7. Spokane to Portland

March 12, 2011

On the Map below, Chapter 7. Spokane to Portland is orange with pop-ups; the yellow line is the previous chapter 6. Hico to Spokane; the red line west from Portland is the beginning of chapter 8. To Sea, Hayes’ first trip working as a sailor around The Horn.

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

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 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 seven 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.

Requested photo places (see About Photo Requests):

–  Milan WA
–  Walla Walla WA
–  The Dalles WA
–  Colfax WA
–  Penewawa Canyon
–  Steptoe Butte
–  John Day River
–  Deschutes River

Previous photo requests

Here and There diary Synopsis:

7.1 Logging in Milan

May 2, 1898

After a 25 mile walk up to a logging site in Milan, Hayes finds work cutting and hauling logs to the Little Spokane River for floating to the mill. He’s got some companions “Oregon Slim, Shorty, and Frenchy,” who “have some idea of the game,” and “the food is excellent,” but the pay not so good: $3.50 per week.

Oregon Slim likes to fight and constantly bullies Shorty, “despite the latter’s dislike for a scrap.” Everyone can see that trouble coming.

May 23, 1898

Enough of this logging, “the harvest fields will soon be working,” and Hayes will go south. The larger bully finally pushed once to far and, “Shorty licked Oregon Slim.” If your nickname is Shorty, a “hammer tied to a buckskin strap” goes a fair way to compensation. Shorty would have killed Slim had the others not held him off. Perhaps this explains how mild mannered men turn into “superkillers” as with Billy the kid.

7.2 Walked Back to Spokane

May 26, 1898

The world is already shrinking. Back in Spokane Hayes runs into Frank Davidson, an old friend from Bandon. As the two “did the Coeur D’Alene” gambling house – why! there’s a gambler Hayes knew from Randsburg. “This man is a shady homo-sexual, something I never heard of until some of the more worldly wise explained to me.” Hayes’ further remarks are disparaging in a kind of naively shocked manner.

A carpenter friend introduces Hayes to a new way to beat the railroads. The lines regularly send men out to work on the tracks. With a bundle they got “from a pawn shop for 35¢” the two pose as workers and plan jump the train at Walla Walla before it reaches the work site in the Dalles.

7.3  Breaking Into the Jail

June 1, 1898

When they jumped off the train at Walla Walla, the carpenter said he knew the way to a house they could stay in. Fumbling around in the dark, the two came to a giant gate, huge walls, and a stout lock. “Say, this is the Pen!” (Hayes’ quote) he whispered running off into the dark. He says the absent guards would have had a good laugh at “a couple of saps trying to break into the can.”

7.4  Hauling and Threshing in the Blue Mountains

June 16, 1898

Still not listening to Ed Abbot who said, “these gamblers are not in it for their health,” (Hayes’ quote) Hayes loses all his cash in a casino before leaving Spokane and has to sleep in straw piles for a couple of nights on his way to harvest work near the Blue Mountains.

Advertisements in the newspapers have drawn more than 3,000 men from the cities to this place. Only at the height of the season will there be work for so many. But Hayes catches a small job hauling wood. This is a beautiful, fertile land where, “living streams fall out of the ranges and water the charming estates and fields of wheat.”

July 1, 1898

He writes, “On a threshing outfit now.” Threshing machines of the period were hideously dangerous stationary steam-driven contraptions run by a gang of men to separate grain from the wheat and chaff. Hayes works in relative safety driving a “derrick for a fork that drags the stacked grain to the hopper of the machine.

Threshing Crew 1900

The work is long but the food is good and everyone remains healthy in the fresh mountain air. Perhaps a signature line for the entire diary: “When this job is done, I’m going to Portland and try for a ship. Always I have longed for the sea, and want to see what lies down the horizon line.” (italics added)

7.5  His First Grateful Man

July 20, 1898

“This is the first time I ever saw a man who was grateful.” Once back in Walla Walla, even though Hayes was nearly broke himself, he bought a man a meal. Now this same man turns up at Colfax with a good job and is “in town spending his stake.” Pulled along in the spree, Hayes says, “the town was mine if I wanted it.

