15. South to the Horn

May 6, 2011

At the iron works in San Francisco, a general strike makes the city too dangerous, so Hayes signs on with a hungry four masted sailing ship for another tour around Cape Horn.

Click here for links to maps and downloads of more maps.


Here and There Synopsis:

15.1 A city on Strike

May 12, 1901

The mill superintendent’s browbeating at Eureka finally became too much. Hayes paid passage down to San Francisco on the steam schooner Santa Barbara, “and was seasick as a dog.” Upon arrival he found employment as a sheet iron worker’s helper at the Union Iron Works. “Pay is poor. $1.75 for ten hours.” On this slim salary, anything beyond bare living expenses still gets sent off in reparation for the misdeeds of his youth.

Still trying to live decently, Hayes finds rooms with Mrs. Emslie who runs a mission to women working the infamous Barbary Coast where business booms with soldiers coming and going to war in the Philipines, seamen from merchant and whaling ships carousing, and “especially Alaska fishermen.” Mrs. Emslie’s mission seems a fool’s errand to Hayes. As far as he can see, the women don’t want to rise. “They jeer those who would help them.” Nevertheless, Hayes stands with Mrs. Emslie in the streets enduring “catcalls and jeers” as she entreats all to a better life.

June 20, 1901

The iron works employs more than 5,000 men building “three torpedo boats, a cruiser, and several merchant ships … there is even a submarine, said to be the first of its kind,” and plenty of repair work. Hayes’ ears ring continuously from the constant hammering.

USS Grampus, one of two submarines
under construction at Union Iron Works in 1901

Labor unrest wracks almost every industry in San Francisco except the iron works. “The machinist, the boiler makers, and many others are on strike.” Replacement workers shipped in from Pittsburg run such a gauntlet of abuse from the strikers that the companies must quarter these “scabs” inside their workplaces. As an ironworker, not yet part of the strike, Hayes may pass the lines but not without surly bluster from the strikers.

July 6, 1901

Now the strike has spread to the teamsters and the seamen, paralyzing the entire town. “All workmen in the city are out now, and hoodlums are ruling the roost.” Perhaps if local police appointments reflected “their integrity as citizens” rather than fealty to the Catholic Church, some order could be instated. Corruption from top to bottom cripples the city.

15.2 One Soul Saved

July 27, 1901

Should the unions decide to run a labor candidate for mayor of San Francisco he would surely win. “Even the street sweepers have their union, the newsboys and up from there.” Workers and scabs clash by day and nightfall cues generalized violence and lawlessness.

Astonishingly, the ironworkers remain on the job. Nevertheless, Hayes’ work partner Risberg meets a mob of strikers on his way to work who beat him up – “for practice.” As an aside Hayes adds that Risberg spent eight months in jail in Honolulu caught smuggling 62 pounds of opium from China.

August 24,1901

With the strike escalating, leading citizens call for the governor to request National Guard intervention to restore order. “He refuses.” Strikers battle police daily in the streets. Hayes witnessed a dozen police round the Chronicle building just as twenty strikers marched toward them around the corner. “They opened fire without hesitation. One striker was killed, four bystanders hit.”

On the bright side: with all the strikers strapped for cash, “Times are a bit dull on the Barbary.” Even with the bawdy houses calm, Hayes complains that, “One of the worst features of San Francisco is the dope racket.” A shot sells for 10¢ at any drugstore. Mrs. Emslie, soldiering on, reports of its devastations especially in Chinatown. Hayes joyously accounts one man he’s seen saved from this life by the grace of God.

September 16, 1901

With the strike so dangerous, Hayes will no longer venture out after eleven at night. He dreams that maybe South Africa would be a better place, “where strikers are unknown, at least at present.” Of course he’s broke, but for the first time he writes of sending money home to help his mothers and sisters. That and repaying “for making sharp deals in days gone by,” leave him constantly down to the last dollar.

October 4, 1901

Desperate to get out of San Francisco, Hayes looks up “ old Herman, whaling shipping master,” who warns him off a sailor’s job here; better to try up in Portland.

