and one-half miles, and its total cost was $46,018,234. 
Projected and constructed before the days of steam 
railroading:, it furnished direct water communica- 
tion between the great lakes and the Atlantic sea- 
board, through the medium of the Hudson river, 
which it joins at Albany. It was the first great 
connecting link between the east and the west ; and 
at the time of its completion it furnished what was 
then thought to be very rapid communication be- 
tween the great lakes and the Atlantic ocean. And 
the era of steam railroads has not rendered the 
Erie Canal obsolete. In these days it teems with 
activity, and each spring, summer and autumn, 
throughout its entire length, the boats dot its course, 
constantly passing east and west, loaded with 
grain, lumber and other products of the west, and 
taking back to the western terminus the products of 
the eastern country. 

The canal is very pleasing in its general aspect, 
the banks being neatly walled up, and the water- 
way itself is ''brim-full" of water. 

We very soon saw boats coming from the opposite 
direction, and when within a few rods of the tow 
horses we dismounted so as not to frighten them, 
and stood beside the path until the horses had 
passed. The horses draw the boats by a line, about 
a hundred feet long, made fast at the bows. Usual- 
ly there are two or three boats in line, made fast to 
one another by lines, the tow-line being made fast to 
the first boat. Three horses usually constitute a 
''tow." A man follows behind the slowly moving 
horses. I said to one of the tow-boy-men— "you're 

(20; 



on a pretty long walk, aren't you?" The man, 
cheerful from his dusty boots to the slouch hat 
which shaded his sunburnt face, replied that 
he was nearly to the end of it then. 

The tow-horses are changed at intervals, some- 
times being taken on board one of the boats while 
fresh ones take the tow-line, while at other times 
the changes are made at stables by the canal. The 
crews live on board the boats, many of them with 
their families. They live, cook, eat and raise 
families as they float back and forth through the 
canal. Children are born and reared on the boats. 
It is an interesting sight to see one of the boats 
floating past with the members of the family, 
occupied with their daily duties just like people 
who inhabit stationery domiciles. Children are 
running about the deck; the mother, and perhaps 
some of the daughters, are getting the meals ready, 
to the merry rattle of dishes and the odor of cook- 
ing, or else the family washing is being done, the 
clothes being hung to dry on lines strung over the 
deck. Eich boat has a «leck-house which serves as 
a dining and general family living-room. The 
kitchen is below the deck, as are also the sleeping 
bunks; but during the warm weather the boat 
people sleep under awnings on deck, or in the living 
room of the deck-house. 

The canal-boat men are, as a whole, a curious 
conglomeration. All are rough in appearance and 
some are positively villainous looking, and are 
fully as hard characters as they appear to be. 
Others, though naturally rough on the exterior, are 
roal I y kind-hearted and not bad men at all. Some 
of them appear to enjoy meeting tourists along the 
(20 



way while others will scowl at strangers whom 
they meet on the tow path. 

The boats are long and narrow and very blunt, 
both ends being exactly alike. Naturally they draw 
comparatively little water. Through the open 
hatches of some of them we could see the nature of 
the cargoes. One we noticed carried lumber, and 
another had grain in bags. The boats really go 
faster than they appear to, at the first glance, for it 
requires only about ten days to cover the distance 
of 350 miles, an average of 35 miles per day. 

In its course across the State, the canal, of course, 
has many diflcrent levels, being much higher in the 
center of the state than toward either end. The 
boats piss from one level to another, up or down, 
by means of locks, and the passage of the boats 
through the locks, and the manipulation of the locks 
are very interesting. 

The canal, being at different levels, cannot be sup- 
plied with water from either terminal. This is ac- 
complished by what are known as ''feeders ;" natural 
streams that are tapped so that a portion of their 
waters flow into the canal, taking the place of that 
which flows out through the operation of the locks, 
thus keeping it constantly filled with water. 

The course of the canal is through the beautiful 
Mohawk Valley, following very nearly the course 
of the Mohawk River along the right bank, between 
the river and the line of the West Shore railroad. 
The Mohawk Turnpike— that great thoroughfare 
across the Empire State— follows the course of the 
river on the north side, while, between the turnpike 
and the river, is the New York Central railroad. 

The Mohawk Valley, which we had just entered, 
(22) 



is a broad rich intervale, a most beautiful and fertile 
country, with level meadows and cultivated farms, 
lofty hills and mountains rising on either side. 

Through this, one of the richest and most superb 
sections in the entire country, the Mohawk river 
winds like a ribbon of silver, reflecting the beauties 
of the verdant valley, making a picture which is be- 
yond the power of either pen or camera to describe. 



Vc^J 



CHAPTER in. 



Canal Locks and How Operated.— An Anxious Moment Fol- 
lowed by a Repair to a Tire.— The Tow-Path Abandoned. 
On the riohawk Turnpike.— Through Amsterdam to Tribe's 
Hill. 



nrr few miles along the canal and we saw the 
rA first lock. At first sight it looks something 
/ A like a dam. The path rose by a sharp grade 
from the lower level, on which we were 
wheeling, to the upper, the drop here, or the dis- 
tance from our level to the other being eleven feet. 
The lock is divided into two parts by a solid wall of 
masonry built longitudinally in the centre of the 
canal. At either end of both the sections thus 
formed are massive gates of heavy beams and 
planks. The combined structure forms the lock — 
or, rather, two locks, one being used to pass the 
boats from the lower to the upper level, and the 
other from the upper to the lower. 

On the great wall which separates the two locks 
were small buildings used as offices and store-rooms. 
On the opposite side of the canal, among great 
spreading trees, stood the home of the keeper, his 
family and assistant. One can walk across the 
canal, from one side to the other, over the gate- 
heads and the central wall. 
We stood looking at the locks, when the keeper 
(24) 



-f- 



U' "s^?^ 



invited us to step across to the centre and sit in the 
shade of the buildings and trees, where chairs were 
placed. Leaving our wheels in some tall weeds by 
the side of the tow-path to protect the tires from the 
sun, we accepted the invitation and crossed over. 

In a few minutes we were pleased to see a tow of 
two boats coming along the canal, for we were 
anxious to see them pass through the locks. The 
keeper and his assistant were very courteous to us, 
and explained the process as the boats went through. 
They were going from the upper to the lower level, 
and they went astonishingly quick. The lower 
gate was, of course, closed, so the water in the 
lock was at the same level as that in the upper level 
of the canal. Just as the tow-horses reached the 
lock the tow-line was slackened and carried over 
the timber work to the lower level, where the horses 
stopped. Slowly the two boats glided into the 
lock, and were stopped. Then the keeper, going 
over to the lower gate, turned a wheel, whereupon 
the water began to rush and foam under the gate as 
it escaped to the lower level of the canal. At the 
same moment the boats began to settle rapidly. The 
lock gates are not opened until the water in the 
lock has settled even with the lower level ; but it 
is allowed to escape gradually through a small 
sluice-way at the bottom. When the water ceased 
to bubble out of the lock the keeper stepped back 
to the other end, and, with a turn of another 
wheel started a small turbine water-wheel which 
furnished power for swinging open the great 
lower gales. Tiien the tow-horses were started, 
the line again became taut, and the boats 
moved on once more, eastward. After they had 
(25) 



passed out the lower gates were again closed, 
and the water was let in from the upper level until 
the lock was filled, ready for the next tow of boats. 
In "locking" boats from the lower to the upper 
level, the process is simply reversed. 

We enjoyed a pleasant chat with the keeper and 
his assistant, sitting in the shade of the buildings 
where we could look both up and down the superb 
water-way, and across the beautiful valley ; then, 
after taking a photograph of the keeper, his wife 
and little girl and assistant, we bade them good-bye 
and returned to the tow-path and prepared to re- 
mount the wheels. 

Happening to glance at the rear wheel of my ma- 
chine, something caught my eye which caused cold 
chills to creep over me. The tire, for about two 
inches close to the rim, was split, and the inner part 
was bulging outward with the pressure of the air 
inside. Many cold and clammy thoughts chased 
one another through my mind in rapid succession. 
I pictured our position, miles from a repair shop, 
with an unridable tire, and all at the very beginning 
of our journey. I saw the cause of it all. The tire 
had become worn, but it did not show until it had 
been subjected to the unusual strain of going over 
bad roads. Then it had given way. Being expe- 
rienced cyclists, we had with us two full repair out- 
fits, one with each wheel, and, following the sug- 
gestions of the Junior Partner, I at once began to 
repair the tire. I first took one of the pure rubber- 
gum patches, pulling and working it out into the 
form of a thin ribbon, long enough to cover the 
split. I then carefully wound it with tire-tape, and 
over the whole, having first deflated the tire a little, 
(26) 



I laced a rubber tire-band. The tire was then 
pumped up and we resumed our journey. Here I 
wish to state that this accident to the tire was a very 
serious one, not only from the nature of it, but on 
account of our situation at that time ; yet I rode it 
about 300 miles, simply putting on two new 
patches and new tape as it worked ofi the break, 
and once supplying a new band when the first one 
put on had worn through. 

As we rode along, the tow-path became rough and 
the wheeling was hard. It had the appearance of 
being a good road as we looked at it from a dis- 
tance, but it was covered with small stones, ranging 
in size from small pebbles to stones as large as eggs. 
In some places the path had been recently repaired, 
which made the wheeling even worse. Once or 
twice we came to gangs of workmen engaged in 
making repairs, and we could not help being im- 
pressed with the care which is taken of the canal 
property. 

We made slow progress, and a short distance further 
on we came to another lock, just after passing 
which another tow of boats came slowly around a 
bend. Both banks of the canal are very attractive 
on account of the profusion of beautiful trees and 
shrubs. Frequently we would pass under a bridge 
which carried the highways over the canal. The 
third line of boats which we met was not preceded 
by horses, and at first we did not exactly know 
what to make of it. But, as it came nearer we saw 
that the head boat was propelled by steam, having 
a regular propellor, and that it was towing the 
other boats. 

We were beginning to weary of the tow path, 
(27) 



although it was so interesting along the canal, for 
it was very rough on account of the small stones. 
We were also getting very thirsty. Seeing a farna- 
house just ahead, we left our wheels near the 
abutment of a bridge which spanned the canal, and 
going around to the other side of the fence, into the 
farm-yard, we asked permission to get some water 
at the well-house, which we noticed under the large 
shade trees. The water was deliciously cool, and we 
felt greatly refreshed. We then inquired of the 
woman at a window of the house if we would be 
able to cross the Mohawk river thereabout, and 
reach the turnpike; for we decided, if possible, to 
leave the canal for a time as we were making very 
slow progress. S:ie directed us down the road just 
ahead, which led to the right, telling us that we 
would soon come to the end of the railroad bridge 
over the river, which she pointed out to us a short 
distance across the meadows. She informed us that 
people were accustomed to cross on the railroad 
bridge, on foot, as there was no highway bridge 
near there. We thanked her, and going back to our 
wheels, seeing another tow of canal boats approach- 
ing, we stepped into the shade under the bridge and 
unpacking the camera, took a photograph of the 
canal with the approaching tow. 

On the stone abutment of the bridge we noticed 
this mandate in red characters: "Prepare to Meet 
Thy God; Watch & Pray." We did not stop 
to investigate the reason for this warning, but 
going up on the highway we wheeled northward 
over a very good stretch of road, and in a few 
minutes came to a small i)lace, important, 
apparently, chiefly because it was an important rail- 
(28) 



way junction or terminus; for there were many 
tracks, and railroad buildings, many trains and 
much switching of cars. It soon dawned upon us 
that this place was Rotterdam Junction, the west- 
ern terminus of the Fitchburg railroad. 

We inquired of one of the railroad men about go- 
ing over the bridge, and he told us that it would be 
perfectly safe as soon as a train then ready, went 
out, going east. So we followed the train, walking 
beside the track leading our wheels ; but just as we 
reached the end of the bridge we saw a train com- 
ing over it toward us. We waited for it to pass- 
and started over the bridge, walking on the ties 
which were very close together. 

The water in the Mohawk here was very low and 
the bed of the river seemed to be nearly dry ; but 
the stream was wide and shallow and doubtless 
there was more water in it than we realized. The 
Junior Partner walked very gingerly for the bridge 
was high above the river, and the water far below 
was unpleasantly visible between the open-work 
over which we walked. 

A short distance from the other end of the bridge 
we turned to the left and followed a road across a 
field, to a barn which we saw in the direction of 
the turnpike, where some men we e unloading hay 
and stacking it outside in the yard. We were told 
to go through the barn to the yard in front, which 
we did, stopping at the well to get a drink of wa- 
ter; and then we stepped out to the turnpike. 

Like all turnpikes that we had seen while touring 

this one was poor. It was so rough and sandy 

that we should have been worse oU than if we had 

remained on the tow path, had it not been for the 

(29) 



excellent cinder path made by the wheelmen. Bat 
on the path the wheeling was superb, and we flew 
along at an exhilarating speed. The scenery along 
the way was very attractive, with pleasant-looking 
residences, cultivated estates and fine trees. Tuis 
particular region did not appear to us to abound in 
cultivated fruits, except apples, of which we saw 
some fine orchards. We met numbers of local 
wheelmen and usually gave them (he benefit of the 
doubt— as to their skill in riding. 