He hopped a train to get up here but finds riding the rails increasingly dangerous. Then too, he considers the morality, “ I suppose it is not right either, but everything in this world is wrong anyway.” Colfax has plenty of work around; he’ll rest for a day, then find something.

August 2, 1898

Hayes joins a group of men doing ranch work south of Colfax for low pay. Several of them plan to confront the boss, “Of course, as always, they have me for spokesman, but I will do it .”

August 5, 1898

On a trip to town from the farm, Hayes gets a ride and a threshing job offer at a 50¢ pay raise. He’ll take it, even though the food is poor and the work hours are barely believable. “This outfit works endless hours; begin at three in the morning and quit at nine at night.”

7.6  Itinerant work near Steptoe Butte
August 19, 1898

Threshing gangs move regularly from farm to farm processing the harvest. Some of the men in Hayes’ gang work as “tin horn” gamblers who are “able to clean up on the rural denizens of the Palouse.” Given their work schedule, one wonders how anyone can find time to gamble, but “jovial, good natured” Job Howard and his partner Slim can always scratch up a game. Job “realizes he’s wrong, but is satisfied with that.” The two gamble when they can and work when they have to.

Hayes considers these gamblers “no worse than these two bunco artists, Baker and Derr, who run the threshing machine,” with their endless promises of better food, shorter hours, and a better season next year. “Even the genial Job is growling.” Apparently the women, horses and booze cleaned out Job’s gambling stake; he now “handles the hoedown on the cylinder and has to breathe the dust for fifteen hours at least during every day.”

August 30, 1898

Hayes describes the eighteen-hour workdays as, “tough,” but he’s saving a little money and even thought about buying his own team for $60. Another entrepreneur outbid him at $65 and got a team that immediately balked under a new hand. Hayes counts himself lucky for once.

September 23, 1898

A thresher’s work schedule: rise at three AM; work until a half hour break for breakfast; return to work until an hour lunch break at mid-afternoon; return to work until dinner sometime after dark; then “we work by flares until nine or even ten.”

Hayes has been threshing on this schedule for more than six weeks – some of the men even longer. All are exhausted, so with the consent of the men who feed the threshing machine, “Job Howard tossed a hoedown into the cylinder,” destroying the machine and ending the work season for the entire crew.

7.7 Bad Influences

September 26, 1898

A thresher named Red Blythe owns his own team and wagon. Red, Hayes and “a Portland boy” named Bill, hitch up Red’s wagon for a leisurely autumn ride south – stealing whatever they need along the way.

A lovely peach orchard in Penewawa Canyon provides buckets of fruit for “college boys on vacation in the harvest fields … going home the cheap way to enter school again.” Hayes is “half-ashamed” that he “lied himself blind” to the “kindly old farmer,” whose name, J. F. Cram, haunts him to this day. Nevertheless, the three were not above taking chickens and a couple of sacks of grain for the horses from “that good old man.”

September 30, 1898

Walla Walla, Freewater, Milton, and Weston “with wheatfields on every hand,” roll sleepily by. Hayes and Bill walk the hills to rest the horses who are constantly tempted to run feral with the “cayuses, small pinto ponies, that run on the ranges and are as tough as horses ever get to be.” Coyotes pace the wagon, sheep graze quietly, “there’s no rush and we enjoy it all.”

7.8 Small Time Thieves

October 2, 1898

At the John Day River, the three travelers try to purchase alfalfa for the horses from a rancher. “He would sell us a few tons, but not enough to feed the team.” So they wait until after dark, steal a wagonload of alfalfa, and throw in “a couple bags of wheat for luck.” This “real stealing” bothers Hayes’ conscience, but he has a ready rationale: “everybody steals, so why not me?” And a lament: “Why did I ever come into such a world where one has to be a rogue to live?”

October 5, 1898

An axe from a country schoolhouse disappeared as Bill passed by. Now the small-time thieves have wood enough to reach the Dalles. Their last heist was a bucket of peaches from a “surly brute” who charged them 50¢ to cross the bridge at the Deschutes River.

