14. San Francisco to Eureka

May 1, 2011

To some readers of the diary Here and There, segment 14 contains Hayes’ most remarkable decision.  At age 22 he’s been on the road for 7 years and apparently swindled, cheated, or stolen from a lot of people along the way (I wish he had included a little more detail about the misdeeds, the list seems to be quite long).  On September 30, 1900, he decides to make amends.

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Here and There Synopsis:

14.1 South of Cape Mendocino

June 7, 1900

After searching up and down the wharves at San Francisco, Hayes gives up on a ship to China. He cannot catch on with the British ship Straghgyle just leaving port for China, nor can he stow away – they’ve just fumigated its hold turning out 22 “embryo warriors” headed for jail rather than the Boxer War.

So instead, Hayes pays $2 to “Murray & Ready’s, labor agents and robbers who contract workers for the entire state.” His first thought was a mining job but someone in the office said that job was no good, second choice was logging work in Mendocino County.

14.2 Dumped at Usal

June 10, 1900

For transport north, Hayes and a dozen other recruits including one Bill S. Hogg, a “London Bookkeeper,” roll around the empty hold of a steam schooner, “every one of us deathly sea sick because of the stench and rolling of the empty ship.”

At Usal near Cape Mendocino, “baskets strung on cables” dump the men like cattle onto the redwood shore. In reply to Hayes’ joke about a thirteen hour work day at this camp, a grinning Irish dock man replies “Ounly Twilve” (Hayes’ quote). Bill S. Hogg blusters back at the dock man but Hayes can see Hogg already: “the city life has ruined him as a man of the woods.” Hogg doesn’t even know to load his pockets with sandwiches at dinner for the next day’s work.

14.3 Cutting Redwoods.

June 14, 1900

Cutting a redwood trunk right to the ground won’t kill the tree. The massive stump immediately sends multiple shoots struggling back toward the sky. Near Usal, “for seven miles the fine trees have been destroyed completely,” by burning and repeatedly cutting – to clear the ground for cattle pasture.

Redwood Crew circa 1900
photo sent by Kayann Short

As predicted, Bill S. Hogg broke down 17 miles out of Usal. Hayes left him a dollar alone in the woods and continued on himself, hiking 90 miles in two and a half days through the dense forest to a job in the planing mill at “a big sawmill thirty miles from Eureka.”

June 22, 1900

At every new place, Hayes almost always comments on the availability, quantity or quality of its food. At this rough lumber camp with its “vast rambling cookhouse” feeding 500 hundred hungry lumberjacks three times a day, he writes three awed paragraphs concluding: “The technique is that of hogs in a pen. No other example would express it more fully.”

Unbarring the door releases a mad scramble: any piece of fruit anywhere in the room disappears into a “sweat-soaked shirt”; whole pies vanish; a giant Swedish hand clamps the milk pitcher to the table until the giant Swedish lumberjack downs his seventh cup of milk. Hayes and a tattooed buddy, Preston, position themselves to grab as a team so that together both can insure that neither goes hungry. Each tries for a good bit of meat for the other but, “the steak and other meat seem to be put through some sort of process whereby it is preserved indefinitely.” Outside the hall, for recreation, Preston throws a piece of meat to the huge bulldog kept by the superintendent of the mill. “Every muscle under his sleek hide may be seen hauling and sliding and writhing with tremendous effort, and men gather round in admiration at his strength.”

If a man can hold his own in the cookhouse melee, at least he can get enough to fuel the heavy work required in the woods. At the camp work-shifts end at ten hours but Hayes says, “I get tired sometimes. … There is a good bit of overtime.” This written as he’s coming off a 36-hour shift. “It’s all right for a while.” Now he’s thinking maybe he’ll travel south to Australia.

July 2, 1900

Hayes must be in correspondence with his mother and sisters. He knows that one sister works as a nurse in Galveston, Texas where the tidal wave from a great hurricane has killed thousands. “Whether she be alive, I do not know.”

