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Title: In the Oregon Country - Out-Doors in Oregon, Washington, and California Together - with some Legendary Lore, and Glimpses of the Modern West - in the Making
Author: Putnam, George Palmer
Language: English
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_By George Palmer Putnam_

The Southland of North America

(_See Announcement at Back of this Volume_)

[Illustration: The Columbia River Valley and Mount Adams

Copyright, Gifford, Portland, Ore.]

  In the

  Oregon Country

  Out-Doors in Oregon, Washington, and California

  Together with some Legendary Lore, and

  Glimpses of the Modern West in

  The Making


  George Palmer Putnam

  Author of "The Southland of North America" etc.

  With an Introduction by

  James Withycombe

  Governor of Oregon

  With 52 Illustrations

  G. P. Putnam's Sons

  New York and London

  The Knickerbocker Press





  The Knickerbocker Press, New York

       *       *       *       *       *

  Dedicated to

       *       *       *       *       *



When one has lived in Oregon for forty-three years, and when one's
enthusiasm for his home increases year after year, naturally all that is
said of that home is of the most vital interest. Especially is it
acceptable if it is the outgrowth of a similar enthusiasm, and if it is
well said.

For a considerable span of time I have been reading what others have
written about the Pacific Coast. In the general western literature, it
has seemed to me, Oregon has never received its merited share of
consideration. Just now, with the Expositions in California attracting a
worldwide interest westward, and with the Panama Canal giving our
development a new impetus, it is especially appropriate that Oregon
receive added literary attention. And it is reasonable to suppose that
the stranger within our gates will find interest in such literature,
provided it be of the right sort, just as Oregonians must welcome a
sound addition to the State's bibliography, written by an Oregonian.

So, because I like the spirit of the following pages, admire the method
of their presentation, and deeply desire to promote the success of all
that will tend toward a larger appreciation of Oregon's possibilities, I
recommend this book to the consideration of dwellers on the Pacific
Coast, and those who desire to form acquaintance with the land it

[Illustration: hand written signature]

  _Governor of Oregon._


  _January 20th, 1915._


Often enough a preface is an outgrowth of disguised pretentiousness or
insincere humility. Presumably it is an apology for the authorship, or
at least an explanation of the purpose of the pages it introduces.

But no one is compelled to write a book; and, in truth, publishers
habitually exert a contrary influence. It is a fair supposition,
therefore, when a book is produced, that the author has some good reason
for his act, whether or not the book itself proves to be of service.

Among many plausible apologies for authorship, the most reasonable is,
it seems to me, a genuine enthusiasm for the subject at hand. If one
loves that with which the book has to do the desire to share the
possession with readers approaches altruism. In this case let us hope
that the enthusiasm, which is real, and the virtue, which is implied,
will sufficiently cloak the many faults of these little sketches, whose
mission it is to convey something of the spirit of the out-of-door land
they picture--a land loved by those who know it, and a land of limitless
welcome for the stranger who will knock at its gates.

The Oregon Country, with which these chapters are chiefly concerned, has
been the goal of expeditioning for a century and a quarter. First came
Captain Robert Gray in 1792, by sea. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark,
twelve years later, tracked 'cross country from the Missouri to the
mouth of the Columbia. In 1810, the Astor expedition, under Wilson and
Hunt, succeeded, after hardships that materially reduced the party, in
making its way from St. Louis to the Columbia and down the river to the
mouth, where was founded the town of Astoria. Finally, after a
half-century of horse-and-wagon pioneering, the first railroads spanned
the continent in 1869. But the Union Pacific and Central Pacific were
more the concern of California than of Oregon, for the Northwest had no
iron trail to link it with the parent East until in 1883 the Northern
Pacific Railway, under the leadership of Henry Villard, reached

So Oregon was discovered by sea and land, and finally, as highways of
steel replaced the dusty trails of the emigrants, she has come into her
own. From within and without she has builded, and what she has done for
her sons, and offers to her settlers, has established a place for her in
the respectful attention of the world.

Now, in the year nineteen hundred and fifteen, a new era is dawning for
Oregon and for all our Western Coast, through fresh enterprise, this
time again by sea. The waters of the Atlantic and Pacific have been
joined at Panama, our continental coast line, to all intents and
purposes, being made continuous, and the two Portlands, of Oregon and
Maine, become maritime neighbors. Our East and our West have clasped
hands again at the Isthmus, and comparative strangers as they are, there
is need for an introduction when they meet.

Not strangers, perhaps; better brothers long separated, each unfamiliar
with the attainments and the developed character of the other. The
younger brother, the Westerner, has from the very nature of things
changed most. His growth, in body, mind, and experience, is at times
difficult for the Easterner to fathom. A generation ago, he was such an
immature fellow, so lacking in poise, in accomplishments, and even in
certain of those characteristics which comprise what the East chooses to
consider civilization; and his country, compared with what it is to-day,
was so crudely developed.

The Easterner this year is the one who is coming to his brother of the
West, because of the Canal, the Expositions celebrating its completion,
and an immediate inclination to "see America first" impressed upon our
public for the most part by the present war-madness of Europe.

It would be rank presumption for any one person to pretend to speak a
word of explanation to that visitor on behalf of the Coast. As a fact,
no explanation is required; the States of the Pacific are their own
explanation, and their people must be known by their works. Secondly,
the Coast is such a vast territory that what might be a reasonably
intelligent introduction to one portion of it would be utterly
inapplicable elsewhere.

So this little book does not undertake to present a comprehensive
account of our westernmost States, or even of the Oregon Country. It is
intended simply to suggest a few of the many attractions which may be
encountered here and there along the Pacific, the references to which
are woven together with threads of personal reminiscence pertaining to
characteristic phases of the western life of to-day. For the stranger it
may possess some measure of information; it should at least induce him
to tarry in the region sufficiently long to secure an impression of the
byways as well as of the highways. For the man to whom Oregon,
California, or Washington stands for home, these pages may contain an
echo of interest--for we are apt to enjoy most sympathetic accounts of
the things we love best. But for visitor or resident, or one who reads
of a country he may not see, the chief mission of these chapters is to
chronicle something of their author's enthusiasm for the land they
concern, to hint of the pleasurable possibilities of its out-of-doors,
and, mayhap, to offer a glimpse of the new West of to-day in the
preparation for its greater to-morrow.

  G. P. P.
  December 25, 1914.


Some of the material in this book has been printed in substantially the
same form in _Recreation_ whose Editor has kindly sanctioned its further
utilization here.

For the use of many photographs I am indebted to the courtesy of
officials of the Oregon-Washington, and Spokane, Portland and Seattle

G. P. P.


  CHAPTER                                                           PAGE

  I.--"OUT WEST"                                                       1

  II.--THE VALLEY OF CONTENT                                           9

  III.--THE LAND OF LEGENDS                                           19

  IV.--THE LAND OF MANY LEAGUES                                       37

  V.--HOW THE RAILROADS CAME                                          54

  VI.--THE HOME MAKERS                                                64

  VII.--ON OREGON TRAILS                                              76

  VIII.--UNCLE SAM'S FORESTS                                          90

  IX.--A CANOE ON THE DESCHUTES                                      105

  X.--OLYMPUS                                                        116

  XI.--"THE GOD MOUNTAIN OF PUGET SOUND"                             130

  XII.--A SUMMER IN THE SIERRAS                                      153



  ADAMS                                                    _Frontispiece_

  Copyright, Gifford, Portland, Ore.

  BROWN PLAINS"                                                        2

  WASHINGTON                                                           2

  From a photograph by Frank Palmer, Spokane,

  HIKE                                                                 6

  From a photograph by Kiser Photo Co., Portland, Ore.

  ALONG THE WILLAMETTE                                                12

  MOUNT SHASTA                                                        12

  From a photograph by Weister Co., Portland, Ore.

  MOUNT HOOD FROM LOST LAKE                                           20

  Copyrighted photo by W. A. Raymond, Moro, Ore.

  NATIVES SPEARING SALMON ON THE COLUMBIA                             22

  Copyright 1901 by Benj. A. Gifford, The Dalles, Ore.

  COASTING ON MOUNT HOOD                                              22

  From a photograph by Weister Co., Portland, Ore.

  THE PACIFIC                                                         24

  Copyright 1910 by Kiser Photo Co., Portland, Ore.

  RISE SHEER FROM THE RIVER'S EDGE"                                   24

  Copyright 1910 by Kiser Photo Co., Portland, Ore.

  CELILO FALLS ON THE COLUMBIA                                        28

  Copyright 1902 by Benj. A. Gifford, The Dalles, Ore.

  GODS                                                                28

  Copyright 1902 by Benj. A. Gifford, The Dalles, Ore.

  BANKS OF BARRENNESS"                                                30

  Copyright 1912 by Kiser Photo Co., Portland, Ore.

  LEGENDS                                                             30

  Copyright 1909 by Benj. A. Gifford, The Dalles, Ore.

  THE DALLES OF THE COLUMBIA                                          32

  From a photograph by Weister Co., Portland, Ore.

  SURPASSING SCENERY"                                                 34

  Copyright 1912 by Kiser Photo Co., Portland, Ore.

  CENTRAL OREGON TRAVEL IN THE OLD DAYS                               38

  LAND, THE FREIGHTERS AND THEIR TEAMS"                               38

  SHADOWS, MADE GORGEOUS PICTURINGS"                                  42

  RAILROAD BRIDGE                                                     56

  THEN ANOTHER, POINT OF THE COMPASS"                                 56

  Copyright 1911 by Kiser Photo Co., Portland, Ore.

  ALONG THE CANYON OF THE DESCHUTES                                   62

  Copyright 1911 by Kiser Photo Co., Portland, Ore.

  THEN THE FLOW"                                                      68

  Series Copyright 1909 by Asahel Curtis

  BETWEEN THE FURROWS"                                                68

  "IT WAS A VERY TYPICAL STAGECOACH"                                  70

  IN THE HOMESTEAD COUNTRY                                            70

  SMILES AND RECEIVES THEM ALL"                                       74

  From a photograph by Frank Palmer, Spokane, Wash.

  A TRAILSIDE DIP IN A MOUNTAIN LAKE                                  78

  CHILLY"                                                             78

  CASCADES                                                            80

  AN EMERALD MOUNT"                                                   80

  THE TRAILS ARE NOT ALL DRY-SHOD                                     84

  "OUR TRAIL WOUND BENEATH A FAIRY FOREST"                            84

  AN OREGON TRAIL                                                     86

  From a Photograph by Kiser Photo Co., Portland, Ore.

  STATION                                                             96

  RANGER STATION                                                      96

  AN OREGON TROUT STREAM                                             100

  From a Photograph by Raymond, Moro, Ore.

  COMBINED ON THE DESCHUTES                                          108

  ON A BACKWATER OF THE DESCHUTES                                    108

  CASCADES"                                                          112

  Copyright 1911 By Kiser Photo Co., Portland, Ore.

  OF TRAVEL EXTANT"                                                  118

  THE PACK TRAIN ABOVE TIMBER LINE                                   118

  From a photo by Belmore Browne

  TO MOUNT OLYMPUS"                                                  128

  "OUR NATURE-MADE CAMP IN ELWHA BASIN"                              128

  THE "GOD MOUNTAIN" OF PUGET SOUND                                  132

  Copyright 1910 by L. G. Linkletter

  "THE LIVE OAKS OF BERKELEY'S CAMPUS"                               156

  From a photograph by Wells Drury, Berkeley, Cal.

  ADAMS FROM THE FLANKS OF RAINIER                                   156

  Copyright 1909 by L. G. Linkletter

  EL CAPITAN"                                                        158

  BY DAME NATURE"                                                    160

  Copyright 1912 by Kiser Photo Co., Portland, Ore.

  LIGHT AND SHADOW IN YOSEMITE                                       160

  SUNRISE AT HETCH-HETCHY                                            164

  MOUNT RAINIER                                                      164

In the Oregon Country


"Out West"

"What is the most pronounced difference between East and West?" A
Bostonian once asked me that. I was East after a year or two of
westerning, and he seemed to think it would be easy enough to answer
off-hand. But for the life of me I could find no fit reply. For a time
that is--and then it struck me.

"Everyone is proud of everything out West," said I. "Local patriotism is
a religion--if you know what I mean."

You who have lived on the Pacific Slope will understand. You who have
visited the Pacific Slope will half-understand. Did you ever hear of a
New Jersey man fighting because his town was maligned? You never did!
Have you yet encountered a York State small-town dweller who would
devote hours to proving that his community was destined to outdistance
all its neighbors because God had been especially good to it--and ready
to back his boast to the limit? No indeed! Yet most of us have seen
Westerners actually come to blows protecting the fair name of their
chosen town, and I know scores of them who can, and will, on the
slightest provocation, demonstrate that their particular Prosperity
Center is the coming city of destiny.

In short every Westerner is inordinately proud of his town and his
country. On trains you hear it, in hotel lobbies, on street corners. The
stranger seated at your side in the smoking compartment regales you with
descriptions of his particular "God's Country." If ever there was an
overworked phrase west of the Missouri, it is that, and the inventor of
a fitting synonym should reap royal rewards, in travelers' gratitude if
nothing else. The man from Boisé describes "God's Country" in terms of
sagebrush and brown plains; the Palouse dweller pictures wheat fields,
mentioning not wind storms and feverish summer mercury; the
Californian sees his poppy-golden hills; the eyes of the Puget Sound
dweller are bright with memories of majestic timber and broad waterways,
unclouded by any mention of gray rain; the man from Bend talks of
rushing rivers and copper-hued pines, his enthusiasm for the homeland
unalloyed by reference to summer dusts; the orchard owner of Hood River
or Wen-atchee has his heaven lined with ruddy apples, and discourses
amazing figures concerning ever-increasing world market for the product
of his acres; he who hails from the Coast cities, whose all-pervading
passion is optimism, weaves convincing prophecies of the golden future.
And so it goes. Each for his own, each an enthusiast, a loyal patriot, a
rabid disciple. Eastern travel acquaintances produce the latest
photograph of their youngest offspring, but the Westerner brings forth
views and plats of his home town; no children of his own flesh are more

Yes, truly, it is a bore. The thing is overdone. There is too much of
it. And yet--well, it is the very spirit of the West, a natural
expression of the pride of creation, for these men of to-day are
creating homes and towns, and doing it under fiercely competitive
conditions. They have builded upon their judgment and staked their all
upon the throw of fortune. They are pleased with their accomplishments
and vastly determined to bend the future to their ends. It is arrogance,
no doubt, but healthy and happy, and the very essence of youthful
accomplishment. And its very insistency and sincerity spell success, and
are invigorating to boot.

[Illustration: "The Palouse dweller pictures wheat fields." The grain
country of eastern Washington

From a photograph by Frank Palmer, Spokane, Wash.]

[Illustration: "The man from Boisé describes God's country in terms of
sagebrush and brown plains"]

The old differences between East and West are no more, of course. Except
for a trifle more informality under the setting sun, clothes and their
wearing are the same. The Queen's English is butchered no more
distressingly in California than in Connecticut. Proportionately to
resources, educational opportunities are identical. Music and the arts
are no longer strangers where blow Pacific breezes, nor have they been
for decades. The West is wild and woolly no more, railroads have
replaced stagecoaches, fences bisect the ranges, free land is almost a
thing of the past. Yet, withal, existence for the peoples of the two
borders of our continent is not cast in an identical mold.

"Back East" residents are apt to regard the West as a land of
curiosities, human and natural. "Out West" dwellers are inclined to be
supercilious when they mention the ways of the Atlantic seaboard.

All statements to the contrary notwithstanding, East is East, and West
is West, no matter how fluently they mingle. The difference between them
is not to be defined by conversational metes and bounds. It is not
merely of miles, of scenery, or of manners, or even of enthusiasm. It
is, in fact, quite intangible, and yet it exists, as anyone who has
dwelt upon both sides of our continent realizes. Aside from the
trivialities--which are wrapt up in such words as "culture," "custom,"
"precedent," and the like--the fundamental, explanatory reason for the
intangible differences is one of years. Most of the West is buoyantly
youthful, some of it blatantly boyish. Much of the East is in the prime
of middle age, some of it senile. Naturally the East is inclined to
conservative pessimism--an attribute of advancing years--and the West to
impulsive optimism.

Do not foster the notion that the term "extreme" West really applies,
for it doesn't. The West, as I have seen it, is too nervous, socially
speaking, to dare extremes. It is too inexperienced to essay
experiments, too desirous of doing the correct thing. While it wouldn't
for the world admit the fact, socially it is quite content to keep its
intelligent eyes on the examples set back East, and even then its
replica of what it sees is apt to be a modified one.

If this bashfulness holds good socially, it emphatically does not
commercially. For in things economic there is far more dash and daring,
and bigness of conception and rapidity of realization in Western
business affairs than in those of the East. Opportunity is knocking on
every hand, and those who think and act most quickly become her lucky
hosts. The countries of the West are upbuilding with a rapidity for the
most part inconceivable to Europe-traveled Easterners, and affairs move
at a lively pace, so that the laggards are left behind and only the
able-bodied can keep abreast of the progress. And with all the dangers
of the happy-go-lucky methods, the pitfalls of the inherent gambling
that lies beneath the surface of much of it, Western business life
undoubtedly offers the favored field for the young man of to-day who
has, in addition to the normal commercial attributes, the ability to
keep his head.

[Illustration: A Western mountaineering club on the hike

From a photograph by Kiser Photo Co., Portland, Ore.]

Greeley's advice was never sounder than to-day; revised, it should read:
"Come West, young man, and help the country grow."

The start has just been made. Perhaps the days of strident booms are
over (let us trust so), and it may be that the bonanza opportunities are
for the most part buried in the past, together with the first advent of
the railroads, the discoveries of gold, and the exploitation of
agriculture, which gave them birth. But the West is getting her second
wind. The greater development is yet to come; the Panama Canal, with
quickened immigration, manufacturing, and a more thorough-going
cultivation of resources than ever in the past, spell that. What has
gone before is trivial and inconsequential in comparison with what is to
come. Pioneering is along different lines than in the old days, but it
still is pioneering, and the call of it is as insistent for ears
properly tuned.

  I hear the tread of pioneers
    Of cities yet to be,
  The first low wash of waves where soon
    Will roll a human sea.

The waves have wet the shores, but their true advance has scarce begun.


The Valley of Content

Oregon--the old Oregon Territory of yesterday and the State of
to-day--is our very own. It was neither bought, borrowed, nor stolen
from another nation. It is of the United States because our fathers came
here first, carved out homes from the wilderness, and unfurled their
flag overhead; through the most fundamental of rights--that of
discovery, coupled with possession and development.

The New England States we inherited from Britain, although the will was
sorely contested. For Louisiana we paid a price. Texas and California we
annexed from Mexico, and purchased New Mexico and Arizona. Alaska was
bought from Russia for a song. Alone of all the United States the old
Oregon Territory became ours by normal acquisition.

Thence, perhaps, is the compelling attraction for the native-born of
Oregon to-day. Mayhap a touch of historic romance clings about the
country; or it may be simply the feeling of bigness, the broad
expansiveness of the views, the mightiness of mountains, the splendor of
the trees, and the air's crisp vitality that make Oregon life so worth

Whatever the explanation, it is assuredly a pleasant place in which to
live, this land of Oregon, and the transplanted Easterner cannot but be
conscious of its attractions, just as he is of the myriad delights of
the entire Coast country. A land of delight it is, from Puget Sound to
the riviera of California, from the snow mountains to the sagebrush
plains, where rose the dust of immigrants' "prairie schooners" not so
many years ago.

The guardian of Oregon's southern gateway is Shasta, and close beside
its gleaming flanks rolls the modern trail of steel whereon the wayfarer
from San Francisco passes over the Siskiyous into the valleys of the
Rogue and the Umpqua.

Shasta displays its attractions surpassingly well. An appreciative
nature placed this great white gem in a wondrously appropriate setting
of broken foothills and timbered reaches that billow upward to the snow
line from the south and west, with never a petty rival to break the calm
dominance of the master peak, and nothing to mar the symmetry of the
cool green woodlands. For Shasta stands alone, and from its isolation is
doubly impressive. One sees it all at once, as the train clambers up the
grades towards Oregon, not a mere peak among many of a range, but an
individual cone, neighborless and inspiring. Shasta has a volcanic
history, and but a few hundred years ago bestirred itself titanically,
casting forth balls of molten lava which to-day are encountered for
scores of miles roundabout, weird testimonials to the latent strength
now seemingly so reposeful beneath the calm crust of the earth.

Up and still up, into the timbered mountains, you are borne, until the
very heart of the tousled Siskiyous is about you. Then all at once the
divide lies behind and with one locomotive instead of several the train
swings downward and northward into Oregon, winding interminably, and
twisting and looping along hillsides and about the heads of little
streams, which grow into goodly rivers as you follow them. Slowly the
serried mountains iron out into gentler slopes dimpled with meadows, and
here and there are homes and cultivated fields, and steepish roads of
many ruts. Then the rushing Rogue River is companion for a space, and
orchards and towns dot the wayside. More rough country follows, the
Rogue and the Umpqua are left behind in turn, and the rails bear you to
the regions of the Willamette.

A broad valley, rich, prosperous, and beautiful to look upon, is the
Willamette, and a valley of many moods. Neither in scenic charms nor
agricultural resourcefulness is its heritage restricted to a single
field. There are timberland and trout stream, hill and dale, valley and
mountain; rural beauty of calm Suffolk is neighbor to the ragged
picturesqueness of Scotland; there are skylines comparable with
Norway's, and lowlands peaceful as Sweden's pastoral vistas; the giant
timber, or their relic stumps, at some pasture edge, spell wilderness,
while a happy, alder-lined brook flowing through a bowlder-dotted field
is reminiscent of the uplands of Connecticut. Altogether, it is a rarely
variegated viewland, is this vale of the Willamette.

[Illustration: Along the Willamette]

[Illustration: Mount Shasta

From a photograph by Weister Co., Portland, Ore.]

You have seen valleys which were vast wheat fields, or where orchards
were everywhere; in California and abroad you have viewed valleys
dedicated to vineyards, and from mountain vantage points you have
feasted your eyes upon the greenery of timberland expanses; all the
world over you can spy out valleys dotted with an unvaried checkerboard
of gardens, or green with pasture lands. But where have you seen a
valley where all of this is mingled, where nature refuses to be a
specialist and man appears a Jack of all outdoor trades? If by chance
you have journeyed from Medford to Portland, with some excursioning from
the beaten paths through Oregon's valley of content, you have viewed
such a one.

For nature has staged a lavish repertoire along the Willamette. There
are fields of grain and fields of potatoes; hop yards and vineyards
stand side by side; emerald pastures border brown cornfields; forests of
primeval timber shadow market garden patches; natty orchards of apples,
peaches, and plums are neighbors to waving expanses of beet tops. In
short, as you whirl through the valley, conjure up some antithesis of
vegetation and you must wait but a scanty mile or two before viewing it
from the observation car.

