Around the World on a Bicycle

In 1884, the 29 year old Thomas Stevens set out from San Fransisco on the 'modern mechanical invention' of the Penny Farthing to circumnavigate the globe on his 'big wheel'. His book - "Around the World on a Bicycle" - was published in 1888 and his writings are presented here in blog form. Read more in the archive.

Weber River

Twelve miles of alternate riding and walking eastwardly from Ogden bring me to the entrance of Weber Canon, through which the Weber River, the Union Pacific Railroad, and an uncertain wagon-trail make their way through the Wahsatch Mountains on to the elevated table-lands of Wyoming Territory. Objects of interest follow each other in quick succession along this part of the journey, and I have ample time to examine them, for Weber River is flooding the canon, and in many places has washed away the narrow space along which wagons are wont to make their way, so that I have to trundle slowly along the railway track. Now the road turns to the left, and in a few minutes the rugged and picturesque walls of the canon are towering in imposing heights toward the clouds. The Weber River comes rushing - a resistless torrent - from under the dusky shadows of the mountains through which it runs for over fifty miles, and onward to the pkin below, where it assumes a more moderate pace, as if conscious that it has at last escaped from the hurrying turmoil of its boisterous march down the mountain.

Advancing into the yawning jaws of the range, a continuously resounding roar is heard in advance, which gradually becomes louder as I proceed eastward; in a short time the source of the noise is discovered, and a weird scene greets my enraptured vision. At a place where the fall is tremendous, the waters are opposed in their mad march by a rough-and-tumble collection of huge, jagged rocks, that have at some time detached themselves from the walls above, and come crashing down into the bed of the stream. The rushing waters, coming with haste from above, appear to pounce with insane fury on the rocks that dare thus to obstruct their path; and then for the next few moments all is a hissing, seething, roaring caldron of strife, the mad waters seeming to pounce with ever-increasing fury from one imperturbable antagonist to another, now leaping clear over the head of one, only to dash itself into a cloud of spray against another, or pour like a cataract against its base in a persistent, endless struggle to undermine it; while over all tower the dark, shadowy rocks, grim witnesses of the battle. This spot is known by the appropriate name of "The Devil's Gate."

Posted in stevens blog by Thomas Stevens on Sunday 18th May 1884 (11:00 +0000) | 1 Comment | Permalink

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