Galveston Flood, 1900

Hayes’ mess hall buddy Preston, “a genial German we call Frenchy,” has cleared out in search of more tattoos. “Almost every bit of his body other than his head is already covered with weird pictures of art from all the world.” The shrewd logging company, knowing the leisure time habits of its employees, lets the men drink – at the saloon owned by the company – up to the amount owed them. Accordingly, Frenchy got paid out, went straight to the bar ahead of the accountant, drank all night, and then skipped the camp.

Cutting redwoods stains Hayes’ hands black and fills them with angry splinters. The black comes off only with the skin, “so deep and lasting is the juice that filters from the wood.” Hayes still dreams of Australia even as a tug of guilt nags him about deserting the McCulloch back in San Francisco.

14.4 Eureka!

July 20, 1900

Fed up with the logging camp, Hayes hikes the 30 miles back to Eureka determined to board a ship for Australia. But just as he was “shipping to Tasmania on a sailing vessel, the Woolhara of Sydney,” an agent from a mill in Eureka offered a job at “a place too good to pass up lightly.” Australia will have to wait for another day.

Eureka is to become a place to which Hayes will periodically return from his far-flung travels over the years. “It would be hard to find a more congenial place.” So, with his hands still stained black from lumberjacking and starting into a new mill job in town, Hayes also enrolls “into a business college here with a lot of other young folk of my own age.”

August 21,1900

For the moment, he enjoys the company of the “refined type” of young people at the business college even if, “they have never rubbed up against the realities of life as I have.” And the mill work suits him: “much rowing a boat… a horse that must be looked after twice a day… helping the carpenter, the blacksmith and engineers.”

Oddly, at Eureka, Hayes fails to describe the saloons, gambling houses, and prostitutes as he usually writes when arriving at a new place – this town has a library! With a full time job and attending business college, Hayes writes that the library “ holds me most of my spare time.” How can there be any spare time? However, in addition to the job, school, and the library, some of the same missionaries Hayes encountered in Victor preach in Eureka and he starts attending church, “for though I am a wrong ‘un I like to see decent people.”

September 30, 1900

Business College comes easy, “because I always liked figures,” and Gill, the mill superintendent encourages him to continue but a remarkable new idea has come into Hayes’ consciousness: “I believe I am wrong and should pay up the money I beat people out of.” He is about to quit business school to work overtime at the mill so that he can begin sending reimbursement to everyone he ever cheated – including the railroad companies whose trains he hopped without paying fare!

14.5 Restitution

October 27, 1900

Of course, Hayes’ new conviction stems from conversion by the mission. “I have peace in my heart now that does not come to one in the world.” With “the divine presence” keeping him free from sin, he dons his oilskins out into the rain seven days a week to pay back all his old debts. “One has to be clean if he gets by in this world. I believe I will be happier for it in the end.”

A Norwegian sailor pal at Eureka, Ted Sundbye, “has fallen for a lovely missionary girl and it is likely they will be married.” Though Hayes admits marriage tempts him too, he knows he’s got to choose: a married man in Eureka will never make it to Africa. If he is to emulate “the explorer Stanley [who] has always been a demigod to me,” Hayes must “put all out of my life I can to achieve the goal I have set.” He will not marry; he will be an adventurer.

October 30, 1900

Ted’s girl left for California urging him to follow but Hayes wonders if Ted shouldn’t clean up his responsibilities back in Norway before chasing a new girlfriend to Pasadena. To Hayes’ way of thinking, the family servant Ted loved “unwisely” and the child he abandoned in the old country, are Ted’s first responsibility. Watching Ted’s low dealings, Hayes’ redoubles his own intention that all must be made right with those he cheated.

December 3, 1900

Hayes declines the honor serving as best man at Ted’s wedding in Pasadena; he’s too busy with the repayment project. “The first man I sent $25 to returned it.” Nevertheless, Hayes thinks the gesture made a “profound impression” on the man and he vows to continue despite, “the deep sense of shame on admitting his folly.” Ignoring the siren call of ship’s adventure and sure that he’s “ruining my own career,” Hayes works on in the rain. “I must clean up the entire business of the dark days regardless of what people did to me. Then there may be something else left for the days to come.”

January 16, 1901

Six month of mill work and every dollar gone to pay self-imposed debts. “Some of them write me bitter letters, some demand more… some return the money, some never answer me, some chide me.” Still he keeps on paying. The list remains long after retiring the largest debts first.