As first I journeyed through this pleasant land of the Willamette, a
little book, written just half a century ago, fell into my hands, and
these words concerning the valley, read then, offered a description
whose peer I have not yet encountered:

     The sweet Arcadian valley of the Willamette, charming with meadow,
     park, and grove! In no older world where men have, in all their
     happiest moods, recreated themselves for generations in taming
     earth to orderly beauty, have they achieved a fairer garden than
     Nature's simple labor of love has made there, giving to rough
     pioneers the blessings and the possible education of refined and
     finished landscape, in the presence of landscape strong, savage,
     and majestic.

Then Portland. Portland, the city of roses and the metropolitan heart of
Oregon, stands close to where the Willamette, the river of our valley of
content, meanders into the greater Columbia. Were this a guidebook I
might inundate you with figures of population, bank clearings, and land
values, all of them risen and still rising in bounds almost beyond
belief. I might narrate incidents of the city's building--how stumps
stood a half dozen years ago where such and such a million dollar
hostelry now rises, or how so-and-so exchanged a sack of flour for lots
whose value to-day is reckoned in six figures. But these are matters of
business, and business was divorced years ago from the simple pleasures
of the out-of-doors.

Portland is a city of prosperity. That fact strikes home to the most
casual observer. Blessed above all else--especially in the eyes of an
Easterner--is its freedom from poverty. There are no slums, no "lower
east side" like New York's rabbit warrens, no Whitechapel hell holes. It
is a clean, youthful city, delightfully located on either side of its
river and rising on surrounding hills of rare beauty. Its metropolitan
maturity, indeed, is all the more remarkable for its youth, as seventy
years ago the site of the town was a howling wilderness, set in the
midst of a territory peopled at best by a few score whites.

It was in 1845 that the first settler, Overton by name, made his home
where now is Portland. Close after him came Captain John H. Couch, who
located a donation land claim where is now the northern portion of the
city. And from that beginning gradually grew the city of to-day which
in the California gold rush of the early fifties received her first
notable impetus through her position as a commanding supply point for
the fast-crowding and lavishly opulent sister State to the south.

Born at the hands of pioneers and weaned with the gold of California,
the city was sturdily founded, and to-day the strength of the pioneer
blood and the glow of the golden beginnings are still upon her.

The fairest of fair Portland is seen from her show hilltop, Council
Crest. The days are not all sunny, but when they are and neither "Oregon
mist"--which is a local humor for downright rain--nor clouds obscure the
outlook, the easterly skyline from Council Crest is a superbly pleasing
introduction to the State. Over the mists of the lowlands you see Mount
Hood, and to have seen Mount Hood, even from afar, is to have tasted the
rarest visual delight of all the Northwest land. Shasta, to the south,
was an imposing welcomer to the empire of surpassing views, but Hood
outdoes Shasta and its snow-crowned neighbors of the old Oregon country
as completely as the pinnacles of Switzerland overshadow their lesser
companions of the Italian Alps. Hood, somehow, breathes the very spirit
of the State it stands for; its charm is the essence of the beauty of
its surroundings, its stateliness the keynote of the strength of the
sturdy West. It is a white, chaste monument of hope, radiantly setting
for its peoples roundabout a mark of high attainment.

A city of destiny its friends call Portland, and a mountain of destiny
surely is Hood--its destiny to diffuse something of the spirit of
healthful happiness and fuller ideals for those, at least, who will take
time from the busy rush of their multiplying prosperity.

And here again, on Council Crest, I venture to turn back to 1860;
venture at least again to quote from the literary heritage of Theodore
Winthrop, who saw Oregon's mountains then and wrote of them and their
influences these lines:

     Our race has never yet come into contact with great mountains as
     companions of daily life, nor felt that daily development of the
     finer and more comprehensive senses which these signal facts of
     nature compel. That is an influence of the future. The Oregon
     people, in a climate where being is bliss,--where every breath is a
     draught of vivid life,--these Oregon people, carrying to a new and
     grander New England of the West a fuller growth of the American
     Idea, under whose teaching the man of lowest ambitions must still
     have some little indestructible respect for himself, and the brute
     of most tyrannical aspirations some little respect for others;
     carrying there a religion two centuries farther on than the crude
     and cruel Hebraism of the Puritans; carrying the civilization of
     history where it will not suffer by the example of Europe,--with
     such material, that Western society, when it crystallizes, will
     elaborate new systems of thought and life. It is unphilosophical to
     suppose that a strong race, developing under the best, largest, and
     calmest conditions of nature, will not achieve a destiny.

Be that as it may, no man, seeing Hood from Portland for the first time,
could but experience a longing to answer the call of the beckoning
mountain, and to find for himself the secrets of the land that lies
beyond it. And so Hood was the piper which called us to the hinterland
of Oregon, where, quite by chance, we stayed, until now we find we are
Oregonians, by adoption and by choice.


The Land of Legends

The nomenclature of the Northwest suffered at the hands of its
English-speaking discoverers, for much that was fair to the ear in the
Indian names has been replaced with dreary commonplaces, possessing
neither beauty nor special fitness.

Two Yankee sea captains tossed a coin to decide whether they would name
the city Portland or Boston. The Boston skipper lost, and "Multnomah,"
which was the old Indian name for the place and means "Down the Waters,"
became prosaic Portland. Because some Methodist missionaries preferred a
name with a Biblical twang to the Indian "Chemeketa," meaning the "Place
of Peace," Oregon's capital of to-day became Salem and the title which
the red men gave their council ground was abandoned.

The Great River was first known as the Oregon, just why no authority
seems to tell us reliably but later became the Columbia when the ship of
that name sailed across its bar. Jonathan Carver's choice in names,
however, if no longer bestowed upon the river, soon became that of all
its lower regions, and they acquired the lasting title of the Oregon

The old Oregon, the Columbia of to-day, was the gateway to the Pacific
for the explorers and the immigrants of yesterday. For Lewis and Clark
it opened a friendly passageway through the mountain ranges, and
likewise for the human stream of immigration which later followed its
banks from the East. So is it too a modern portal of prosperity for
Portland, as this greatest river of the West concentrates the tonnage of
much of three vast states by water grades at Portland's door, and two
transcontinental railroads follow its banks, draining the wealth of the
Inland Empire while enriching it, just as the river itself physically
drains and adds wealth to the territory it traverses.

[Illustration: Mount Hood from Lost Lake

Copyrighted photo by W. A. Raymond, Moro, Ore.]

To us the Columbia was a gateway to the hinterland, for our pilgrimage
upon it was easterly, up into the land of sunshine beyond Mount Hood
and the Cascade mountain range, starting, on an impulse, after viewing
the snow-covered barriers from the heights of Portland. And as we
journeyed easterly up the great river, whose water came from lakes of
the Canadian Rockies distant fourteen hundred miles, we found ourselves
at once in a region of surpassing scenery and a land of quaint Indian

A great wall of mountains shuts off the coastal regions from eastern
Oregon and Washington. The two divisions are as dissimilar in climate
and vegetation as night and day. To the west is rain and lush growth; to
the east, drought and semi-arid desert. West of the Cascades are fir
forests cluttered with underbrush and soggy with springs, while east are
dry pine lands, park-like in their open beauty. The high plains of the
hinterland are yellow grain fields chiefly, and irrigation is the right
hand of agriculture; in the Willamette Valley, nature brings forth all
things in a revel of productivity.

The Columbia cleaves this great wall asunder, breaking through the
mountains in a gorge some three thousand feet deep. Here was the
mythical bridge of the gods, which, legend narrates, once spanned the
river from one mountainous bank to the other until ultimately it fell
and dammed the stream. You come upon the site of the legendary bridge
where Government locks now circumnavigate the cascades, a fall in the
river of wondrous beauty, hemmed in on north and south by timbered
mountains. Sunken forests hereabout indicate that at one time the
river's course was checked by some great dam or volcanic convulsion, and
every evidence in the geological surroundings points to stupendous
natural cataclysms which distorted the face of nature leaving the
sublime formations of the present.

As the train or boat bound up the Columbia progresses through this weird
portal, fortunate you are if told the myths of this region which so
truly is a land of legends, as we were; of the mythical struggle between
Mount Hood on the south and Mount Adams on the north, in whose progress
Hood hurled a vast bowlder at his adversary which fell short of its
intended mark, destroying the bridge; of the quaint fire legend of the
Klickitats which later I chanced upon in print in Dr. Lyman's
entertaining book _The Columbia River_.

[Illustration: Natives spearing salmon on the Columbia

Copyright 1901 by Benj. A. Gifford, The Dalles, Ore.]

[Illustration: Coasting on Mount Hood

From a photograph by Weister Co., Portland, Ore.]

A father and two sons came from the East to the land along the
Columbia, and the boys quarreled over the division of their chosen
acres. So, to end the dispute, the father shot an arrow to the west and
one to the north, bidding his sons make their homes where the arrows
fell. From one son sprang the tribe of Klickitats, while the other
founded the nation of Multnomah. Then Sahale, the Great Spirit, erected
the Cascade Range as a barrier wall between them to prevent possibility
of friction. The remainder of Dr. Lyman's pretty myth is best told in
his own words:

     But for convenience' sake, Sahale had created the great tamanous
     bridge under which the waters of the Columbia flowed, and on this
     bridge he had stationed a witch woman called Loowit, who was to
     take charge of the fire. This was the only fire of the world. As
     time passed on Loowit observed the deplorable condition of the
     Indians, destitute of fire and the conveniences which it might
     bring. She therefore besought Sahale to allow her to bestow fire
     upon the Indians. Sahale, greatly pleased by the faithfulness and
     benevolence of Loowit, finally granted her request. The lot of the
     Indians was wonderfully improved by the acquisition of fire. They
     began to make better lodges and clothes and had a variety of food
     and implements, and, in short, were marvellously benefitted by the
     bounteous gift.

But Sahale, in order to show his appreciation of the care with which
Loowit had guarded the sacred fire, now determined to offer her any gift
she might desire as a reward. Accordingly, in response to his offer,
Loowit asked that she be transformed into a young and beautiful girl.
This was accordingly effected, and now, as might have been expected, all
the Indian chiefs fell deeply in love with the guardian of tamanous
bridge. Loowit paid little heed to any of them, until finally there came
two chiefs, one from the north called Klickitat and one from the south
called Wiyeast. Loowit was uncertain which of these two she most
desired, and as a result a bitter strife arose between the two. This
waxed hotter and hotter, until, with their respective warriors, they
entered upon a desperate war. The land was ravaged, until all their new
comforts were marred, and misery and wretchedness ensued. Sahale
repented that he had allowed Loowit to bestow fire upon the Indians, and
determined to undo all his work in so far as he could. Accordingly he
broke down the tamanous bridge, which dammed up the river with an
impassable reef, and put to death Loowit, Klickitat, and Wiyeast. But,
inasmuch as they had been noble and beautiful in life, he determined to
give them a fitting commemoration after death. Therefore he reared over
them as monuments the great snow peaks; over Loowit, what we now call
Mt. St. Helen's; over Wiyeast, the modern Mt. Hood; and, above
Klickitat, the great dome which now we call Mt. Adams.

[Illustration: The Pacific

Copyright 1910 by Kiser Photo Co., Portland, Ore.]

[Illustration: Along the Columbia--"Grotesque rocks rise sheer from the
river's edge"

Copyright 1910 by Kiser Photo Co., Portland. Ore.]

Up through timbered hillsides, from green fields, from the verdure of
the western flanks of the Cascades, winds the great river. The banks
become steeper, the mountains behind them more rugged. Fairy threads of
silver, falling water, flutter down from cliffs. Grotesque rocks, mighty
monuments erected by a titan fire god when the world was young, rise
sheer from the river's edge. Cumbersome fish wheels revolve sedately
where the silver-sided salmon run in the springtime. The railroads cling
close to the stream, perforce tunneling where nature has provided no
passageway, and the boat ploughs against the current which here and
there is swift and swirling as the cascades are approached. Then through
the locks you go, or by them if you travel by the steel highways, and
quickly the scenes change, these new ones painted in a vastly different
vein from those that have gone before.

The lofty, steep-walled hills become more gentle, and their cloak of
green timber merges into brown grass. The river rolls between banks of
barrenness as we emerge on the western rim of the land of little rain,
for the moisture-laden clouds from the Pacific are thwarted in their
eastern progress by the mountain barrier, along whose summits they
cluster weeping, in their baffled anger, upon the wet westerly slopes,
while the dry sunny eastland mocks their dour grayness. Close beside
the river is the harshest of all this rainless land; sand blows, the
cliffs are bare and black, the hillsides bleak and brown. But ever so
little away from the barren valley bottom are rich regions of orchards
and green fields, and easterly, in the countries of Walla Walla,
Palouse, and John Day, far-reaching fields of grain abound. Farming is
upon a bonanza basis, and the bigness of it all is reminiscent of the
Dakotas, were it not for the majestic mountain skylines, blessed visual
reliefs lacking altogether in the continental mid-regions. The volume
then, is bound misleadingly, and those who see naught but its
unprepossessing exterior gain no inkling of its charming hidden

Then come The Dalles of the Columbia, close to the town of the same
name, where the river, a sane waterway for a half a thousand miles
above, suddenly goes mad for a brief space of lawless waterfall and
rock-rimmed cascades. At Walla Walla--whose very name means "where the
waters meet"--the two chief forks of the old Oregon River converge, the
Columbia proper and the Snake, the one draining a northern empire, the
other swinging southerly through Idaho, "the gem of the mountains" as
the Indians baptized it. Thence the great stream flows westerly some one
hundred and twenty miles until it reaches the outlying ridge of the
Cascade chain, there encountering a huge low surface paved with
glacier-polished sheets of basaltic rock. These plates, says Winthrop
Parker, who saw them as a trail follower in the early 'sixties, gave the
place the name _Dalles_, thanks to the Canadian voyageurs in the Hudson
Bay service. A brief distance above this flinty pavement the river is a
mile wide, but where it forces tumultuous passageway through the rocks
it narrows to a mere rift compressed, if not subdued, by the adamantine
barriers it cannot force asunder. Where the sides grow closest through
three rough slits in the rocky floor the white waters bore, each chasm
so narrow that a child could cast a stone across.

On either hand are monotonous plains, gray with sagebrush and brown with
sunburned grass. Rough hills rise northerly, in Washington. Eastward
roll lower broadening lands, but turbulent with lesser hills. West is
the great ridge of the Cascade Range, with Hood rising majestic guardian
over all, and the broad Columbia vanishing into the very heart of the
shadowed mountains, unchecked on its seaward quest. The summer sunlight
is blinding bright and the sky ethereal blue. An Indian hovel, or a
ragged home of a fish-spearer beside the rushing waters, furnishes
contrast--that of puny humanity in the face of nature at her mightiest.
The view is at once compellingly beautiful and weirdly repelling. Few
would live along the great river or thereabout from choice; and yet
the view of it--the startling, colorful panorama--is golden treasure
beyond the dreams of avarice.

It is this setting which marked the old-time entrance into Central
Oregon. Those words "old-time," are characteristic of the swift-moving
country; for using them, I refer to but six years ago, when Oregon's
hinterland was a wilderness so far as railroads were concerned. These
dalles of the Columbia, a milepost on the old transcontinental trail,
are a place seen and passed to-day by those who rush on rails in brief
hours where the pioneers of fifty years ago labored weeks. Also were
these dalles prominent in Indian life in the quiet midyears of the last
century, when beavers were more plentiful than palefaces. Indeed, back
to the very beginnings of Northwestern Indian lore their story goes,
coming to us, like so much else of the misty past of the Oregon Country,
in a quaint legend.

[Illustration: Celilo Falls on the Columbia

Copyright 1902 by Benj. A. Gifford, The Dalles, Ore.]

[Illustration: The north abutment of the Bridge of the Gods

Copyright 1902 by Benj. A. Gifford, The Dalles, Ore.]

In the late 'fifties Theodore Winthrop made his way 'cross country from
Port Townsend, on Puget Sound, to The Dalles on the Columbia. His book,
_The Canoe and the Saddle_, describes that pioneer excursion through
Indian land, traversing what was in reality an untrodden wilderness. Its
charm of literary expression is in no whit less fascinating than the
wealth of its adventurous material, but the two, like the writer, are
far behind us, and all of the pleasant account I would refer to here is
the last chapter, which concerns the arrival at The Dalles, then an
outpost of civilization.

Looking down upon the valley of The Dalles, Winthrop writes a half
century ago:

     Racked and battered crags stood disorderly over all that rough
     waste. There were no trees, nor any masses of vegetation to soften
     the severities of the landscape. All was harsh and desolate, even
     with the rich sun of an August afternoon doing what it might to
     empurple the scathed fronts of rock, to gild the ruinous piles with
     summer glories, and throw long shadows veiling dreariness. I looked
     upon the scene with the eyes of a sick and weary man, unable to
     give that steady thought to mastering its scope and detail without
     which any attempt at artistic description becomes vague

     My heart sank within me as the landscape compelled me to be gloomy
     like itself. It was not the first time I had perused the region
     under desolating auspices. In a log barrack I could just discern
     far beyond the river, I had that very summer suffered from a
     villain malady, the smallpox. And now, as then, Nature harmonized
     discordantly with my feelings, and even forced her nobler aspects
     to grow sternly ominous. Mount Hood, full before me across the
     valley, became a cruel reminder of the unattainable. It was
     brilliantly near, and yet coldly far away, like some mocking bliss
     never to be mine, though it might insult me forever by its scornful

[Illustration: Columbia River. The land of Indian legends

Copyright 1909 by Benj. A. Gifford, The Dalles, Ore.]

[Illustration: Where the Oregon Trunk Railway crosses the Columbia. "The
river rolls between banks of barrenness"

Copyright 1912 by Kiser Photo Co., Portland, Ore.]

Evidently it was while held captive by the "villain malady" that
Winthrop learned from the Indians the legend of The Dalles, which he
told so well that to paraphrase it would be folly. Here I give it, as
extracted from the thumb-marked little book whose publication date is

     The world has been long cycles in educating itself to be a fit
     abode for men. Man, for his part, has been long ages in growing
     upward through lower grades of being, to become whatever he now may
     be. The globe was once nebulous, was chaotic, was anarchic, and is
     at last become somewhat cosmical. Formerly rude and convulsionary
     forces were actively at work, to compel chaos into anarchy and
     anarchy into order. The mighty ministries of the elements warred
     with each other, each subduing and each subdued. There were
     earthquakes, deluges, primeval storms, and furious volcanic
     outbursts. In this passionate, uncontrolled period of the world's
     history, man was a fiend, a highly uncivilized, cruel, passionate

     The northwest was then one of the centres of volcanic action. The
     craters of the Cascades were fire-breathers, fountains of liquid
     flame, catapults of red-hot stones. Day was lurid, night was
     ghastly with this terrible light. Men exposed to such dread
     influences could not be other than fiends, as they were, and they
     warred together cruelly, as the elements were doing.

     Where the great plains of the Upper Columbia now spread, along the
     Umatilla, in the lovely valley of the Grande Ronde, between the
     walls of the Grand Coulee, was an enormous inland sea filling the
     vast interior of the continent, and beating forever against
     ramparts of hills, to the east of the desolate plain of the

     Every winter there were convulsions along the Cascades, and gushes
     of lava came from each fiery Tacoma, to spread new desolation over
     desolation, pouring out a melted surface, which, as it cooled in
     summer, became a fresh layer of sheeny, fire-hardened dalles.

     Now as the fiends of that epoch and region had giant power to harm
     each other, they must have of course giant weapons of defence.
     Their mightiest weapon of offence and defence was their tail; in
     this they resembled the iguanodons and other "mud pythons" of that
     period, but no animal ever had such force of tail as these terrible
     monster fiendmen who warred together all over the Northwest.

     As ages went on, and the fires of the Cascades began to accomplish
     their duty of expanding the world, earthquakes and eruptions
     diminished in virulence. A winter came when there was none. By and
     by there was an interval of two years, then again of three years,
     without rumble or shock, without floods of fire or showers of
     red-hot stones. Earth seemed to be subsiding into an era of peace.
     But the fiends would not take the hint to be peaceable; they warred
     as furiously as ever.

     Stoutest in heart and tail of all the hostile tribes of that
     scathed region was a wise fiend, the Devil. He had observed the
     cessation in convulsions of Nature, and had begun to think out its
     lesson. It was the custom of the fiends, so soon as the Dalles
     plain became agreeably cool after an eruption, to meet there every
     summer and have a grand tournament after their fashion. Then they
     feasted riotously, and fought again until they were weary.

     [Illustration: The Dalles of the Columbia

     From a photograph by Weister Co., Portland, Ore.]

     Although the eruptions of the Tacomas had ceased now for three
     years, as each summer came round this festival was renewed. The
     Devil had absented himself from the last two, and when, on the
     third summer after his long retirement, he reappeared among his
     race on the field of tourney, he became an object of respectful
     attention. Every fiend knew that against his strength there was no
     defence; he could slay so long as the fit was on. Yet the idea of
     combined resistance to so dread a foe had never hatched itself in
     any fiendish head; and besides, the Devil, though he was feared,
     was not especially hated. He had never won the jealousy of his
     peers by rising above them in morality. So now as he approached,
     with brave tail vibrating proudly, all admired and many feared him.

     The Devil drew near, and took the initiative in war, by making a
     peace speech.

     "Princes, potentates, and powers of these infernal realms," said
     he, "the eruptions and earthquakes are ceasing. The elements are
     settling into peacefulness. Can we not learn of them? Let us give
     up war and cannibalism, and live in milder fiendishness and growing

     Then went up a howl from deviltry. "He would lull us into crafty
     peace, that he may kill and eat safely. Death! death to the

     And all the legions of fiends, acting with a rare unanimity, made
     straight at their intended Reformer.

     The Devil pursued a Fabian policy, and took to his heels. If he
     could divide their forces, he could conquer in detail. Yet as he
     ran his heart was heavy. He was bitterly grieved at this great
     failure, his first experience in the difficulties of Reform. He
     flagged sadly as he sped over the Dalles, toward the defiles near
     the great inland sea, whose roaring waves he could hear beating
     against their bulwark. Could he but reach some craggy strait among
     the passes, he could take position and defy attack.

     But the foremost fiends were close upon him. Without stopping, he
     smote powerfully upon the rock with his tail. The pavement yielded
     to that titanic blow. A chasm opened and went riving up the valley,
     piercing through the bulwark hills. Down rushed the waters of the
     inland sea, churning boulders to dust along the narrow trough.

     The main body of the fiends shrunk back terror-stricken; but a
     battalion of the van sprang across and made one bound toward the
     heart-sick and fainting Devil. He smote again with his tail, and
     more strongly. Another vaster cleft went up and down the valley,
     with an earth quaking roar, and a vaster torrent swept along.

     Still the leading fiends were not appalled. They took the leap
     without craning. Many fell short, or were crowded into the roaring
     gulf, but enough were left, and those of the chiefest braves, to
     martyr their chase in one instant, if they overtook him. The Devil
     had just time enough to tap once more, and with all the vigor of a
     despairing tail.

     [Illustration: Along the Columbia River. "A region of surpassing

     Copyright 1912 by Kiser Co., Portland, Oregon.]