“The Dalles” are falls in the Deschutes River where it meets the Columbia. Boats can navigate this far up the Columbia River, so the three bandits abandon their wagon and catch a steamer headed for Portland. “This is the most beautiful trip I have ever made” – The snows of Mount Hood; evergreen forests; industrious towns; scenic rock formations; and the grand river itself.

7.9  Parting Ways at Portland

October 5, 1898

Red said goodbye upon arrival at Portland but Bill and Hayes stick together for another few days in the city. Immediately upon arrival Bill must hunt up a priest to confess his “depredations.” Both Bill’s urgency to confess and his annoyance at having to do so strike Hayes as funny. Which then launches him into another of his dark tirades: “all men steal … to rob one’s neighbor before he robs you… if there be an honest man or woman in this world … every man for himself … devil take him who is last.” All this just three days after the most beautiful trip he’s ever made. The combination of a city and religion must have been too much to sustain his elevated spirit.

Nevertheless, cynical or no, Hayes is in Portland to find a ship and the search must begin. How else can an adventurer hope to travel the world?

6. Hico to Spokane

March 4, 2011

It looks like embedding the map on the blog page works fine there but the map doesn’t appear in the email notifications.  Try clicking to the blog or directly to the maps – you’ll like them.  He hasn’t gotten out of North America yet but he’s only twenty.

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

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):

– Kansas City, KS
– Salt Lake City, UT
– Seattle, WA
– Cascade Range WA
– Revelstoke BC
– Arrow Lake
– Sandon, BC
– Payne Mountain
– Noble Five Mountains
– Argonaut Mountain
– Kaslo BC
– Kootaney lake
– Spokane, WA

Previous photo requests

Here and There diary Synopsis:

6.1 War with Spain

April 23, 1898

The Spanish Sunk the Maine! Or somebody did. War fever grips all of Kansas City. Every packinghouse, mill, and train in town ties its whistle or siren full open for an hour in sheer relief from the tension built over the past few weeks. “Everyone is like a child, talking to the stranger next to him and planning on going to the war, wherever that may be.” In an earlier entry Hayes had remarked that this war will help heal the lingering scars from the Civil war. For now, it has united Kansas City at least.

Wreckage of the USS Maine
Havana Cuba 1898

All this comes to Hayes from outside as he lies in bed with the pneumonia shifted to his other lung. Having seen a doctor cure one side, he can save the fee and manage for himself this time: “A bella donna plaster, some aspirin and quinine seems to be working.”

6.2 Yellow Journalism

April 29, 1898

With the railways competing to undercut competitor’s fares, Hayes buys a ticket all the way to Seattle for $20. At one stopover in Kansas, farmers “swarmed over the train to get a paper telling of the war.” Hayes gathered up newspapers cast off by passengers inside the train to sell for 10¢ out the windows. He doesn’t mention which paper he sold, but quite likely its publisher was William Randolph Hearst, at whose San Simeon castle Hayes will manage the zoo in the 1930’s. The same frenzy rages across Colorado and Utah, “All want to annihilate the Spaniards who for so long have treated the Cubans as my father treated me.”

Whipping up the Spanish American War.
William Randolph Hearst’s
New York Journal 1898

The prairie bursts with “red, white, and blue” flowers “as far as the eye can see,” while would–be prospectors fill the train with congenial conversation about the fortunes they will uncover in the Yukon.

At Salt Lake City, “these Mormons … have worked hard and now farms and gardens bloom where once was sage and sand.” The long run of track stretching between Salt Lake and Seattle gives Hayes plenty of time to ponder “what then?” “Something always turns up, and will again.”

6.3 Gold Fever

May 3, 1898

War is only the secondary frenzy in Seattle; here GOLD is number one. “Several ships have recently entered the Seattle with tons of gold from the new Klondike mines,” stirring “the cupidity … to a crescendo of fury.” Mountains of mining gear and equipment block the streets and any boat that can float brings an inflated price from some soft-handed man senseless with the gold fever. With few Alaskan mines yet proven, Hayes wryly observes fortunes being made right here in Seattle by those selling boats and gear to greenhorn miners. With enthusiasm outpacing sense, “A lot of them will die before they reach the diggings, and more will perish after that.”