And the business of the McCulloch – deserting ship still bothers him. He thinks about returning even though, “it would be hell.” Perhaps that sin can be cleared after all the debts are paid…

14.6 About Ready to Leave

March 22, 1901

Even at a place like this with decent working conditions, the supervisors “wring every ounce of strength from every man.” Hayes writes, “Gill, the superintendent constantly worries me,” to work more and faster. Because Hayes works harder and more efficiently than others, Gill always pushes him for more.

The mill supervisors ratchet up the speed of the machinery until the older men break from the pace and can be replaced by younger men hungry for work. An older man can still do lighter work – for less pay – outside – in the rain. “I see all this, and wonder if I, too, will come to this.” With their riotous living, none of these men saves any money. But sending all his money off to clear his conscience leaves Hayes in exactly the same financial strait as his profligate workmates. “It is easy to make money if one has no scruples, that is why most of these great companies have so much ahead.”

April 16, 1901

For Hayes, “tired, both physically and mentally,” nine months is a long stay even at a good place like Eureka. The bickering Jewish landlady who wants him to wear a good luck charm, the old married couple he hears cursing each other through the thin walls of the rooming house, and worse, the “two turtle doves” newly married, all grate on the nerves of a traveling man overstayed in one place.

Then too, an event more serious than these slight domestic annoyances: Hayes hoisted the ballast from a schooner from Hawaii captained by the 21 year old son of the owner accompanied by another sailor on their way out from Eureka to Arcata at the head of Humboldt Bay. A storm in the night upset the schooner and both men drowned, their bodies washed up on the flats the next morning. From a 23-year-old adventurer poised to strike out again into the world, Hayes’ summary reads with a certain self-reflective foreboding: “Life is so uncertain. … Just as he begun life it is finished.”

But, as often in the diary, an observation of some natural beauty dispels such a dark thought: “There are thousands of ducks on the bay. Canvas backs, mallards, teal, widgeon, spring, bluebill and so many other sorts.” Who knows what beauty lies beyond the horizon line? A man wishing to see some of it has to accept the risks.

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13. A Tour Through Arizona

April 23, 2011

I’ve just realized that those who are subscribed aren’t getting the map with the email – I should have known that file size prevented the map coming through email.  Please just click the name of the blog.  That will take you to a very similar page with a readily viewable map embedded just below this remark.  (And, if you have time, look at the google earth first 13 segments too, the paths are getting crowded.)

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.

View Segments 11-20 Without Popups. Google maps won’t let me put more than 10 segments on on map or I’d post segments 1-20 there.

View the first twenty segments without popups on Google Earth If you click this button it will offer a google earth download.  You will need to have Google Earth Installed.  This is by far the best way to view all his trips to age 25.

View the first thirteen segments with popups on Google Earth This will mean a download again.  But it’s worth it.  Because…  when you have it up in google earth you can close the windows, then open them in order to see his progression.

Here and There Synopsis:

13.1 No Work at Globe

January 11, 1900

Leaving San Francisco fast with a railroad ticket to Bisbee Arizona, Hayes strikes up conversation with a miner who persuades him that job prospects are better in Globe. Southern Arizona is all “dry desert hills and even mountains, with some plains when one gets away toward the Gila River.” Following the friendly miner’s tip, Hayes departs the train at Globe where he finds two big copper mines, the Buffalo and the Old Dominion, both operating at reduced capacity just now.

With the Buffalo and the Old Dominion slack, the town teems with experienced miners waiting for work to pick back up again. In the down time, any of the unemployed miners with a few dollars left fill “the usual saloons, gambling houses, … and Hurdy Gurdies.” Hayes can size up a poor situation; if he doesn’t catch on with steady work in a week he’ll strike out across the desert to Jerome – 200 miles to the northwest.