     He was safe. A third crevice, twice the width of the second, split
     the rocks. This way and that it went, wavering like lightning
     eastward and westward, riving a deeper cleft in the mountains that
     held back the inland sea, riving a vaster gorge through the
     majestic chain of the Cascades, and opening a way for the torrent
     to gush oceanward. It was the crack of doom for the fiends. A few
     essayed the leap. They fell far short of the stern edge, where the
     Devil had sunk panting. They alighted on the water, but whirlpools
     tripped them up, tossed them, bowled them along among floating
     boulders, until the buffeted wretches were borne to the broader
     calms below, where they sunk. Meanwhile, those who had not dared
     the final leap attempted a backward one, but wanting the impetus of
     pursuit, and shuddering at the fate of their comrades, every one of
     them failed and fell short; and they too were swept away, horribly
     sprawling in the flood.

     As to the fiends who had stopped at the first crevice, they ran in
     a body down the river to look for the mangled remains of their
     brethren, and, the undermined bank giving way under their weight,
     every fiend of them was carried away and drowned.

     So perished the whole race of fiends.

     As to the Devil, he had learnt a still deeper lesson. His tail
     also, the ensign of deviltry, was irremediably dislocated by his
     life-saving blow. In fact, it had ceased to be any longer a needful
     weapon! Its antagonists were all gone; never a tail remained to be
     brandished at it, in deadly encounter.

     So, after due repose, the Devil sprang lightly across the chasms he
     had so successfully engineered, and went home to rear his family
     thoughtfully. Every year he brought his children down to the
     Dalles, and told them the terrible history of his escape. The fires
     of the Cascades burned away; the inland sea was drained, and its
     bed became a fair prairie, and still the waters gushed along the
     narrow crevice he had opened. He had, in fact, been the instrument
     in changing a vast region from a barren sea into habitable land.

     One great trial, however, remained with him, and made his life one
     of grave responsibility. All his children born before the
     catastrophe were cannibal, stiff-tailed fiends. After that great
     event, every newborn imp of his was like himself in character and
     person, and wore but a flaccid tail, the last insignium of
     ignobility. Quarrels between these two factions embittered his days
     and impeded civilization. Still it did advance, and long before his
     death he saw the tails disappear forever.

Such is the Legend of The Dalles,--a legend not without a moral.


The Land of Many Leagues

It was a very "typical" stagecoach. That is, it was typical of the style
Broadway would have expected in the production of a _Girl of the Golden
West_ or _The Great Divide_. Very comfortably you may still see them in
moving picture land--a region where the old West lives far woolier and
wilder than it ever dared to be in actual life.

However, this stage was neither make-believe nor comfortable. It was
very real and very comfortless. The time was six years ago and the place
the one hundred miles of worse than indifferent road between Shaniko and
Bend, in Central Oregon.

"Do you chew?" asked the driver.

I who sat next to him, plead innocence of the habit.

"Have a drink?" said he later, producing a flask. And again I asked to
be excused.

"Don't smoke, neither, I suppose?" The driver regarded me with
suspicion. "Hell," said he, "th' country's goin' to the dogs. These here
civilizin' inflooences is playing hob with everythin'. Las' three trips
my passengers haven't been fit company for man or beast--they neither
drank nor chawed. Not that I mean to be insultin'"--I assured him he was
not--"but times certainly have changed. The next thing along 'll come a
railroad and then all this goes to the scrap heap."

His gesture, with the last word, included the battered stage, the
dejected horses, and the immediate surroundings of Shaniko Flats. For
the life of me I could see no cause for regret even supposing his
prophecy came true to the letter! Twenty hours later, when the
springless seat, influenced by the attraction of gravitation in
conjunction with the passage of many chuck holes, had permanently warped
my spinal column, I would have been even more ready to endorse the
threatened cataclysm.

[Illustration: Central Oregon travel in the old days]

[Illustration: A Central Oregon freighter. "You will find them
everywhere in the railless land, the freighters and their teams"]

Since that day when the old driver foresaw the yellow perils of
"civilizin' inflooences" they have indeed invaded the land for which,
until a couple of years ago, his four horses and his rattletrap stage
formed the one connecting link with the "outside." The "iron horse" has
swept his old nags into oblivion, and two great railroads carry the
passengers and packages which he and his brothers of the old Shaniko
line transported in the past.

The change has come in five short years. Those, who, like myself, went
a-pioneering for the fun of it, making for Central Oregon because upon
the map it showed as the greatest railroadless land, have seen the warm
breath of development work as picturesque changes there as ever in the
story-book days when the West was in its infancy. We are young men, we
who chanced to Oregon's hinterland a few seasons gone by, yet already
can we spin yarns of the "good old days" which have a real smack of
romance to them and cause the recounters themselves to sigh for what has
gone before and, betimes, to pray for their return--almost!

Almost, but not actually. For who prefers twenty odd hours of
stagecoaching to travel in a Pullman? or seriously bemoans the advent of
electric lights, running water, cement sidewalks, and other
appurtenances of material development? Yet, of course, I realize full
well how tame and inconsiderable the "pioneering," if by such a name it
can be dignified, of Central Oregon in the last decade must appear in
the eyes of Oregon's real pioneers, who came across the plains and
staked out the State with monuments of courage driven deep with
privation and far-sighted enterprise. Yet, while half our Eastern
cousins believe the West utterly prosaic, and half are confident that
some of it is still the scene of dashing adventure, and the dwellers of
the Coast cities themselves are morally certain that all Oregon conducts
itself along metropolitan lines, the fact remains that most of the big
land between the Cascades and Blue Mountains was untouched yesterday and
is to-day the pleasantest--and the least hackneyed--outdoor playland
available in all the West.

Central Oregon occupied an eddy in the stream of Western progress. On
the north the Columbia flowed past her doors, and the stream of
immigration, first following the water and later the railroads, ignored
the uninviting portals. Rock-rimmed toward the Columbia, lined with
hills on the east, hedged in by the Cascades on the west, and remote
from California's valleys on the south, this empire of 30,000,000 acres
has been a giant maverick, wandering at will among the ranges neglected
by development. In 1911 the railroads roped the wanderer, when they
forced their way southward from the Columbia up the canyon of the
Deschutes. But my stage journey was two years prior to that.

Shaniko was a jumping-off place. It was the end of the Columbia Southern
railroad, which began at Biggs--and if a road can have a worse
recommendation than that I know it not! Biggs, under the grassless
cliffs beside the Columbia, baked by sun, lashed by wind, and blinded
with sand, was impossible; and had it not been for the existence of
Biggs one truthfully might call Shaniko the least attractive spot in the
universe! The transcontinental train deposited me at Biggs and the
Columbia Southern trainlet received me, after a brief interval dedicated
to bolstering up the inner man with historic ham sandwiches and coffee
innocent of history, served in a shack beside a sand dune.

Seventy miles separates Biggs from Shaniko, and a long afternoon was
required to negotiate the distance. For an hour the diminutive train
panted up oppressive grades, winding among rain-washed coulees, where
the soil was red adobe and the rocks were round and also tinged with
red. Stunted sagebrush clothed the hillsides scantily, their slopes
serried by cattle trails as evenly as contour lines upon a map. Then,
the rim of the Columbia hills gained, away we rattled southward, more
directly and with some pretense of speed, across a rolling plateau of
stubble fields and grain lands, dotted here and there with homes and
serried by rounded valleys where the gold of sun and grain, and the gray
of vagrant cloud shadows, made gorgeous picturings. Westerly, beyond the
drab and golden foreground and the blue haziness of the middle distance,
the Cascade Range silhouetted against a sky whose tones became richer
and more cheerful as evening approached.

With the evening came Shaniko. "The evil that men do lives after them,"
said Mark Antony, "the good is oft interred with their bones." So let it
not be with Shaniko, for then in truth, of this town whose brightest day
has gone little indeed would survive.

[Illustration: In the dry-farms lands of Central Oregon. "Serried by
valleys, where the gold of sun and grain, and vagrant shadows, made
gorgeous paintings."]

Shaniko was the railroad point for all Central Oregon when I first made
its acquaintance, and from it freighters hauled merchandise to towns as
far distant as two hundred miles. Stages radiated to the south, and, in
1909, a few hardy automobiles tried conclusions with the roads. The
sheep of a sheepman's empire congregated there, giving Shaniko one boast
of preëminence--it shipped more wool than any other point in the State.
With streets of mud or dust, according to the season, a score or so of
frame shacks, its warehouses, livery barns, corrals, shipping pens, and
hotels, Shaniko in its prime was a busy lighting place for birds of
passage, a boisterous town of freighters, cowmen, and sheep herders. It,
like its stagecoaches, was typical, I suppose, of the town found a
decade or so ago upon our receding frontiers, and still encountered in
the fancies of novelists whose travels are confined to the riotous
territory east of Pittsburg.

"Where are you bound?" my table neighbor asked me at supper.

"I'm not sure," said I truthfully.

"Oh, a land seeker. Well, when it comes right down to getting something
worth while--something for nothing, you might say--the claims down by
Silver Lake can't be beat. They--" and he launched into a rosy
description of the land of his choice which lasted until the presiding
Amazon deftly transferred the fork I had been using to the plate of pie
she placed before me, a gentle lesson in domestic economy. My informant
was a professional "locator" whose business it is to combine the
landless man and the manless land with some profit to himself, in the
shape of a fee for showing each "prospect" a suitable tract of untaken
earth hitherto the property of Uncle Sam.

Another neighbor took me in hand. The odor of gasolene about him--it was
even more pungent than the fumes of other liquids, taken
internally--proclaimed him an auto driver.

"If you don't know where to go, let me show you," was the offer of this
would-be guide and philosopher--I assume him a philosopher on the ground
that any pilot in Central Oregon in those days must be one.

In answer to my inquiries he bade me hie straight to Harney County. It
was two hundred and fifty miles away. But I lost heart, stuck to my
original half-resolve, and declared Bend my objective point. In later
experience it was borne home to me that those pioneer auto men of
Shaniko always sang loudest the praises of the most distant point; their
rate was ten or fifteen cents per mile per passenger, and on the face of
it their business acumen is apparent!

One hundred miles of staging--five hundred and twenty-eight thousand
feet of dust, if it be summer, or mud, if it be winter; Heaven knows how
many chuck holes, how many ruts, how many bumps! The ride, commencing at
eight one evening, ended about six the next. No early Christian martyr
was more thoroughly bruised and stiffened at the hands of Roman mobs
than the tenderfoot traveler on the memorable Shaniko-Bend journey! And
there were so many rich possibilities--nay, probabilities--of diversion.
Winter blizzards on Shaniko Flats were to be expected, while after thaws
the heavy stages "bogged down" with aggravating regularity. The steep
villainous road of the Cow Canyon grade upset many a vehicle, and well I
recall one January night, when a two-day rain had turned to snow, when
the air was freezing but the mud was soft, how the up-stage and the
down-stage met in the awful hours where there was no turning out:
clothing was ruined that night, and dispositions warped beyond repair,
while passengers labored and swore and labored again until at last one
stage had been snaked out of the way on a hand-made shelf, so to speak,
and a passing effected. Later, we, who were Shaniko bound, were capsized
in the mud. Half-frozen, wholly exhausted, we finally reached the
railroad one hour after the day's only train had departed! But those
were incidents of the road.

       *       *       *       *       *

I think I never before saw a man lose his eye and recover it. Yet that
was the optical antic played by my companion "inside." He was a horse
buyer, and I attributed his leer to a cast of character one naturally
connects with horse-trading, until all at once he was groping on the

"Lost something?" I inquired politely.

"My eye."

On bank holidays I have heard 'Arry say that to 'Arriet at 'Ammersmith,
but as an exclamation, not an explanation. "My eye, he's lost something
valuable, and is British in his expression," thought I innocently. So I
inquired if I could help him in the search.

"And er--what was it you lost?" I added.

"My eye!" He glowered up at me, and the flicker of the match I held
showed a one-eyed face--the eye that had stared at me askew a few
minutes before was missing!

Finally the glass optic was recovered, and he explained that the dust,
working in about it, irritated him, so that occasionally he slipped it
out for cleaning with his handkerchief. During such a polishing it had
slipped to the floor. "I never get caught," he added with a touch of
pride, "here's number two, in case of accidents," and he fished a
substitute from his pocket. That second eye, I noted by daylight later,
was blue, while his own was brown. No doubt it is difficult to get eyes
that match.

As we bumped along a valley bottom, shrouded in our tenacious cloud of
dust, the driver, with whom I rode again, pointed out a couple of
ultra-prosperous appearing ranches.

"Millionaires row," he chuckled. "They don't pay interest, but they're
real wild and western when it comes to frills. Further up the line
you'll see somethin' rich, perhaps."

The promised attraction was a young gentleman in a silk shirt and white
flannels following a plow down a furrow, and in turn followed by an
aristocratic-looking bulldog. "The dawg," explained my companion, "is
blue blood Borston. His pedigree's a heap longer than mine and valued at
more thousand dollars than I dare tell. His boss there has a daddy worth
a million or so, and when he himself ain't farmin' he scoots around in a
five-thousand-dollar ortermobile. But mostly he plays rancher an' makes
hay an' beds down the hawses an' all the rest of it. It's a queer game.
Crazy's what I call it. There's a whole nest of 'em hereabouts."

So we saw the un-idle rich laboring in the fields. In the nature of
things the old-timers regard the species with amusement, figuring, now
and then, how many cuttings of alfalfa it would take to pay for the
Boston bull, and attempting to determine why anyone with an income
should elect such an existence, with the wide world at their beck!

This was my introduction to the land of great distances--twenty odd
hours of toil over rolling plains of sagebrush, green-floored valleys,
timbered hill lands, always--their indelible influence is the first
impression of the newcomer whose outlook is a fraction higher than the
earth he treads--always with the mountains of the western skyline
dominating whatever panorama presented itself. Peaks turbaned with
white, tousled foothills, olive green, their limitless forests of pine
surging upward from the level of the sage-carpeted, juniper-studded
plains. The land of many miles, and of broad beautiful views, is
Oregon's hinterland.

Many miles? Aye, truly. My friend Kinkaid drives his auto trucks to
Burns, one hundred and fifty miles to the southeast. Southwards to
Silver Lake is another truck line, ninety miles long, which daily bears
Uncle Sam's mails to the inland communities, a notable example of the
pioneering of this age of gasolene. Each morning automobiles start from
Bend, the railroad's end, for paltry jumps of from fifty to three
hundred miles, and the passengers drink their final cup of coffee with
the indifference a Staten Island dweller accords a contemplated trip
across the bay.

Viewed sanely, the contempt for distances is appalling--at least as
distance is measured elsewhere. An instance, this: Burns is one hundred
and fifty miles from Bend; a year or two ago, through the enterprise of
citizens of the two communities, a new road was "opened"
between--scarcely a road, but a passageway among the sagebrush navigable
with motor-driven craft. It is to celebrate! So some forty citizens of
Bend, in a fourth that many cars, make the little jaunt to Burns. They
leave at dawn: they reach Burns that night: they are dined and wined and
the road-marriage of their town is fittingly celebrated; then, another
dawn being upon them, they deem it folly to waste time with trivialities
like sleep, they crank their cars, and they are back at Bend, and lo! it
is but the evening of the second day!

The past, naturally, was worse than the present, so far as the
difficulties of great mileage are concerned. The little town of Silver
Lake in south-central Oregon, to-day is in the lap of luxury,
transportationly speaking, being but a beggarly ninety miles from a
railroad. But in the early 'nineties no one but a centipede would have
considered frequent calls at Silver Lake with any equanimity. Then all
the freight came from The Dalles, two hundred and thirty miles to the
north, and the tariff often showed four cents a pound, which must have
contributed fearfully to the high cost of living, not to mention the
cost of high living, with wet goods weighing what they do. When the
roads were good and teamsters moderately sober the round trip occupied
forty days, one way light, the return loaded. In all the two hundred and
thirty miles Prineville was the only town, and some of the camps were

"Th' town couldn't help but grow," an oldtimer confided to me. "Yer see,
it was such a durn fierce trip, after a feller tried it once he never
wanted ter repeat--so he stayed with us!"

Burns, over in Harney County, in the southeastern portion of the State,
is another example of what the long haul means. During the summer of
comparatively good roads the one hundred and fifty miles to the railroad
isn't especially serious, but when winter comes the "outside" is far
away indeed, and often for two months no freight at all contrives to
negotiate the gumbo, snow, and frozen ruts. So, late in the autumn the
Burns merchant lays in a winter stock, while the auto trucks hibernate,
and the burdens of such forehandedness, no doubt, are shifted to the
shoulders of his customers.

Modernity has not swept the field clean, even to-day, and gasolene
scarce yet outranks hay as a fuel for the mile makers. The settler and
the land looker move on their restless rounds in the white-canvassed
prairie schooner of old, and the great freighting outfits, which have
borne the tonnage of the West since there was a white man's West, still
churn the dust with the hoofs of their straining horses and the wheels
of their lurching wagons. You will find them everywhere in the railless
lands, the freighters and their teams. They are camped by the water-hole
in the desert, or where there is no water, and they must depend upon
barrels they bring with them. The little fire of sagebrush roots or
greasewood shows the string of wagons--two, three, or four--strung out
by the roadside with the horses, from four to twelve, munching hay. They
are in the timber, in the country of lakes to the south, on the grassy
ranges. In fact, you find the freighters where there is freight to be
hauled, and that is--where men are.

But to-day all of Central Oregon is not railroadless land, the trail of
steel has pushed to the heart of the country, and what a contrast to the
old Shaniko stage days it is to roll smoothly into Bend over
ninety-pound rails! Picturesque, too, was the sudden breaking of the
long spell when the transportation kings constructed their lines up the
Canyon of the Deschutes. Twice, as they built, I walked the length of
that hundred-mile-long defile, seeing the dawn of progress in the very
breaking, and viewing what is to me the most stupendously appealing
river scenery in all the Northwest--this same Canyon of the Deschutes.


How the Railroads Came

When the West moves, it moves quickly. The map of Oregon had long shown
a huge area without the line of a single railroad crossing it. This
railless land was Central Oregon, the largest territory in the United
States without transportation. Then, almost over night, the map was

Normal men, if they are reasonably good, hope to go to Heaven.
Westerners, if they are off the beaten track, hope for a railroad; and
if they have one road they hope for another! You who dwell in the little
land of suburban trains and commutation tickets have no conception of
the vital significance of rail transportation in the Land of Many Miles.

In Central Oregon the railroad question was one of life and death. The
country had progressed so far without them, and could go no farther.
Farm products not qualified to find a market on their own feet were next
to worthless, timber could not be milled, irrigation development was at
a standstill. The people had seen so many survey stakes planted and grow
and rot and produce nothing, and had been fed upon so many railroad
rumors, that there was no faith in them.

       *       *       *       *       *

"I think it's a railroad!" gasped the telephone operator as she called
me to the booth. Her eyes were bright. It was as if a Frenchman had
said, "Berlin is taken!"

But I, a skeptic hardened by many shattered hopes, smiled incredulously.
Nevertheless, I took the receiver with a tremor born of undying
optimism--the optimism of the railless land.

"It's long distance," whispered the operator, torn between a sense of
duty and a desire to eavesdrop.


The only answer was a grinding buzz; a mile or two of Shaniko line was
down--it usually was.

Then Prineville cut in and The Dalles said something cross and a faint
inquiry came from Portland, far away. Yes, I was waiting.

"Hello, Putnam?" The speaker was the managing editor of a Portland
newspaper. "Gangs have broken loose in the Deschutes Canyon," said he.
"One of 'em is Harriman, we know, but the others are playing dark. Think
it's Hill starting for California. You go--" then the buzz became too

Finally The Dalles repeated the instructions. I was to go down the
Canyon of the Deschutes and find out all about it. The head and nearest
end of the Canyon was fifty miles away, and the Canyon itself was one
hundred miles long. Glory be! But it was a railroad, and before I
started the town was in the first throes of apoplectic celebration.

I went to Shaniko by auto, and thence by train to Grass Valley, midway
to the Columbia. From Grass Valley a team took me westward to the rim of
the Canyon of the Deschutes. There were fresh survey stakes and a gang
of engineers working with their instruments on a hillside. Very
obliging, were those engineers; they would tell me anything; they were
building a railroad; it was headed for Mexico City and they themselves
were the owners! Below was a new-made camp, where Austrians labored on
a right of way that had come to life almost over night. This was a
Harriman camp; orders were, apparently, to get a strangle hold on the
best line up the narrow Canyon--to crowd the other fellows out. But the
mystery surrounding those "other fellows" clung close. From water boy to
transit man they knew nothing, except that they were working for a
famous contracting firm and that they emphatically were not in the
employ of Hill interests.

[Illustration: Crooked River Canyon, now spanned by a railroad bridge]

[Illustration: In the Deschutes Canyon. "The river winds sinuously,
seeking first one, and then another, point of the compass"

Copyright 1911 by Kiser Photo Co., Portland, Ore.]

This, which was no news at all, I 'phoned to Portland, and then set
about visiting the suddenly awakened Canyon.

It is the only entrance from the north to the plateaus of Central
Oregon, a deep gorge cut by the river through the heart of the hills. So
one fine morning in July, 1909, after a generation of apathy, suddenly
the two great systems, whose tracks follow opposite banks of the
Columbia, threw their forces into the field, attempting to secure
control of this strategic gateway. Altogether, it was a very picturesque
duel; the quick move was characteristic of the country, and the very
unexpectedness of it somehow was half-expected. And in the end, after
all the strategy and bluff and blocking tactics with shovels and with
law briefs, the duel was a draw, and to-day each railroad follows the
waters of the Deschutes.

During my observation of this picturesque battle of the Canyon, I walked
its length twice, and saw amusing incidents in plenty.

At one point the Hill forces established a camp reached only by a trail
winding down from above, its only access through a ranch. Forthwith the
Harriman people bought that ranch, and "No trespassing" signs, backed by
armed sons of Italy, cut off the communications of the enemy below. At a
vantage point close to the water both surveys followed the same
hillside, which offered the only practical passageway. One set of grade
stakes overlapped the other, a few feet higher up. The Italian army,
working furiously all one Sabbath morning, "dug themselves in" on the
grade their engineers had established in most approved military style.
But while they worked the Austrians came--these literally were the
nationalities engaged in this "Battle of the Hillsides," unrecorded by
history!--and hewed a grade a few feet above the first, the meanwhile
demolishing it. That angered Italy, whose forces executed a flank
movement and started digging still another grade _above_ the hostiles,
inadvertently dislodging bowlders which rolled down upon the rival
workers below. Then a fresh flanking movement, and more bowlders and
nearly a riot! And so it went, until the top was reached, and there
being no more hillside to maneuver upon, and no inclination to start
over again, the two groups called quits and spent the balance of the day
playing seven-up, leaving settlement of their burlesque to courts of
law. And there were times when "coyote holes"--which are tunnels of
dynamite--exploding on one side of the river, somehow sent shattered
rock and pebbles in a dangerous deluge upon the tents across the stream.