The progress which we were now making was 
quite satisfactory, and we reached Amsterdam at 
three o'clock. We did not dismount, but rode 
through the town by way of the main street, which 
was broad and quite smooth. 

Amsterdam appeared to be a wealthy, prosper- 
ous town. It is built on a level plain, between the 
hills on the right and the Mohawk river on the left. 
As we passed the outskirts we noticed some fine 
residences with extensive grounds, parks and lawns. 
The cinder path continued for most of the way, 
with now and then a short break,when we followed 
the road. But such places on the turnpike were us- 
ually quite good, and we rarely dismounted. The 
only unpleasant feature of the ride was that we had 
to ride one behind the other nearly all the time 
while following the narrow path, which, a good 
deal of the way varied from a few inches to a foot 
or two in width. 

We passed several signs by the path, put up by 
the League of American Wheeln^ea. One of these 
bore this inscription: — **Join the League and wear 
the badge ; your money will help to make this path 
better," and we blessed the League all the way as 
(30) 



we glanced at the wretched road which masquer- 
ades as the great main thoroughfare across the 
State of New York. 

Stopping at a small place called Tribe's Hill 
which was reached after a sharp climb on foot, we 
rested a few minutes at an inn, and refreshed our- 
selves with glasses of milk. We had determined 
to go to the next large town, Fonda, and there to 
stop for the night. The inn-keeper at Tribe's Hill 
gave the distance to Fonda aseightoea miles,but we 
afterwards found that he must have willfully prevar- 
icated, thinking thereby to secure us as guests at 
his own house, which, by the way, did not bristle 
with attractiveness, so far as we could observe. 

As we started to descend Tribe's Hill, we noticed 
a sign, placed there by the League of American 
Wheelmen, which read: "Dangerous to Ride With- 
out a brake;" and another:— $50 fine for driving 
on the cycle path." 



(31) 



CHAPTEE IV. 



Fonda to Spraker's.— Stop at Palatine Bridge, Where a Tire 
is Repaired — We Dismount at Fort Plain for Dinner.— 
Interesting Scenery on the Way to Little Falls. 



WHEELING easily along toward Fonda, we 
ei'jojed rare views of the scenery, the 
beauty of which was enhanced by the 
illumination from the declining sun, 
which caused the trees to cast long shadows across 
the valley and the river. We were going along 
parallel with the four-tracked line of the New York 
Central railroad, along which trains dashed by, 
going either east or west; and we saw several 
novel engines drawing what we presumed were 
local trains. These curious engines were more like 
motors than locomotives, having the appearance of 
street motors used for shifting cars in large cities. 
Looking to the left, beyond the Mohawk, we could 
frequently see tows of boats moving along the 
canal; and beyond, now and then, a train spinning 
along the West Shore railroad. 

We met other wheelmen frequently, and, in each 
case, the rarest fraternal courtesy was extended to 
us. Passing constantly through so many interesting 
scenes, we regretted that we were obliged to ride in 
^'Indian file," for we could not readily converse. 
Occasionally we would dismount in order that we 
(32) 



might more fully enjoy some particularly entrancing 
view. 

The river, now reflecting the dark shadows and 
the brilliant coloring of the setting sun, was con- 
stantly in view. The day had not been hot, but, on 
the other hand, very comfortable ; nevertheless, we 
felt dusty and in need of an abundance of water 
and towels when we rode into Fonda, at just eight 
o'clock, where we were directed to a hotel. It was 
typical of the ^'hotels" encountered all through this 
region, its principal income being derived from the 
bar-room. But we were shown to a large, neat and 
well furnished room, and after removing the dust, 
we announced ourselves as being ready for supper. 
While the supper would not have been received 
with wild joy by less hungry people than ourselves, 
we did it ample justice, and really it was not bad, 
considering the lateness of the hour. But it occa- 
sioned not a little spluttering in the kitchen. All 
hands did their best to serve us, however, and we 
did not complain very bitterly. After supper we 
unpacked the wheels, and then went out for a walk 
along the main street. It was a quaint sort of place, 
with the streets dimly lighted, and some of the 
stores looked musty, like curiosity shops. Fonda 
is a town of about twelve hundred inhabitants, and 
its industries consist of a knitting mill and a broom 
shop. It also has some good-looking girls. The 
railroad station was situated directly in front of 
our hotel, and we anticipated plenty of noise during 
the night. la this we were not disappointed, for 
there was a continued rattle of trains and blowing 
of whiHtles. 

A line of electric cars had itw lerminus near the 
(33) 



railroad station. Oa the cars were the initials of 
the road: ''F. J. & G. R. R." I tried to make out 
the name, which I finally decided must be **Fonda, 
Jerusalem and Gethsemane Railroad ;" but it turned 
out to be ''Fonda, Johnsonville and Gloversdale" — 
electric branch. 

Before we retired for the night we sat for a time 
on the verandah of the hotel, after which the Junior 
Partner changed the plates in the camera, taking 
fresh ones from the touring case and packing away 
those that had been exposed. 

The morning dawned bright and pleasant, and 
after breakfast we fastened the luggage to our 
wheels and started for Herkimer, stopping at the 
post office as we left the town, to mail letters and 
papars. We were in good spirits, and for the first four 
miles we found very good wheeling on the turnpike. 
The river looked more beautiful than ever, winding 
through the green valley. Lofty hills rose from the 
very edge of the road, on our right, covered with 
thick, rich vegetation. We saw quantities of de- 
licious thimble berries, and often dismounted to 
gather them. Shortly after ten o'clock we reached 
Yost's, a small railroad station. Here, by the fence, 
we chanced to see growing a large quantity of cat- 
nip, and the Junior Partner, remembering our large, 
handsome cat, gifted with more than ordinary hu- 
man intelligence, gathered a bunch of it, which she 
strapped to her wheel, intending to mail it to 
"Gussie" at the first post office we reached. We 
left the wheels by the steps that led down to the 
station platform, and went down to inquire what 
time the Empire State Express was due on its flight 
from New York City to Buffalo, as we wished to 
(34) 



see it pass. A switchman informed us that we 
would have about time to reach Palatine Bridge, a 
few miles further on, where we could stop and see 
the express go by. The road was very good, and 
we rode along easily. We passed Spraker's, another 
small s'ation, but we did not stop, and reached Pal- 
atine Bridge fully twenty minutes ahead of the ex- 
press. This is a large and handsome town, with 
broad, well-shaded streets. In front of a large, 
beautiful estate we n:)ticed an artistic structure 
erected above a spring. Some children near by told 
us that it was a mineral ^priug, and that the pro- 
prietor of the estate allowed it to be free to the pub- 
lic. I drank a glass of the water, but the Junior 
Partner would not be persuaded to taste it. The 
water was very strougly imprcguated with sulphur, 
and the odor thereof was like unto dramatic eggs. 

We then wheeled on a short dis'ance, and stopped 
at a shop and inquired for milk. The proprietor 
did not sell it, but directed us to a house a short 
distance further up the street, where we were given 
a hospitable welcome, invited into the house by 
a thrifty looking young matron, who brought 
us all the rich, creamy milk we could drink, and 
absolutely lefused to accept payment. While we 
always hold ourselves in readiness to pay for every- 
thing we get, and a good deal that we do not get, we 
have never met with such hospitality along the road 
in Massachusetts. It is common for the country 
people of Nova Scotia to refuse payment for milk 
which tliey will alwajs ofier you when you ask for 
water, and it is of very frequent occurrence in New 
York State and in Vermont. But not so with your 
Massachusetts Yankees, <'not by a gosh darned sight. 
(35; 



Ef them city folks haint gut nothin' t' dew but ride 
*raound on by-cic-les, let 'em pay fer what they git; 
haw I" 

Thanking the lady for her kindness, we hurried 
back to the end of the bridge which crosses the Mo- 
hawk here, and then turned sharply to the left, down 
the hill to the station. We learned from the bag- 
gage master when the Empire State Express was 
due, which would be in a very few minutes, and 
finding out which track she would come on, I got 
the camera ready and focused it at a hundred feet. 
Sjon the express came thundering down the valley, 
taking water as she rushed along, and when she 
passed the station she was going about sixty miles 
an hour. I pressed the bulb, and then caught up 
the camera and sprang back so as to escape her wind 
as she rushed past. 

That morning, just as we were leaving Fonda, we 
noticed that the Junior Partner's ret.r tire was fiat. 
"We pumped it up, but the air escaped slowly, so 
that it was necessary to unpack the foot-pump again 
before we reiched Palatine Bridge. As there was a 
fountain of water near the station, I put the tire into 
it and in a moment discovered the leak by the air 
bubbles. It was only a pin-hole, and an injection of 
cement soon set it right. 

Here, also, we went into the post-office, \^hich 
was installed in a store, to send the catnip home by 
mail. The postmaster obligingly wrapped it up, 
and it was duly addressed with ''Gussie'b" name 
and street number, and we were aftersvard glad to 
know that he received it in good time, and that he 
was perfectly delighted with it. 

We continued westward, finding fairly good 
(3G) 



wheeling, with the aid of side paths, and the coun- 
try through which we passed was no less beautiful. 
The vines of the wild grape hung in dense tangles 
from almost everj tree and thicket, and thimble- 
berries were abundant, much to our satisfaction. A 
few miles on and we could see, beyond the river, 
the little town of Canajoharie, and a few miles more 
of side paths took us to Fort Plain, small and unim- 
portant on this side of the river. The larger portion 
of the town is situated on the opposite bank, the two 
parts being connected by a covered bridge. The 
Junior Partner inquired of a woman in the street, 
whom she first frightened half out of her wits by 
ringing her bell— for the woman was occupying the 
whole of the cycle path — where we could get dinner. 
She pointed out a little inn just ahead, which we 
found was kept by some good German people, who 
made us at once feel perfectly at home while dinner 
was being prepared for us. It was a little past the 
dinner hour. The hostess made profuse apologies 
for not being able to give us a better dinner, but she 
gave us a delicious meal, the best, with perhaps one 
exception, that we had during the entire tour. In 
some way she discovered my weakness for pi , and 
I had plenty of it, and good pie, too, for the first 
time since we left Somerville, Massachusetts, for 
which dinner we were charged the modest sum of 
twenty-five cents each. 

Going on, after I had enjoyed a good smoke, we 
found the roads very bad, rough and sandy, and the 
side-paths slill continued a god-send. Still we were 
obliged to keep to the road a good deal, and being 
very rough, the vibration of the heavily loaded 
wheels was very tiring. 

(;57) 



St. Johnsville was the next town reached. It is a 
large place, and we stopped only a few minutes 
while the Junior Partner made some purchases at a 
store, and I went to the postoffice to forward a let- 
ter. The road continued very poor, with some fair 
stretches; but the occasional side-paths continued, 
so we made very fair progress. Making a sharp 
turn to the left, the road took us close to the Mo- 
hawk at a point where the river was spanned by a 
suspension bridge, and a few rods further on so 
beautiful was the picture as we turned and looked 
back toward the bridge that we unpacked the camera 
and took a photograph of the view. Then we 
mounted again and wheeled on toward Little Falls, 
which would be the last town before we reached 
Herkimer. 



(S8> 



CHAPTER V. 



East Canada Creek.— Chauncy Jerome's Tavern.— A Historical 
Locality.— Two Cycle Tourists from Ohio.- flora Wonderful 
Scenery.— Arrival at Herkimer. 



THE road continued very poor to fair, and we 
had frequently to dismount and walk through 
sand and over rough places, while now and 
then we encountered stretches of side- paths, 
over which we made good progress. The country 
did not vary materially in its general aspect. All 
the way we were near the river, and beyond, on the 
canal, we frequently saw tows of canal boats mov- 
ing slowly along, most of them going east. We 
could not see the water in the canal, which gave 
the moving boats a very curious eflect, for they 
appeared to be moving along across country, wind- 
ing over the meadows and among the trees. 

Feeling anxious to reach Herkimer that night, 
and realizing that we must encounter poor roads all 
the way, we wheeled as steadily as possible, only 
dismounting when compelled to do so. The vibra- 
tion of the wheels as they passed over the rough 
roads was a source of considerable discomfort to us, 
and very wearying. 

