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.

Continental Divide

Ten o'clock next morning finds me leaning on my wheel, surveying the scenery from the "Continental Divide" - the backbone of the continent. Pacing the north, all waters at my right hand flow to the east, and all on my left flow to the west - the one eventually finding their way to the Atlantic, the other to the Pacific. This spot is a broad low pass through the Rockies, more plain than mountain, but from which a most commanding view of numerous mountain chains are obtained. To the north and northwest are the Seminole, Wind River, and Sweet-water ranges - bold, rugged mountain-chains, filling the landscape of the distant north with a mass of great, jagged, rocky piles, grand beyond conception; their many snowy peaks peopling the blue ethery space above with ghostly, spectral forms well calculated to inspire with feelings of awe and admiration a lone cycler, who, standing in silence and solitude profound on the great Continental Divide, looks and meditates on what he sees. Other hoary monarchs are visible to the east, which, however, we shall get acquainted with later on. Down grade is the rule now, and were there a good road, what an enjoyable coast it would be, down from the Continental Divide! but half of it has to be walked.

Posted in stevens blog by Thomas Stevens on Tuesday 27th May 1884 (12:00 +0000) | Add a comment | Permalink

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