The struggle for transportation supremacy was bitter enough, and comic,
too, in spots. But the stage set for its acting was superb beyond

Not without reason, the defile of the Deschutes has been called the
"Grand Canyon of the Northwest." For a full one hundred miles the river
races at the bottom of a steep-walled canyon, its sides here and there
pinching in to the water's very edge, and often enough with sheer
cliffs towering mightily, their bases lapped by the white foam of
rapids. Great rounded hills, green in spring, brown in summer, and white
under the snows of winter, climb into the sky a thousand feet and more
on either hand. Their sides are ribbed with countless cattle trails,
like the even ripples of the wind and tide on a sandy beach. Strange
contorted rock formations thrust forth from the lofty slopes, and
occasional clutters of talus slides spill down into the water. Rich hues
of red and brown warm the somber walls, where prehistoric fires burned
the clay or rock, or minerals painted it. White-watered, crystal springs
are born miraculously in the midst of apparent drought, offering arctic
cold nectar the year around. The river winds sinuously, doubling back
upon itself interminably, seeking first one, and then another, point of
the compass, a veritable despair for railroad builders whose companion
word for "results" must be "economy." Despite the stifling
oppressiveness of that canyon bake-oven in July, with breezes few and
far between and rattlesnakes omnipresent, the ever-changing grandeur was
enough to repay for near-sunstroke and foot weariness.

However, enjoyment of the scenery was not my mission. I was supposed to
discover, authentically, who was backing that other road--where the
millions were coming from. If it was Hill, it meant much to Oregon, for
as yet the "Empire Builder" had never truly invaded the state, and if
now he planned a great new line to California the railroad map of the
West would indeed be disrupted. But at the end of ten days I knew no
more than on the first.

At the farmhouse where they took me in to dinner mine host was highly
elated, for the survey crossed the corner of his southern "forty" and he
saw visions of a fat right-of-way payment and of a railway station.
Later--his optimism was characteristic--surely a city would spring up,
with corner lots priced fabulously. "Then," said he to Mandy, "we'll go
to Yerrup." It was, of course, long before Yerrup became a shambles.

The old man was reminding me of the growth of Spokane--that universal
example of the West!--which expanded from nothing to more than one
hundred thousand in thirty years, when Mandy interrupted the universal
pastime of counting your lots before they are sold by producing a
soiled printed form.

"Can you tell me if this has any value now?" she asked.

It was a voucher of the Great Northern Railroad.

"Where did you get it?"

She narrated how a crew had laid out the preliminary survey, now
followed by the mysterious workers, coming through there secretly the
previous autumn.

"They told us they was surveyin' water power," said she. "The papers
never said nothing about it, and neither did we. They bought buttermilk
here, an' when the Ol' Man cashed in the slips he forgot this one.
Wonder if it's too late to get it paid?"

I told her it wasn't. In fact, I bought it myself, paying face value. It
was $1.40.

Then I made tracks for the 'phone, eighteen miles away. Here, at last,
was positive evidence that the Great Northern, the Hill system, was the
power behind the new line. Six months ago while Oregon slept, they had
made the secret survey upon which they were now constructing. A very
pretty scoop, as western newspapering goes! I offered my driver an
extra dollar for haste's sake.

[Illustration: Along the Canyon of the Deschutes

Copyright 1911 by Kiser Photo Co., Portland. Ore.]

The managing editor listened while I outlined my beat over the wire. His
silence seemed the least bit sad.

"Dandy story," said he. "If we'd had it yesterday it would have been
fine. But--" There was no need for him to go further; I knew the worst.

An afternoon paper had wrecked my yarn. The emissary of the Hills, who
had traveled secretly and under an assumed name all through the Interior
determining whether or not the new line should be undertaken, had that
morning told his story. The Hills were in the open as the backers of the
Oregon Trunk. By a matter of hours a precious scoop was ancient history!

That man built much of the Panama Canal. He is one of the world's
best-known construction engineers and railroaders. But I shall never
forgive his tell-tale interview--it was premature. And some day I shall
present for payment that voucher for $1.40, mentioning also the dollar I
gave the driver, to John F. Stevens.


The Home Makers

The horses are ill mated, the wagon decrepit. Baling wire sustains the
harness and the patched canvas of the wagon top hints of long service.

"How far to Millican's?" says the driver.

He is a young man; at least, his eyes are young. His "woman" is with him
and their three kiddies, the tiniest asleep in her mother's lap, with
the dust caked about her wet baby chin. The man wears overalls, the
woman calico that was gaudy once before the sun bleached it colorless,
and the children nameless garments of uncertain ancestry. The wife seems
very tired--as weary as the weary horses. Behind them is piled their
household: bedding, a tin stove, chairs, a cream separator, a baby's
go-cart, kitchen utensils, a plow and barbed wire, some carpet; beneath
the wagon body swings a pail and lantern, and water barrel and axe are
lashed at one side.

We direct them to Millican's.

"Homesteading?" we inquire.

"Not exactly. That is, we're just lookin'."

There are hundreds like these all over the West, "just lookin'," with
their tired wives, their babies, their poverty, and their vague
hopefulness. They chase rainbows from Bisbee to Prince Rupert. Some of
them settle, some of them succeed. But most of them are discontented
wherever Fortune places them, and forever move forward toward some
new-rumored El Dorado just over the hill.

  There's a race of men that don't fit in,
    A race that can't stay still;
  So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
    And they roam the world at will.
  They range the field and they rove the flood,
    And they climb the mountain's crest;
  Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
    And they don't know how to rest.

That, of course, is rather picturesque, and, taken all in all, your
average wanderer of the wagon road merits little heroics. His
aspirations are apt to be earthy, and too often he seeks nothing loftier
than a soft snap. In the final analysis some of our western gypsies
desire nothing more ardently than a rest.

The wanderer is the shiftless land seeker, and is to be distinguished
from the sincere home seeker who fares forth into strange lands with his
family and his _penates_, and who finds vacant government land and
proceeds to "take it up." The best of all the free acres went years ago,
along with the free timber and the other compensations for pioneering,
but here and there remote areas worth having still remain. About the
last of these, and by all odds the greatest, was in Central Oregon when
the railroads opened the doors of immigration a few years ago.

Before the railroads came I went from Bend southeasterly through what is
now well called the "homestead country," and in all the one hundred and
fifty miles traversed we saw three human habitations: the stockman's,
George Millican, the horse breeder, Johnny Schmeer, and the sheepman's,
Bill Brown. The rest of it was sagebrush and jack rabbits, with a band
of "fuzz-tails" stampeding at the sight of us and a few cattle nipping
the bunch grass. My companions were a locator and a man who took up one
of the first "claims" in all that country, at Hampton Valley, one
hundred and thirty miles from a railroad.

To-day there are schools out there, homes, fences, and plowed fields.
Some of it is very good land, and the modern pioneers are prospering.
Some of it is not so good, and there have been failures and
disappointments as in all the homestead districts of all the West, past
and present. For there is truth in the old saying that for the most part
the first crop of homesteaders fails, and the success of the late comers
is built upon the broken hopes of the pioneers. However that may be, the
battle against the odds set up by a none too bountiful nature is often
enough pitiful, and occasionally heroic.

Picture an unbroken plain of sagebrush. Low hills, a mile distant, are
fringed with olive-green juniper trees; all the rest is gray, except the
ever blue sky which must answer for the eternal hope in the hearts of
the home makers--God smiles there. In the midst of the drab waste is a
speck of white, a tent. A water barrel beside it tells the story of the
long road to the nearest well--no road, but a trail, for this is well
off the beaten path and such luxuries as surveyed highways are yet to
come. The tent is the very outpost of settlement, a mute testimonial of
the insistent desire to possess land of one's very own.

Our car stops to inquire the way, and a woman appears. Yes, it is forty
miles to Brookings' halfway house, as we had guessed.

"And to Bend?" We ask what we already know, perhaps because the woman--a
girlish woman--so evidently would prolong the interruption to her

"About one hundred and twenty--a long way!" She smiles, adding, simply,
"John's there."

Small wonder she clutches at us! John has been gone a fortnight, and for
two days she has not even seen the Swansons, her "neighbors" over the
hill, three miles away. Like a ship in the night, we all but passed
her--passed with never a greeting for which her heart hungered, never a
word from the "outside" to break the hard monotony. She is utterly
alone, except for the rabbits and the smiling sky. Her husband is wage
earning. And she sticks by their three hundred and twenty acres and does
what she can with a mattock and a grubbing hoe. They have a well
started, and some fence posts in the ground. Some day, she says, they
will make a home of it.

[Illustration: Irrigation--"First, parched lands of sage; then the flow"

Series Copyright 1909 by Asahel Curtis]

[Illustration: Irrigation--"Next, water in a master ditch and countless
man-made rivulets between the furrows"]

"We always dreamed of having a home," she explains a bit dreamily. "But
it never seemed to come any closer on John's wages. So when we read of
getting this land for nothing it seemed best to make the try. But of
course it isn't 'free' at all--we've discovered that. And oh! it costs
so much!"

We commiserate. We would help, and vaguely seek some means.

Help? Yes, gladly she will accept it, says the little woman--but not for
herself. "Good gracious, why should I need it?" Nor have we the heart to
offer reasons. But if we have a mind to be helpful, she continues, there
is a case over in eighteen-eleven--she names the section and
township--where charity could afford a smile. She tells us, then, of a
half-sick woman with three infants, left on the homestead while the
husband goes to town. There, instead of work, he gets drink, and fails
to reappear with provisions. But the woman will not give up the scrap of
land she has set her heart on, and doggedly remains. When the neighbors
find her, she and the children have existed for five days solely on
boiled wheat. "And we needed it so for seeding," is her lament.

Our hostess of the desert stands by the ruts, waving to us through the
dust of our wake, the embodiment of the spirit of pioneering, which
burns to-day as brightly as ever in the past, could we but search it out
and recognize it.

Such as she are home makers. However, the free lands are overridden with
gamblers in values, with incompetents, with triflers. They are the chaff
which will scatter before the winds of adversity. The others will
succeed, just as they have succeeded elsewhere on the forefronts of
civilization; the pity of it is that their lot may not be made easier,

Returning from that trip I read a chapter in a book, newly published,
dealing with this selfsame land. Concerning the homesteader I found
these words:

     I have seen many sorts of desperation, but none like that of the
     men who attempt to make a home out of three hundred and twenty
     acres of High Desert sage.... A man ploughing the sage--his woman
     keeping the shack--a patch of dust against the dust, a shadow
     within a shadow--sage and sand and space!

[Illustration: "It was a very typical stagecoach"]

[Illustration: In the homestead country]

The author is a New Englander, who had seen Oregon with scholastic eyes.
The harsh frontier had no poetry, no hope, for him--only hopelessness.
But the woman in the tent, the Swansons over the hill, and the hundreds
of other Swansons scattering now, and for many years gone by, over the
lands of the setting sun, know better, though their grammar be inferior
and their enthusiasm subconscious. Men saw and spoke as did the New
Englander when Minnesota was being wrested from the wilderness, when
people were dubbed insane for trying conclusions with the Palouse
country, when the Dakotas were considered agricultural nightmares. In
the taming of new empires unbridled optimism is no more prevalent than
blinded pessimism.

Closer to home I know another woman, a farmer, too. Hers is an irrigated
ranch, and she works with her shovel among the ditches as sturdily as
the hired man. Poor she is in wealth, as it is reckoned, and her husband
poorer still in health, for he was rescued from a desk in the nick of
time. He is fast mending now, and confesses to a rare pleasure in making
two blades of grass grow where none at all grew in the unwatered sands.
And in truth, simply watching the accomplishments of irrigation is tonic
enough to revive the faint. First, parched lands of sage; the grub hoe
and the mattock clear the way, and then the plow. Next, water, in a
master ditch and countless, man-made rivulets between the furrows.
Finally--presto! the magic of a single season does it--green fields of
clover and alfalfa smile in the sun!

But Heaven forbid that this should smack of "boosting"! (There, by the
way, you have the most-used, and best-abused, word in all the West.) It
is not so intended, for the literature of professional optimism is
legion, and needs no reinforcement. The Oregon country is no more wedded
to success than many another, nor is it a land where woman can wrestle
with man's problems more happily than elsewhere. The incidents of these
pages mean simply that beneath the dull surface may be found, ever and
anon, a glow of something stirring; prick the dust, and blood may run.

The West, which is viewed here chiefly as a playland, is a mighty
interesting workaday land, too, and numberless are the modern tragedies
and comedies of its varied peoples at their varied tasks. Rules and
precedents are few and far between; it is each for himself in his own
way. The blond Scandinavian to his logged-off lands, the Basque to his
sheep herding; the man from Iowa dairies, and the Carolinian, who never
before saw alfalfa, sets about raising it; the Connecticut Yankee, with
an unconscionable instinct for wooden nutmegs, sells real estate; the
college man with poor eyes or a damaged liver, as the case may be,
becomes an orchardist at Hood River or Medford. Somehow, some place,
there is room for each and every one, and the big Westland smiles and
receives them all, the strong to prosper and the weak to fail, according
to the inexorable way of life.

Some come for wealth and some for health--a vast army for the latter,
were the truth always known. The highness and the dryness of the
hinterland draw many to it in their battle against the White Plague, and
while victory often comes, there comes, too, defeat.

An empty shack I know could tell such a tale--the tragedy of a good
fight lost. They were consumptives, both of them, and they lived in a
lowland city, west of the mountains. The Doctor gave the old, old edict:
the only chance was to get away from the damp, to live out of doors in
a higher, sunnier climate. The boy--he was scarcely more than that--bade
farewell to his sweetheart and came over the mountains, where he found
land and built the shack that was to be their home and their
haven--where they were to become sun-browned and robust. The
self-evident conclusion outruns the tale, I fear. The girl, who
smilingly sent her lover eastward, dreaming of the happiness so nearly
theirs, was distanced in her race for the sunny goal by Death. To-day
the shack stands vacant.

[Illustration: A valley of Washington. "The big Westland smiles and
receives them all"

From a photograph by Frank Palmer, Spokane, Wash.]

A friend, who knew the girl and the story, and loves the land she hoped
to see, wrote this to hearten her when the doctors realized that the
home upon whose threshold she wavered was far, far distant from the one
her lover fashioned "over the eastern mountains":

  Over the eastern mountains
  Into a valley I know,
  Into the air of uplands,
  Into the sun, you go.

  Warm is a day in the upland;
  Warm is the valley, and bright;
  Glittering stars are shining
  Over the valley at night.

  Here in the western lowland
  Patiently I remain,
  Under the clouds, in darkness,
  Under the dismal rain.

  Patient I wait, well knowing
  The joy that is to be:
  Into the east you're going
  To build a home for me.

  Rather would I go with you,
  But, staying, I smile and sing,
  For winter is almost over,
  And soon will come the spring.

  Then to the home you have made me,
  Singing, still singing, I'll go
  Over the eastern mountains
  Into a valley I know.


On Oregon Trails

At Shaniko I denied being a land seeker. Yet such I actually was,
although seeking

  Oregon, a land of plenty
  Where one dollar grows to twenty

not because of the financial fruitfulness the verse implies, but rather
because it was a land where outdoor pleasures are readily accessible.
The logical outcome of land seeking is home making, and so in due course
we became Oregonians; and now from our Oregon home we pilgrimage along
the varied trails of the Pacific Playland, whose beginnings are but
across our doormat, when fancy leads and the exchequer permits.

All of us read with envy of the "big trips," the splendid outings to the
ends of the earth, made by scientists and sportsmen, and those who are
neither but possess the instincts, income, and the inclination. Simply
because we cannot follow such examples is no reason to suppose they
appeal to us less than to the fortunate adventurer _de luxe_ for whom
African expeditioning, Labrador or Alaskan game trails, mountain scaling
in Peru, or hunting along the Amazon are matters of every-year routine.
Some day, we, too, hope for such mighty vacationing--when our ship comes
in, or the baby gets big enough to be left behind, or the boss lengthens
our vacation, as the case may be. But for the present there is a "when"
or an "if" not to be ignored.

So we content ourselves with lesser adventures in contentment, which
after all, for solid pleasureable happiness, are perhaps the best. And
we who live in the Pacific Playland find mountain, forest and river,
fish and game, to our hearts' content; with a modicum of enterprise it
is no trick at all to devise trips worth taking, whether viewed from the
standpoint of woodsman, mountaineer, hunter, or fisher, and all within a
hundred miles of home.

Therein, indeed, lies the answer to this query, which a transplanted
Easterner hears ever and anon:

  Why do you live in the West?

For when it comes right down to the truly important things of life, like
fly-fishing, mountaineering, and canoeing, the Pacific Coast is a region
of unsurpassed satisfaction. Out-of-doors is always on tap, and when the
hackneyed call of the red gods comes, it is easily answered.

Adventures in contentment truly--the utter content of simplicity and
isolation. Also, ventures in optimism, for where the trails wind
mountainward there is just one place for the pessimist, and that is at

[Illustration: A trailside dip in a mountain lake]

[Illustration: "Sliding down snow-fields is fun, though chilly"]

The infallible Mr. Webster defines success as "the prosperous
termination of an enterprise." Mr. Webster is wrong, however, when it
comes to camping, as my friend Mac and I recently demonstrated beyond
possibility of argument. The prime object of the trip in question was
game. We were out ten days and returned with no game; the venison we
counted ours still roams the hills, and the grouse are sunning
themselves--except the half-dozen the puppies ate! It came about in this
wise. We started in sunshine and forthwith encountered the business
end of a storm, comprised, in about equal parts, of blizzard, tropical
downpour, and tornado. It continued for four days, soaked and half-froze
us, and swept the highlands clean of game, in preference for sheltered
valleys, far away and inaccessible to us. We hunted persistently,
however, and walked countless miles. Incidentally, we lost our horses,
and spent one strenuous day tracking them. Finally Fortune relented a
trifle and we bagged a half-dozen grouse, which we treasured and bore
homeward for our family tables. But a persistently unkind fate elected
that we sleep beside a forest ranger's cabin where also reposed a litter
of spaniel puppies, who forced an entrance to our packs in the night and
devoured every vestige of grouse except a few of the less nutritious

Assuredly that enterprise had no prosperous termination; yet, somehow,
in the illogical way of the woods it seemed to us a success--we had
enjoyed it so!

After all, camping is a queer game, totally inexplicable to the
uninitiated. As with some kinds of sinning, the more you do the more you
desire. Assuredly it is a madness--a species of midsummer madness, in
whose throes the sufferer renounces most of the comforts of
civilization, assuming instead all the discomforts of the wilderness.
These campers are lovers of the Open, and like lovers the world over,
there is no reason in them. In the wooing season they hie in pursuit of
their beckoning mistress, who permits closest approach, seemingly, where
the trails are the least trodden, the timber the tallest, and the
mountains the mightiest.

There are many delightful methods of taking such pilgrimages, but none
more alluring than a-horseback, with all one's worldly goods lashed to
the back of a pack-horse, so that freedom of movement is limited only by
one's will and one's woodcraft.

Typical of western mountain lakes is Cultas, which nestles on the
eastern flanks of the Cascades not far from the summit. A wooded
mountain of its own name rises from its southern rim, and elsewhere it
is bordered by sandy strands as white as Cape Cod beaches, by stretches
of marsh and meadow and by higher banks studded with giant pines, whose
trunks nature painted golden copper and the sun burnishes each day.
There we cast adrift from civilization; the trail ended and our riding
horses took to the water at the lakeside, knee-deep wading over round,
slippery rocks being preferable to battling through the thickets of
lodgepole pine which cluttered the bank.

[Illustration: On the trail in the highlands of the Cascades]

[Illustration: "A sky blue lake set like a sapphire in an emerald

A lake of trout and sky-blue water is Cultas, where the leisurely may
pitch permanent camp to their hearts' content, and revel in the luxuries
of perfect outdoor loafing, tempered to suit the taste with fly-casting
excursions 'round on rafts, and hunting tramps through the timber, where
one need go no great way to spy the tracks of deer and occasional bear,
or surprise grouse perched fatally low. Further westerly, though, the
grouse-shooting is better, and an average rifle-shot can bag a plenty of
the big fat birds in September. Poor grouse! "The good die first," said
Wordsworth, and so with birds; for the good are the fat, who, through an
excess of avoirdupois, lag in flight and alight on lower branches and
are easiest shot.

From Cultas there was no trail other than such a one as mother sense
advised and the compass indicated was properly directioned. Our
objective point was the north and south trail reputed to follow the
summit of the Cascade Range, up whose eastern flanks we were laboring.
Finally we found it, though of trail worthy of the name there was none;
a scattered line of aged blazes alone indicated where the trail itself
once had been. With some floundering over down logs, many a false start
and mistaken way, and a deal of patient diligence, we contrived to hold
to the blazes, winding beneath a fairy forest of giant fir, tamarack,
spruce, and pine, here and there skirting a veritable gem of a sky-blue
lake set like a sapphire in an emerald mount, and occasionally tracking
across a gay little mountain meadow, until at last we hunted out tiny
Link Lake, where we camped beneath trees whose trunks were streaked with
age wrinkles long before Astor pioneered his way down the Columbia.

And so it went for several days; there were miles of pleasant trails,
each mile unlike its predecessor and each holding in store some of those
always expected unforeseen surprises which make trails, fly-fishing,
and (reportedly) matrimony, so fascinating. There were camp places
by lake, stream, and meadow, each and every one delightful,
all entirely attractive either by the glow of the camp-fire or viewed
in the dawn light as one peered out from the frosted rim of the
sleeping-bag--frosted without, but deliciously warm within. Trails and
camps, indeed, so satisfying that any one of them might merit weeks of
visitation, instead of hurried hours.

A word concerning trails, here--offered with the diffidence of an ardent
amateur! Primarily, I suppose, trails are made to be followed; that, at
least, seems the logical excuse for their existence. Yet my advice is to
lose them as speedily as possible--temporarily, at least. So long as
there is grass and water (there is always fuel, and your food is with
you) no harm can befall, and assuredly losing the trail, or letting it
lose you, is an admirable way to drop formality and get on an intimate
footing with the country traversed. One method is like rushing along the
highways of a strange land in an auto; the other approximates a
leisurely following of the byways on your own two feet. The comparison
is overdone, no doubt, but it has the virtue of fundamental truth.

People who "never lose the trail" and always proceed on schedule are to
be regarded with suspicion and pity; suspicion because they probably
prevaricate, and pity because they don't know what they miss! A
schedule should be left behind, in the world of business appointments,
time-tables, and other regrettable impedimenta of civilization. So long
as you know when mealtime comes, to plan further is folly.

Maps, also, are not to be taken over-seriously, or followed too
religiously. Despite their neat lines, and scale of miles and inherent
air of authority, they are deceivers ever, and apt to prove hollow
delusions and snares when given the acid test of implicit confidence.
Sometimes only annoyance results, but occasionally the outcome of
misplaced trust is serious.