Going down a steep hill, a dense woodland on the 
right, at the foot we came to a fork in the road. 
Our course lay directly ahead, the other road, to the 
(39) 



right, being only a snaall one — simply a lane. We 
presently found ourselves on a covered bridge, the 
most dilapitated and antiquated affair we had ever 
seen. The planks were all loose, and rattled noisily, 
awaking the echoes through the venerable structure 
as the wheels passed over. We could see through 
the crumbling sides and up through the roof. It 
spanned a small, picturesque stream called East 
Canada Creek, and the view, both up and down 
stream, was entrancing. At the further end of the 
bridge stood an old disused toll gate. This road is 
of great historic interest, and, in the early days, it 
figured very prominently in the process of develop- 
ment of the country, and in the extension, we8t>- 
ward, of civilization ; for it was the great thorough- 
fare between New England and the unexplored 
West. The emigrant trains with the pioneers and 
their effects followed this great turnpike across the 
State of New York, on their way to settle in Ohio 
and further west. The time was, when this road 
was covered, so to speak, with continuous proces- 
sions of emigrant trains, moving toward the great 
El Dorado — toward the setting sun. This was long 
before the Erie Canal was cut through along the 
other side of the Mohawk. At that time there was 
a ford where the bridge now spans the creek. In 
those early days Chauncy Jerome's Tavern, still 
standing just off the road near the toll-gate, flour- 
ished. In those ''palmy days" of the olden 
time, Caauncy Jerome dispensed hospitality to 
wayfarers in the good old way, and many was 
the high carnival held in the old Tavern. As we 
stopped just beyond the toll-gate an old man, 
dressed in a seedy, rusty, well-worn suit of blue, 
(40) 



carrying under his arm several musty looking books 
and a camp-stool, came across the meadow from the 
edge of the woods and greeted us. As we soon 
found out, he was an antiquarian of considerable re- 
pute, and how his old frame straightened, and how 
his enthusiastic old face lighted up as he discoursed 
on the historical lore of this interesting locality, and 
told us all the things here related. This portion of 
New York, he said, suffpred even more than did 
New England during the period of the Revolution- 
ary war. He showed us the inside of the Tavern, 
which is today practically as it was in the olden 
time. The smoke-stained walls and the quaint bar 
are there. Above the bar there was a painting of a 
hunting scene in the days of the flint-lock, the pow- 
der-horn and the bullet-pouch, also a fishing scene; 
and we stood spellbound amid these associations of 
the dawning of the present century. Speaking of 
the many estimable traits of Chauncy Jerome, the 
antiquarian informed us that beside being a model 
landlord, he was reputed to be an excellent judge of 
whiskey. 

Oq the opposite side of the creek, in the old days, 
from its mouth ran the old Indian trail to Canada. 
But the sun was fast declining, and we reluctantly 
bade the old man good-bye, and left him with his 
bundle of books standing beneath a spreading wil- 
low. We were compelled to do some fine riding as 
we crossed a long stretch of road through the woods, 
for it was both muddy and rough. Then ascending 
a hill on foot we met two women on bicycles, evi- 
dently tourists, judging from the impedimenta on 
their wheels. At the top we dismounted by a stream 
which flowed from the hillside, and while partaking 
(tl) 



of the refreshing dranglit two yoniig men with bi- 
cycles also stopped at the spring. We entered into 
conversation with them, and learned that they were 
riding from Cleveland, Oliio, to New York City. 
They had come by way of Niagara Falls. Before 
entering the State of New York, they told us that 
they had averaged about a hundred miles per day; 
but they freely confessed that they had not made 
that mileage since they began wheeling over the 
roads of the Empire State. AVhen we mentioned 
that we were from Boston they seemed to regard us 
with considerable curiosity, even amusement. Why, 
we could not imagine, unless it v. as because we both 
wore eye-glasses, proverbial abroad in connection 
with Bostonians. 

For a short distance the road was a little easier. 
At the foot of the hill, a part of which we coasted, 
we passed under a bridge which carried the tracks of 
the New York Central over the turnpike ; aid then, 
the road swinging nearer the river, we came to a 
modern iron suspension bridge, spanning the Mo- 
hawk. We dismounted a few rods beyond, our 
route not taking us over the river, to enjoy the 
superb view, which we transferred to a photo- 
graphic plate. 

Now, on the right, great beetling clifls of bare 
rock towered several hundred feet above us, and 
along the edge, far up in the air, like a trail over 
the Andes, the railroad wound around the face of 
the clitr, and then disappeared between the crags. 
Scarcely had we turned away from this grandeur 
when we beheld more natural wonders on the oppo- 
site bank of the river. Great cliffs of rock rose from 
the waters' edge, in most wonderful formations. 
(42) 



There were mediaeval castles, and columns and 
dark caves extended far beneath the overhanging 
rock. It wa-» the most wonderful and the grandest 
bit of scenery which we had encountered in the 
valley. 

Turning to the right we passed under another 
railroad bridge. Exieusive excavations were being 
made in the road, which we were obliged to cross 
by means of a plank. A sharp, short climb took 
us to a ridable road, and in a few minutes we 
entered the town of Little Falls, a place of con- 
siderable imp 'rtance, apparently. 

We stopped at a store to purchase some milk, and 
while we were drinking it we inquired concerning 
the condition of the road to Herkimer. At first we 
had bat one informant ; but he was presently 
augmented by another, and another, until we were 
so overwhelmed with information that we feared 
that we should be compelled to remain in Little 
Falls over night. OLe man was so persistent in 
repeating over and over what he knew about the 
road that he followed us to the middle of the street 
as we mounted the wheels, and we rode away 
thanking him for his advice, but leaving him still 
talking. 

We were now on the last stretch. The road was 
mostly poor, hilly and rough with a few fair 
places, until we were within about two miles of 
Herkimer when we encountered a good side-path, 
which here and there took us far up above the 
road. Soon the spires and the bouses appeared 
among the trees on the plain below, and we did 
some smart back pedaling as we rode down toward 
the town. Crossing a rickety bridge, the planks of 
(43) 



which slapped up and down as we passed over 
them, we rode into town ; and, first stopping at the 
raih-oad station to make some necessary inquiries, 
Ave wheeled to our hotel. 

We were both very tired but felt much re- 
freshed after partaking of supper. During the 
evening an oLl literary friend who lives in 
Herkimer piid us a pleisant call at the hotel and 
after writing a few letters and looking about the 
streets a little that we might have some idea of this 
large and thriving town, we retired; not, however, 
until we had fully discussed our situation and our 
plans for the morrow. It bad been our intention to 
turn enst at Herkimer, and wheel to Saratoga by a 
more northern route, but the wretched condition of 
the roads, judging from the great turnpike and 
from inquiries, comj^elled the conclusion that it 
would be imposdble to go through on the wheels. 
Further information obtained in Herkimer, to the 
effect that the roads we at first proposed to follow 
east were for the most part very sandy, and that we 
should, moreover encounter sections of corduroy 
road, almost impassible even for teams, decided us 
to go bick by rail to Schejectady, and thence wheel 
to the north. 

Corduroy roads in the Empire state I Was it 
any wonder that we slept soundly, undisturbed by a 
nightmare of the usual sort. The Emp re State, the 
land of poor roads, the terror of cyclists. Every 
valley is a ''vale of tears" and every hill a ''wailing 
place" for beasts of burden. 



(44) 



CHAPTER VI. 



Back to Schenectady.— We Stop for Dinner— At the Aque> 
duct. — riore About the Roads. — Through Ballston.— At 
Saratoga. 



THE next morniDg, therefore, instead of fasten- 
ing the luggage to the wheels as usual, we 
took them to the railroad station and had 
them checked lo Schenectady, taking the 
carrier, camera, and the other impsdimenta into the 
car with us. We enjoyed the luxury of having our 
twenty-four pound wheels carried free, a=? baggage, 
just as though we each had only a lar^e heavy trunk. 
The railroads in New York Sate are required by 
law to cariy bicycles free, as biggage. We were 
told by the baggage master that we must remove the 
bells, or, if they remained on the wheels, we must 
sign a release accepting all responsibility for their 
safety. As i was less trouble to sign the document 
than to remove ihe bells, we attached our signatures 
to the elaborate ] rinted '^ understanding" (on the 
part of the railroad). Ic was our private opinion, 
however, that a bell is as much a part of a bicycle 
as a trunk strap is a part of a trunk, also that the 
courts would be of a similar opinion. 

The ride lo Sclu ncctady was enjoyable, and we 
obtained llahhiiig glimpses of the scenery which we 
had already observed in dotail. Leaving the train 
(in) 



at Schenectady we mounted the wheels and set out 
to inquire for the road to Saratoga. This informa- 
tion we easily obtained, but we experienced some 
difficulty in getting out of the city, which, however, 
was largely our failt. Leaving the city, we wheeled 
over a fine, shaded street to the outskirts. 

Here, be it lemarked, the streets of Schenectady 
are far superior to those of Albany. After ascend- 
ing a good-sized hill we found easy riding on a 
splendid side-path, supposing that we were spinning 
along straight toward Saratoga. But, stopping at a 
house for water, we communicated our suspicions 
to a woman who came to the door, and were much 
surprised to learu that we were on the road to Troy. 
Thei e was, therefore, nothing to do but go back 
two miles, which we did without losing time; only 
to again get entangled in the streets, from which 
we finally extricated ourselves, emerging upon the 
right road after doing some fine riding, shooting 
between ledges of rock, and threading narrow paths, 
performing feats that we would not have believed 
ourselves capable of, and which we could not, prob- 
ably, do again. 

About two miles from the city, at the top of a 
hill overlooking the valley of the Mohawk, which 
here swings around toward the northeast, we came 
to a neat little modern cottage. Behind it a broad 
field and meadow gently sloped to the river. It had 
a pleasant verandah, shaded by Japanese screens, 
and a little green lawn in front. Noticing signs 
stating that refreshments were served there, we 
dismounted with the intention of securing some- 
thing substantial in the line of eatables, for we had 
neglected to get dinner in Schenectady, preferring 
(46) 



to get started oh our way, and trust to luck for 
something to eat. Aud we were well pleased with 
our decision, for we were met by a pleasant faced 
5^oung woman, who, in response to our request for 
something substantial, ushered us into a pleasant 
little parlor, while she proceeded to prepare dinner 
for us. There was an organ in the room, and in 
view of our depression on account of the bad roads 
that we felt sure must be ahead of us, the organ 
pealed forth the strains of "Home, Swett Home." 
The lady, as she entered the parlor, expressed her- 
self as pleased with the music, and wished for more, 
but this was not forthcoming, for the rt ason that 
all our sentiments had been expressed in the song 
already drawn from the instrument. 

After a little our hostess announced our dinner 
ready, with many apologies because she could ofier 
us nothing better, it being some time past the din- 
ner hour, but we found it to be a most delightful 
meal. After we had finished we sat for a time on 
the verandah aud enjoyed the cool breeze, and after 
taking photographs of the cottage and the family, 
including the dog, grouped on the verandah, we 
remounted our wheels and resumed our journey. 

Our way led along a very fair road, and a part of 
the way we followed a good side-path which took 
us along the edge of a steep, natural embankment 
overlooking the Mohawk. The path was well 
shaded by large trees, and it commanded a fine 
panoramic view of the country to the north and 
west. A short distance along, and a sharp turn of 
the road to the left, took us to the banks of the 
river, where the Erie Canal crosses the Mohawk by 
means of a great aqucduci . Tnis is a most wouder- 
(47) 



fill piece of work, for it may be easily understood 
that the aqueduet, which carries the vast volume of 
water across the river, high above the stream, must 
be a very massive piece of masoury. Not only this, 
but the aqueduct is sufficiently wide to allow for a 
tow-path of the usual width. On the left hand side 
of the aqueduct there is a highway toll-bridge; but 
as we could ride on the tow-path over the aqueduct 
without dismounting, we did so. At the end of 
the aqueduct there was a lock, Laving the greatest 
drop of any we had seen. Bv3low it the canal 
swings around to the east, and here it is very wide. 
Half a mile beyond the lock the canal passes through 
a deep cutting, mostly through folid ledges, lofty 
hills rising, on the left, several hundred feet above 
it; and we rode some distance along the tow-path 
in this direction tba^ we might observe the great 
work more closely. Then, returning to the aque- 
duct, we took several photogi aphs, af ler which we 
replaced the camera on the wheel, remounted and 
set cut toward Saratoga. Now we began again to 
meet our old enemy, the sandy road. 

At the foot of a small hill, thickly wooded with 
pine, there was a junction of roads. Afier walking 
to the top of the hill where we could see the road 
beyond, we decided to follow the one which led to 
the right, especially as the telegraph wires, which 
we had been advised to follow, ran that way ; but, 
half a mile further on, the road being bad, sandy 
and rocky, besides trending more to the east than 
we thought our route should take us, we stopped 
and inquired for the Saratoga road, of some men 
who were loading hay in a field near by. From the 
information thus obtained we found that the road 
(48) 



over the hill was really the one which we should 
have taken, so we wheeled back a few rods, as we 
were advised, and followed a cross road until we 
reached a farm-house standing at the corner of this 
road and another which led toward the one which 
we must follow. After being served with cool 
water by a little girl not more than seven years old, 
who was immensely pleased with some small change 
which I gave her, we turned and followed the road 
to the left. When nearly to the Saratoga road the 
Junior Partner discovered raspberries and currants 
by the side of the road ; and while she was gather 
ing them I re-wound my rear tire with tape and 
laced around it a new band to replace the one 
which had worn through. I was then ready to pro- 
ceed, but the Junior Partner had discovered some 
gooseberries by a wall in the pasture opposite, and 
while she went in pursuit of them I admired a 
beautiful young apple orchard on the other side, 
and wondered at the tremendous crop of hay which 
was being harvested all around. 

