3. Portland to San Francisco

View This Segment on Google Maps The numbered titles below also link to this same map.

View All Segments Published to Date on Google Maps As the diary progresses, the entire journey becomes increasingly amazing.

View the First segment on Google maps You can view the numbered segments from first to most recent in the archive at right.

View the First Ten Segments Without Popups This is a preview showing the path Hayes records in the diary up to age 22 without synopses.  Look at it in Google Earth if you can.

Requested photo places (see About Photo Requests):

– Myrtle point OR
– Eugene OR
– Portland OR, the zoo
– Astoria OR
– Cape Arago OR
– San Francisco CA, China town
Previous photo requests


Here and There diary Synopsis:

3.1 Bandon, Coquille, Myrtle Point

September 3, 1897

Knowing that he is about to begin wandering the world in earnest, Hayes bids fond farewell to the Davidsons and his cousin Ethel in Bandon. Elijah Davidson is “a typical western prospector and miner,” a close pal to Hayes who he credits with discovering Oregon Caves near the California border.

Parting the farm of Uncle Jim is not so cordial. Hayes and cousin Lewis had been instructing one of the mares in bucking, “and this gave [Uncle Jim] great cause for wrath.” Still, Aunt Cretia cried to see Hayes set off on the river steamer bound who knows where.

At that time, the end of the line for the steamer was Coquille. Hayes walked on to Myrtle Point, sleeping in a barn and milking a cow for a “small pick-me-up.”

3.2 Natural vs. Human World

September 5, 1897

The road from Myrtle Point to Camas Valley winds 33 miles through the southern Cascade Mountains.  Hayes walked that far before catching a stage the rest of the way into Roseburg.

The ripe grain, luscious fruit, berries, golden leaves, fat cattle and sturdy sheep momentarily intoxicate the young traveler:  “It is a beautiful world, full of interest and zest for life…”  but this sentence ends, “… but one dares place confidence in none.”  Only by duping the other man first does one succeed in a world where all others are corrupt.

3.3 Riding the Rails to Eugene

September 6, 1897

Hayes has money to pay train fare, “but why waste good money on a railroad that cheats the public openly?”  When a rail yard bull accosts him, the lie comes readily:  Hayes claims he’s a University student lost his way.  The “whiskered chap” bought the story failing to note Hayes’ hands blackened from hanging onto the rods.

The natural world continues to delight him:  “There are few fairer scenes than Western Oregon in autumn.”

3.4 Longing for the Sea at Portland

September 8, 1897

Cities do not delight him:  “Portland is a seedy place.”  But a fair is on where he marvels at the produce of Oregon and Portland has a zoo with “deer, elk, cougars, bears, coyotes, and some smaller animals,” that fascinate him for many hours.

Besides the zoo, he hangs around the wharves noting the “peculiar garb of the men,” listening to their “strange oaths,” and to the “none too gentle orders from the officers” Portland is an important stop in a worldwide sea trading network connecting Australia, China and  Japan to North and South America and then to Europe around Cape Horn.  Hayes says, “I long to go with them, but it is not the time.”

One can understand this hesitation from a nineteen-year-old boy.  He cannot fail the obvious assessment:  “to say the least, these men are a degraded lot.”  Their scant pay for long months at sea buys perhaps a week’s riot in the “saloons, dance halls, and variety theatres,” then it’s back to cold lonely months at sea looking forward to another dance hall in some strange faraway town.  The life does not attract him, but how else is a man without money to see the wide world?

3.5  Down the Columbia to Astoria

September 12, 1897

Hayes turns down a job in a Portland sawmill working 10 hours a day for $1.25 and pays $2.50 “steerage passage” to San Francisco instead.  “Steerage” refers to the control lines of the ship but it might as well be the word for cattle.  Hayes says, “Our quarters are execrable.”

But the country along the banks of the Columbia River separating Oregon and Washington is beautiful:  green hills, tall trees, salmon fisheries, lumber camps, canneries, and lush pastures.

September 14,1897

In the drizzle at Astoria, the ship takes on a few more passengers.  The residents are mostly hardy Swedes and Finns, but also Chinese who wear queues and “conventional Oriental garb.”

3.6 Off Cape Arago

September 15, 1897

The seas are not rough and most passengers recover from the initial seasickness rapidly, nevertheless the steerage decks are nearly unbearable with “odors and vermin.”  On deck for the fresher air, Hayes spots Cape Arago near where he lived at Bandon as a younger boy.  “Somehow it made me a little homesick.”  But a clear wind is rising, and he and a buddy Marshall “look forward with interest to the big town.”

3.7 “A city is an awful place”

September 18, 1897

Hayes and Marshal enjoy touring the city: animals and pretty flowers in the park, Chinatown, and the waterfront – except the Barbary Coast where “being inexperienced country boys we might lose what little change we have.”

Gigantic horses drawing drays and trucks know how to step carefully over streets paved with large treacherous stones.  Their drivers are more humane than teamsters with oxen but no less profane.  A man with pride can find work but the streets are “filled with men begging,” and lined with more saloons than shops, every dive packed full with drunken men.

“For one who has always lived in the country a city is an awful place.”  Marshal and Hayes want agricultural work in the clean air of the county away from this foreign place.  For 25¢ they can ride east sitting up to Stockton in the rich Central Valley.

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