Every one who has been above the snow line, under his or her own power,
so to speak, understands that there is no satisfaction quite like that
of getting to the top of a mountain. The most leisurely and unambitious
mortal, once he finds the 500-foot contour lines slipping away behind
him, acquires something of the true mountaineering itch. We inherited
that itch from previous attacks of the mountain malady. So standing
knee-deep in the rank grass of the Sparks Lake prairies, and seeing the
snow fields crowding down close to us, seemingly just behind the
timber which fringed our meadow camping place, we realized full well
that to-morrow's work held for us some five thousand feet of climb.

[Illustration: The trails are not all dry-shod]

[Illustration: "Our trail wound beneath a fairy forest"]

Once, in Central America, I stood upon a peak whence were visible both
the Atlantic and the Pacific. Again, in western Washington, from the
summit of Mt. Olympus, I have seen the silver waters of Puget Sound to
the east and the Pacific Ocean westward. From the South Sister we saw no
ocean--no water other than the myriad lakes nestling broadcast among the
foothills. No water, but two seas--eastward a brown sea of sagebrush and
grain lands, the plateau of Central Oregon, and westward the billowing
sea of smoky Willamette Valley lowlands, blue and hazy and softly tinted
as any soberer canvas of the color-master Turner. Two vast panoramas of
land reaching to the horizon, the one bounded by the truly blue Blue
Mountains that marked the whereabouts of Idaho, the other by the low
cloud banks hovering over the coast hills flanking the Pacific--those we
gazed down upon to the east and west, while north and south straggled
the great ridge of the Cascade Range, cleaving the old Oregon country
into two astonishingly dissimilar halves.

South we glimpsed the pride of California's mountains, glorious Shasta.
North, a filmy white spectre, harassed by a turmoil of darker cloud, was
the peak of Mt. Adams, some two hundred and fifty miles distant.
Nearer--yet scarcely close at hand, for almost two hundred miles
separated us--stood Hood, guardian of the Columbia, whose valley could
be guessed by the shadowed depressions in the hill lands. Nearer were
Jefferson, Squaw Mountain, Broken Top, and lesser peaks. As mountain
views go, it was perfection--and all mountain views are perfect.

We ate our snack of lunch, drank our canteen dry, smoked our pipes, and
reveled in viewing the world below us. Then, like the hackneyed army of
the Duke of York, we marched right down again. Only be it noted that the
descent was a marvel of rapid transit, especially where the long snow
slopes were concerned. If you have done it, you know. If you haven't,
suffice it to say that one sits upon a portion of one's architecture
designed for general repose, and upon it slides to lower altitudes with
a speed that often takes breath away and always materially dampens that
afore-mentioned anatomical portion, if not one's ardor. Snow sliding,
however negotiated, is exhilarating and great fun--even if the slider
becomes tangled with the attraction of gravitation, completing his
descent head foremost!

[Illustration: An Oregon Trail

From a photograph by Kiser Photo Co., Portland, Ore.]

At dusk, we reached the camp, with tired legs and a mighty hunger. It
was late--too late to attempt much in the way of an elaborate meal, even
as "elaborateness" is reckoned when you have been on the trail for a
fortnight. So we compromised on a "light" repast, which included, if I
remember aright, such infinitesimal items as a couple of quarts of
coffee, a panful of bacon, a can of peaches, a package of raisins, and
sundry other lesser matters.

"To-morrow," we agreed, "we will have a feed. A real feed, worthy of the
name. A feed that will go down in campers' history. A feed, in short,
that will make us feel that we have been FED."

With that resolution we set to work. It was tiresome and sleepy work, to
be sure, but thorough for all that. It was, indeed, as if we made our
gastronomic will before ending the trip, for ere we clambered into our
blankets the pride of the larder, the best of what was left in the
pack-saddles, was placed in our biggest pot.

It was to be a mulligan--a mighty mulligan. In it there were venison,
ham, bacon, potatoes, onions, a dash of corn, a taste of tomatoes,
remnants of bannocks, some persistent beans, and a handful of rice; it
was freckled with raisins and seasoned to the king's taste. Almost
devoutly we laid it to rest, placing the big pot upon the fire and
reinforcing the dying blaze with lasting knots. Then, with contented
sighs, we dove into sleeping-bags and blankets, and forthwith passed
into the land of dream-mountains, where one coasted for eons down
comfortably warm snow slopes, and venison mulligan flowed in the streams
instead of water.

Alas for dreams! Like the proverbial worm, the log turned--and with it
the pot, bottom up. In the wee small hours the sound of sizzling ashes
waked us, and we roused to discover the fragrant juices of our precious
mulligan oozing into the hungry ground.

Tragedy? Truly yes; a sad, sad campers' tragedy. But what could we do?
It avails nothing to cry over spilt mulligan. So once more we nestled
in the blankets and drifted off into the Land of Nod, dreaming sadly of
wrecked mulligan and gladly of future excursions in the wondrous,
pleasant mountain land of Oregon.


Uncle Sam's Forests

Once we reached a certain ranger station after sundown. It was the end
of a long trail day, our horses were tired, we were fagged, and darkness
was hard upon us. The only good grass in sight was the forty-acre fenced
pasture surrounding the Forest Service cabin. So opening the gate we
entered the forbidden land, unsaddled, and turned the horses lose.

Just as we had the fire started and the coffee boiling, up came the
ranger, with a star on his shirt and an air of outraged authority about
him. "You can't make camp here," said he. My partner had a legal turn of
mind, and came back quickly with the observation that we had already
done so.

"Well, you'll have to unmake it, then," continued Uncle Sam's
representative. "This here isn't for campers; it's reserved for the

And thereafter, with considerable bluntness, he told us to "git," and
quickly. Our arguments were in vain. The fact that it was dark, that we
were played out, that there was no other horse feed near, availed not at
all. With him it was no case for logic. Like a good and faithful servant
he always came back to the beginning with the statement, "Them's the
rules and I gotter enforce 'em."

But in the meantime the coffee boiled and the horses wandered farther
from us. The ranger became exasperated.

"You're trespassing," he expostulated. "This is private property

"Whose property?" My partner hit the nail on the head. But the ranger
didn't see the rocks ahead.

"Property of the Forest Service, of course," said he.

"And who is the Forest Service?"

"Why, it's--it's--" the ranger stuttered a bit, seeking adequate
explanation. "It's the Government, of course."

The ranger swelled with pride--after all, hadn't he demonstrated himself
the representative of our omnipotent nation? But pride precedeth falls.

"And who is the Government?" persisted my partner, as he poured his cup
full of coffee from the battered pot.

But before an Armageddon of violence was reached I interrupted and
dispelled the threatened storm. For as it happened we were privileged
characters, of a sort, and our note from the District Supervisor
extending the special courtesies of the Service turned the rising wrath
of our ranger into the essence of hospitality. We never again heard of
the rules from him.

However, my friend had expressed a monumental conclusion. Our pasture
was the property of the Forest Service, the Service was a part of the
Government, and the Government is of and for the people--us common
people. Therefore that pasture was ours--Q.E.D.! Of course the principle
doesn't work out in practice, because the Service, in the proper conduct
of its affairs, must have strict property rights like any other
organization or individual. But, broadly speaking, that is the truth of
the matter. And in justice to the new spirit of the Forest Service, and
the aims and methods of its employees of to-day, it is well to state
that the ranger in question was of the old school, which regarded its
reserves as its own sacred property and operated somewhat on the
antedated motto of some railroads of the past, "The public be damned."

For whatever one's feeling regarding the economic phase of national
forests, from the casual camper's standpoint there is no doubt that
their conduct to-day is admirable. Viewed from this angle they are great
playgrounds, and as in Oregon alone the national forests embrace an
astounding total of more than sixteen million acres, their importance to
the recreationist is evident. On the doors of the ranger stations are
signs which read: "Property of the United States. For the use of
officers of the Forest Service." Leaving off the trespass warning which
concludes the text of the cloth notices, one might change the other
sentence thus: "For the use of whomever enjoys out-of-doors"; then you
would have the meaning of the Western forest reserves in a nutshell, so
far as campers are concerned.

If you are a settler who unsuccessfully seeks "elimination" of a
homestead on the ground that it is "more valuable for agricultural
purposes than for timber," or a timber speculator, or even a mill owner
desirous of cheap logs, your enthusiasm for "conservation" may be a
negligible quantity. Certainly if you are a vote-seeker you will damn it
whenever opportunity affords, for that is politically fashionable, and
always safe--unlike woman suffrage, prohibition, and tariff questions;
conservation is an architectural phenomenon, for it is a fence with only
one side in a West whose people consider themselves robbed of their
heritage of natural wealth, which most of them are all for turning into
dollars as fast as logging-roads and band-saws can contrive. "To-day for
to-day; let the morrow care for itself," they say. But if you are merely
a foolish camper, with a secret dread of the time when the old earth
will be divested totally of her timber covering, you may actually be
grateful for the manner in which the reserves are administered. Your
playground is cared for and guarded and improved. Maps, often accurate,
are obtainable. The trails are well blazed and well kept, and new trails
and roads are constantly being installed for the double purpose of
making the forests more accessible to the public and to simplify fire

For above all, of course, the great good work is the ceaseless battle
against fire--now far more one of prevention than of extinction. Visible
and arresting signs of the fire-war are encountered everywhere--notices
warning against the risks and losses of forest fires, exhortations on
the criminal dangers of leaving camp-fires burning, reminders to the
smokers about forgotten cigarettes. These, and a score more, stare the
trail follower in the face at intervals upon his way, until hostility to
the plundering fire god is so thoroughly drummed home as to become a
sort of second nature.

The more frequented trails, as I have said, are plastered with fire
warning signs. Once one of them all but broke up a contented camping
trip, in this wise:

After a two days' ride in a driving rain storm and a night in wet
blankets, we came to a deserted ranger station, and in it found a
welcome refuge. Our blankets spread in a dry corner, we set to work upon
a fire, just beyond the overhang of what had once been a porch roof.

That fire was a task! If we were soaked, the woods were wetter still,
and everything normally inflammable seemed as water-logged as a dishrag.
However, Mac fared forth with his double-bitted axe, and in due course
secured some near-dry chips from the sheltered side of a dead tree.
However, the chips showed no overweening desire to ignite, despite Mac's
most tender efforts. The rain beat on his face, mud plastered his knees,
water from the shake roof trickled down his neck, and matches and temper
approached exhaustion while he struggled coaxingly with the stubborn
fire god.

On a tree just behind the would-be fire maker was a Forest Service sign,
whose large letters read: "Beware of Setting Fires!" Glancing up from
Mac at his sodden task to that sign a latent sense of humor somewhere
within my damp person overbalanced discretion, and I burst into
uproarious laughter.

Somehow Mac took my levity quite to heart.

"Well," said he--or something with the same number of letters--"if you
think you can make this dodgasted fire burn better'n I can, come out and
try--the water's fine."

There were embellishments, too, not fit to print in a modest book,
regarding a loafer who would hang back in the dry places while the only
intelligent member of the party, etc. But when he saw the sign even
irate Mac had to laugh, too.

"Whoever posted that warning," said he, "ought to be compelled to come
in September and try to set a fire hereabout! He'll get a medal for
incendiarism if he succeeds!"

At all events the National Forests occupy an all-important place in the
Pacific Playland, if mountains and woods figure at all in your
itinerary. The Californian Sierras are in the "reserves," as are the
Cascades and much of the coast mountains of Oregon and Washington. There
are countless other outing places in the three States, of course, for
many prefer the automobile to the pack-horse, and the beach to the
highlands, and for such, the road maps of the automobile associations
and the shore line of the Pacific open an endless field of pleasure.

In hunting and fishing, too, the sportsman need not confine himself to
the mountain regions, and whether the hunter use gun or camera there are
regions throughout the three States where his rewards for patient
diligence will be ample. Ducks and geese abound, from the Sacramento
marshes to the sloughs of the Columbia and the myriad shooting grounds
of Puget Sound, and there are deer and bear and occasionally a cougar or
cat scattered through the hills. Coyotes roam the sagebrush plains,
devastating neighbors to the sage hens and rabbits, grouse lurk in the
timbered foothills, and gay Chinese pheasants are prospering--where they
have been "planted" by the State game authorities.

With all the rivers, and all the lakes, of the three States to choose
from, it would be folly to list any special ones of marked piscatorial
virtue, even if one were able where superlatives are appropriate in
describing so many. Suffice to say that from actual experience I know
that there are streams in the Sierras, in the Oregon Cascades, and in
the Olympics of Washington whose very contemplation would make Izaak
Walton long for reincarnation. Back East--in New Brunswick and Cape
Breton, for instance--one often catches as many and as large trout, and
sometimes more and larger, than in the Western streams. But after all,
the fish are a small part of the fishing. The tame sameness of the
surroundings of the down-east waters compares ill with the theatrical
bigness and infinite variety of setting of most of the Western rivers,
where half the delight is the recurring glimpses of snowy peaks and the
majestic companionship of colossal trees.

Beside a little lake not far from the summit of the Cascades is a small
cabin. It is squatty in appearance and strongly constructed, but has
neither the earmarks of a ranger's station nor of a trapper's winter
home. A few yards away, where a little creek enters the lake, a rather
elaborate dam adds to the mystery.

"It's a fish station," explained Mac cryptically.

Later I heard arrangements made for the transportation of half a ton of
grub to the cabin--a matter of fifty miles of wagon haul, twelve by
pack-horse, and five by boat. The supplies were to be brought in before
the snows came in the Fall, and buried beside the cabin so that the
canned stuff and the potatoes would not freeze. Then the occupants who
were to eat the rations would put in their appearance about April 1st,
when the trails were hidden beneath many feet of snow and packing would
be nearly an impossibility.

For the cabin represented the first link in the work of trout
propagation, as conducted by the State Fish and Game Commission. Two
experts go to it when the first spring thaws attack the drifts and the
little creek grows restless beneath its winter quilt of snow and ice.
The first year they waited too long, and when they came and built their
dam the female fish already had gone up the creek to lay their eggs. But
this year they dared the rear-guard of winter, and arrived in time to
trap hundreds of trout fat with roe. For six weeks they labor collecting
the eggs which later are sent to the State hatchery at Bonneville to be
hatched. Later the fingerlings are distributed where most needed
throughout Oregon.

The fisherman who pays his license fee often enough knows next to
nothing of the good work that is being done for him by those who aim not
only to keep the streams from being "fished out," but also to improve
the fishing. This cabin by the lakeside represents the start of the
work, and bitter hard work some of it is, too.

[Illustration: An Oregon trout stream

From a photograph by Raymond, Moro, Ore.]

The fish car, "Rainbow," with its load of cans filled with trout fry,
reaches the railroad point selected for distribution. There the local
warden has gathered a legion of volunteer automobiles in which the cans
are rushed to the streams and lakes near by and their contents planted.
That is the easy simple "planting." The difficulties come when the
streams or lakes are scores of miles from a railway or even a road, and
the carrying must be done by pack-train. In 1912 and 1913, for instance,
one hundred and sixteen lakes scattered throughout the Cascade Mountains
were stocked; that is, waters suitable for trout culture but hitherto
without fish were prepared for the fisherman of next summer, and an
ever-increasing number of desirable fishing places provided. And in the
cases numbered here, every can of fry used was carried many miles on
pack-horses; one trip occupied eight days, and even then, thanks to many
changes of water, out of ten thousand fry only fifty died!

Hunting is an out-of-door pursuit all to itself. The man who at home
would lift a beetle from his garden walk rather than crush it becomes an
ardent murderer when he camps. Probably there are no adequate apologies.
And yet we all get the fever at some time or another, and taste the
fascination of pitting our wits and woodcraft against the native cunning
of the wild thing we stalk. Your ethical friend--who probably is a
vegetarian to boot!--here at once objects. He says the contest is
cruelly uneven; that the odds of a high-powered rifle spoil the
argument. Which, in a way, is quite true. But Heaven knows we would
never taste venison or have bear rugs before our den fires if their
capture was left to our naked hands!

However, this is dangerous ground, and most of us brush past it when
vacation time comes, and take out our hunting license as automatically
as we make up our order for corn-meal and bacon. From our rods we expect
full creels, and hope for game from the guns.

"Any luck?"

That is the first question when you get home, and a negative answer
implies defeat. Unless you get something, be prepared for the
I-thought-as-much expression when your friend sympathizes with you. An
incentive and a temptation it is--some of the worst of us and some of
the best of us have nearly fallen (nearly, I say) and offered gold to a
small boy with the basket which was full of fish when ours was empty.
And the game laws--there, in truth, is where sportsmanship at times is
forced into tight corners!

We had hunted deer for two solid, leg-wearying days. But the woods were
very dry, and the deer heard us long before we saw them, except for a
doe or two, uncannily aware of the safety of their sex. On the morrow we
hit the homeward trail, and were disconsolate at the prospect of a
venisonless return.


Something moved in the thicket below me. Another stir and the
"something" resolved itself into a deer. Up came the light carbine--the
weapon _par excellence_ for saddle trips--while I sighted across seventy
yards of sunshine at the brown beast moving gracefully about, nipping at
hanging moss and oblivious of danger.

But the carbine did not speak. Conscience and familiarity with the game
laws battled for some thirty seconds with inclination and desire for
venison. Then conscience won, and the doe continued her dainty feeding,

In days gone by, our copy-book mottoes told us that "Virtue is its own
reward." As a general thing such automatic recompense is unsatisfactory,
so when really first-class examples of more tangible returns for virtue
arise, they deserve recording. And this was one of them. For no sooner
had I formed the good resolve, and acted on it, venison or no venison,
than there came another soft _crack-crackle_ of dry twigs, and a second
brown animal appeared.


The first shot hit just abaft the shoulder and the fine buck lay dead
before he knew his plight.

And if that was not immediate reward for virtue, I defy explanation!


A Canoe on the Deschutes

There are larger rivers than the Deschutes, and wilder, and some better
for the canoe; many shelter more ducks, and a few more trout than does
Oregon's "River of Falls." But if there are any more beautiful or varied
I have yet to make their acquaintance.

The Columbia is, of course, a continental stream whose very mightiness
prevents any adequate comprehension of its entity; it must be enjoyed by
sections, in small potions. The Willamette is almost pastoral, a sterner
Western edition of the English Thames, with a score of rollicking
tributaries, rough as the mountains that breed them. The Sacramento,
like linked sweetness, is long drawn out, and the boisterous brooks of
the Sierras seem rather upland freshets than substantial rivers.
Superlatives are risky tools on the Pacific Slope where they appear
appropriate so often, but even so, with no apologies to the Pitt, the
Snake, the Williamson, the Rogue, and other neighbors, greater and
lesser, the Deschutes appeals to me as the richest of them all in
scenery and pleasurable attractions. From the snow banks of its birth to
the Columbia I have played companion to its waters on horseback, in
canoe, in automobile, driving, afoot, and on a train, and with
familiarity has come no contempt, but ever-increasing admiration.

The Deschutes is a river of many rôles: it roars and rushes in
white-watered cascades, it sparkles gently in a myriad rippling rapids,
it is sedate as a mill pond; sometimes its banks are fields flanked with
flowers, sometimes steep slopes with black pools below and great trees
above, sometimes lined with alders or with the needle-carpeted forest
marching out to the very water's edge. Such it is for the first hundred
miles. Below, leaving the land of trees and meadows, it plunges for a
second century of miles through a spectacular canyon, walled in by
cliffs and abrupt hillsides, often rising almost sheer a thousand feet.
"The Grand Canyon of the Northwest," those who know it call this stretch
of the Deschutes. Above, billowing back from the rim, is a great
golden-brown land of wheat fields, with a marvelous mountain westerly

On the river's western flank, between it and the Cascade Range, is a
playland of beautiful pine timber, crystal lakes, and mountained
meadows, bounded on one hand by snow-capped peaks and on the other by
the broad plains that sweep eastward to Idaho.

One August we foregathered in this happy hunting ground with our canoe
and our grub, near the headwaters of the Deschutes, in the heart of a
region of sunshine, mountain prairie, glorious trees, and laughing
water. One hundred miles of liquid highway lay before us, and we envied
no one.

Crane Prairie is a broad mountain meadow, hemmed in by timbered
foothills that climb to the snow mountains, glimpsed here and there from
the prairie land. The Deschutes divides into three streams, each
meandering down from little lakes tucked away in the timber at the base
of the snow slopes that feed them. All around the prairie is a
delightful region intersected by trails, dotted with lakes and meadows;
altogether a pleasant place for ramblings, either on foot or horseback,
with fishing, hunting, and mountain climbing as tangible objectives.

The first stage of our outing was a stationary one, so far as the canoe
was concerned, for a week was devoted to expeditioning here and there
upon and around Crane Prairie. There was excellent fishing, and we saw
just enough of the trails and the mountains to realize something of
their possibilities.

Then one morning, before the sunlight had filtered over the hills and
down through the pine boughs, we launched the _Long Green_, our canoe
which had made the transcontinental trip from Oldtown, Maine, and
started it upon a more venturesome, if less lengthy trip. Ours, by the
way, was an equal suffrage outing. Its feminine better-half paddled as
strenuously, cast a fly as optimistically, and "flipped" hot cakes as
diligently as did the male member. Altogether, she demonstrated beyond a
doubt that the enjoyment of an Oregon canoe trip need not depend upon
one's sex or previous condition of servitude.

[Illustration: Canoeing and duck shooting may be combined on the

[Illustration: On a backwater of the Deschutes]

Comfortable canoeing is the most entirely satisfying method of travel
extant. It is noiseless, it is easy, and there is enough uncertainty and
risk about it to lend a special charm. Just as the best of fishing is
the unknown possibility of the next cast--your biggest trout may rise to
the fly!--so it is when you drift down stream in a canoe, for every
turn discloses a fresh vista and behind every bend lurks some rare
surprise. It may be an unsuspected rapid, requiring prompt action;
perhaps a tree has fallen across the river, necessitating a flanking
portage or a hazardous scurry beneath it; mayhap a particularly inviting
pool will appear, when one must "put on the brakes" and "full speed
astern" ever so hastily before a fatal shadow spoils the fishing
chances. There are other possibilities without number, some of them
realities for us, as when we came face to face with a deer, to our vast
mutual astonishment, or, quietly drifting down upon a madam duck and her
fluffy feathered family, gave them all violent hysterics. The little
birds were unable to fly, and the mother, who would not desert them and
lacked courage to hide along the bank, herded her family down stream for
many miles with heartbreaking squawks and much splashing of wings.

A portage is either one of the interesting events of a canoe trip or its
most despised hardship, according to the disposition of those
concerned--not to mention the length, breadth, and thickness of the
portage itself! Regarded in its most pessimistic light, a portage is a
necessary evil, and, like a burned bannock, is swallowed with good grace
by the initiated. In Eastern Canada, the land of _patois_ French, a
portage is a portage. In Maine, and elsewhere, it is apt to be a
"carry." West of the Rockies, one neither "portages" nor "carries," but
"packs" the canoe, for on the Pacific Slope everything borne by man or
beast is "packed," just as it is "toted" south of the Mason and Dixon
line. But portage, carry, or pack, the results are the same. Reduced to
their lowest equation, it usually means a sore back and a prodigious
appetite--there should be a superlative for prodigious, as all camping
appetites are that; dare one say "prodigiouser"?