An inventory of the gambling houses in town includes, “Clancy’s, the Considine Brothers big Standard institution, and Billy The Mug’s.” He saw a croupier pull a lever in Clancy’s, got tossed out of the Standard for entering under age, and escaped a beating at Billy the Mug’s when he “demurred at being plucked.” Always the “girls, wan and fading,” to entice one inside.

6.4 Ranch Work with Wet Feet

May 9,1898

Ranch work in the rain for $20 a month. “An old chap named Mason … wants someone to do the hard work.” In May, in the foothills of the Cascades, one’s feet are always wet when chasing cows, plowing, planting – generally working as “a domestic animal.”

May 24, 1898

Three weeks in the rain and Hayes is ready to move on. Everyone in Seattle wants to go either North to the Yukon or enlist for the Spanish War. Hayes thinks maybe he’ll head up into Canada looking for a mining job in a dryer climate.

6.5 Canadian Pacific Railway

May 30, 1898

Rail fare just keeps getting cheaper: $10 from Seattle to St. Paul. But Hayes gets off at Revelstoke after seeing some gorgeous scenery. A quick look at the cedar stumps in Revelstoke, a change of trains, then down Arrow Lake on a steamer, one more rail jump and into Sandon.

“The mountains rise a full mile or more on every side,” with frequent avalanches that snap the trees like matches sometimes killing men in their path. “Many saloons and dance halls” cater to miners digging silver and lead – the only reason for the existence of a town in this remote place.

Some of these silver miners have left for the Klondike, “but most realize as I do that it is just another camp.” Gold prospecting has longer odds than roulette. Hayes estimates 500 will lose everything in the Klondike for every one with a real stake. At roulette, “the odds are only 38 to one against you.” And the one with a real stake will be “taken in hand by some gold digger in a dance hall.”

April 7, 1898

Unable to land a job, Hayes scouts the surrounding mountains, the Payne, the Nobel Five, and the Argonaut, often hiking a mile elevation gain then sliding down on the snow fields.

Variety theatres are the only alternative to bars in Sandon. Not much difference between the two really, “men lose their heads when an especially pretty face is looking into theirs.” Even the thrifty Scot Jock McCann waves handfuls of bills heading past the Maison Francaise – “so he will be broke by now.”

The minister and his wife here are “young and full of life.” They invite Hayes to stop in. He says, “I promised to, but backed out on it.” The bad experiences with church at “home” (Hayes’ quote) determine him never to enter a church again.

April 12, 1898

No job and funds are running low. His cousin Lewis, from California, sent some cash to keep him going for a few more days. As the prospects are not good here, Hayes plans to jump a train to Spokane where something is bound to turn up.

6.6 Canadian Grizzlies

April 14, 1898

Other than the beauty of its location beside the many waterfalls into Kootenay lake, Hayes can see no reason for the town of Kaslo – maybe as a trading post for the many mining towns around.

A prospector Hayes met near Kaslo startled two grizzly bears in the woods. “One ran from him, the other to him.” Slipping his pack, the man fought the one grizzly to a standstill with an axe. The bear died; the man survived. It took him “two or three hours to crawl a mile to a house,” and now he can be seen around town, “a mass of scars and bruises and walks on crutches.”

6.7 No Job in Spokane

April 19,1898

The grizzly attack in Sandon spooked Hayes from trying out a few mining camps near Nelson, so he rode Kootaney lake back down toward the US. Not much mining in Spokane proper but “gold to the west in Okanogan, and in the Coeur D’Alenes silver-lead.” Lead and zinc at other small towns all around support Spokane as a center for trade

And his customary report on the brothels: “at the Coeur D’Alene Dutch Jake has made his already large fortune bigger.” This place has it all, a gambling house, bars, variety show, and “hundreds of harlots plying their trade near this establishment.” His need to describe this scene in every new town evidences a fascination with the life, “But I’ve got to have a job; this easy money is not for me.”