Going on a few rods we swung to the right upon 
the Saratoga road. We were obliged to dismount 
very frequently, on account of the sand; yet we 
made fair progress. Ominous looking clouds were 
risiug in the west, and we inquired of a woman at a 
farm-house if the indications were for a shower in 
this section. She laconically observed that she was 
perfectly satisfied that it was not she who had to 
take the chances on bicycles, and kindly invited us 
in to rest. This we declined with thanks, and re- 
ceiving her instructions with regard to the road, we 
went on as fast as the sand would allow. 

Passing through a little village we encountered 
(41)) 



Btill more sandy roads, and where there were holes 
in the road they were mended by dumping in more 
sand, which amounted simply to filling one hole 
with another, so that, instead of being a plain hole, 
there was a sandy hole. 

While we were wheeling along, for a wonder, 
over a short stretch of fair road, a tiny, young wild 
rabbit hopptd across the road, stopping at the end 
of each hop to look curiously at us ; and only a few 
yards further along a partridge walked leisurely 
across the road, showing not the least fear. 

Pausing in front of a house, while conversing with 
a lady sitting on a verandah, during which we re- 
marked concerning the wretched roads, the Junior 
Partner waxing particularly eloquent on the subject, 
the lady remarked, *'Waal, we gen'lly hav' putty 
good ro'ds 'raound here," in spite of the fact that, 
right before her eyes, lay the miserable road where 
the sand was a foot deep. By the aid of side-paths 
we made fairly good progress, and shortly before 
sunset reached the village of Ballston, noted for its 
arrogant municipal authorities, where a cyclist, on 
the flimsiest provocation, will be arrested, taken 
into court and heavily fined. Wheelmen must be 
careful not to touch even the faintest edge of a 
sidewalk, even though the streets are a disgrace to 
any community pretending to be civilized. We had 
been posted regarding the reputation of the place, 
and none of our money enriched the treasury of 
Ballston. Had we known positively that it would 
have been used in improving the roads we might 
have deliberately transgressed the law to get arrest- 
ed, in order that we might thereby benefit the cycling 
fraternity. 

(50) 



Swinging to the right as we left Ballston, we 
crossed the tracks of the Delaware & Hudson Canal 
Co., which, strange to relate, is a railroad company, 
and bore away toward Saratoga. The road was so 
sandy that we were glad to take to the side-path as 
soon as we could. As I turned into the side-path, a 
man with a tin dinner-pail stepped upon it. I rang 
my bell, but he paid no attention. WhetLer he 
expected that I would dismount and carry my wheel 
around him, or not, I did not know. If so, he was 
in error, for I went by him, unavoidably giving his 
pail a smart blow with my knee. I did not know 
but that he would call the granger authorities of 
Ballston to his aid, but nothing happened. We made 
fast time from there to S ra'oga,with good side-paths 
nearly all the way. We engaged in brief conversa- 
tion with a man and woman in a carriage which 
the horse was laboriously dragging through the 
deep sand of the road, concerning the condition of 
the highways. The man was very friendly and 
sympathized with us concerning the road» ; and I in- 
formed him that I had rather be a local consul of 
the League of American Wbeelmea in Massachu- 
setts than be governor of New York. 

The first spring-house of Saratoga came into 
view just at sunset, and for three miles the wheels 
spun over a broad, smooth path built principally 
for the accommodation of wheelmen. We en- 
countered numbers of cyclists of both sexes, the 
ladies with bare heads, spinning along the path. 

Wheeling along the main street of Saratoga we 

went direct to our hotel. After supper we went 

out for a stroll along the brilliantly lighted gay 

streets of the famed resort of wealth and fashion ; 

(51) 



where people with more money than brains came to 
show their wealth, dresses and turnouts and in- 
cidentally their anatomies. The shops are, many 
of them, as magnificent as would be seen on Broad- 
way or Fifth Avenue. The streets were filled with 
the carriages of the wealthy and with bicycles ; and 
along the sidewalks the rich bumped elbows with 
the poor and obscure portion of humanity. It was 
all beautiful and gay, but one could noi help being 
impressed with the emptiness of the gay life here. 
The Junior Partner in one of the stores found an 
enthusiastic wheelman who was familiar with the 
road to Lake George, and we received from him 
detailed information of such a nature as to put us 
quite at ease concerning our ride on the morrow. 

After a pleasant stroll in the splendid park of 
Congress Spring and foolishly drinking some of the 
water, which both smelled and tasted like sewage, 
we returned lo the hotel. 



(52) 



CHAPTER VII. 



Saratoga to Mt. ricOregor.— top at Wilton for Dinner.— 
Caught by a Shower.— At Glens Falls.— "Pot Holes" in the 
River.— Over the Plank Road.— By the Adirondack Lake.— 
"From Lake Qeorge to Heaven and Back." 



THE next morning, Saturday, after riding back 
along the bicycle promenade and visiting 
some of the most famous mineral springs, 
including the "Geyser'^ and the natural gas 
spring, we set out toward Lake George. 

The road was far from good, but there was an 
excellent side path. The country was attractive 
and phacant, and ihe day bright and not uncom- 
fortably warm. Wild flowers in profusion bloomed 
along the loidside and in the fields and pastures. 
A pleasing feature of the landscape was the range 
of wooded peaks which appeared ahead of us, to 
the north. Tin se were the foot-hills of the Adiron- 
dack mountains. To the east, also, blue peaks rose 
in the hazy distance. 

As we wheeled easily along we soon entered 
the foot-hillS; and the more pretentious peaks of the 
Adiroridacks began to come into view fnrther to 
the northward. Late in the afternoon we crossed a 
single narrow-gauge railroad track, apparently long 
since abandoned, for the rails were rusty and the 
road-bed was over-grown with grass and weeds. 
(53) 



This was ilic Mt. McGregor i ail way whi.h ran to 
the inoiinlaiii by that name, where General Grant 
passed the last weeks of his long and painful ill- 
ness, and where the great soldier finally passed 
away; and it was over this little railroad, nearly 
fifteen years ago, that the funeral irain bearing the 
mortal remains of one of the world's greatest gen- 
erals wound down the mountain side and passed on 
its ^ad journey southward. 

Passing through a country rich in vegetation, 
with the hillsides illuminated by millions of yellow 
daisies, we arrived at the little hamlet of Wilton. 
It was now past noon, and riding up to a pleasant 
looking hotel we dismounted for dinner. It was 
an L. A. W. house. We found the landlord to be 
a very genial man, anxious to do everything possi- 
ble to make our brief stay agreeable, and we sat 
down to a very acceptable meal. There was plenty 
of home-cooked food and fresh vegetables from the 
garden. After dinner we took it easy for nearly 
an hour before we once more mounted and con- 
tinued our journey. 

Bearing away slightly to the left, we ascended a 
small hill to a sort of level plateau, slightly dipping 
to the north. From this elevated position we had 
an entrancing view of the distant mountains. In- 
deed, we were now among the Adirondacks. Close 
by, at our left, Mt. McGregor loomed up, heavily 
wooded to the summit. We dismounted here for a 
few minutes to look at the cottage where Grant 
died, still standing, well cared for, in the grove of 
trees a little way down from the top of the moun- 
tain. We had, during the forenoon, considered 
making a trip to the cottage, but finding that it 
(54) 



would be a long, hard climb both up and down, we 
concluded to be content with merely a sight of it. 
Passing across a meadow, in a deep green, cool 
valley, we found ourselves on an elevated ridge, 
mostly of sand. But, as our informant at Sara- 
toga had told us, we found good eide-paths, so we 
had to do but very little walking. The view of the 
distant mountains was superb. The wind was 
blowing strongly, but it did not greatly interfere 
with our progress as it was on our "port quarter," 
so to speak. 

Down into a valley and up a hill on the other 
side, we came into view of Round Lake, a pretty 
little sheet of water, nearly circular, as its name 
implies. This lake is owned by a wealthy man,who 
allows neither friend nor foe to fish in it. We un- 
packed the camera and took a picture of it, with the 
surrounding hills and the intervening pasture,whicti 
was thickly covered with daisies. 

The road continued very sandy, but the side-path 
enabled us to wheel steadily. We met two cyclists 
who aspired to reach Schenectady that night. We 
admired their enthusiasm, but not their judgment, 
if they were aware of the condition of the roads. 
When not far from Glens Falls, a3 we knew by con- 
sulting the cyclometer, we noticed rain clouds 
drifting over the distant mountains, and saw show- 
ers falling only a few miles away. The sun was 
shining in our locality, which produced some very 
beautiful and striking effects over upon the mount- 
ain sides where the rain was falling. 

The wind, however, was blowing in our direction, 
and we saw that the shower must soon overtake 
us. 

(55) 



The wind now began to blow very strongly, and 
wheeling across a level plateau we had to exert our 
best eflorfs to propel the machines, to say nothing 
of keeping on the saddles. 

A few drops of rain drifted along with the wind, 
and we began to look about for shelter. Ahead a 
small red building appeared, but it proved to be a 
small country school house, closed, and with not 
even a porch to afiord us shelter. So we made haste 
to reach a farm-house a short distance beyond, where 
we found shelter from the sweeping rain on abroad 
verandah, embowered in vines and beautified by 
potted plants, while our wheels were placed in the 
carriage house. The shower was of short duration, 
and we were soon on our way to Glens Falls, the 
spires of which were now in sight. The side-path 
continued, leading us beneath spreading trees, and 
the sun being partially obscured by the clouds, we 
felt the refreshing influences of the shower. 

We soon reached Glens Falls, and dismounted on 
the bridge which spans the Hudson River, here a 
noisy, rocky stream, furnishing power for several 
mills. As we stood looking down upon the rocks 
in the middle of the stream above the bridge, we 
noticed several very beautiful pot-holes, of various 
sizes, which we afterward found to be very plen- 
tiful around Lake George. They range in diameter 
from one foot to six feet, have a perfectly smooth 
interior, and are as carefully made as though exe- 
cuted by a stone-cutter. Locally, they are known 
as < 'Indian-kettles," and mythical tradition has it 
that they were made by the Indians and used as ket- 
tles for cooking their food. But such is not the case. 
They are the handiwork of nature, and were made 
(56) 



by the action of glaciers many centuries ago, during 
the glacial epoch. Then this entire region was cov- 
ered with ice, hundreds of feet in thickness. The 
Hudson River was a frozen mass from the high 
ridge of hills on one side to those of the other ; and 
the erosion of the slowly moving masses of ice is 
plainly visible today. Every valley was filled with 
ice. Then came a change. The immense ice-field 
broke up and glaciers were formed. They swept 
southward, although the waters of Lake George flow 
in a northerly direction. 

At various places the great irresistible ice-rivers 
met, and at their confluence vast eddies were formed. 
The larger eddies were nearest the junction of the 
two streams, and the smaller ones, diminishing in 
size, were strung along the general course. The 
ice-current carried boulders along, and these the 
eddits seized and whirled around and around in the 
same spot, thereby grinding round holes in the 
crystaline limestone which forms the bed-rock. These 
holes, after many years, grew deeper, and some of 
them seen today are fifteen feet deep. Some of them 
are isolated, while others are only a few feet apart, 
and unless they have been cleaned out they are filled 
with the muck of dead leaves of many years accu- 
mulation. Frequently there are found in these pot- 
holes the round stones, worn smooth, that bored the 
holes centuries ago. The pot-holes diff'er consider- 
ably in appearance. Some are cone-shaped at the 
bottom, while others are flat. The sides of the in- 
terior of some are as smooth as though they had 
been sand-papered, while others are creased with 
spiral grooves. Some are double at the top and end 
in a single chamber. Some are only two inches in 
(57) 



diameter, but the most of them arc large enough to 
admit the body of a man. All point directly down- 
ward. 

While we were looking at the pot-holes it began 
to rain ngain, and we sought shelter in a lumber- 
mill close by. Here we remained fully half an hour 
while the shower passed over. Then mounting 
again, we wheeled through the town, which is a 
pretty, though not a particularly interesting place, 
and entered ihe Lake George road. The sun began 
to shine brightly, and with the air cool we wheeled 
briskly along. We found the country more attrac- 
tive than it had been during much of the day, and 
the Adirondacks soon towered above us, close at 
hand. We encountered a most excellent side path, 
broad and smooth, with but few ''breaks," which 
the wheelmen were constructing. It is the intention 
that this path shall, ultimately, extend from Sara- 
toga to Lake George. We saw numerous cyclists, 
all going in the opp )site direction, however. 

