Friday, June 8, 2018

June 8 - Across America on a Motor Bicycle

(Ogallala to Maxwell, NE)

c.1900
"It is now the time of the heavy rains, cloudbursts and freshets that devastated so much of the Western country during the month of June. It is my luck to be right in the particular great basin where the waters flow most copiously. At Ogallala, Nebraska, I was told that there had been nothing but rain there for the last two weeks. The roads were in terrible condition, I know, when I left there at 6:45 o'clock, on the morning of June 8. After 10 miles of heavy going through the mud, I struck sand, and then took to the railroad track once more. After going six miles over the ties it began to rain so hard that I had to get off and walk three miles to the station at Paxton. There I waited for three hours until it stopped raining, and set out again at 12:30 o'clock. From there it is just 31 miles to North Platte, and as the sun had come out, I returned to the road. I found it good in places and sandy in spots. There was one stretch, two miles long, so sandy that I had to walk it. It was like being back again in the deserts. I got gasoline at North Platte and pushed on 16 miles to Maxwell, which made 70 miles for the day's travel.

Maxwell is a little bit of a place, and I had to take accommodation in a room that had three beds in it. A couple of surveyors were in one of the other beds, and at midnight, a commercial traveler was ushered in and given the third bed. I was fortunate in having a bed to myself at all the small places, for "doubling up" is quite the common thing where accommodations are limited. One more cyclometer was sacrificed on the ride from Ogallala to Maxwell, snapped off when I had a fall on the road. I do not mention falls, as a rule, as it would make the story one long monotony of falling off and getting on again. Ruts, sand, sticks, stones and mud, all threw me dozens of times. Somewhere in Emerson I remember a passage about the strenuous soul who is indomitable and "the more falls he gets moves faster on." I would like to see me try that across the Rockies. I didn't move faster after my falls. The stones out that way are hard."



Across America on a Motor Bicycle - "Over the Rockies and the Great Divide to the Prairies" by George A. Wyman, The Motorcycle Magazine, August 1903, Vol 1 No 3
Ogden, UT to Omaha, NE
May 28 to June 11, 1903