13.2. Stumbling to Tonto Creek

January 15, 1900

Hayes’ diary gives no indication that a 200-mile walk across the open desert gives him any particular pause for concern. However, after three days hiking, “for some reason I’m feeling giddy and not able to keep on. No pain, but half asleep and sometimes staggering.” In this dull-witted condition, finding water becomes a real concern. He blunders onto the Salt River but its brackish water is undrinkable. A couple of Mexican men he meet somewhere in the desert speak no English but point him toward Tonto Creek. He eventually finds fresh water there, saving his life but failing to relieve the strange symptoms that have him stumbling along in a stupor. Sleeping at night on bitter cold sand then tottering around the desert all day under a blazing sun, he writes, “If something doesn’t happen, I’m gone.”

13.3 Typhoid Fever in Payson

February 25, 1900

When finally able to write in his diary six weeks later, Hayes records that incipient typhoid fever caused his delirium in the desert. From Tonto Creek he staggered to a hotel in Payson for the night, but could eat nothing the next morning. By great good fortune, Payson has a physician. When Hayes hauled himself into Dr. Maisch’s office, “he tapped me on the shoulder blades and that was the last thing I knew for two weeks. I dropped on the floor.”

Dr. Maisch put him to bed for a month. By the end of February Hayes is still, “so weak I can just stand, and so hungry I could eat anything.” For some reason Dr. Maisch has him confined to a diet of only raw eggs.

March 15, 1900

Immediately following the typhoid, Hayes came down with blood poisoning from a blister on his hand. Two kind residents of Payson took him in: “But for Mr. and Mrs. Robertson, who cared for me during my convalescence, I would have died.” By March 15 he is strong enough for light work at odds jobs around the hotel in Payson where at least the food is good – and he’ll need the money; the hospital bills amount to $50, all of which he intends to pay.

March 31, 1900

“Payson is one street lined by a few stores… there are perhaps 150 people in the village and it is 100 miles from the nearest railway.” It’s an unlikely place for a doctor in 1900. But Dr. Maisch was here and Hayes survived so he’s working long hours to pay his doctor bill as well – and “then I must pay the Robertson’s something too.”

Mining and cattle are the only industries in this high desert region where just enough water runs in the Tonto Creek and Verde River to support sparse pasture for grazing. “One can see real cowboys here.” The riding skill of some of these men awes Hayes; one, Wash Gibson, “took second place in the state fair for riding.” With a few drinks in him, the awkward-riding Gibson starts racing up and down Payson’s one street, jumping in and out of the saddle from side to side of his horse. “He is merely the best of a lot of super horsemen at that.”

Indian ruins dot the hillsides around Payson. Hayes speculates that these agricultural villages were destroyed by the Apaches, “who lived by banditry and pillaging their neighbors.” Even now, with the Apaches subdued and confined to a nearby reservation, immediate memories of “the Apache Kid and other renegade Indians” frighten the local residents.

The Apache Kid

April 7, 1900

A man everyone in Payson calls “Uncle Ben” runs the hotel where Hayes works. He came to Payson from the South to escape “the dominant Yankee rule so distasteful to him after the Civil War.” To Uncle Ben, Hayes is a Northerner, so, just like when he was a boy, Hayes must re-fight the Civil War at unfair odds. Tired of that game, and square in his accounts, Hayes plans to leave Payson headed for mining work in Jerome.

In describing the lawlessness of this area, Hayes cites two wars: one between cattlemen and sheep herders; and a second between “Mormons and Gentiles.” The cattlemen have won for now by scattering the sheep and killing the shepherds from ambush. The Gentiles have won for now by gentler means – after a “dog fight” at the school board meeting. “But all of them treat me well, and I have little preference among them.”

13.4 With A Singing Cowboy at Camp Verde

April 23, 1900

A ride out of Payson on the mail wagon with the Mormon mail carrier cost Hayes only an earful about “the one and only true faith.… But he was a very decent chap, and for a dollar or two gave me a horse to go from Pine to Camp Verde.” At Pine, Hayes picked up with a “rollicking cowboy” who sang all along the spectacularly beautiful ride to Camp Verde. At fossil creek they saw wild cattle pushed up steep canyon sides by cowboys riding out to return the escapees to nearby ranches.