15.3 Looking for a Ship in the Rain

October 10, 1901

On the steamer Columbia up to Portland from San Francisco Hayes tried a home remedy for the seasickness: “Someone told me if I would drink salt water it would make me very ill, but I would never suffer again.” The first part was correct at least.

Cold rain falls at Portland – of course. Hayes returns to Sullivan’s boarding house and inquires for jobs with the same Grant and McCarren who sent him out two years previously. Sullivan is “a man wholly without honor,” and Grant and McCarren “are not making money so easily as when they could rob a man of most of his wages before he earned them.” The dour mood of the city hastens Hayes toward any ship he can find. “Food is poor here, everything is bad. The San Francisco strike is hurting the entire coast.” Even another tour around Cape Horn seems better than this.

15.4 Four Masted Bark at Astoria

October 20, 1901

Hayes, now an “ordinary seaman” on the four-mast bark, Crown of India, sits at a shallow spot in the Columbia waiting a second day for the tidal surge to lift the ship off the sand grounding her. Ships rations, “poor food, almost none,” weaken all the men before the ship even reaches Astoria. Once there, the fourteen ships lined up waiting to be towed over the bar, signal another a long wait.

“The skeleton-like rigging,” of tall ships stripped bare in a gale blowing through the port of Astoria from the southeast against tall fir trees sodden from the constant rain make a gloomy start to the long voyage ahead. As does the cast of characters among the officers: A brutal bawling ship’s mate, his assistant “a swell headed third, just out of his apprenticeship,” and the American second mate, “a fair sailor.” “The usual drunken crew is aboard.” Some don’t even know under what name they’ve shipped.

Most ominous of all: “this ship is hungry.” Like the Austrasia, on his first trip around the Horn, the Crown of India carries wheat, but this flinty captain brooks no broaching of cargo. When the men complain about breaking fast every morning on burgoo, a “pitiful mass of glue,” the captain reduces morning rations to “a clouded, muddy liquid called coffee by the old Dutch cook.” Hayes wonders how men already weak from working full speed all day on poor food can be expected to pull hard around the stern seas off Cape Horn?

November 17, 1901

At noon the old cook boils salt horsemeat, with any bit left over served as dinner. Crown of India sails with the captain’s wife on board which surely explains the poor food: “it is rumored that he sold a good part of the ship’s stores to give her a good time on shore.” The swinging tides at Astoria regularly tangle the two heavy anchor chains holding the ship in port for nearly a month now. Hungry sailors haul them to the surface, fight them apart, then replace them in anticipation of the next tidal surge.

At least getting out to sea will escape this dreary place; after watching the fourteen ships ahead towed one by one over the bar, “We expect to be towed to sea tomorrow.”

15.5 300 Miles Due West

November 23, 1901

A fierce three-day gale out of Astoria forces sailors to scramble canvas down from the poles. All are seasick in the rough weather but the bellowing mate, never satisfied with the ship’s rigging, orders seaman aloft. “Hanging onto a jackstay with one hand, a bit of sail in the other and deathly sick at the same time is about enough for one in a gale.” The cook has found a few potatoes, but Hayes doubts this slight culinary improvement will last long.

15.6 Frigging South

December 11, 1901

“Frigging” means useless work. As when Fleck, the first mate, “Every night has kept us going sweating the braces, lifts, halyards and every rope on the ship.” Captain Sauter put a stop to it but Hayes doubts his kindness of heart. More likely Sauter sees the weakness of the crew and fears rounding “Cape Stiff” with sailors needlessly overworked to exhaustion.

Hayes’ constant seasickness, made worse by the bad food, brings Fleck’s bawling wrath. Toward those even less strong, Fleck does more than yell. Doudou, “a little German boy” suffers dizzy spells and cannot climb above the “sheerpoles.” For this Fleck “kicks the boy about with abandon, much to the dislike of the crew.” The Captain restrains Fleck – but then the Captain beat up an assistant himself.

15.7 “Drear Christmas Eve”

December 24, 1901

On a sailing ship like the Crown of India, officers quarter aft, sailors fore. In the forward mess, all the potatoes are gone which Hayes calls, “a calamity.” But aft, “there is plenty.” The men grumble – fearful of even less during the long dangerous journey ahead. The ever-resourceful Hayes offers to shave the “genial second mate” in return for a bit of extra food now and then. “In all his years at sea [the mate] has never learned to use a razor.”