Our hundred miles of river included but two portages of consequence,
both around falls. Fortunately in each instance the packing was across a
comparatively level stretch, free from underbrush, as is almost all of
this great belt of yellow pine that follows the eastern slopes of the
Cascades from the Columbia to California. There were minor carries, once
over a low bridge, where the bands of sheep cross to the mountain summer
ranges of the forest reserves, and several times an easy haul, with
canoe loaded, around the end of a fallen tree or crude forest ranger's
bridge made of floating logs held together for the most part with baling

Now and again the river was bordered by nature-made fields, knee-deep
with flowers; there were purple lupin everywhere and vermilion Indian
paint-brush, and a score of other gay blossoms. Often for the pleasure
of tramping through this pretty outdoor garden, we would let the canoe
follow its own sweet will at the end of a rope, while we walked down the
bank, perhaps intimately investigating the households of beavers or
casting a royal coachman along the shadowed water close beside the edge.

The special delight of camping, as anyone knows who has tried it, is
that life all at once becomes so simple away from the high-pressure
world of telephones, time-tables, dinner engagements, and other
necessary evils. That is the essence of outing pleasure. The fishing,
the canoeing, the hunting, climbing, or what-not are really relegated to
obscurity in comparison with this one great boon. When our physical
system runs down, we take medicine; when our mental system gets out of
gear, we crave a dose of the open, which means of simplicity.

A canoe trip is simplicity personified. In the first place, you are
launched into the wide world of out-of-doors with your entire household,
from dining table to bed, concentrated in a couple of bundles that
repose amidships in the craft which is the beginning and the end of your
transportation possibilities. The rest is "up to you." If you would get
somewhere, it is necessary to paddle, always exercising due diligence to
keep the craft right side up and escape fatal collisions with vexatious
rocks and snags. In that department--locomotion--there is just enough
active responsibility to keep it thoroughly worth while, and more than
enough relaxation, as the current carries the canoe along with only now
and then a guiding dip of the paddle, to make it all a most pleasurable

Every stopping place was a new experience, and, it should be said, each
seemed even more beautiful than its predecessor.

"There's a bully place. See--there under the big pine."

[Illustration: Along the Deschutes, the "River of Falls." "It roars and
rushes, in white-watered Cascades"

Copyright 1911 by Kiser Photo Co., Portland, Ore.]

With a stroke or two of the paddles the _Long Green_ arrived gently at
the bank beneath that pine, and out would come the box of grub, the
gunny sack of pots and frying pans, and the rolls of bedding. Then the
canoe was drawn from the water, and, inverted, pressed into double
service as a table and a rain shelter, in case of need. Our waterproof
sleeping-bags were supposed to do as much for us, and on two occasions
showers dampened our slumbers, if not our spirits.

The important work of camping, which is not work at all, but play, is in
the commissary department. It has four stages: lighting the fire,
cooking, eating, and cleaning up; the third is, by all odds, the most

Concerning fire making, volumes have been written. It is quite possible
to learn from these incendiary publications exactly how to prepare the
proper, perfect kind of a fire under any and all circumstances. Study
alone is required to master the art--on paper! But in reality, making a
quick and satisfactory camp-fire, like creating frying-pan bread, is a
subtle attainment that can be mastered only by practice. No two people
agree; it is easier to start a dispute over the details of a camp-fire
than about anything imaginable, not even excepting the "best trout fly
made"--and that, every fisherman knows, is a matter of piscatorial
preference that has disrupted humanity since the days of Izaak Walton.

Camp cooking is another art. There, again, place not all thy faith in
books, for they are deceivers when it comes to a bit of bacon, a frying
pan, some corn-meal and flour, and a pinch of baking powder. The only
satisfactory rule is to have as few ingredients as possible and to have
plenty of them. Flour, corn-meal, bacon, dried apples, butter, hardtack,
sugar, salt, coffee, baking powder, beans--those form the essential
foundation. There is an endless list of edibles that may be added, which
run the gastronomic gamut from molasses to canned corn. But the way to
learn real camp cooking, and by all odds the best procedure for
happiness in transportation, is to take a small variety and keep each
article in a cloth bag, which insures few troublesome packages and no
disastrous leaks.

"Cleanin' up" is no trick at all, when there is a river full of water a
dozen feet from the fire, and it is simply a matter of two pots and two
tin plates. There, indeed, the joys of camp life come home to the
feminine member of the expedition most forcibly of all.

"Isn't it heavenly! Only two plates to wash!" expressed the essence of
her satisfaction.

Two plates to wash, two paddles to manipulate, two healthful, happy
weeks of out-of-doors, all as enjoyable for a woman as for a man--that
was our Deschutes River canoe trip. And there are a score or more of
other Oregon outings as delightful.



In the hilly residential section of Tacoma is a studio-workshop. On a
certain September morning its inward appearance indicated the recent
passage of a tornado--a human tornado of homecoming after a long
campaign of camping. From dunnage bags, scattered about the floor,
showered sleeping-bags, ruck sacks, a nest of cook pots, "packs," the
rubber shoes of the north country, belts, knives, ammunition, and a
thousand and one odds and ends. In a corner was an oiled silk tent, the
worse for wear. Elsewhere, a clutter of ice axes, snowshoes, glacier
spikes, guns, photographs, and hides occupied the available space.

The room and its contents smacked of the regions that lie about the
Arctic circle, and thence, indeed, they had just come. For Mine Host was
barely back from Mt. McKinley and many months of venturesome exploration
in Alaska.

Next to watching the other fellow prepare his camping kit and discuss
plans for the Big Trip, when you yourself are to stay at home, I think
the most exasperating experience is to hear the good tales told by the
man fresh returned from some thrilling expedition. As you listen to the
story of the big untrodden places, the routine of your everyday life
seems woefully petty, and you are all at once distracted with a mad
resolve to go and do likewise. It is a dangerous symptom, and should be
prescribed for immediately--though the only real remedy I know is to
close one's eyes and ears and flee from the place of temptation. For
this is the Wanderlust, the joyful plague of the sinner who has lost all
count of time and ties in following some wilderness trail, and desires
nothing more than to lose them again.

If McKinley and Alaska were out of reach, across Puget Sound lay a
closer land of mountains and little-trodden trails. "Why not try

The suggestion was no sooner made than accepted. Before I entered the
room six months of stay-at-home was my unquestioned outlook, but all at
once a hike to Olympus appeared the most reasonable thing in the world.

Mine Host, upon whom the blame rests, was out of the running, for he
started East the next day. But his companion, the Mountain Climber,
although scarcely yet with a taste of civilization after months in the
wilderness, was in a receptive frame of mind. It took us two minutes to
decide definitely upon the excursion. Twenty minutes more and we had
picked outfits from the wealth of paraphernalia all about us, and at
midnight we saw the lights of Seattle's water front vanish astern as a
Sound steamer bore us toward Port Angeles on the Olympic peninsula.

At times on our journey the Mountain Climber reminded me that on his
inland voyaging Stevenson traveled with a donkey. Inasmuch as our pack
animal was a horse, that rather hurt my feelings; the inference was so
obvious. However, that horse was more than half mule, so far as
disposition is concerned. We hired him at Port Angeles and Billy was his

  "And when I walk, I always walk with Billy,
  For Billy knows just how to walk,"

chanted the Mountain Climber as we started out blithely. But long ere we
crossed the divide separating the town from the valley of the Elwha
River we realized that if Billy knew how to walk he emphatically refused
to put his knowledge into practice. For Billy was a stubborn loafer
until it came to night time, when he bent his pent-up energy to getting
as far from camp as possible between dusk and sun-up.

[Illustration: "Canoeing is the most satisfactory method of travel

[Illustration: The pack train above timber line

From a photo by Belmore Browne]

There are three distinct methods of travel on the trail. You may ride
horses and carry your supplies on a pack-horse. You may walk and let the
pack animal do the burden bearing. Or you may be a host unto yourself
and bear your entire household on your back, with your own legs
supplying locomotion. On this trip we chose the middle course, and
walked, while Billy was our common carrier. Back packing is a strenuous
undertaking where many miles are to be covered, and yet a superfluity of
horses is a nuisance if the going is rough and instead of gaining speed
with many animals you actually lose it. So it seemed to us the best way
was to go afoot, with a single pack-horse.

The brawling Elwha was our guide to Olympus, for its headwaters spring
almost from the base of the mountain, and our trail wandered up the bank
of the stream until, perhaps a dozen miles beyond our departure point
from the highroad, we came to an appetizing meadow, and the pleasantest
mountain home imaginable.

It was the log house of the "Humes Boys," who seem as much of an
institution in the Olympics as the mountains themselves. Bred in the
Adirondacks the Humes migrated westward and hit upon this isolated
homestead in the corner of Washington, where a growing influx of hunters
and fishermen finds them out and they are kept busy during the summer
months as guides and packers to the many vacationists who know them and
their knowledge of the surrounding regions. In the winter they trap
and--I imagine from the evident tastes of Grant Humes--read good books
on out-of-door subjects, close to the glowing stove, while the winds
whistle up and down the valley and the snow piles high. Gardeners, too,
they are in a modest way, raising all their vegetables. And cooks! What
cooks! In years gone by some pioneer settler had planted plum trees, and
when we first saw Grant Humes no housewife was busier with jelly-making
than he.

"It's a bother now, and I don't suppose I enjoy it more than any other
man likes such work," said he. "But when we're here in January and
February, pretty well shut off from the world, and there's a great
sameness about the food, I tell you a hundred glasses of plum jelly look
almighty good--not to mention tasting!"

I can vouch for the taste of it in September; if the midwinter season
improves the flavor I'm in a most receptive mood for a Christmas
invitation to the cabin on the Elwha!

For those who have the right sort of taste, existence such as the
Humes's must seem quite Utopian. Their garden and their rifles,
supplemented by importations from the store "down below," feed them;
their meadows supply hay for their stock; fuel of course is everywhere,
and a little captivated stream brought to the house in a hand-hewed
flume supplies an icy approximation of "running water." Hemming in the
meadowland oasis are giant hills, their neighboring flanks hidden by
mighty timber, their summits gray and brown beneath mantles of brush and
berry, closing in the valley so resolutely that its hours of sunlight
are almost as meager as in the cavernous fjord lands of Norway.

After Humes's the trail wound through abysmal forest depths, skirting
fir and pine and cedar of unbelievable girth, or making irksome detours
where some fallen monarch blocked the way. Needles and ferns there were
underfoot, a drapery of moss overhead, and everywhere a penetrating
silence. The most _silent_ woods imaginable are those of the wet coast
country, where the trees are enormous and set close together, thickets
and ferns clutter the ground beneath them, and moss clings to the lower
limbs; sunlight, if not a total stranger, at best is but an itinerant

When the whim seized it the fickle trail deserted one bank of the Elwha
for the other, one of us leading Billy across while his companion, in
vain effort to keep dry-shod, essayed perilous crossings on logs, often
as not resulting in disaster.

Toward evening of the fourth day we dragged Billy up a final hill.
Except for scattered and weather-beaten blazes, all vestiges of the
trail had vanished, and, in fact, Grant Humes had told us that no one
had been that way for two years, a fact testified by fallen trees and
the unrepaired destruction of spring freshets. Hidden at the base of
giant Douglas firs was all that remained of the Elwha, now scarcely more
than a brook, its waters opaquely white with the silt of glaciers close
at hand. Suddenly we emerged upon a hillock and below us lay Elwha
Basin, where the river has its birth.

A cup, carpeted with grass, walled with crags; an amphitheater studded
with trees, hemmed in by banks of snow, and roofed by blue sky--such is
the basin of the Elwha. At the far end is a wall of rock, over which
tumbles the jolly little infant river in a silvery cascade, and beyond
is a snow bank jutting into the greenery of an upper meadow. From a dark
cave at the glacial snowbank's base the river seemed to have its start,
though beyond the snow, from still loftier cliffs, fluttered another
ribbon of water coming from unseen heights beyond. Westerly a few jagged
snow peaks peered down upon us over the nearer cliffs, and great shadows
reached across the pleasant valley to the very base of our little hill
of vantage.

At the near end of the basin we found a wonderful camp place all
prepared by our thoughtful nature hostess. It was a cave at the foot of
a cliff, whose ceiling of overhanging rock protected admirably against
the vagaries of the elements, while wood and water were close at hand,
and ferns and flowers made Elysian setting. We turned Billy loose in
the knee-high grass, where he spent a week of loafing, unable, for once,
to escape, thanks to the cliffs and a back trail easily blocked by
felling a few small trees. Happily, then, we sprawled upon our blankets,
with the sweet-smelling spruce boughs beneath us and the warm light of
the fire playing odd pranks with the dancing shadows in our rock-roofed
resting place. Beyond the ghostly circle of the firelight were the jet
outlines of trees, and, farther, reaching up to a million stars, the
mountains. And beyond those mountains lay Olympus, for whom we had come
so far and now must go still farther.

The few unessentials of our commissary we left at the cave, and with
grub for five days and bedding on our backs, and the ice axes in our
hands, like the bear of the song, we started over the mountain to see
what we could see.

A steep snow chute called the Dodwell and Rickson Pass was our way of
passage over the divide to the Queets Basin, where the river of that
name commenced its journey to the Pacific, while behind us the melting
snows that formed the Elwha found outlet eastward in Puget Sound. As we
trudged up the steep slopes of the Pass it was soon apparent that other
travelers beside ourselves used the snowy route, for broad tracks showed
where bruin on his own broad bottom had coasted down the incline but a
few hours previously, a recreation youthful bears seem to enjoy about as
thoroughly as men cubs. There was indeed a goodly population of bear in
the upper regions of the Queets, and the hide of one of them is at my
fireside now. It would have been no trick at all to kill several, for we
saw them daily foraging among the blueberry uplands, with their pink
tongues snaking out first on one side, then on the other, garnering in
the fruit from the low bushes. But we could pack only one skin, so we
left the others warming their owners, where they most properly belonged.

Queets Basin is a rough mountain valley, covered for the most part only
with berry bushes, and with rocky gorges cutting its surface where the
river's several branches had worn away deep courses. Overshadowing the
basin were the outposts of Olympus itself, with the snout of Humes's
glacier thrusting its icy seracs almost into the berry land, and the
pinnacled peaks behind rising majestically against the northern
skyline. Westward, the roaring Queets vanished down a canyon, through a
country of the roughest kind, and, we were told, one hitherto
unexplored. A journey to the sea following the white-watered Queets
would be a worth-while experience, we thought, seeing the first mile of
it; but like many another, the Mountain Climber and I, unless we live to
the age of Methuselah and devote all our years to outings, will never be
able to take one half the trips we have planned and secretly long for;
exclusive of our cherished ramble down the Queets!

The packs slipped from our backs at the base of a giant fir, and we
called it camp. Next to the bear who almost thrust his nose into my bed
next morning, my most vivid recollection of that camp was the blueberry
bread we concocted in the frying-pan, which was fit for the very gods of
old Olympus.

Then we climbed Olympus.

Coming on the heels of Mt. McKinley, it was no great feat of
mountaineering for the Mountain Climber, but nevertheless it combined
happily all the varied attractions of climbing. The ascent of Olympus
does, indeed, entail almost every sort of mountaineering, and some of it
reasonably difficult and dangerous. In the first place, the approach to
the mountain is perhaps its crowning feature; it is a man's sized trip
to get within striking distance, and to its inaccessibility is due the
fact that up to 1907 it was unscaled. When once reached, there are
goodly glaciers to be conquered, vast snow fields to be negotiated, some
hard ice work, and a lot of stiff climbing, all at long range from the
nearest practical base camp.

By daybreak we were under way. Through bushes, across a ravine, up a
narrow tongue of snow in a "chimney," and then over a shoulder of rock
débris, an outshoot of the lower lateral moraine of the Humes's glacier,
and we found ourselves on the seracs of the glacier's snout, with no
choice but to take to them. By the time we had found a way over the
broken green ice, with its sudden chasms, the sun was warm at our backs
and the chill of the dawn was forgotten. Then we emerged from the ice
hummocks which mightily resembled a storm-tossed sea suddenly petrified,
and commenced the leg-wearying ascent of the long snow field above,
which clothed the glacier and stretched toward a rim of dark cliffs, the
summit of the divide between us and Olympus proper. Toward the lowest
saddle in this rocky wall we set our course.

From the top of this new divide we gazed upon the clustering peaks of
Olympus across the huge glacier of the Hoh River. Jagged peaks they
were, half-clothed, at times, with clouds, their ragged rocky pinnacles
showing black in contrast to the dazzling fields of snow which stretched
away below us as in some Arctic scene.

Getting down to the Hoh glacier proved difficult work, nearly every
foothold of the descent being cut with our axes in the steep ice wall
down which we worked, while yawning crevasses below our course were
distinctly unpleasant reminders of what might happen should the leader
slip and the rope man be insecurely anchored with his ice axe.

Then a mile up steep snow slopes, and detours around the base of lesser
piles of rock rising almost perpendicularly from the floor of snow, and
we were at the foot of the final climb. A last wild scramble up a
chimney, the way made risky by slipping stones and treacherously rotten
rock, a tug of the rope, a helping hand, and we were on the summit of

[Illustration: "The Humes glacier, over which we went to Mount Olympus"]

[Illustration: "Our nature-made camp in Elwha basin"]

From no peak that either of us had ever climbed, in the Pacific Playland,
Alaska, or Northern Europe, had we looked upon more picturesquely
rugged, varied, or altogether fascinating mountain scenery. Olympus
stands at the dividing of the ways of a half-dozen watersheds, and from
its summit one sees canyons radiating in all directions from the
glaciers that cluster on its flanks and those of its lesser neighbors,
in whose depths are growing streams that rush away to Puget Sound and
the Pacific. All about, west, northeast, and south, are snow-clad,
saw-tooth peaks, lined with glaciers. Billowing over these wild summits
and hiding them each in turn, were wondrously tinted cloud banks, whose
overhanging effects of light and shadow, and freakish alteration of the
view made of the broad panorama a titanic kaleidoscope.

For an hour we sat there, our sweaters about us, munching raisins and
reveling in the scenic wonders of the world below us. From a metal tube,
well protected in a rock monument, we took and read the records of
previous climbers, left since the first ascent in 1907. And then, after
the habit of our kind, we added the story of our own expedition to the
others and started on the homeward trail toward our cave and patient


"The God Mountain of Puget Sound"

Less than fifty years ago what is now Seattle numbered scarce a thousand
inhabitants, and the present city of Tacoma was a cluster of shacks
about a sawmill. Puget Sound, to-day a highway of commerce, was an
almost unknown inland sea, its waters furrowed only by the prows of
Indian canoes.

But for centuries beyond number the great mountain of Puget Sound has
been as it is to-day, the mountain beautiful, dominating all the Sound
country. In Seattle its name is Rainier, and Tacoma insists the city's
title is the mountain's as well. Call it what you will to-day,
yesterday, in the talk of the Indian fishers of Whulge, it was known as
Tacoma, a word generically applied to snow mountains.

No truly great mountain in America is as readily accessible and as
widely enjoyed as Tacoma-Rainier. To Seattle and Tacoma it is an
ever-present companion, and all the Puget Sound country basks in its
shadow. A most excellent automobile road winds through its forests up to
the snow fields, the only highway on this continent which actually
reaches a living glacier. Railroads go close to the mountain, and a
delightful hotel and several camps supply every inducement and comfort
for luxurious stays in close proximity to the final peak. From these
places as headquarters one may make countless excursions round about the
mountain, over magnificently beautiful trails, seeing its glaciers, its
forests, its flowers, and its surpassing views, and there are always
guides ready to lead the way to the top, an ascent which offers all the
thrills and most of the experiences of the most arduous mountaineering
in the Alps. In short, there is an almost limitless field of recreation
round about Tacoma-Rainier, and it is but for you to choose the mode of
your enjoyment.

Seeing this "Mountain that was God," and climbing it, are matters of
almost normal routine to the residents of the Puget Sound country and
the visitors to its sister cities. It is the accepted thing to do--and
one supremely worth while--but to add another account of an ascent of
Tacoma-Rainier, or detailed description of its wonders, to the many
already in print, would be indeed carrying coals to Newcastle.

So, recommending you to the several excellent books on the subject,
instead of essaying further description of the mountain to-day I'll
venture to repeat what appeals to me as the best of the many Indian
legends relating to it. The wording of the story is that of Theodore
Winthrop, in his book _The Canoe and Saddle_, from which in a previous
chapter I borrowed the delightful legend of the Dalles.

[Illustration: The "God Mountain" of Puget Sound

Copyright 1910 by L. G. Linkletter]

The story, says Winthrop, was told to him by Hamitchou at Nisqually,
presumably about 1860, and here is his interpretation:

     "Avarice, O Boston Tyee," quoth Hamitchou, studying me with dusky
     eyes, "is a mighty passion. Now, be it known unto thee that we
     Indians anciently used not metals nor the money of you blanketeers.
     Our circulating medium was shells,--wampum you would name it. Of
     all wampum, the most precious is Hiaqua. Hiaqua comes from the far
     north. It is a small, perforated shell, not unlike a very opaque
     quill toothpick, tapering from the middle, and cut square at both
     ends. We string it in many strands, and hang it around the neck
     of one we love--namely, each man his own neck. We also buy with it
     what our hearts desire. He who has most hiaqua is best and wisest
     and happiest of all the northern Hiada and of all the people of
     Whulge. The mountain horsemen value it; the braves of the terrible
     Blackfeet have been known, in the good old days, to come over and
     offer a horse or a wife for a bunch of fifty hiaqua.

     "Now, once upon a time there dwelt where this fort of Nisqually now
     stands a wise old man of the Squallyamish. He was a great fisherman
     and a great hunter; and the wiser he grew, much the wiser he
     thought himself. When he had grown very wise, he used to stay apart
     from every other Siwash. Companionable salmon-boilings round a
     common pot had no charms for him. 'Feasting was wasteful,' he said,
     'and revelers would come to want,' and when they verified his
     prophecy, and were full of hunger and empty of salmon, he came out
     of his hermitage and had salmon to sell.

     "Hiaqua was the pay he always demanded; and as he was a very wise
     old man, and knew all the tideways of Whulge, and all the enticing
     ripples and placid spots of repose in every river where fish might
     dash or delay, he was sure to have salmon when others wanted, and
     thus bagged largely of its precious equivalent, hiaqua.

