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.

Racing the Storm

The prairie hereabouts is spangled with a wealth of divers-colored flowers that fill the morning air with gratifying perfume. The air is soft and balmy, in striking contrast to the chilly atmosphere of early morning in the mountain country, where the accumulated snows of a thousand winters exert their chilling influence in opposition to the benign rays of old Sol. This evening I pass through "Prairie-dog City," the largest congregation of prairie-dog dwellings met with on the tour. The "city" covers hundreds of acres of ground, and the dogs come out in such multitudes to present their noisy and excitable protests against my intrusion, that I consider myself quite justified in shooting at them. I hit one old fellow fair and square, but he disappears like a flash down his hole, which now becomes his grave. The lightning-like movements of the prairie-dog, and his instinctive inclination toward his home, combine to perform the last sad rites of burial for his body at death. As, toward dark, I near Potter Station, where I expect accommodation for the night, a storm comes howling from the west, and it soon resolves into a race between me and the storm. With a good ridable road I could win the race; but, being handicapped with an unridable trail, nearly obscured beneath tall, rank grass, the storm overtakes me, and comes in at Potter Station a winner by about three hundred lengths.

Posted in stevens blog by Thomas Stevens on Thursday 05th Jun 1884 (22:00 +0000) | Add a comment | Permalink

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