The cheerless ship crosses the equator foregoing Neptune’s initiation rites. Rains “like I have never seen before,” soak the already despondent crew right through their useless oilskins for two days across the line. With all hands engaged catching much-needed fresh water, most of the fair weather sails blow off in a gale accompanying the rain. Morale is so bad, the ordinary sailors wish for a speedy trip home – contrary to their usual desire to sail slowly to earn as much as possible for the debauch at home port.

On Christmas Eve light directionless winds puff at the ship – just right for more of Fleck’s frigging: “It gives him a reason for chasing catspaws round the compass, every man hauling his heart out, no one alive enough to lead a chantey.” No sailor’s song for the holiday – just the tempo of Fleck’s constant cursing.

15.8 Jonah of the ship

January 1, 1902

Sailors on this starving, fearful ship look for a “Jonah” – the source of all their bad luck. A little rhesus monkey one of the crew picked up off Sumatra suffered this identity until the first day of the new year. After the monkey died of its mistreatment, the ship made “12 knots under to-gan-sals” for two whole days with the crew celebrating losing their totem of ill fortune. When the wind blew out, consensus settled on a good-natured Mulatto sailor as the new Jonah. But he takes it so cheerily, “Everybody swears, and wishes the monkey was back.”

As Captain Sauter continues restraining Fleck from excesses of physical abuse, Fleck bides the time sailing south content with curses and threats: “The old man can’t stay on deck all the time and watch you. Let any bloody man shirk, he’ll roost on the royal yard right round Old Stiff!” (Hayes’ quote) The unlucky Crown of India has already lost one man blown from the rigging before Hayes came aboard; ordering a sailor up to the high royals in the wild storms off Cape Horn threatens his life.

Hayes makes no mention of any celebration marking the New Year.

15.9 Fire in the Cargo!

January 5, 1902

Damp, rotting wheat will sometimes generate enough heat to catch fire. Perhaps if the hungry crew had been allowed to broach cargo, someone would have noticed heat building up before “smoke was pouring up from the after hatch.” A thousand miles from land, “a reckless Swede, Schillerstrom,” waded into the smoke saving the ship. “Must have been spontaneous combustion.”

In an unrelated development: “Fleck has sore eyes,” now swollen completely shut. Blind and enraged, Fleck calls the mulatto Jonah aft bellowing, “every curse and abominable abusive word he has in his large vocabulary.” No “man forward of the mainmast” can restrain his glee, hoping Fleck’s blindness holds until they arrive safely round the Horn. Even Hayes, who has read in his Bible that one should love our enemies and pray for those who do us evil, finds “it difficult to mean it when I pray for Fleck.”

15.10. Nearing the Cape

January 12, 1902

Even with fair weather, the Crown of India makes poor speed; “the ship has a foul bottom.” Waiting in Astoria those long weeks, the sailors dragged a “great scrubbing brush” from sided to side across her bottom – not very effectively. In calm water Hayes can see two feet of sea grass dragging along growing out from the hull.

“Flecks eyes are in frightful condition, and this arouses the greatest joy from the entire crew.” Whatever responsibility Captain Stuart has for starving the crew, at least he is not brutal. With Fleck lying below deck in severe pain, the Captain simply and competently sails the ship southward. When Crown of India “sprung a yard at its parrel,” the men would have tried to replace it for the Captain but he can see that they are weak “and is willing to give us a break.”

With humane treatment from the Captain, some of the gloom lifts from Crown of India. Still, this is a lonely dangerous place for any ship. The dangers of the Horn approach ahead and from behind, “ tremendous seas that follow us sometimes give apprehension of pooping a sea” – that is, a wave breaking over the stern of the ship.

Advertisements

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.

Click here for links to maps and downloads of maps.

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.