     "Not only a mighty fisher was the sage, but a mighty hunter, and
     elk, the greatest animal of the woods, was the game he loved. Well
     had he studied every trail where elk leave the print of their
     hoofs, and where, tossing their heads, they bend the tender twigs.
     Well had he searched through the broad forest, and found the
     long-haired prairies where elk feed luxuriously; and there, from
     behind palisade fir-trees, he had launched the fatal arrow.
     Sometimes, also, he lay beside a pool of sweetest water, revealed
     to him by gemmy reflections of sunshine gleaming through the woods,
     until at noon the elk came down, to find death awaiting him as he
     stooped and drank. Or beside the same fountain the old man watched
     at night, drowsily starting at every crackling branch, until, when
     the moon was high, and her illumination declared the pearly water,
     elk dashed forth incautious into the glade, and met their midnight

     "Elk-meat, too, he sold to his tribe. This brought him pelf, but,
     alas, for his greed, the pelf came slowly. Waters and woods were
     rich in game. All the Squallyamish were hunters and fishers,
     though none so skilled as he. They were rarely absolutely in want,
     and, when they came to him for supplies, they were far too poor in

     "So the old man thought deeply, and communed with his wisdom, and,
     while he waited for fish or beast, he took advice within himself
     from his demon--he talked with Tamanous. And always the question
     was, 'How may I put hiaqua in my purse?'

     "Tamanous never revealed to him that far to the north, beyond the
     waters of Whulge, are tribes with their under lip pierced with a
     fish-bone, among whom hiaqua is plenty as salmonberries are in the
     woods that time in midsummer salmon fin it along the reaches of

     "But the more Tamanous did not reveal to him these mysteries of
     nature, the more he kept dreamily prying into his own mind,
     endeavoring to devise some scheme by which he might discover a
     treasure-trove of the beloved shell. His life seemed wasted in the
     patient, frugal industry, which only brought slow, meager gains. He
     wanted the splendid elation of vast wealth and the excitement of
     sudden wealth. His own peculiar tamanous was the elk. Elk was also
     his totem, the cognizance of his freemasonry with those of his own
     family, and their family friends in other tribes. Elk, therefore,
     were every way identified with his life; and he hunted them farther
     and farther up through the forests on the flanks of Tacoma, hoping
     that some day his tamanous would speak in the dying groan of one of
     them, and gasp out the secret of the mines of hiaqua, his heart's

     "Tacoma was so white and glittering, that it seemed to stare at him
     very terribly and mockingly, and to know his shameful avarice, and
     how it led him to take from starving women their cherished lip and
     nose jewels of hiaqua, and to give them in return only tough scraps
     of dried elk-meat and salmon. When men are shabby, mean, and
     grasping, they feel reproached for their groveling lives by the
     unearthliness of nature's beautiful objects, and they hate flowers
     and sunsets, mountains and the quiet stars of heaven.

     "Nevertheless," continued Hamitchou, "this wise old fool of my
     legend went on stalking elk along the sides of Tacoma, ever
     dreaming of wealth. And at last, as he was hunting near the snows
     one day, one very clear and beautiful day of late summer, when
     sunlight was magically disclosing far distances, and making all
     nature supernaturally visible and proximate, Tamanous began to work
     in the soul of the miser.

     "'Are you brave?' whispered Tamanous in the strange, ringing, dull,
     silent thunder-tones of a demon voice. 'Dare you go to the caves
     where my treasures are hid?'

     "'I dare,' said the miser.

     "He did not know that his lips had syllabled a reply. He did not
     even hear his own words. But all the place had become suddenly
     vocal with echoes. The great rock against which he leaned crashed
     forth, 'I dare.' Then all along through the forest, dashing from
     tree to tree and lost at last among the murmuring of breeze-shaken
     leaves, went careering his answer, taken up and repeated
     scornfully, 'I dare.' And after a silence, while the daring one
     trembled and would gladly have ventured to shout, for the
     companionship of his own voice, there came across from the vast
     snow wall of Tacoma a tone like the muffled threatening plunge of
     an avalanche into a chasm, 'I dare.'

     "'You dare!' said Tamanous, enveloping him with a dread sense of an
     unseen, supernatural presence; 'you pray for wealth of hiaqua.

     "This injunction was hardly needed; the miser was listening with
     dull eyes kindled and starting. He was listening with every rusty
     hair separating from its unkempt mattedness, and outstanding
     upright, a caricature of an aureole.

     "'Listen,' said Tamanous, in the noonday hush. And then Tamanous
     vouchsafed at last the great secret of the hiaqua mines, while in
     terror near to death the miser heard, and every word of guidance
     toward the hidden treasure of the mountains seared itself into his
     soul ineffaceably.

     "Silence came again more terrible now than the voice of
     Tamanous,--silence under the shadow of the great cliff,--silence
     deepening down the forest vistas,--silence filling the void up to
     the snows of Tacoma. All life and motion seemed paralyzed. At last
     Skai-ki, the Blue-Jay, the wise bird, foe to magic, sang cheerily
     overhead. Her song seemed to refresh again the honest laws of
     nature. The buzz of life stirred everywhere again, and the inspired
     miser rose and hastened home to prepare for his work.

     "When Tamanous has put a great thought in a man's brain, has
     whispered him a great discovery within his power, or hinted at a
     great crime, that spiteful demon does not likewise suggest the
     means of accomplishment.

     "The miser, therefore, must call upon his own skill to devise
     proper tools, and upon his own judgment to fix upon the most
     fitting time for carrying out his quest. Sending his squaw out to
     the kamas prairie, under pretense that now was the season for her
     to gather their store of that sickish-sweet esculent root, and that
     she might not have her squaw's curiosity aroused by seeing him at
     strange work, he began his preparations. He took a pair of enormous
     elk-horns, and fashioned from each horn a two-pronged pick or
     spade, by removing all the antlers except the two topmost. He
     packed a good supply of kippered salmon, and filled his pouch with
     kinnikinnick for smoking in his black stone pipe. With his bows and
     arrows and his two elk-horn picks wrapped in buckskin hung at his
     back, he started just before sunset, as if for a long hunt. His
     old, faithful, maltreated, blanketless, vermilionless squaw,
     returning with baskets full of kamas, saw him disappearing moodily
     down the trail.

     "All that night, all the day following, he moved on noiselessly, by
     paths he knew. He hastened on, unnoticing outward objects, as one
     with controlling purpose hastens. Elk and deer, bounding through
     the trees, passed him, but he tarried not. At night he camped just
     below the snows of Tacoma. He was weary, and chill night-airs
     blowing down from the summit almost froze him. He dared not take
     his fire-sticks, and, placing one perpendicular upon a little
     hollow on the flat side of the other, twirl the upright stick
     rapidly between his palms until the charred spot kindled and
     lighted his 'tipsoo,' his dry, tindery wool of inner bark. A fire,
     gleaming high upon the mountainside, might be a beacon to draw
     thither any night-wandering savage to watch in ambush, and learn
     the path toward the mines of hiaqua. So he drowsed chilly and
     fireless, awakened often by dread sounds of crashing and rumbling
     among the chasms of Tacoma. He desponded bitterly, almost ready to
     abandon his quest, almost doubting whether he had in truth received
     a revelation, whether his interview with Tamanous had not been a
     dream, and finally whether all the hiaqua in the world was worth
     this toil and anxiety. Fortunate is the sage who at such a point
     turns back and buys his experience without worse befalling him.

     "Past midnight he suddenly was startled from his drowse and sat
     bolt upright in terror. A light! Was there another searcher in the
     forest, and a bolder than he? That flame just glimmering over the
     treetops, was it a camp-fire of friend or foe? Had Tamanous been
     revealing to another the great secret? No, smiled the miser, his
     eyes fairly open, and discovering that the new light was the moon.
     He had been waiting for her illumination on paths heretofore
     untrodden by mortal. She did not show her full, round, jolly face,
     but turned it askance as if she hardly liked to be implicated in
     this night's transactions.

     "However, it was light he wanted, not sympathy, and he started up
     at once to climb over the dim snows. The surface was packed by the
     night's frost, and his moccasins gave him firm hold; yet he
     traveled but slowly, and could not always save himself from a
     glissade backwards, and a bruise upon some projecting knob or crag.
     Sometimes, upright fronts of ice diverted him for long circuits, or
     a broken wall of cold cliff arose, which he must surmount
     painfully. Once or twice he stuck fast in a crevice and hardly drew
     himself out by placing his bundle of picks across the crack. As he
     plodded and floundered thus deviously and toilsomely upward, at
     last the wasted moon paled overhead, and under foot the snow grew
     rosy with coming dawn. The dim world about the mountain's base
     displayed something of its vast detail. He could see, more
     positively than by moonlight, the far-reaching arteries of mist
     marking the organism of Whulge beneath; and what had been but a
     black chaos now resolved itself into the Alpine forest whence he
     had come.

     "But he troubled himself little with staring about; up he looked,
     for the summit was at hand. To win that summit was well-nigh the
     attainment of his hopes, if Tamanous were true; and that, with the
     flush of morning ardor upon him, he could not doubt. There, in a
     spot Tamanous had revealed to him, was hiaqua--hiaqua that should
     make him the richest and greatest of all the Squallyamish.

     "The chill before sunrise was upon him as he reached the last curve
     of the dome. Sunrise and he struck the summit together. Together
     sunrise and he looked over the glacis. They saw within a great
     hollow all covered with the whitest of snow, save at the center,
     where a black lake lay deep in a well of purple rock.

     "At the eastern end of this lake was a small irregular plain of
     snow, marked by three stones like mountains. Toward these the miser
     sprang rapidly, with full sunshine streaming after him over the

     "The first monument he examined with keen looks. It was tall as a
     giant man, and its top was fashioned into the grotesque likeness of
     a salmon's head. He turned from this to inspect the second. It was
     of similar height, but bore at its apex an object in shape like the
     regular flame of a torch. As he approached, he presently discovered
     that this was an image of the kamas-bulb in stone. These two
     semblances of prime necessities of Indian life delayed him but an
     instant, and he hastened on to the third monument, which stood
     apart on a perfect level. The third stone was capped by something
     he almost feared to behold, lest it should prove other than his
     hopes. Every word of Tamanous had thus far proved veritable; but
     might there not be a bitter deceit at the last? The miser trembled.

     "Yes, Tamanous was trustworthy. The third monument was as the old
     man anticipated. It was a stone elk-head, such as it appears in
     earliest summer, when the antlers are sprouting lustily under their
     rough jacket of velvet.

     "You remember, Boston tyee," continued Hamitchou, "that elk was the
     old man's tamanous, the incarnation for him of the universal
     Tamanous. He therefore was right joyous at this good omen of
     protection; and his heart grew big and swollen with hope, as the
     black salmonberry swells in a swamp in June. He threw down his
     'ikta'; every impediment he laid down upon the snow; and unwrapping
     his two picks of elk-horn, he took the stoutest, and began to dig
     in the frozen snow at the foot of the elk-head monument.

     "No sooner had he struck the first blow than he heard behind him a
     sudden puff, such as a seal makes when it comes to the surface to
     breathe. Turning round much startled, he saw a huge otter just
     clambering up over the edge of the lake. The otter paused, and
     struck on the snow with his tail, whereupon another otter and
     another appeared, until, following their leader in slow solemn
     file, were twelve other otters, marching toward the miser. The
     twelve approached and drew up in a circle around him. Each was
     twice as large as any otter ever seen. Their chief was four times
     as large as the most gigantic otter ever seen in the regions of
     Whulge, and certainly was as great as a seal. When the twelve were
     arranged, their leader skipped to the top of the elk-head stone,
     and sat there between the horns. Then the whole thirteen gave a
     mighty puff in chorus.

     "The hunter of hiaqua was for a moment abashed at his uninvited
     ring of spectators. But he had seen otter before, and bagged them.
     These he could not waste time to shoot, even if a phalanx so
     numerous were not formidable. Besides, they might be tamanous. He
     took to his pick, and began digging stoutly.

     "He soon made way in the snow, and came to solid rock beneath. At
     every thirteenth stroke of his pick, the fugleman otter tapped with
     his tail on the monument. Then the choir of lesser otters tapped
     together with theirs on the snow. This caudal action produced a
     dull muffled sound, as if there were a vast hollow below.

     "Digging with all his force, by and by the seeker for treasure
     began to tire, and laid down his elk-horn spade to wipe the sweat
     from his brow. Straightway the fugleman otter turned, and swinging
     his tail, gave the weary man a mighty thump on the shoulder; and
     the whole band, imitating, turned, and, backing inward, smote him
     with centripetal tails, until he resumed his labors, much bruised.

     "The rock lay first in plates, then in scales. These it was easy to
     remove. Presently, however, as the miser pried carelessly at a
     larger mass, he broke his elk-horn tool. Fugleman otter leaped
     down, and, seizing the supplemental pick between his teeth, mouthed
     it over to the digger. Then the amphibious monster took in the same
     manner the broken pick, and bore it round the circle of his suite,
     who inspected it with puffs.

     "These strange magical proceedings disconcerted and somewhat
     baffled the miser; but he plucked up heart, for the prize was
     priceless, and worked on more cautiously with his second pick. At
     last its bows and the regular thumps of the otters' tails called
     forth a sound hollower and hollower. His circle of spectators
     narrowed so that he could feel their panting breath as they bent
     curiously over the little pit he had dug.

     "The crisis was evidently at hand.

     "He lifted each scale of rock more delicately. Finally he raised a
     scale so thin that it cracked into flakes as he turned it over.
     Beneath was a large square cavity.

     "It was filled to the brim with hiaqua.

     "He was a millionaire.

     "The otters recognized him as the favorite of Tamanous, and retired
     to a respectful distance.

     "For some moments he gazed on his treasure, taking thought of his
     future grandeur among the dwellers by Whulge. He plunged his arm
     deep as he could go; there was still nothing but the precious
     shells. He smiled to himself in triumph; he had wrung the secret
     from Tamanous. Then, as he withdrew his arm, the rattle of the
     hiaqua recalled him to the present. He saw that noon was long past,
     and he must proceed to reduce his property to possession.

     "The hiaqua was strung upon long, stout sinews of elk in bunches of
     fifty shells on each side. Four of these he wound about his waist;
     three he hung across each shoulder; five he took in each
     hand;--twenty strings of pure white hiaqua, every shell large,
     smooth, unbroken, beautiful. He could carry no more; hardly even
     with this could he stagger along. He put down his burden for a
     moment, while he covered up the seemingly untouched wealth of the
     deposit carefully with the scale stones, and brushed snow over the

     "The miser never dreamed of gratitude, never thought to hang a
     string of the buried treasure about the salmon and kamas tamanous
     stones, and two strings around the elk-head; no, all must be his
     own, all he could carry now, and the rest for the future.

     "He turned, and began his climb toward the crater's edge. At once
     the otters, with a mighty puff in concert, took up their line of
     procession, and, plunging into the black lake, began to beat the
     water with their tails.

     "The miser could hear the sound of splashing water as he struggled
     upward through the snow, now melted and yielding. It was a long
     hour of harsh toil and much back-sliding before he reached the rim,
     and turned to take one more view of this valley of good fortune.

     "As he looked, a thick mist began to rise from the lake center,
     where the otters were splashing. Under the mist grew a cylinder of
     black cloud, utterly hiding the water.

     "Terrible are storms in the mountains; but in this looming mass was
     a terror more dread than any hurricane of ruin ever bore within its
     wild vortexes. Tamanous was in that black cylinder, and as it
     strode forward, chasing in the very path of the miser, he
     shuddered, for his wealth and his life were in danger.

     "However, it might be but a common storm. Sunlight was bright as
     ever overhead in heaven, and all the lovely world below lay
     dreamily fair, in that afternoon of summer, at the feet of the rich
     man, who now was hastening to be its king. He stepped from the
     crater edge and began his descent.

     "Instantly the storm overtook him. He was thrown down by its first
     assault, flung over a rough bank of iciness, and lay at the foot
     torn and bleeding, but clinging still to his precious burden. Each
     hand still held its five strings of hiaqua. In each hand he bore a
     nation's ransom. He staggered to his feet against the blast. Utter
     night was around him--night as if daylight had forever perished,
     had never come into being from chaos. The roaring of the storm had
     also deafened and bewildered him with its wild uproar.

     "Present in every crash and thunder of the gale was a growing
     undertone, which the miser well knew to be the voice of Tamanous. A
     deadly shuddering shook him. Heretofore that potent Unseen had been
     his friend and guide; there had been awe, but no terror, in his
     words. Now the voice of Tamanous was inarticulate, but the miser
     could divine in that sound an unspeakable threat of wrath and
     vengeance. Floating upon this undertone were sharper tamanous
     voices, shouting and screaming always sneeringly, 'Haha,
     hiaqua,--ha, ha, ha!'

     "Whenever the miser essayed to move and continue his descent, a
     whirlwind caught him and with much ado tossed him hither and
     thither, leaving him at last flung and imprisoned in a pinching
     crevice, or buried to the eyes in a snowdrift, or gnawed by
     lacerating lava jaws. Sharp torture the old man was encountering,
     but he held fast to his hiaqua.

     "The blackness grew ever deeper and more crowded with perdition,
     the din more impish, demoniac, and devilish; the laughter more
     appalling; the miser more and more exhausted with vain buffeting.
     He determined to propitiate exasperated Tamanous with a sacrifice.
     He threw into the black cylinder storm his left-handful, five
     strings of precious hiaqua."

     "Somewhat long-winded is thy legend, Hamitchou, Great Medicine-Man
     of the Squallyamish," quoth I. "Why didn't the old fool drop his
     wampum--shell out, as one might say,--and make tracks?"

     "Well, well!" continued Hamitchou, "when the miser had thrown away
     his first handful of hiaqua, there was a momentary lull in
     elemental war, and he heard the otters puffing around him
     invisible. Then the storm, renewed, blacker, louder, harsher,
     crueller than before, and over the dread undertone of the voice of
     Tamanous, tamanous voices again screamed, 'Ha, ha, ha, hiaqua!'
     and it seemed as if tamanous hands, or the paws of the demon
     otters, clutched at the miser's right-handful and tore at his
     shoulder and waist belts.

     "So, while darkness and tempest still buffeted the hapless old man,
     and thrust him away from his path, and while the roaring was
     wickeder than the roars of tens and tens of bears when a-hungered
     they pounce upon a plain of kamas, gradually wounded and terrified,
     he flung away string after string of hiaqua, gaining never any
     notice of such sacrifice, except an instant's lull of the cyclone
     and a puff from the invisible otters.

     "The last string he clung to long, and before he threw it to be
     caught and whirled after its fellows, he tore off a single bunch of
     fifty shells. But upon this, too, the storm laid its clutches. In
     the final desperate struggle, the old man was wounded so sternly
     that, when he had thrown into the formless chaos, instinct with
     Tamanous, his last propitiatory offering, he sank and became

     "It seemed a long slumber to him, but at last he awoke. The jagged
     moon was just paling overhead, and he heard Skai-ki, the Blue-Jay,
     foe to magic, singing welcome to sunrise. It was the very spot
     whence he started at morning.

     "He was hungry, and felt for his bag of kamas and pouch of
     smoke-leaves. There, indeed, by his side were the elk-sinew strings
     of the bag, and the black stone pipe-bowl,--but no bag, no kamas,
     no kinnikinnick. The whole spot was thick with kamas plants,
     strangely out of place on the mountainside, and overhead grew a
     large arbutus tree, with glistening leaves, ripe for smoking. The
     old man found his hardwood fire-sticks safe under the herbage, and
     soon twirled a light, and, nurturing it in dry grass, kindled a
     cheery fire. He plucked up kamas, set it to roast, and laid a store
     of the arbutus leaves to dry on a flat stone.

     "After he had made a hearty breakfast on the chestnut-like
     kamas-bulbs, and, smoking the thoughtful pipe, was reflecting on
     the events of yesterday, he became aware of an odd change in his
     condition. He was not bruised and wounded from head to foot, as he
     expected, but very stiff only, and as he stirred, his joints
     creaked like the creak of a lazy paddle upon the rim of a canoe.
     Skai-ki, the Blue-Jay, was singularly familiar with him, hopping
     from her perch in the arbutus, and alighting on his head. As he put
     his hand to dislodge her, he touched his scratching-stick of bone,
     and attempted to pass it, as usual, through his hair. The hair was
     matted and interlaced into a network reaching fully two ells down
     his back. 'Tamanous,' thought the old man.

     "Chiefly he was conscious of a mental change. He was calm and
     content. Hiaqua and wealth seemed to have lost their charms for
     him. Tacoma, shining like gold and silver and precious stones of
     gayest luster, seemed a benign comrade and friend. All the outer
     world was cheerful and satisfying. He thought he had never awakened
     to a fresher morning. He was a young man again, except for that
     unusual stiffness and unmelodious creaking in his joints. He felt
     no apprehension of any presence of a deputy tamanous, sent by
     Tamanous to do malignities upon him in the lonely wood. Great
     Nature had a kindly aspect, and made its divinity perceived only by
     the sweet notes of birds and hum of forest life, and by a joy that
     clothed his being. And now he found in his heart a sympathy for
     man, and a longing to meet his old acquaintances down by the shores
     of Whulge.

     "He rose, and started on the downward way, smiling, and sometimes
     laughing heartily at the strange croaking, moaning, cracking, and
     rasping of his joints. But soon motion set the lubricating valves
     at work, and the sockets grew slippery again. He marched rapidly,
     hastening out of loneliness into society. The world of wood, glade,
     and stream seemed to him strangely altered. Old colossal trees,
     firs behind which he had hidden when on the hunt, cedars under
     whose drooping shade he had lurked, were down, and lay athwart his
     path, transformed into immense mossy mounds, like barrows of
     giants, over which he must clamber warily, lest he sink and be half
     stifled in the dust of rotten wood. Had Tamanous been widely at
     work in that eventful night?--or had the spiritual change the old
     man felt affected his views of the outer world?

     "Traveling downward, he advanced rapidly, and just before sunset
     came to the prairies where his lodge should be. Everything had
     seemed to him so totally altered, that he tarried a moment in the
     edge of the woods to take an observation before approaching his
     home. There was a lodge, indeed, in the old spot, but a newer and
     far handsomer one than he had left on the fourth evening before.

     "A very decrepit old squaw, ablaze with vermilion and decked with
     countless strings of hiaqua and costly beads, was seated on the
     ground near the door, tending a kettle of salmon, whose blue and
     fragrant steam mingled pleasantly with the golden haze of sunset.
     She resembled his own squaw in countenance, as an ancient smoked
     salmon is like a newly dried salmon. If she was indeed his spouse,
     she was many years older than when he saw her last, and much better
     dressed than the respectable lady had ever been during his miserly

     "He drew near quietly. The bedizened dame was crooning a chant,
     very dolorous,--like this:

       'My old man has gone, gone, gone,--
       My old man to Tacoma has gone.
       To hunt the elk, he went long ago.
       When will he come down, down, down,
       Down to the salmon-pot and me?'

       'He has come from Tacoma down, down, down,--
       Down to the salmon-pot and thee,'

     shouted the reformed miser, rushing forward to supper with his
     faithful wife."

     "And how did Penelope explain the mystery?" I asked.

     "If you mean the old lady," replied Hamitchou, "she was my
     grandmother, and I'd thank you not to call names. She told my
     grandfather that he had been gone many years;--she could not tell
     how many, having dropped her tally-stick in the fire by accident
     that very day. She also told him how, in despite of the entreaties
     of many a chief who knew her economic virtues, and prayed her to
     become the mistress of his household, she had remained constant to
     the Absent, and forever kept the hopeful salmon-pot boiling for his
     return. She had distracted her mind from the bitterness of sorrow
     by trading in kamas and magic herbs, and had thus acquired a
     genteel competence. The excellent dame then exhibited with great
     complacency her gains, most of which she had put in the portable
     and secure form of personal ornament, making herself a resplendent
     magazine of valuable frippery.

