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.

Storm Watching

This same evening, while halting for the night at Lodge Pole Station, the opportunity of observing the awe-inspiring aspect of a great thunder-storm on the plains presents itself. With absolutely nothing to obstruct the vision, the Alpha and Omega of the whole spectacle are plainly observable. The gradual mustering of the forces is near the Rockies to the westward, then the skirmish-line of fleecy cloudlets comes rolling and tumbling in advance, bringing a current of air that causes the ponderous wind-mill at the railway tank to "about face" sharply, and sets its giant arms to whirling vigorously around. Behind comes the compact, inky veil that spreads itself over the whole blue canopy above, seemingly banishing all hope of the future; and athwart its Cimmerian surface shoot zigzag streaks of lightning, accompanied by heavy, muttering thunder that rolls and reverberates over the boundless plains seemingly conscious of the spaciousness of its play-ground. Broad sheets of electric flame play along the ground, filling the air with a strange, unnatural light; heavy, pattering raindrops begin to fall, and, ten minutes after, a pelting, pitiless down-pour is drenching the sod-cabin of the lonely rancher, and, for the time being, converting the level plain into a shallow lake.

Posted in stevens blog by Thomas Stevens on Friday 06th Jun 1884 (22:00 +0000) | Add a comment | Permalink

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