4. San Francisco to Williams

February 19, 2011

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):

– Mojave CA
– Randsburg CA
– Garlock CA
– Telescope Peak above Death Valley CA
– Kramer CA
– Harvey House at Needles CA
– Kingman AZ
– Williams AZ

Previous photo requests

Here and There diary Synopsis:

4.1 Orchard work at Stockton

September 18,1897

Walking nine miles eastward out of Stockton, Hayes and Marshall stumble onto a gang picking grapes, ask for work, and “are now a few dollars ahead.”  They eat well and sleep comfortably in a barn but scratch themselves raw with some kind of skin rash.  When not at the vineyard, the two stroll the Central Valley “selecting” fruit of every kind until no two men could eat their enormous windfall.

September 29, 1897

The two friends pop back over to see San Francisco again before parting ways.  Hayes could not wish for a finer traveling mate than Marshall, but “to get anywhere, to do the things one wishes to do, he must play the lone hand.”

Traveling alone now on his way to the mines in the Mojave, Hayes stops through Stockton where he finds some medical advice:  a hobo he meets in the rail yard informs him he has “crumbs” (Hayes’ quotes) or “in plain American, lice.”  Apparently mercurial ointment was available to indigent travelers in those days, Hayes anointed the seams of his clothing, his hair, and “a plentiful quantity elsewhere.”

4.2  Freight Trains to Mojave

October 3, 1897

While riding the rails towards Mojave, Hayes suffered a much more serious injury.  Initially all went smoothly; “an old miner” introduced Hayes to a conductor who, for a dollar, would let both men ride in the caboose.  Beyond Bakersfield they rode in the open air on the decks of boxcars listening to coyotes howl in the lonesome desert over Tehachapi pass.  The boxcar must have been near the smokestack, close enough that a cinder out of the stack caught Hayes in the eye nearly blinding him.

Hayes describes Mojave as little more than a junction between the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe railways.  A couple of saloons, a store, restaurants, and a hotel for the affluent make a sorry little town where the tracks cross.  He does enjoy watching the gamblers practice their artistry of “beating the other fellow to it.”

4.3  Racing Coyotes to Garlock

October 5, 1897

Continuing on by stage, Hayes must part with his new friend the miner who, “had to invest his every remaining cent into alcoholic research in Mojave.”  Not to worry, when the money is gone, such an experienced miner will find ready work out here.

By contrast, his new traveling companions on the stage from Mojave fail to impress: “ A fancy lady of the evening, a gambler, a drunken miner or two.”  However, a pair of coyotes running along in front of the coach for miles charm him by cutting cross-country to the new road whenever the coach turns and leaping ahead at a crack of the driver’s whip.

The mines of Randsburg, ten miles further on, locate their stamp mills for crushing ore at Garlock because “water is near the surface here in quantity.”  At Garlock Hayes finds work developing a mine site for “a Mr. Worth, who has claims in the desert out toward Death Valley.”

4.4  Lonely Mountains as Far as the Eye Can See

October 8, 1897

The Panamints, the Slate Ranges, the Funeral Ranges, and even Telescope Peak rising above Death Valley “perhaps a hundred miles away,” stand lonely in the clear desert air.

Hayes has Worth and his partners, Dr. and Mrs. Garrison who run the mine, “sized up as crooks.”  The old lady speaks constantly of her son, “a preternaturally bright person.”  At least Hayes can learn from a buddy, Jack Nosser, “a grizzled old miner from the Black Hills of South Dakota” full of tales of his friends Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane.  Hayes works a “whim” lifting material out of forty or fifty foot mine test shafts.

The food is not good:  bacon and beans.  And water costs two dollars a barrel.

October 20, 1897

One story Mrs. Garrison tells has her and Dr. Garrison confining their ten-year-old son Joe in a dark room for two years to slow his extravagant mental growth.  When Joe shows up looking like a tramp, Hayes has an opportunity to assess the cure:  “All I can say is, it was effective.”

As for Dr. Garrison, a teamster tells Hayes that Garrison practiced doctoring in Anaheim using a couple of “fast girls who set up most of the gay youth in the city.”  Garrison and the girls split the money Garrison made posing as “an expert at curing social diseases.”  Unbeknownst to the teamster, Dr. Garrison happened to be riding in the back of the wagon for this recitation.  Both ended with red faces.