     "Little cared the repentant sage for such things. But he was
     rejoiced to be again at home and at peace, and near his own early
     gains of hiaqua and treasure, buried in a place of security. These,
     however, he no longer overesteemed and hoarded. He imparted
     whatever he possessed, material treasures or stores of wisdom and
     experience, freely to all the land. Every dweller by Whulge came to
     him for advice how to chase the elk, how to troll or spear the
     salmon, and how to propitiate Tamanous. He became the Great
     Medicine Man of the Siwashes, a benefactor to his tribe and his

     "Within a year after he came down from his long nap on the side of
     Tacoma, a child, my father, was born to him. The sage lived many
     years, beloved and revered, and on his death-bed, long before the
     Boston tilicum or any blanketeers were seen in the regions of
     Whulge, he told this history to my father, as a lesson and a
     warning. My father, dying, told it to me. But I, alas! have no
     son; I grow old, and lest this wisdom perish from the earth, and
     Tamanous be again obliged to interpose against avarice, I tell the
     tale to thee, O Boston tyee. Mayest thou and thy nation not disdain
     this lesson of an earlier age, but profit by it and be wise."

So far Hamitchou recounted his legend without the palisades of Fort
Nisqually, and motioned, in expressive pantomime, at the close, that he
was dry with big talk, and would gladly wet his whistle.



A Summer in the Sierras

Our Western literary disciple, Bret Harte, is responsible for some such
statement as this, through the mouthpiece of one of his lively

"Tain't no use, you ain't got good sense no more. Why, sometimes you
talk jest as if you _lived in a valley_!"

Doesn't that epitomize the contempt of the highlander for the lowlander?

A lover of the Californian Sierra reasonably would be expected to
originate such a philosophy. For while all mountains approach
perfection, existence in the California cordillera is as near Utopian as
this old earth offers. That, of course, applies only to the out-of-door
lover. For the others I dare venture no judgment; in their blindness
they love best their cities and their rabbit-warren homes, and the
logical desires of sunshine and forest are dried out of them by steam
heat and contaminated by breathing much-used oxygen.

Humans, generally speaking, have their chief habitat in the lowlands.
Compelling reasons, aside from choice, are responsible for this state of
affairs. For instance, there are not enough highlands to go around.
Then, too, valleys and plains are better adapted to the customary
occupations of the genus _homo_, especially that obsessing mania for the
accumulation of cash. But despite their habits and their environment, a
satisfactory proportion of the valley dwellers love the hill country,
and when they have mountains for neighbors revel in the opportunities
thereby afforded.

In California the lot of the lowlander is blessed beyond compare, for
the most enticing playland imaginable is at his beck, and he is offered
a scenic menu _à la carte_, so to speak, which includes about everything
the Creator devised in the way of out-of-door attractions. There is sea
beach and forest, poppy-gilded plain and snow-quilted mountain. From a
semi-tropical riviera, with the scent of orange blossoms still in his
nostrils, he may mount above the snow line in a few brief hours. One day
he bathes in the Pacific, inhaling the dank, sea-smelling fog, and the
next finds himself in the grandest forests of America, breathing the
crisp air of lofty altitudes. Revel in the gentle south of France or
Alpine Switzerland; enjoy the mildness of Florida or the rugged
mountaineering of the Rockies; drink Chianti in an Italian vineyard or
cast a trout fly in a brawling Scottish stream; view fragments of Canton
within gunshot of the Golden Gate and then glimpse utter desert by the
shores of the Salton Sea--in short, choose what you will, and in
California it awaits you.

       *       *       *       *       *

The breezy bay of San Francisco, blue Tamalpais, and the live-oaks of
Berkeley's campus we left behind, swinging easterly and south through
the hot, rich valley of the San Joaquin until the railroad ended and our
trail began. Before us lay a summer in the Sierras; a summer in no wise
definitely organized in advance, but ninety days of wandering at will
unburdened by itinerary and guided chiefly by the whim of the moment.

A wonder of the world supremely worth seeing is Yosemite and when you
see it, if the possibility offers, avoid the hackneyed methods. The
best way ever devised to get acquainted with the Wonder-Valley, or any
other of Nature's masterpieces, is the simplest: it consists in
progressing upon your own two feet. So it was that we entered the
Yosemite Park, and under our own power, so to speak, we negotiated many
scores of miles over trails good and bad, and often guided by no trail
at all.

To add even a modest description of Yosemite Valley to the far-reaching
bibliography already in existence would be indeed carrying coals to a
literary Newcastle. If you want guidebooks, history, or information upon
its flowers and its trees, simply whisper the word "Yosemite" in any
west-coast bookstore and you will be led to shelves bulging with volumes
that are authoritative, comprehensive, attractive, and, many of them,
interesting. It is suggested, however, that the wonders of the Valley
will break upon you with all the greater splendor if reading about them
is postponed until after you have made visual acquaintance with what
Nature has written under the blue California sky in characters of trees,
cliffs, rushing rivers, giant trees, and myriad flowers.

[Illustration: "The live oaks of Berkeley's campus"

From a photograph by Wells Drury, Berkeley, Cal.]

[Illustration: Looking across the clouds to Mount Adams from the flanks
of Rainier

Copyright 1909 by L. G. Linkletter]

Go, then, as did we, with a pack on your back and without plans. Or,
if needs be, patronize the hotel or one of the luxurious camps, and
thence see the sights of the Park at leisure through the medium of the
stagecoaches which go nearly everywhere over the excellent roads.

As for us, we had a scrap of a tent and a box of provisions which we
trundled, after a deal of vexatious bargaining, a mile or so in a
borrowed wheelbarrow to an enchanted camping spot beside a brimful
brook, shaded by primeval trees and sheltered from the welter of humans
who promenade promiscuously by a convenient arboreal jungle. There we
made our headquarters, by extending our fragmentary canvas fly between
our blankets and the heavens and establishing a megalithic fireplace at
arm's reach from the running water, where we cooked three or more times
a day.

For a happy fortnight we did those things which Yosemite visitors are
supposed to do. We gloried in the sheer mightiness of El Capitan from
below, and reveled in the views from its crest. From Inspiration Point,
on the road to the Big Trees, we were inspired beyond expectation by the
magnificent panorama of the cliff-encompassed canyon, with the silver
waterfalls lighting its shadowed walls like threads of gossamer against
the gray background of the rocks. Close at hand we were deafened by the
thundering waters of Bridal Veil and Nevada, and we clambered up the
trails to see the highland rivers that gave them birth. A glad summer
day was devoted to the Mariposa Grove pilgrimage where discreet soldiers
watched lest we abscond with a flower or treelet, or, I suppose, commit
that universal sin of American self-publicity, scratch our puny initials
upon the gnarled columns of the most ancient and the grandest monuments
Nature has erected on our continent--the Sequoias.

Then, having reveled in the prosaic recreations of Yosemite--and the
first view of the Valley alone is worth the entire pilgrimage,
remember--we picked up our beds and walked. That is, the blankets were
strapped on our backs, and the rudiments of a commissary stowed in our
ricksacks. So equipped, with our creature comforts provided for to the
extent of about fifty pounds per man, we "cached" the balance of our
provender and equipment in a rocky cave (where a bear subsequently
effected destructive inroads) and struck out for Tuolumne Meadows and

[Illustration: "We gloried in the sheer mightiness of El Capitan"]

In the course of our unplanned wanderings we followed up the Merced
River, past Nevada Falls and through the meadowed beauties of the Little
Yosemite. Ultimately, by ways uncharted, so far as we were aware, we
viewed the Merced Canyon where Lakes Washburn and Merced nestle in the
heart of a little-traveled fairyland, and thence struck 'cross-country
to the upper regions of the other great river of the Park, the Tuolumne.

All the Tuolumne Meadow country is sheer delight, for mountaineer,
fisherman, naturalist, and lover of the out-of-doors whose tastes are
unspecific; well has John Muir called it "the grand central camp-ground
of the Sierras." It is a vast meadow, hemmed in by a mountain region
beyond compare for expeditioning, with legions of royal trout ready for
the fly, and a vast flower garden maintained enticingly by Dame Nature
during the summer sunshine season.

The trip we took from the Meadows, again without trail, was down the
Tuolumne to Hetch-Hetchy Valley. The journey's start literally was
flower-strewn, and we tramped carefully lest we crush over-many of the
purple daisies and tiny violets dotting the dewy grass, while lupin
offered gentle resistance to our progress. First came the canyon of
Conness Creek, shaded with groves of hemlock, and neighbored by three
falls, the first of the countless cataracts which mark the wild river's
course through the rockbound gorge, to the valley of our destination,
miles below.

Beyond the falls the stream flows quietly for a space, between banks
lined with pines and deciduous trees. As Marion Randall Parsons has
quoted, here,

  Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
  Little breezes dusk and shiver
  Thro' the wave that runs forever
  By the island in the river
    Flowing down to Camelot.

And standing beside the white waters with the ground shaking underfoot
to the tune of their mighty onrush, with the meadows, trees, and flowers
round about, the awesome cliffs for guardians, and the bright blue sky
over all, it requires no visionary to conjure up legendary cities at
this river's end, for but half lend yourself to the notion and the
glorious Sierran stream becomes a beckoning highway to a land of
pleasant dreams.

[Illustration: "A vast flower garden maintained enticingly by Dame

Copyright 1912 by Kiser Photo Co., Portland, Ore.]

[Illustration: Light and shadow in Yosemite]

Of the Tuolumnic canyon journey this same lover of the Sierras, Mrs.
Parsons, has sketched the following description:

     It is impossible to do justice to the canyon after one brief
     journey through it; impossible to set down in order the details of
     that day's travel and the next, confused as they were by the
     consciousness of tired muscles and eyes bewildered by the all too
     hurried succession of interests. Little more than impressions
     remain--memories of cliffs rising from three to five thousand feet
     above us; of a walk of half a mile on stepping stones along the
     river; of more talus-piles; of the entrance into the rattlesnake
     zone; of a walk through a still forest of tall firs and young
     cedars, where our voices seemed to break the silence of ages; of
     more talus-piles; of a camp beneath the firs among deep fern-beds,
     and of the red ants that there congregated; of more brush and more
     talus-piles; of a look down Muir Gorge and a hot climb up a
     thousand feet over the rocks to the cairn of stones containing the
     precious register; of a cliff extending to the river's edge which
     presented the alternative of edging across it on a crack or
     climbing a five-hundred-foot hill to get around it.

     The Tuolumne is one of the largest of our Sierra rivers, much
     greater in volume than its quieter neighbor, the Merced. Its falls,
     often of an imposing height, are none of them sheer, none of them
     giving that impression of pure joy of living with which the Merced
     waters leap into the great Nevada abyss. For the Tuolumne's is a
     sterner, stormier course, beset with giant rocks against which
     even its splendid strength is impotently hurled, and its joy is the
     joy of battles. But it is a strange thing, standing beside one of
     these giant cataracts where the ground shakes with the impact and
     where every voice of wind or living creature is silenced in the
     roar of the maddened waters, to see under what a delicate fabric
     this Titan's force is veiled--a billowing, gossamer texture,
     iris-tinted, with jeweled spray flying high upon the wind.

Then came Hetch-Hetchy, after two days of strenuous pursuit of the
Tuolumne's galloping waters.

When we were there Hetch-Hetchy was a valley untrammeled, carpeted with
grass and flowers, walled by mighty cliffs, traversed by the unfettered
Tuolumne. Of late, as all the outdoor world knows, its freedom has been
bartered and its fate sealed--the fate of being drowned beneath a
reservoir whose waters are to quench the thirst of San Francisco.
Probably, from an engineering standpoint, the knell of Hetch-Hetchy is a
masterpiece; perhaps economically it is wisdom; but none who have
delighted in the valley's hospitality but deem it tragedy of the darkest

Be that as it may, the waters are yet unstored and Hetch-Hetchy is still
a camp-ground, and for the city-bred or the city-weary it offers
panacea beyond compare as it has since the beginning of all things, when
cities were as little thought of as reservoirs. Regarding the horrors of
industrial civilization, William Morris once urged humanitarian effort
"until the contrast is less disgraceful between the fields where the
beasts live and the streets where men live." And Hetch-Hetchy, even in a
region of loveliness, is perhaps Nature's strongest sermon in her
wordless arraignment of the physical follies of civilization--at least
that so-called civilization which is wound around with unashamed
artificialities and the ugliness of urban existence.

Our week in Hetch-Hetchy we wished might have been a month, but the
calendar moves relentlessly in the Sierra as elsewhere, and only too
soon the days were numbered until we must abandon Yosemite Park and
strike southward into other mountain regions, with other companionship.
So back we "hiked" to our valley base camp, rescued what the bears had
left of our stored property, and renewed acquaintance with the railroad
at Merced.

During the rest of that most excellent summer my fortunes were thrown
in with those of the Sierra Club, the Californian member of the Coast's
trio of notable mountain-climbing organizations, the other two being the
Mazamas of Portland and the Mountaineers of Seattle.

This organized back-to-naturing, so to speak, deserves a large measure
of attention and a vast deal of praise. The official purpose of the
Sierra Club is "to explore, enjoy, and render accessible the mountain
regions of the Pacific Coast." Its aim, like those of its brother
organizations of the West and East, is to "publish authentic information
concerning the mountain regions and to enlist the support and
cooperation of the people and the Government in preserving the forests
and other natural features of the Sierra Nevada Mountains." With such a
platform these clubs of the Pacific accomplish much real good and often
are the sponsors for forward-looking movements of wide importance. Also,
their experience and their organized methods each summer make possible
lengthy excursions into the mountain regions whose scope would be beyond
the individual means of many who join forces with the club on these
community outings. Hundreds of miles of new trails are laid out and
old ones improved, peaks are climbed and records left, often trout are
planted in barren lakes, and everyone is given an educational experience
in the ways of the Open. Also--and primarily--all hands have a royal
good time.

[Illustration: The Government road that leads to Mount Rainier]

[Illustration: Sunrise at Hetch-Hetchy]

At Tracy, in the San Joaquin Valley, where the Sierra Club special train
stopped for supper, I joined the party. That night I felt conspicuous,
for six weeks of tramping in the Yosemite had removed the last traces of
presentability from my costume; however, when at dawn the hikers of the
morrow emerged from the sleeping-cars at Porterville, white collars, low
shoes, long skirts, and all the other impedimenta of civilized apparel
were replaced by workaday garments, while khaki and flannel shirts were
much in evidence.

For two days the long line struggled along the trail leading into the
canyon of the Kern. From oak and chaparral to pines and bear clover,
silver fir, and nature-made gardens of columbine, red snow plant, and
cyclamen we mounted, and then still higher to a silent tamarack country.
Then down interminably to Fish Creek, and camp, and Charlie Tuck, who
was--and no doubt still is--the Celestial ruler of the club's
all-important culinary department.

Fishing, minor side trips, some fish-planting, and all the attractions
of outdoor camp life occupied a week in the lower Kern Valley. Then camp
was removed ten miles up the canyon to the junction of the Big Arroya
and the Kern, whence were engineered ascents of the Red Kaweah and of
Whitney, highest of all the mountains in the United States, each reached
through side trips of several days' duration, and each opening up a
fresh, new field of highland delights.

The trails of the Sierra, like trails the world over, are endlessly
appealing--only the Sierran footways seem somehow richer in variety than
others known to me. The entire mountain world unfolds from the shifting
vantage points of these ribbons, threading its most sacred temples,
clear and strong through the valleys, distinguishable only by the
presence of many blazes upon the tree trunks where pine needles plot
their obliteration, zigzagging dizzily up steep slopes, crossing rivers
on perilous logs or buried knee-deep beneath the rushing waters of the
ford, skirting sky-reflecting lakes, hiding beneath summer snowbanks, or
traversing waste highlands, marked only by the cairns that lift their
welcome heads against the sky. Underfoot there is the needle carpet,
springy ground, shoe-cutting rocks, or deep-trodden dust, where the
wayfarer comes to the journey's end a monument of ghostly gray. Overhead
is always the tender blue of the summer California sky, with here and
there a snowy cloud, for contrast's sake. Most impressive is the trail
that clambers among the snow-clad heights, where the chilling air of the
peaks makes the blood run fast and the heart rejoice; its beauty most
appreciable where it follows brawling brooks and shadowed valleys, or
meanders among woods, pillared with great trees and roofed with swaying
boughs, ever and anon emerging into tiny, exquisite glades. Such is the
Sierra trail, each mile a thing of individual charm and happy memory.

The physical ways and means of the outing are as near perfect as may be
where one hundred and twenty humans are turned loose in the wilderness.
The perfection is, of course, the outgrowth of long experience and
careful planning. Pack-trains take in the provisions well in advance;
the day's "hike" is laid out, and "grub" is in waiting when the
allotted number of miles lie behind; side trips are arranged, and when
there is climbing of consequence, experienced leaders pilot the way. And
yet, withal, the month-long holiday is far from being disagreeably "cut
and dried," and there seems always sufficient opportunity for freedom to
satisfy individual tastes. Nor, because of the numbers, need one lack
privacy; on the trail and at camp the excursionist may restrict himself
to his own unimpeachable society, he may join a small group of chosen
spirits, or associate with the general unit. In short, there is
opportunity to satisfy every taste on a Sierra Club outing, which holds
equally true of the other mountain organizations of the Coast, each of
which conducts admirable activities in its chosen field.

The last bright recollection of that Sierra summer is the camp-fire
which closed the final day--and all camp-fires are pleasant memories. It
was beneath the mighty trees of the Giant Forest that we spent the final
night, the light of our blaze insignificant 'midst the shadows of these
huge trunks, the quiet summer night all about. The inner circle of faces
showed ruddy in the reflected firelight, the outer edges of the group
were deep in shadow. In the center, close to the fire, his figure
outlined by its glow, stood John Muir, president of the Club,
naturalist, explorer, lover of the Sierras, and loved by all. That night
he shared with us, as often he had done before, his knowledge of those
intimates of his, the Californian mountains, with whom he had lived so
long and so understandingly. And now, in this December, six years since
that evening in the Giant Forest, comes the news that John Muir has been
gathered to his fathers, and that this splendid apostle of the
out-of-doors will never again share its treasured secrets at Sierran


       *       *       *       *       *

_An amusing, instructive, and tempting account of travel in the byways
just off the new highway._--N. Y. Sun.

  The Southland


  North America

  Rambles and Observations in
  Central America

  George Palmer Putnam

  Author of "In the Oregon Country," etc.

  _With 96 Illustrations from Photographs by the Author, and
  a Map, 8°, 440 Pages, $2.50_

"The author has traveled much along the coasts and in the interior of
these jungle-clad Latin-American countries and states, so near and yet
so little regarded or understood by their big northern neighbor in the
family of western nations.

Though primarily devoted to the present-day aspects of the countries
visited--their pressing political problems, industrial experiments, and
further possibilities of development, social structure, and national
ideals--the book takes many excursions into the past, and ventures now
and then into prediction concerning the future.

Life takes on novel and curious aspects in these alien lands, where
there is more regard for festivals than for public improvements, and the
outlander must take his chances of meager accommodation in inns by
courtesy, surrounded by a careless, pleasure-loving throng.

How this populace differs from the rest of the Latin-American world,
what are their customs, diversions, inmost thoughts, and ideals--these
are topics on which the author enlarges, in keenly observant fashion,
and with the true spirit of an experienced traveler.

The volume has many fine illustrations, and through its descriptive
passages runs a vein of excellent humor."--N. Y. _Sun_.

       *       *       *       *       *

  The Winning of the
  Far West

  A History of the Regaining of Texas, of the Mexican War, of
  the Oregon Question; and of the Successive Additions
  to the Territory in the United States within
  the Continent of America, 1829-1867


  Robert McNutt McElroy, Ph.D.

  Edwards Professor of American History, Princeton University
  Author of "Kentucky in the Nation's History," etc.

  _8°. With Illustrations and Maps. $2.50_

This volume is designed as a continuation of Theodore Roosevelt's
well-known work, _The Winning of the West_. It begins with the history
of the Texas Revolution under General Sam Houston, tracing the origin of
that struggle to President Jackson's determination, so often announced
in his letters of that period, to "regain Texas, peaceably if we can,
forcibly if we must."

The author has had access to large collections of Jackson's letters,
most of which have never been published, and his treatment of the
subject is distinctly new.

The volume then traces the origin of the Mexico-American war, showing
from official documents that the declaration of war was not due to the
encounter between the forces of General Taylor and those of General
Arista on the banks of the Rio Grande, but had been positively decided
upon by President Polk and his Cabinet before the news of that
engagement reached Washington.

The Mexican War is treated in detail, the accounts of the battles being
based upon official documents and military reports.

The events leading up to the conquest of New Mexico and California, and
the settlement of the old controversy over the ownership of the Oregon
region, are treated as phases of the western movement. Then follows a
full discussion of the Compromise of 1850, and the volume closes with
the Purchase of Alaska.

       *       *       *       *       *

  Mountaineering and
  Exploration in the

  A Record of Pioneer Work among the
  Canadian Alps, 1908-1912

  By Howard Palmer

  Corresponding Member of the Geographical Society
  of Philadelphia, Fellow of the Royal
  Geographical Society

  _With 219 Illustrations and 2 New Maps. $5.00_

A contribution to the description and history of a region that has been
sadly neglected. The author is the first to have surveyed and
photographed a large territory of the Selkirks, covering about 600
square miles in the northerly part. His superb photographs, some taken
from the top of the loftiest peaks, are a great addition to this
important and fascinating work.

       *       *       *       *       *

  The Lower Amazon

  A Narrative of Explorations in the Little-Known Regions
  of the State of Pará, on the Lower Amazon, with a
  Record of Archæological Excavations on Marajó
  Island at the Mouth of the Amazon River,
  and Observations on the General Resources
  of the Country

  By Algot Lange

  Author of "In the Amazon Jungle"
  Late officially connected with the Bureau of Indian Affairs
  of the Brazilian Federal Government

  _With an Introduction by Frederick S. Dellenbaugh
  8°. 100 Illustrations and Maps. $2.50_

To readers of Algot Lange's former book, "In the Amazon Jungle," the
present volume needs no introduction. No explorer of modern times has
had a more adventurous or more fruitful career. The scientific,
archæological, and topographical results of his explorations are only
exceeded by the adventure of his expeditions, and he has proved himself
a faithful and supremely interesting raconteur. The scene of his present
volume lies in the extreme eastern part of that vast division of South
America lying on both sides of the greatest river in the world.

The explorer's adventure with a nest of boa-constrictors, his discovery
of an island covered with pottery of an ancient race, and of tribes of
stark naked Indians living in the most primitive style, using stone axes
and making dugouts as they must have been made many centuries ago, is
supplemented by his valuable information of the undeveloped wealth of
the vast tract traversed.

  New York    G. P. Putnam's Sons    London

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