At a toll-gate we wheeled upon the famous plank 
road , which is twelve miles long. It amounts, practi- 
cally , to a corduroy road, except that it is constructed 
of planks instead of round poles or small logs. The 
planks are laid across the road, and being worn and 
uneven, the road, while ridable, is not pleasant on 
account of the vibration which it imparts to the 
wheel. Were it not for the plank road, not a rod 
of the way could be ridden, for beneath it there is 
only deep sand. 

Soon the blue waters of Lake George, long and 
narrow, surrounded by mountains, placid and mir- 
ror-like, a sapphire in the emerald setting of the 
Adirondacks, broke upon our vision, far below us, 
(58) 



and we began to descend the mountain, finding some 
difiiculty in following the narrow path which skirted 
a high precipice protected by a board fence. The 
D. & H. railroad station, known as Caldwell, is situ- 
ated at the extreme end of the lake, where most of 
the steamer lines have their wharves. 

Lake George village is a favorite summer resort, 
and has fine hotels. In the height of the season it 
is full of life. The hotels are filled with guests, and 
there are cottages everywhere, both in the village 
and on both sides of the lake along its entire length. 
Steamers j)ly regularly up and down, touching at 
many landings on both sides. 

Wheeling to the hotel we were pleasantly installed 
for ihj night, and after supper, which we were in 
condition to do full justice to, we went out for a 
walk about the town. Its chief beauty is in the 
trees that shade the streets. Indeed, the village is 
literally embowered in fine forest trees. The lofty 
mountains loom up behind the town, and in front 
are the waters of the lake. 

After the Junior Partner had made a successful 
call at a confectionery store, we went to the foot of 
Prospect Mountain, a short distance away at the 
northern edge of the village, intending to make the 
ascent on the inclined railway ; but we found that the 
cars had stopped running for the day. We could 
plainly see the hotel and railroad buildings on the 
summit, outlined against the sky, looking as though 
they were suspended in the air. Sa we returned to 
the hotel, determined to make the ascent in the 
morning. 

Directly after breakfast Sunday morning we went 
again to the terminus of the inclined railway, where 
we found a car ready to proceed up the mountain. 
(69) 



The roadway up the mountain is cleared through 
the thick timber, and is just wide enough for the 
road to pass along. The road itself consists of iron 
rails, about the same weight as ordinary street 
rails, laid on wooden cross-ties spiked to heavy 
timbers. The road is narrow-gauge. The cars are 
very much like heavy electric street cars, the seats 
being placed cross-wise of the car. These are in- 
clined at an angle, as f re also the platforms in 
order that the passengers shall be at a level while 
the car is being drawn up the steep mountain side. 
Along the track, on either side, there is a heavy 
guard rail of timber, so that if the car breaks away 
powerful clutches, by pre3sing outward against the 
wooden guard rails, will instantly stop the car. The 
road does not wind or zigzag but goes straight up 
the mountain. 

The car is drawn by a cable. Perhaps it would 
be well, in describing, to say that there are two cars, 
one attached to each end of a great steel cable 
which runs up and down the mountain ; so that 
while one car ascends the other decends. A power- 
ful steam engine of the latest design, installed in a 
building on the top of the mountain, furnishes the 
power. The steel cable pa^^ses over a great drum 
in the engine house. As the cable is wound over 
this drum one car is drawn up and the other goes 
down. Just half way up the mountain at a point 
where the two ends of the cable, and consequently 
the two cars must be exactly opposite each other, 
the road divides for a few rods in order that the 
cars may pass. 

The station at the foot of the mountain is con- 
nected with the one at the summit by an electric 
(60) 



signal; and by telephones, the latter instruments 
being placed in the cars. When the car at the foot 
of the mountain is ready to start the station at the 
summit is signalled, and on being answered with an 
all-right signal, the car starts to go up the mountain 
and at that very instant the car then at the top 
begins to move down. 

We took our places on the front platform of the 
ascending car, and ihe guard slipped the side rails 
into place. The car moved easily and kept a good 
speed. The summit station is 2000 feet above Lake 
George and the road is 6180 feet in length. Only 
about eight or ten minutes are required to make the 
trip up or down. As we progressed up the mountain 
the road became steeper and the trees, great hard- 
wood giants, and spruce, pine, fir and hemlock, fell 
below us until they looked like tiny shrubs. We 
turned and looked back only to see the road like a 
tiny thread dropping away from and below us, un- 
til it was lost in the timber around the base of the 
mountain. Here and there we passed over a steep 
trestle, at an angle of almost 45 degrees, while a 
marvelous expanse of grand and entrancing scenery 
spread out around, the scope of the horizon enlarg- 
ing at every yard of ascent. At times a curious 
sensation would come over us as we looked up and 
then turned and looked back at the receding track 
far below. At the half-way point we passed the 
other car going down. One more steep, sharp 
trestle and the car fetopp3d at the top of the moun- 
tain and we stepped off upon the platform. After 
stopping to inspect the engine and the cable 
mechanisin, we Btarted to walk a short distance 
further up to the topmost pinnacle. There we 
(01) 



found a small hotel. The wind blew a gale across 
the summit and it was so chilly that we turned up 
our coat collars. The view around was superb. 
On either hand we could look away for 200 miles. 
At our feet, to the south, lay the beautiful, placid, 
cool and shady waters of Lake George, surrounded 
by mountains ; and still further south and south- 
west, the broad state of New York, dotted with 
lakes and streams, stretched away in the hazy dis- 
tance. To the west and north nothing was to be 
seen but the dark wooded peaks of the Adirondacks, 
rising one beyond another uutil they were lost in 
the sky. To the northeast, beyond the towering 
peaks, we knew lay the waters of Lake Champlain. 

On the very topmost crag we found a tiny blue- 
bell nodding in the crisp breeze ; this we picked and 
carefully placed in the notebook. 

The descent of the mountain was no less interes'- 
ing than the ascent for it was the reverse. The 
world below seemed to rise to meet us, and we 
were soon at the foot again, having made what one 
member of the pa'-ty chose to style, a trip ''from 
Lake George to Heaven and back." 



(62) 



CHAPTER VIII. 



We Leave Lake George.— A Stop For Repairs.— At Bolton.— 
Indecision Overcome.— Hard Walking.— An Adirondack 

Camp.- We Stop for the Night The Journey Resumed.— 

The Climb Up Hague Mountain. 



T^ETURNING to the hotel we prepared to con- 
■^ tinue our journey and had quite an audience 
Ay on the hjtel veranda as we mounted the 
wheels and started away. Leaving the 
village we took a northeasterly direction, the road 
following very nearly the windings of the lake- 
shore. 

Although we were obliged to take to the side-path 
in getting out of the town because of the sand, for 
the first two or three miles beyond the village we 
encountered a very fair road. After wheeling a 
short distance we dismounted to make a few minor 
adjustments on the wheels, and I embraced the 
opportunity to re-wind my rear tire with tape which 
had again nearly worn through, for we expected 
hard wheeling that day and thought it best to start 
in good order. After the first few miles the road 
was again very rough and sandy, and, as it took us 
steadily up hill, we did a good deal of walking. 
But the morning was delightful and we had, con- 
stantly, charming views of Lake George. We met 
the United States mail coming on a bicycle and dis- 
(63) 



mounted to give it the whole of the apology for a 
road. 

The road grew worse and worse and our progress 
was discouragingly slow; so, when we reached 
Bolton, a landing place for the hike steamers, we 
seriously considered stopping at the hotel until the 
next forenoon and then taking a steamer to Ticon- 
deroga, as the last boat for the day had gone. We 
did not really wish to do this, but from what we 
saw, a id from inquiries, we felt that night would 
overtake us while yet a long distance from Ticon- 
deroga. We learned, moreover, that cyclists did 
not frequently attempt the trip over the mountains, 
and since our return we have read some elaborate 
accounts of trips from Lake George to Ticonderoga, 
but which were not made over the road but by boat. 

However, we at last decided to have dinner here, 
and for that purpose went to the best hotel there, a 
fine house with beautiful extensive grounds. The 
dinner proved satisfactory only as to quality ; for 
the courses were microscopic and the waiter, an im- 
portant young woman, was entirely out of place. 
She should have been a lady-in-waiting to Her 
Majesty the Queen, or something more exalted if 
possible. The price paid for our dinners was as 
much as a dozen of them were worth and we arose 
from the table wishing that we had sought some 
other and less pretentious place. 

Having decided that it would be more becoming 
to cyclists to push through with the wheels, we 
started again, leading the machines and walking. 
The Junior Partner was pleased with this decision 
especially as we had been told that if she went over 
the mountain with her wheel, she would be the first 
woman that ever accompliehed the feat. 
(64) 



It was a steady climb. Here and there we would 
ride a few yards or a few rods and then sand would 
compel us to dismount. It was up, up, spurs of the 
mountains and then down into valleys, sand and 
stones preventing our riding down as much as they 
did riding up hill. The mountains are heavily 
wooded, and had we not been obliged to walk so 
constantly it would have been far more pleasant 
than it was. Still we enjoyed it as much as possible. 

At one place, which promised a few rods of 
riding, we mounted, and for safety, on account of 
my heavily loaded wheel, I was ahead of the Junior 
Partner. I was riding on a very narrow path, with 
thick grass on either edge of it. I miscalculated the 
width of the path a little, and my wheel, instead of 
finding solid ground, slipped on the grass and 
dropped into a ditch, only a few inches deep, beside 
the path. As for me, I rose gracefully (there is no 
doubt of it), over the handle-bars, turned a complete 
somersault in the air (I could feel myself doing it), 
and landed on my head and shoulders in a pile of 
sand. In the moment while I was collecting myself 
and trying to decide which end of me ought to get 
up first, I wondered if the wheel was broken, and 
whether the camera had been smashed. As for 
myself I was not hurt in the least. When I stood 
up I saw the Junior Partner standing beside her 
wheel, gaxing up toward a mountain peak, and she 
seemed greatly astonished to find me there, for, she 
said, when she last saw me I was going skyward 
and she expected that I would come down on the 
other side cf the mountain. 

This incident proved the wisdom of my riding, 
with my heavily-laden wheel, ahead of the Junior 
(Go) 



Partner where the path was narrow and the road 
steep; for, in this case, had she been ahead, a 
smash-up would probably have resulted. 

Clouds, evidently showers, gave us some concern, 
but they kept well to the north. We passed a house 
uow and then, and occasionally an Adirondack 
summer residence. Several times we dismounted 
to gather raspberries, which grew in great abund- 
ance along the roadside. 

While going down a steep place, where, though 
it was very rough we were able to ride after a 
fashion, we saw in the edge of the bushes beside 
the road an organ grinder sleeping. With him was 
another man and a boy, also a monkey; though it 
may have been another boy. We couldn't say. 

For most of the time we were shut in by thick 
woods which covered the mountain sides rising 
above us. The lake was no longer visible. Emerg- 
ing, temporarily, from the woods, we descended a 
hill, at the foot of which there stood a handsome 
farmhouse. Just before we reached it the road 
spanned a swiftly flowing mounlain stream. Here 
the Junior Partner dismounted and called attention 
to a measured ''chug, chug," the sound coming from 
the bushes on the other side of the brook, where we 
presently saw columns of water, several feet high, 
rising with every ''chug." This we at once recog- 
nized as a hydraulic ram, a most ingenious but very 
simple arrangement for applying the principles of 
hydraulics in compelling water, by its own weight, 
to force itself through pipes, up hill or in any direc- 
tion. A hydraulic ram will go on working day and 
night, year in and year out, provided it does not 
freeze up; and in a lonelv spot, its "chug, chug," is 
(6(3) 



decidedly uncanny. The water in the stream was 
so low that we were able to cross it on the rocks. 
After watching the water as it spouted from the 
ram, for a few minutes, we resumed our long walk. 
There was very little variation in the scenery, 
and we continued our way steadily, riding a 
rod or two whenever we could. Leaving the 
open coun ry, we again entered the woods, 
climbing another mountain, and walking down 
the other side. At the foot we came to a 
deserted hunters' camp. It was a typical Adiron- 
dack camp, built of logs, and we stopped to take a 
picture of it. Over the door was the name "Pine 
Camp." Soon after we entered another clearing 
where we found anothei- farm-house where we ob- 
tained some rich milk, which had the efiect of 
greatly refreshing us. We passed a herd of cows 
grazing by the side of the road, and a little way be- 
yond we stopped while the Junior Partner took a 
photograph of a distant mountain on which the 
setting sun shone in great magnificence. Half a 
mile or so along we met a family party, mountain 
people, who, judging from the p raphernalia which 
they carried, had been fishing. We stopped on a 
bridge which here crossed a swift mountain stream 
and asked their opinion as to our ability to reach 
Ticonderoga that night. They looked at us in 
astonishment and shook their heads, telling us that 
we could not possibly do it. For one thing the dis- 
tance was too great, and there was also ji great un- 
inhabited mountain to cross, two and a half miles 
up and the same distance down on the other side, 
not a foot of which distance we could ride the 
wheels. Indeed, we had discovered, by consulting 
(G7; 



the cyclometer during the afternoon, that the dis- 
tance had stretched out to a somewhat alarming 
extent. 