October 29, 1897

Jack, the miner from South Dakota, has decided to quit.  When making his announcement at breakfast, Jack kicked Hayes under the table and both gave notice together.  The “old lady” is so full of lies about her famous relations, Hayes can’t resist delivering one last whopper of his own.  “I have to lie in sheer self defense.”  He knows Mrs. Garrison doesn’t believe his tale of seeing five men hung with a single pull, but, “the last liar always has a tremendous advantage.”  He and Jack will be off with the teamster when he comes round again on his regular route.

4.5  Prospectors at Randsburg

October 31, 1897

Jack and Hayes catch a ride most of the way to Randsburg.  A few years previously, “a $600 nugget was found near Red Rock”; now mines dot the landscape looking for its source.  Most are barren, a few are “stringers,” with narrow unpredictable veins, but “the big thing is the Yellow Aster” from which much ore will be taken after all the stringers peter out.

Another kind of prospector works this area as well – a real estate agent, who Hayes describes as “lower than the pimps who prey on girls in the houses of prostitution,” offers lots for sale in Johannesburg, a town just east of Randsburg on a better location.

By now Hayes considers himself knowledgeable about the “tricks of poker, seven up, and lots of games.”  In the gambling houses, easy money can be won from an inexperienced player, especially if he’s drunk.  But then Hayes runs into a real professional, loses all his easy money, but wins a bit of free advice:  “ If you work don’t gamble, and if you gamble don’t work.  We are not here for our health.”  (Hayes’ quotes.)

4.6  Snookering a Brakeman at Barstow

November 3, 1897

Nothing going on at Randsburg grabs Hayes’ attention enough to hold him there.  The rail line is not near, but walking suits him to begin with.

Along the course of his twenty-eight mile walk through the desert toward a station on the Santa Fe line at Kramer, Hayes passes another “real estate proposition” called St. Elmo.  He sees no houses, no water, no possibility for a town, only white sticks marking lots and streets.  His own need for water in this dangerously desolate region pushes him hurriedly toward Kramer.

Immediately after hopping a passing freight train at Kramer, a watchful brakeman assesses Hayes a 25¢ bribe to let him ride.  Protesting penury, Hayes talks the fee down to 10¢ so he’ll have 15¢ to eat at Barstow.

Instead of spending his 15¢ upon arrival, Hayes trades a couple of hours cleaning up for a meal at the Santa Fe Harvey House.  While he’s at the mop, the train crew enters for dinner.  After pretentiously and unsuccessfully asking everyone at the table to change his twenty dollar gold piece, the brakeman inquires sarcastically if Hayes might help him out.  With some satisfaction, Hayes reports, “I accommodated him.”  The brakeman can say nothing in the presence of his conductor for fear he’ll be censured for “carrying hobos.”

4.7  A Long Ride to Needles

November 5, 1897

Just as Hayes hops a freighter in Barstow, he sees his brakeman sent out on the same train.  With a pretty good suspicion Hayes must be on board, the brakeman looks everywhere except into the feed rack of the cattle car where Hayes lies just out of reach the horns of the wild steers below.

Seventeen hours and 172 miles later, “sidetracked for every train on the way,” having eaten nothing and drunk only at a darkened way station, Hayes and the train pull into Needles.

And who enters the Harvey House at Needles the next evening just as Hayes sits down to supper?  His brakeman, “who beefed in a semi-serious way” about the fifteen cents and the twenty dollar gold piece.  “But I paid for his meal, and all was lovely again.”

4.8  Cold in Williams

November 7, 1897

Hayes jumps another train to Kingman and then pays fare to Williams, “a town kept by a large sawmill,” where he’d like to find work.  But for now, he takes a job at “an eating house” run by a bullying woman who is never satisfied except with her drunken son and sanctified daughter.  The girl’s job as a typist, her engagement to “some clerk,” and, “worse,” her attendance at mass, place her “in a set as far above us common stiffs as lies between her and the angels.”

Bill Williams explored this region of Arizona where a great mountain rises more than 12,000 feet high, “so they say.”  At this altitude and at this time of year, snow lies on the ground and Hayes complains, “my light underwear is insufficient to keep me warm.”

But the town should heat up pretty soon when payday arrives.  Checks are cashed at the saloon, “and every man must show his appreciation by spending most of his pay there.”

