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.

The Thousand Mile Tree

A short distance farther, and I pass the famous "Thousand-mile Tree" - a rugged pine, that stands between the railroad and the river, and which has won renown by springing up just one thousand miles from Omaha. This tree is having a tough struggle for its life these days; one side of its honored trunk is smitten as with the leprosy. The fate of the Thousand-mile Tree is plainly sealed [It had died by 1900 but was replaced in 1982]. It is unfortunate in being the most conspicuous target on the line for the fe-ro-ci-ous youth who comes West with a revolver in his pocket and shoots at things from the car-window. Judging from the amount of cold lead contained in that side of its venerable trunk next the railway few of these thoughtless marksmen go past without honoring it with a shot. Emerging from "the Narrows" of Weber Canyon, the route follows across a less contracted space to Echo City, a place of two hundred and twenty-five inhabitants, mostly Mormons, where I remain over-night. The hotel where I put up at Echo is all that can be desired, so far as "provender" is concerned; but the handsome and picturesque proprietor seems afflicted with sundry eccentric habits, his leading eccentricity being a haughty contempt for fractional currency. Not having had the opportunity to test him, it is difficult to say whether this peculiarity works both ways, or only when the change is due his transient guests. However, we willingly give him the benefit of the doubt.

Posted in stevens blog by Thomas Stevens on Sunday 18th May 1884 (19:00 +0000) | Add a comment | Permalink

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