As we walked slowly on we seriously speculated 
as to whether or not we should have to construct a 
rude shelter and camp for the night in the moun- 
tains or go into a deserted hunters' camp. 

With the drove of cows following us and travel- 
ing fully as rapidly as we were, we soon came to 
some farm buildings, the house standing on a rise 
of ground at the right-hand side of the road, and 
the barn on the other. A courtly old man was 
coming down from the house, and in answer to our 
inquiry as to whettier we could oblaia some water, 
he opened the door of a well-house which stood 
close at hand beside the road, and drew us some 
water, cool and sparkling, the best that we had 
found during our trip. He expressed his pleasure 
at being able to serve us, and was greatly inter- 
ested in our trip. With considerable emphasis, 
however, he assured us that we could not posSibly 
get over Hague Mountain that night, and gave us 
the name of a man who resided not far from the 
foot of the mountain, who would probably put us 
up for the night. Thanking him we started on, 
St 11 walking, resolved to spend the night as near 
the foot of Hague Mountain as possible. 

Ascending a slight rise in the road, we looked 
away, at the left, over a beautiful valley, the lofty 
mountain peaks bathed in the rays of the setting 
sun. In the center of the valley was a meadow, 
through which flowed a large stream. Presently, 
swinging to the left, we crossed the stream, North- 
west Bay Creek, over a rickety bridge, and, much 
(68) 



to our relief, we were able to ride quite steadily. 
Soon we passed a little school-house nestling in the 
edge of the forest at the foot of a mountain, and a 
short distance further on a neat-looking farm-house 
appeared, where we were vociferously greeted by a 
noisy but harmless dog. Making inquiries here, 
we went on about two miles, when we saw 
another neat little farm-house standing some 
distance from the road, and high above it. To us, 
tired and knowing that we must stop somewhere 
over night, it was an attractive and home-like place, 
nestling among the mountains ; and we have reason 
to long remember the warm hospitality which was 
accorded us by those kindly people. After consult- 
ing his wife, as all good husbands are supposed to 
do in all matters of mutual interest, we were invited 
into the house, and our wheels were carefully cared 
for. In the pleasant sitting-room, the windows of 
which looked out over a broad, rich meadow, we 
waited while our hostess prepared supper. Not- 
withstanding our earnest requests that she should not 
go to any unnecessary trouble on our account, she 
pleasantly replied that she was not doing anything 
extra; but all the time she was busy, moving about 
quietly and methodically, and when she called us 
to supper, somewhat to our relief, we found that 
we were to partake of the meal in company with 
our host and hostess. It was a delightful repast, 
and the cordial hospitality which accompanied it 
rendered it doubly acceptable; and the delicately 
creamed potatoes, the delicious hot biscuits and the 
soft maple sugar will ever remain a delightful re- 
collection. 
After supper I accompanied our host as he at- 
(G9) 



tended to the niglit's chores, and watched him as he 
called the herd of sleek cows; and in response they 
came slowly down the path among the trees from 
the pasture on the side of the mountain. I even 
went so far as to go up the lane to look for one ani- 
mal which was particularly slow in coming down to 
the bars. The honest, shaggy dog **Jingo" was en- 
tiiely competent to find the cows and drive them 
home ; but it appeared that he was disposed to rush 
them too much, which was bad for the "mooleys." 

When the cows were safely in the farm yard, we 
watched the milking and lis ened to the sweet notes 
of the whippoorwills in the forest. 

AVe passed a pleasant evening conversing beside a 
wood fire, and then retired. The night, in the 
mountains, even though it was early in July, was 
so cool that we found two blankets and a quilt ex- 
tremely comfortable. 

We arose at half-past five in the morning. The 
day had dawned bright and there was a pleasant 
crispness in the air. While at breakfast we were 
told that there had been a white frost near by. We 
were much interested when our host mentioned that 
he was bothered by deer which came from the 
woods at night and trampled down his potatoes, 
which made us appreciate all the more the unique 
features of this wild, romantic region. 

During the previous afternoon we had encoun- 
tered some sections of corduroy road where the logs 
were bare ; and several times we found stumps of 
trees in the very middle of the road. We were in- 
formed, at the breakfast table, that when a piece of 
road became so bad as to be nearly impassable, it 
was not unusual to repair it by clearing away a new 
(70) 



road and abandoning that which was worn out I After 
this we were prepared for about anything in the 
line of novelties in the building and repairing of 
roads. 

It was Monday morning, and the farmer, up be- 
times, to get the morning chores out of the way, was 
busy grinding the scythes; but he gave us a few 
minutes while we took photographs of himself and 
wife, the house and the dog, and then he bade us 
good-bye and rode away on the mowing machine 
towards the meadow, where the rich grass was 
sparkling with dew. 

Our wheels were packed and ready for the day's 
journey, and as we took leave of our kind hostess 
she gave us a paper of ginger cookies, for, she said, 
we might get hungry before we reached a place 
where we could obtain food, and we had a long, 
hard climb before us. 

Once more we were in the saddles, but only for a 
few minutes. It was but a short distance to the 
foot of Hague Mountain, which towered before us, 
far above the lesser peaks, bathed in bright sunshine, 
which lighted up the dense foliage in many shades. 

Almost with the beginning of the ascent we were 
shut in by deep forest. Walking, and leading our 
wheels, we began a steady climb. As the morning 
passed, we were conscious that the day was getting 
hot, and we were thankful that the thick foliage 
which arched the narrow mountain road shielded us 
completely from the rays of the sun. It was a 
region of great beauty through which we passed, 
and we congratulated ourselves that we had chosen 
this route, which was affording us experiences never 
to be forgotten ; and the Junior Partner was serene 
(71) 



in the thought that she was the one among women to 
push a wheel over the pass over great Hague Moun- 
tain. 

Birds sang in the deep woods. Indian-pipe and 
gaudy fungi grew in the damp places. Mulberry 
blossoms brightened the way, and butternut and 
walnut trees stretched their great branches above 
us. Squirrels chattered among the branches, and 
ran, scolding, along the rude fences; and once a 
deer started up close to the road and bounded away 
up the mountain. We found one little spring of 
cool, sparkling water, but we observed that all the 
mountain water-courses were dry, indicating that 
the season had been one of drought in the mountains. 

Up, up we climbed, the road being so steep in 
many places that it was a task to push the wheels, 
and we were glad to stop frequently to recover our 
breaths. Only occasionally did we obtain a glimpse 
of the sky directly above us, and rarely did we catch 
sight of a mountain peak to the right. On the left 
a mighty wall, covered with trees, shut out all view. 

The cyclometer showed that we had climbed two 
miles. Half a mile more, and if we knew the dis- 
tance correctly, we should stand on the top of the 
mountain . 

Another sharp ascent, up which we struggled 
with the wheels, and a broad expanse of blue sky 
broke upon our vision. We could see the tops of 
the mountains all around us. We stood on a grassy, 
level road, and we knew that we were at the top of 
Hague Mountain. 



(72) 



CHAPTER IX. 



Descending the Mountain.— A Startling Discovery. — We 
Reach Hague.— Comments About the Roads.— Arrival at 
Ticonderoga.— Lake Champlain.— The "Ethan Allen."— Pleas- 
ant Wayside Acquaintances. 



VE soon saw, however, that we had another 
short, but sharp rise to climb, and beyond 
we again reached level ground, but it was 
unridable. To the left a broad area of 
grass-land, dotted here and there with bushes, 
stretched away to the base of the mountains ; several 
rods from the road we noticed smoke, apparently 
from camp fires. We soon saw that the fires had no 
connection with a hunter's camp, for there were 
men haying and the ricks were standing near by ; 
and, as we walked along we saw a barn around 
further to the left. 

Soon we began to descend the mountain, man- 
aging to ride a few rods here and there; but it was 
apparent that we should have to walk most of the 
way down the mountain. As we descended, the 
country became more open . We had, in fact, emerged 
into a cultivated country, divided into well-kept 
farms; and the landscape was here and there illumi- 
nated by fields of ripening grain . The road continued 
very sandy, and we therefore continued to walk, 
finding it even more laborious ho.'ding back the 
(73) 



wheels while going down hill, than we had pushing 
them up. Very occasionally wc could ride a short 
distance, but we would be compelled to dismount 
so suddenly that the headway of the .wheels, com- 
bined with the sharp decline of the road, gave us 
some bad shakings-up, and often our feet were hurt 
severely. Indeed, my shoes, new when Ave started 
from Boston, had their soles worn through to the 
thickness of paper ; so there was very little protec- 
tion from the stony road on springing suddenly from 
the saddle. 

Reaching the foot of the mountain we came to a 
farm-house, where we procured some milk, and 
with the ginger cookies which our hostess had given 
us, we enjoyed a frugal luncheon which greatly re- 
freshed us. The woman from whom we had ob- 
tained the milk, when I asked how much I should 
pay her, replied: ''Whatever you like." This, we 
had found to be a very common way among the 
country people of setting a price on refreshments. 

After getting a drink of water from a spring near 
by, and lighting my pipe, we went on, for we were 
somewhat anxious to reach civilization where we 
could get a square meal, for the support of our break- 
fast had sometime since vanished. The country was 
not particularly interesting, but pleasant and good 
to look upon. After walking a mile or so we found 
a little more rideable road, but only in short sections. 
At one place, where we saw a thicket of blackberry 
bushes, we dismounted, with the idea of refreshing 
ourselves with the fruit, but the bushes were barren. 
Swinging sharply to the left, at this point, we went 
d wn a steep, sandy hill, through a piece of pine 
woods, and soon the blue waters of Lake George 
(74) 



appeared through the trees ; and we were not sorry 
to see it, for it meant that we would soon be on the 
last stretch to Ticonderoga. 

Crossing a level stretch of road, over which we 
rode most of the way, we soon found ourselves on 
the edge of a high bluff, really the lowest s ur of 
great Hague Mountain, down which the road wound 
afier almost doubling upon itself to the leff . Below 
us was the lake and the Hague steamboat landing, 
also the village of Higue, which is, for some reason 
not instantly apparent, quite a favorite summer re- 
sort. 

At the top of the bluff, near the turn in the road, 
there was a cool, restful place, in fact the only spot 
which seemed particularly attractive. It was a 
grassy bank, under a small tree, and it was evi- 
dently a favorite resting place in that vicinity. We 
leaned our wheels against the bank, and, fortunately, 
I sat down first — or came near it — for scarcely had I 
touched the bank when I sprang up again in a 
hurry. Investigation disclosed the fact that the 
grass was bristling with wooden pegs, or brads, 
cunningly designed for ^'puncturing" purposes. 
They ranged in length from one inch to four. The 
short ends were stuck in the ground, and being of 
hard wood they would not break, and the ''shoul- 
der" would prevent them from sinking further 
into the ground. The effect of sitting down 
heavily upon one of the&e may be imagined. The 
grass would prevent their being discovered until 
one had been wounded by them. We carefully re- 
moved all of the brads — scores of them all through 
llie grass — before going on, and they now repose 
in our cabinet of curiosities. I showed them to a 
(75) 



prominent physician at Larrabee's Point, Vermont, 
who said that one of them, penetrating the body, 
might easily canse death, and he pronounced it the 
most exquisite case of country fiendishness that ever 
came to his notice. 

After this experience we descended to the landing, 
in not the best luimor, and without the most plea- 
sant impressions of Hague. 

At the village postoflice we stopped to send some 
mail and we engaged in some rather earnest conver- 
sation with the postmaster about the state of the 
roads. This Scemcd to be particularly opportune, 
inasmuch as we had just walked over several rods 
of the road which had recently been repaired (?) by 
dumping sand upon it. The postmaster explained 
the condition of the roads by stating that the taxes 
were not sufficient to allow of their better condition. 
This might be true, but we suggested that it would 
be a good deal better and fully as easy if loam were 
carted upon the roads instead of sand, as it would 
furnish a much better road, particularly in dry 
weather. I concluded my dissertation by remark- 
ing that the people in New York State were regular 
fools at road making, which did not seem to please 
him. Perhaps he was a road commissioner of 
Hague. 

In return he furnished us with the pleasing in- 
formation that it was thirteen miles toTiconderoga. 
As we rode through the village and the country 
beyond we concluded why it was that sand, instead 
of loam or gravel was used to repair the roads ; 
there did not seem to be anything else. It was a 
country of sand. Hague is prettily enough situated, 
along the beautiful lake shore, but the roads are 
(7G) 



such that wheeling is practically impossible, and 
driving cannot be very pleasant ; and the fact that a 
woman in a dog-cart was dashing to and fro along 
the road, making the sand spin from the carriage 
wheels, did not serve to convince us that it was 
easy work for the horse any more than for ourselves. 
We wondered as we came in sight of a mountain 
close to the lake some two miles ahead, if the road 
would take us between it and the lake which, from 
the general direction we knew would be the shortest 
road to Ticonderoga, "Ti.," as the natives called it, 
or whether it would go around it, on the north side ; 
but we did not wonder long, for far ahead we could 
see the road sweepiug around, in a magnificent 
**swoop" north of the mountain. So we continued 
to struggle on, still walking except in a few rare 
instances, only stopping once for water. 

