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.

High-water and Whiskey

From Carter my route leads through the Bad-Lands, amid buttes of mingled clay and rock, which the elements have worn into all conceivable shapes, and conspicuous among them can be seen, to the south, "Church Buttes," so called from having been chiselled by the dexterous hand of nature into a group of domes and pinnacles, that, from a distance, strikingly resembles some magnificent cathedral. High-water marks are observable on these buttes, showing that Noah's flood, or some other aqueous calamity once happened around here; and one can easily imagine droves of miserable, half-clad Indians, perched on top, looking with doleful, melancholy expression on the surrounding wilderness of waters. Arriving at Granger, for dinner, I find at the hotel a crest-fallen state of affairs somewhat similar to the glumness of Tecoma. Tecoma had plenty of customers, but no whiskey; Granger on the contrary has plenty of whiskey, but no customers. The effect on that marvellous, intangible something, the saloon proprietor's intellect, is the same at both places. Here is plainly a new field of research for some ambitious student of psychology. Whiskey without customers. Customers without whiskey. Truly all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Posted in stevens blog by Thomas Stevens on Saturday 24th May 1884 (20:00 +0000) | Add a comment | Permalink

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