13.5 A Long Dry Walk

April 23, 1900

The dollar or two Hayes gave for the horse must have been a rental only as far as Camp Verde. From there he hiked 25 miles across the desert with no water other than what he carried until he found “an Irrigation ditch in the upper Verde valley.” The shallow well that he had counted on along the way had “several bloated rattlesnakes floating on its surface,” so he passed that by. Restored by the water at the ditch, he made it across the desert into Jerome.

The morning after arriving in Jerome he “got on easily enough” at the United Verde Mine. Four days later, still weak from the typhoid and blood poisoning, his health collapsed and the “blasphemous Cornish boss” fired him for falling asleep on the midnight watch. But, at least the United paid him for those four days work, providing enough of a stake to get by until he could turn up lighter ranch work for Walt and Ed Van Deeren “some six or seven miles from Jerome.”

13.6 Ranch Work Near Jerome

May 20,1900

The ranchers in this fertile valley near the Verde River irrigate alfalfa to feed their livestock. After a month of ranch work, Hayes likes the bosses and they like him, but he will not stay – it’s just too lonely.

Some of the richest copper mines in the world were discovered impossibly high on a mountainside overlooking the Verde Valley, so that’s where the town of Jerome perches. “It is a one-man town,” controlled by an absentee owner named W.A. Clark through “henchmen who carry out his every wish.” Just now, Jerome merits the name “city of churches” because a newly built second house of worship stands alongside the “28 saloons, and several gambling houses, to say nothing of the bordellos.” A miner’s money that doesn’t go to these establishments returns to the United Verde through the company store or the boarding house.

William Andrews Clark

Other prospectors have located smaller mines in the hills around Jerome. Hayes’ boss Lee Van Deeren founded the Iron King and sold it to W.A. Clark for $45,000. With the money, Van Deeren tempts Hayes to go partners on an angora goat herd. “I declined because of the infinite loneliness.”

May 31, 1900

Hayes’ work at the ranch varies from: fetching Mrs. Van Deeren’s mother, who will act as midwife for Mrs. Van Deeren, from the abandoned military post at Camp Verde; to the yearly round up branding calves and separating beef cattle for export; and everything in between. One wonders why Lee Van Deeren’s stern mother-in-law demands that Hayes must leave the ranch during the “blessed event,” but her iron decree suits him just fine – “It gives me a chance to return to the coast and to the sea.”

13.7 Paid Off in Jerome

June 2, 1900

Though he’s upset about losing a good ranch hand, Lee Van Deeren pays Hayes off and drives him into Jerome. Van Deeren can’t convince Hayes to stay on, but while he’s in town he plans to win back every cent he paid Hayes in salary. Hayes writes that Van Deeren headed straight “to a gambling house saying he would quit when he had won back my wages. He did just that too, and cleaned out a crap game, much to the disgust of the operator.”

After a quick look around Jerome with its “shop-worn girls,” saloons and gambling joints, Hayes reflects on his own moral state: “I will admit all my good resolutions begun at Victor and Cripple Creek have vanished. I’m as bad as the rest.”

With nothing to keep him in Jerome – “To me life here is not worthwhile.” – Hayes is not quite sure where to go next. It’s been six months since deserting the McCulloch, California should be safe by now, then “perhaps the Boxer War in China, now beginning.”

13.8 Four Days: Eight Hundred Miles

June 7,1900

By now Hayes knows how to rides the rails. Here’s how a hobo gets to San Francisco moving fast:

At Jerome, he paid his way to Jerome Junction, 28 miles out;
at Jerome Junction, he hopped a cattle freight train to Ash Fork;
at Ash Fork, he enlisted a Mexican to pop the door of a coal train for the ride to Barstow (where he bought his broke Spanish speaking companion dinner);
at Barstow, despite the protests of the brakeman, the engineer on the same train he and the Mexican had jumped enlisted Hayes to pass coal until reaching Mojave;
at Mojave he ate then caught the first train to Tehachapi;
at Tehachapi, he slept the night then caught a “lone engine” to Bakersfield;
at Bakersfield, he caught another train all the way north to Port Costa;
finally, at Port Costa, he paid ferry fare to Vallejo and then on to San Francisco.

“I’m dead tired after four hectic days over the more than 800 miles across the desert to this place.”