S Twinging around to the right, the line of sand 
took us over a level country. Here we passed a 
medium sized cart loaded with bags of grain or 
meal, and drawn by two heavy horses ; nevertheless, 
the sand was so deep that the nearly exhausted 
horses were compelled to stop every few feet to 
broath-3, while the driver, in a half-torpid state, was 
coiled up on the top of the load. A little further 
on we siriick a down grade, and were able to ride 
quite a distance, to the foot of the hill where the 
road crossed a small stream. Walking up the op,)o- 
site hill, we again mounted and were ablj to ride 
along fairly well fur a mile or two, which was the 
fiist exptrieuce of the kind since we left Lake 
George on the morning before. Soon, to our great 
joy, we were able to see the spires of Ticonderoga, 
away to the right. After dismounting to gather 
(77) 



raspberries, which we found in abundance, we 
pushed steadily on, up a steep hill, at the top of 
which we mounted the wheels and soon found 
ourselves wheeling along the flated and badly 
**bent" streets of Ticonderoga, presently dismount- 
ing at the hotel ; having covered a distance of 41 
miles of which we had walked 30, taking two days 
in doing what should have required but a day of 
easy, leisurely riding. 

The baggage was soon removed from the wheels 
and we gladly availed ourselves of the privilege of 
removing the dust of travel, feeling that we had 
done all we cared to do in one day. While the 
Junior Partner rested, I went out and examined 
the town, but my explorations were not extensive 
and I returned to the hotel and luxuriated until 
supper time which, to our great relief, was not 
long. 

After supper we went out for a walk around 
the streets. We found Ticonderoga to be rather un- 
attractive. It is, of course, an old town and very 
historical; but beside showing its age in its old 
rusty buildings and its generally antiquated ap- 
pearance, it is not interesting. The town is situ- 
ated between Lake George and Lake Champlain, 
the waters of the former joining with those of the 
latter, flowing north to the St. Lawrence river. 
But, after all, Ticonderoga possesses a certain 
amount of fascination because of its having figured 
so prominently in the early history of our country 
and in the Revolutionary War. 

The most interesting Revolutionary relic here- 
abouts is the ruin of old Fort Ticonderoga, and we 
consulted as to whether we would ride out to the 
(78) 



ruin that evening ; but as we were very tired and 
as the distance was two miles, we deciiled to forego 
historical researches until a more convenient time. 

At the hotel we were assigned to a nice room and 
we should have been very comfortable had there 
not been a ''farewell" party going on. As it was, 
our room was surrounded, in the corridors, by the 
noisest collection of young people that we remem- 
bered ever having encountered. There must have 
been fully a million of them all talking and hooting 
at once, (iiviug us that room was a mistaken kind- 
ness on the part of the landlord. There were some 
among them who labored under the impression that 
they could sing, which impression they proceeded 
to disprove much to our discomfort. Then, for 
several hours, we could hear a young fellow on the 
verandah in front of our windows, pleading with 
and coaxing a girl to kiss him. Apparently she de- 
clined. At last she went away and left him. Pretty 
soon, however, she came back, which showed ''which 
way the wind blew" with her. I had no patience 
and but little respect for the young man, for he 
should have taken a short cut and kissed the girl 
who, in my opinion, didn't need to be coaxed, or 
she would not have returned after she left him. 
Whether she gave the young man the kiss volun- 
tarily or otherwise, we do not know, for at half 
past one a. m., he was still pleading with her and 
soon the company dispersed. 

As we entered the dining room the next nrorning 
the landlord asked if the young people disturbed 
us, to which we replied — "no, not after they began 
to go home." The landlord evidently saw the point, 
and the subject was (hv)i)pod. 
(710 



After breakfast we quickly got under way. It is 
necessary to explain here that we had forwarded 
our extra baggage from Like George to Whitehall, 
near the foot of Lake Champlain, on the New York 
side, intending to wheel to thai point, down the 
west shore of the lake ; but we had subsequently 
found that this route would be impracticable as the 
road was rough and very hilly. So, being assured 
fliat we should find good roads on the Vermont side 
of the lake all the way down, we determined to 
cross the lake and take the road down the eastern 
side. 

We escaped from Ticonderoga after climbing a 
steep hill and wheeling over a rideable but rough 
road. Two miles from the town to the right we 
passed the ruins of Fort Ticonderoga, an interesting 
pile of masonary, retaining much of the form of the 
structure as it appeared in the days of the Revolu- 
tion. 

Soon Lake Champlain appeared before us, and we 
dismounted at the landing of the ferry boat which 
plies between the New York and the Vermont Fides. 
The lake is very narrow at this point, but it in- 
creases in width toward the north, the upper ex- 
tremity being about one hundred miles away on the 
Canadian border. While we were waiting for the 
boat we took a picture of the lake. 

Soon something appeared moving slowly out from 
the Vermont side. It came steadily toward us. It 
was the ferry boat; a curious craft, a kind of a 
cross between a catamaran and a sand-scow. We 
gazed at it in wonder, but hailed it as the medium by 
which we could escape to civilization and good 
roads. It approached the shore, and bumped up 
(80) 







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against it. Instead of being "tied up," as boats 
usually are, the wheel was kept revolving, thereby- 
holding the boat up against the bank until the one 
horse and wagon drove off. Then we went on board 
with our wheels, and while the low, rakish, fore- 
an'-af t craft waited a few minutes for prospective 
passengers, we interviewed the Multum in Parvo. 
This individual was a "group," and included the 
captain, engineer, quartermaster, pilot, and crew. 
He was, in fact, a "composite," and he was the 
autocrat from the stoke-hole to the pilot house. I 
asked him if he had a state-room unoccupied, which 
he regarded as quite a joke. The engine and boiler 
was situated on one side of the boat, while the wheel 
was on the other. While the boat was in port the 
Multum in Parvo "fired up" for the return trip. 
Then he rang the signal for the engineer (himself) 
to start the boat, to which he responded to the cap- 
tain (himself) , who signalled to the pilot (himself) , 
who, in response thereto, hustled over to the other 
side and laid hold of the spokes of the wheel. The 
"Ethan Allen," for that was her name, slowly 
started back toward the Vermont shore, without 
turning around, for her stern was exactly like her 
bow, and vice versa. 

In a few minutes we bumped against the edge of 
Vermont, and, paying our fare, thirty cents, we dis- 
embarked, first expressing a desire to photograph 
the Ethan Allen. The Multum in Parvo obligingly 
suggested that I go out to the end of a pier near by, 
saying that he would circle around, as he went out, 
and come down by the end of the pier so I could get 
a good shot at her other and best looking side, 
which was the only side bearing her name. So, 
(81) 



after he had taken a tin pail of coal on board from 
a pile on the shore, he ''cast off," with a horse and 
carriage and the occupants thereof on board. The 
Ethan Allen circled around and came down by on 
the edge of a majestic curve. When she was well 
in the centre of the field of the camera I sprung the 
shutter. The man with the team stood holding the 
horse's bridle so as not to fail to figure in the photo- 
graph. Then we waved the craft adieu, and after 
watching it drift away we turned to the road. Re- 
ferring to taking on coal, we were told t-h^t the 
captain, et cetera, takes one pailful on board at each 
trip, instead of taking enough for several trips at 
one time. 

Diagonally across the road from us we stopped to 
make some inquiries of a lady sitting on the veran- 
dah, with the result that we met her daughter also, 
and the Doctor, with whom we passed a most de- 
lightful half-hour under the cool trees ; for they 
were all interested in pursuits similar to our own, 
and the Doctor owned a trim little steam-launch, 
which lay moored in the lake opposite the house, 
I showed the Doctor the wooden pegs found at 
Hague, and we told them about our trip. We re- 
sumed our journey, feeling regret at being obliged 
to leave such pleasant company, with mutual wishes 
that we would meet again. 



(82) 



CHAPTER X. 



Over Vermont Roads.— The Green Mountains in Sight.— 
Luxury of Riding.— We Stop lor Dinner.— The Cuckoo and 
fts Peculiar Habits.— Arrival at Fairhaven —A Fishing Trip. 
—Once More Awheel.— Wayside Experiences.— Poultney.— 
Qranville —Salem and Cambridge.— Arrival at Eagle Bridge. 
The Tour Ended.— Homeward Bound. 



n~W S we wheeled away from Larrabee's Landing 
hA we immediately began to experience the 
/ -*- pleasure of the fine roads of Vermont. We 
turned south, taking the road which runs 
very nearly parallel with Lake Champlain, though 
some distance from it. It extends northward to the 
head of the lake, on the Canadian border, about one 
hundred miles away ; and we were informed that 
the r( ad is good all the way. 

When we approached the D. & H. railroad there 
was a train standing on the track, the rear car being 
across the road. There were several of the train 
hands on the car, and as we approached 1 called out 
to the rear-brakeman to pull ahead so we could 
pass. He met my sally with the reply that he had 
seen us approaching so rapidly that, supposing we 
wished to board the train, he had stopped for us. 

Until noon we spun along, not once making a dis- 
mount from necessity, past the fertile farms of this 
splendid agricultural state of bountiful crops and 
model husbandry. Meanwhile the topmost pe^ks 
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of the Adirondacks, far beyond the lake, faded 
from view; while to the left, the giant forms of the 
Green Mountains of Vermont were boIdiy outlined 
against the sky. 

The road was so smooth that we simply annihi- 
lated the distance, and what a luxury it was to ride 
easily and steadily along after our long bicycle trip 
afoot through the Empire SLate! 

About noon we dismounted at a thrifty looking 
farm house with the intention of getting dinner. 
We saw a man standing by the road-side near the 
barn opposite the house, and to him we made known 
our fondest desires at that particular moment. He 
was a pleasant old fellow, but evidently not in 
authority, for he told us that if we would go up to 
the house with him he would see if we could be 
accommodated. Of course we went with him, and 
stood by the well-house listening to the gurgle of 
flowing water, while he went into the house. 
Presently a young woman appeared, and nothing 
since we left home did us so much good as the 
honest, friendly, hospitable smile with which that 
farmer's wife greeted us. She was sunshine in 
herself, no less bright than that which illuminated 
the broad, well cultivated acres around the house. 

Certainly I She would do the best she could for 
us if we would go in ; and we entered the house 
and waited in the spotlessly neat, cool dining room 
while she got dinner for us. As she went back and 
forth from the dining room to the kitchen she had 
pleasant remarks to make, and they were all accom- 
panied by that radiant smile. It is a pity that there 
are not more people in this world like her ; and we 
felt that we were experiencing the proverbial New 
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England hospitality which we read so much about, 
but which, alas, we do not always encounter. 

In a very short time our dinner was ready, and 
such a dinner as it was! Shall we ever forget it, 
especially when we remember some of our expe- 
riences at the hotels in the Mohawk Valley. 
Nothing could have been daintier or more attrac- 
tively placed before us. The linen was snowy, the 
silver was bright and the china was delicate. How 
we did enjoy it I And was there ever anything so 
delicious as the cake with frosting made of pure 
maple sugar? And all the time our hostess sat near 
and chatted about this and that, so the time passed 
most pleasantly. 

Her pretty little girl was running about the 
room, and she came in for a liberal handful of 
coppers. For this delicious repast we were charged 
only twenty-five cents each. This is characteristic 
of Vermont people. They usually accommodate 
the wayfarer with a good meal, and twenty-five 
cents is the standard price. It would be rare that 
one could obtain as good a meal for a dollar at any 
hotel — especially any New York hotel. 

We rested awhile, and as the farmer and his two 
boys came in from the hay-field for a few minutes, 
we had a pleasant conversation with him. Then we 
mounted and wheeled on. The road continued fine, 
and we were in the best possible spirits after our 
dinner. The ride was interesting, for it took us 
through a rich agricultural section, and boun{iful 
crops were seen all along. Particularly was this 
true of the hay crop, and we were told that hay was 
then selling for about three dollars per ton. 

Although the country was very rolling we seemed 
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to follow a ridge, for we were able to overlook a 
wide range of territory nearly all the litne. 

Toward the middle of the afternoon we dismounted 
to gather raspberrries, which we found growing in 
great profusion by the side of the road. The bushes 
were fairly bending with the weight of berries. As 
I pirted a thicket of raspberry bushes where the 
berries were uncommonly plentiful, a bush-sparrow 
fluttered out and flew to a tree near by, where she 
perched and began to chirp in an excited manner. 
I knew enough about the habits of birds to realize 
that she probably had a uest in the bushes, and 
presently I found the tiny, cup-shaped thing, lined 
with horsehair. In it were four little blue eggs, 
those of the sparrow. But I also noticed another 
egg, a large one, nearly white, mottled with brown 
spots. Meanwhile I had called the Junior Partner 
to come and see i', and she at once pronounced the 
strange egg to be that of a cuckoo. The cuckoo is 
well known for its vagabond habits. It does not 
build a nest of its own, but deposits its eggs in the 
nests of other birds, where they are hatched together 
with the genuine ones. The cuckoo, being of a 
larger and stronger species, grows more rapidly 
than do the sparrows, until finally it crowds the 
legitimate ofispring from the nest. The Junior 
Partner suggested that we remove the cuckoo's egg 
from the nest, but I persuaded her not to do so, for 
1 feared the sparrow would desert her nest if we 
meddled with it. 

It was our intention to reach Whitehall that day, 
and we made good time until the houses of Fair- 
haven came into view. We wheeled into the town, 
which is rather prettily situated. Just as we were 
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entering the village a big cat came out of the grass 
and started to run up the road. She seemed in a 
hurry, so I started after her, ringing my bell furi- 
ously. We nev:!r saw such a sight as that cat was, 
as she ran. She couldn't go fast enough to suit her, 
and her hind legs fl-^w like the prongs of a hay-ted- 
der, making the dust fly in clouds; but she did not 
leave the road until she reached home, when she 
bounded into the yard and disappeared behind the 
house. 

As we were entering Fairhaven we changed our 
plans, and determined to carry out a resolution 
which we had made to stop a few days and rest in 
some quiet place, and go fishing. So, after inquir- 
ing if the locality offered fishing, and being assured 
that it did, we found a quiet little hotel in a retired 
part of the village, where we made our plans known 
to the landlord, who coincided with our resolution, 
and pronounced it to be sound judgment, character- 
istic of experienced travelers. We were therefore 
soon settled in the * 'Cottage" for two or three days. 
The house was located in a pretty spot, with a broad 
lawn and vegetable garden attached. We had a 
fine room, and the place was home-like and pleas- 
ant. So we began the agreeable occupation of going 
to bed at night, getting up in the morning, eating 
and sitting on the verandah. I occupied most of my 
time smoking, and the Junior Partner consumed 
confectionery and read. 

On the evening of our arrival we announced our 
intention to go fishing the next day, on Lake Bom- 
ozeen, about three miles away. The Junior Partner 
informed the landlord that she intended to do the 
fishing and catch all the fish. He smiled an incredu- 
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Ions smile, but kindly volunteered to help us pro- 
cure angle-worms the next morning. So after dinner 
the following day the angle-worms were procured, 
and with explicit directions how to find the lake, 
Ave started on our wheels, accompanied to the edge 
of the village by the landlord's daughter, who 
pointed out the right road. Reaching the lake, after 
a pleasant ride, we left our wheels, hired a boat, 
secured a pole and line from the man on the wharf, 
and pushed off. Now the man from whom we hired 
the boat, when he found that the Junior Tartner 
was to do the fishing, smiled a north-country smile. 
He was not aware that she possessed a reputation 
for always catching the first fish, the most fish, and 
the largest ones. We rowed a short distance up the 
lake to a place which the man suggested, but I soon 
decided that there were no fish there ; so we rowed 
down the lake to a cove which I had noticed as we 
wheeled along the road, where I believed we should 
find perch. We let the boat rest among the weeds 
and lily-pads. I baited the hook, and the Junior 
Partner began to fish. It was not long before she 
sounded an alarm to the effect that she had a bite, 
and in a few minutes she had a perch in the boat. 
For an hour she continued, securing, meanwhile, 
enough for a good string. Finally we pulled down 
the lake a short distance to try the luck near the 
ruin of an old wharf; but meeting with no suc- 
cess we rowed to the opposite shore, and, disem- 
barking, hauled the boat out, emptied it of the 
water which had leaked in, after which we se- 
cured a forked twig on which we strung the 
fish and then returned to the weeds and lily pads. 
But meeting with no further success we returned 
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to the landing place, paid for the boat (twenty-five 
cents for the afternoon) and mounted our wheels to 
return to Fairhaven. The Junior Partner had the 
siring of fish swinging from her handle bar, and as 
she passed the man from whom we had obtained 
the boat she held up the fish. He was no longer in- 
credulous. A short distance along the road we 
stopped and the Junior Partner held up the string 
against the side of an ice-house while I photo- 
graphed her with the fish, and when we reached 
the ** Cottage" she walked in and confronted the 
landlord. He immediately adjourned to a **back 
seat" after making a profound bow, promising to 
have the fish cleaned and to cook them for our 
breakfast. 

In the morning when we took our places at the 
table in the dining room, the fish were set before 
us, delicately browned, and the other guests looked 
on with envy. 

And so the time passed pleasantly at the *' Cot- 
tage," the pleasure of our sojourn being enhanced 
by the arrival of the landlord's wife, also by the 
arrival of another guest— a young lady from the 
New York side, but whose stay was, unfortunately, 
too short. She could talk even faster than the 
Junior Partner, as the landlord and his wife agreed. 

Now it happened that the landlord noticed that I 
had, on two occasions, by winning the regard of our 
waitress, secured two pieces of pie at dinner. Now 
pie is a necessity with me— not a luxury ; so when 
ihe landlord attempted to remonstrate with me, I 
^'struck" and informed him that I must and would 
have pie three times a day. He saw that I was in 
earnest and would not be trifled with and after that 
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333083B 



I had pie tliree times a day, by the landlord's ex- 
press orders, which came near causing a riot among 
the other guests. 

One day passed much like the previous one, and 
a favorite diversion with us was to go the postoflSce 
when the mail came in, in the evening, and watch 
the people who then flocked to the office. Fair- 
haven has some very pretty girls, by the way. 

At the ''Cottage" each evening the guests would 
gather on the verandah and await the arrival of the 
New York papers containing the latest war news ; 
and it was here that we received the news of the 
fall of Santiago. 

♦ ♦***♦♦♦ 

During our stay at Fairhaven the wheels received 
a good cleaning and I had my bicycle fitted with a 
new rear tire. 

Reluctantly one morning, we prepared to take 
our departure, and the wheels packed, we bade adieu 
to all and once more mounted. The landlord did 
not believe we would be able to ride a steep hill 
which led out of the village in sight of the house, 
but we did it without dismounting, waving him a 
final good-bye as we sailed past beyond Castleton 
Creek, which drove the slate mills ; for Fairhaveu is 
famous for its slate industry, being in the midst of 
the quarries of Vermont; and during the forenoon 
we saw many slate quarries on the hill-sides, some 
of them being of red slate. 

Again we found a beautiful road and afler our 
days of rest we rode with enthusiasm. We were 
wheeling along the boundary between the States of 
Vermont and New York, first on one side of the 
line and then on the other, running great danger of 
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p^etting our pedals entangled in the 'Mine." We 
were always able to tell when we had crossed to 
the New York side from the roughness of the 
roads. Wheeling through the village of Poultney, 
Vermont, we met a young man from our own 
town. He was connected with one of the slate 
companies and seemed glad to meet us. 

At Granville, on the New York side, we stopped 
to inquire near the railroad station, concerning the 
road we should take in getting out of town . The 
man of whom I inquired stated that the train had 
gone. "But," I replied, ''the road is here, isn't it?" 
at the same time pointing to the road and stating that 
we intended riding the bicycles over it. It takes 
a long time for the brains of some of the New York 
countrymen to get to work. Then he began giv- 
ing us directions until a bystander, for we had a 
large audience, quietly remarked to another that 
we should have hills to climb and a rough road if 
we went that way, which attracted the Junior 
Partner's attention, who asked if there was not a 
way where there were no hard hills. ^'Oh, yes, if 
you want to go by West Pawlet." "That^s the way 
we want to go," rejoined the Junior Partner, and 
receiving directions to that eflect, we continued on 
our way. 

Just before reaching Rupert, Vermont, we stopped 
at a farmhouse for dinner. We received scant 
hospitality at first from the woman of the house 
who had "ben berry in' all th' forenoon and had 
got badly het up;" but her daughter, a buxom girl, 
did her best to counteract her mother's grumpi- 
ness; so after a little while the matron began to 
thaw out. When dinner was ready the farmer and 
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the hired man came in, and the former, a big son 
of the soil, braced up in front of me, demanding to 
know my name and the nature of my business. 
As neither was copyrighted, I furnished him with 
the desired information. At dinner, which was not 
equal to the one we had enjoyed the first day in 
Vermont, the farmer kept up a continuous conver- 
sation, by which I learned that the world was all 
askew, and that he had missed his calling. He should 
have been a peddler, he said. In proof thereof he 
related how successful he had been peddling maple 
syrup in the spring. He also gave us much infor- 
mation about maple syrup and sugar making; his 
farm, the crops, his eon's farm, which adjoined his, 
and so forth. But he was agreeable and inclined to 
make it pleasant for us. After dinner was over, he 
and the hired man returned to the hay-field, and 
we, after taking a photograph of the daughter of 
the house, with her wheel, who donned a resplend- 
ent bicyle costume for the occasion, remounted our 
bicycles and rode on. 

We stopped occasionally for water, and we were 
always shown great hospitality. Earlier that day 
we called at a house for milk, and we were served 
with a large pitcher full, and when we offered to 
pay, the woman was almost indignant at the idea of 
such an absurd proposition. 

We rode through Rupert without stopping, for, 
while we had, earlier in the day, intended to wheel 
only to a point a few miles from Eagle Bridge, New 
York, on the line of the Fitchburg Railroad, we 
had made such good progress over the fine roads, 
with a strong north wind at our backs, that we be- 
lieved we could reach Eagle Bridge easily that day. 
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The remainder of our route lay on the New York 
side ; but, strange to relate, we found very good 
roads. We were now following along the line of 
the D. & H. road, and continued to do so through- 
out the afternoon. 

Once we stopped at a small cottage where we 
saw a well, and while we diew the cool water from 
the depths, the lady of the house, a product of the 
Emerald Isle, came out to see us, wearing a pair of 
** sandals," which she had been carrying around with 
her ever since she was born. She was a good- 
hearted old soul. 

At the large and handsome town of Salem, New 
York, we stopped a few minutes to try to secure at 
the railroad station and elsewhere, information as 
to the time of arrival of the Albany train, bound for 
Boston, at Eagle Bridge. We did not meet with 
great success, but we learned enough to convince us 
that we should have to remain at Eagle Bridge that 
night. So we wheeled on easily, and while the 
country was rather attractive, it was not so enticing 
as was Vermont. 

At Cambridge, New York, a large and handsome 
town of broad, level streets, and fine residences, we 
stopped for lunch at the establishment of a solemn- 
faced German. Just before, however, while I 
wheeled ahead to make an inquiry, the Junior Part- 
ner hailed a milk-man, who gave her the informa- 
tion we desired. He also served her with milk in 
the portable rubber cup which we carried, and when 
she went to pay him he said that when milk was 
only four cents a quart he did not know, for the life 
of him, how he was to charge for so little. 

After our lunch we wheeled od, making our best 
CJ3) 



tiino toward Eagle Bridge, only stopping once to 
gather a fresh supply of catnip to take home to 
"Gussie." 

Just at sunset Eagle Bridge came into view, and 
at the foot of a steep hill we swung to the right and 
wheeled along the river bank, turning to the left to 
cross the covered bridge. On the bridge we me an 
impertinent bumpkin, who inquired of us, each in 
turn, ''how fur we had rode," receiving, in reply, 
information which was more applicable, in his case, 
than that which Le sought. 

On the other side of the bridge we wheeled di- 
rectly to the railroad station, where we learned at 
what time the Boston train would arrive in the 
morning. We also secured our extra baggage, 
which had been ordered forwarded from Whitehall, 
while we were in Fairhaven; after which we 
crossed the street to the hotel, none too attractive 
on the exterior, though we were served with an 
appetizing supper and given a good room. At the 
supper table we met a drummer for a Troy house, 
who gave Boston a terrible raking, saying that it 
was an impossibility to find one's way about the 
streets without a guide. He knew Boston like a 
book; but, much to our surprise, he allowed it to 
leak out that he had never been in Boston in his life I 
After supper we stepped into the post office, next 
door, and sent word to Fairhaven of our arrival, 
having covered fifty-three miles that day easily; 
then, after sitting on the verandah until we were 
driven in by the clouds of dust raised from the street 
by the passing teams, we retired. 

******** 

Our tour, with its novel and pleasant experiences, 
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that we shall remember longer than the rough 
places, was ended. We had seen much which in- 
terested us and had gained much information be- 
side going over a route not frequented by tourists 
in its entirety. In the morning the wheels were 
checked, our impedimenta made ready and soon 
we were seated in the train and were being borne 
swiftly over the good old Fichburg Railroad, past 
the B3rkshire Hills again, through the Hoosac 
Tunnel and then through the length of Massachu- 
setts, toward Boston. 



The End. 



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