November 20, 1897

Temperatures are below zero most of the time now, but Hayes has outdoor work at the mill driving a horse, “hauling slabs from the conveyor to the lath mill and box factory,” and has acclimated to the cold.  He sleeps in a “ram pasture bunk house,” crowded in with “Cotty and Irish and Sam and Jerry and so many more.”  Some of the men are well educated, smart enough anyway to play a friendly game of cards at night in the bunkhouse away from the sharp Arizona gamblers who trained in the boomtowns of Tombstone, Jerome, Globe, and Bisbee.

December 2, 1897

Hayes moves to a small cabin with “a couple of pals,” and a foot of snow outside.  One of the pals recounts his companionship with William Henry McCarty who died in New Mexico sixteen years previously.  According to the friend, McCarty, better known as “Billy the Kid”, was, “a quiet unassuming young man who minded his business and was the last man on earth one would consider a super killer.”

When the company hires a man for ten hours a day, seven days a week, this means ten hours a day, seven days a week actually hauling slabs.  A driver cares for his horse on his own time.  Tending a horse late into the night suits Hayes; nothing else to do other than saloons, gambling houses, and “a bagnio or two for the lustful lumberjacks.”  He wonders where these girls come from to do this work in these remote forsaken places.

December 13, 1897

In the increasingly cold weather, a railroad tunnel on the Santa Fe line east of Williams has collapsed.  The rail line pays a dollar an hour to any man willing to risk dangerous work clearing the tunnel; four have died so far.

Now it is Hayes’ turn to advise a gambler:  Ed Abbot, “a professional gambler and a member of Soapy Smith’s gang,” flat broke, bummed a dollar from Hayes and ran it to $6.50 at the roulette wheel.  Double down or buy some shoes?  Hayes advised the shoes and by swiping a pair of gloves while at the mercantile, Abbot has clothing enough for a job, “and he will actually work for a while, believe it or not.”

4.9 Colder in Williams

December 26, 1897

Working seven days a week at the mill includes Christmas day in temperatures far below zero with icicles “a foot long” hanging from the horse’s mouth.  But at least they put on a good feed:  “roast pork and trimmings and lots of other junk.”

Work didn’t take for Ed Abbot.  Hearing Abbot suffered a bad cut in the mill, Hayes hurries to check on him only to find the gambler grinning from ear to ear with a hand “full of bills of large size.”  Abbot crows he’s cleaned out “Dugan’s dump,” sent Dugan to the bar for more money, and won that too.  Now Abbot begs Hayes to come along for more, “you always bring me luck.  We’ll clean up on the whole town.”  At the end of a long night, Abbot holds hundreds of dollars.  No house anywhere in Williams will take another bet against his lucky streak.  With all that money in his pocket, Abbot hops a freight headed toward the Klondike in Alaska.  “Said Soapy was there somewhere and he would join him.”

January 20, 1898

So much time in one place makes Hayes restless.  He won’t gamble but he likes to hang around and watch the games especially immediately after payday.  The “main joint at Kelley’s” imports girls from Los Angeles to “maul the piano and drum up trade for the place.”  He says, one of the girls, Milly O’brien, “was nice to me, me being the only kid in the place.”  The continuation of that same paragraph calmly reports that a gambler dissatisfied that Milly would sell him no more than a single  $20 hour, “swatted her over the head with a gun, laying the scalp down over her eyes with blood running like water.”  Somebody must have intervened; the gambler is in jail at Flagstaff awaiting trial and transfer to the severe prison at Yuma.

February 10,1898

Though he describes the wedding cynically, Hayes seems pleased that Milly O’brien came immediately on happier days.  She wore, “Orange blossoms and crepe de chine and all the flimsy stuff women wear,” marrying Sandy Grogan of Flagstaff in “the society event of the year.”  The gambler got off easy too.  When asked, Milly told the judge her $20 an hour rate, to which he replied, “Don’t you think that is pretty steep?”  (Hayes’ quotes.).  Instead of the prison at Yuma, the judge gave the gambler a reprimand and a fine.  “Such is high society in Arizona.”

At some point Hayes had his diaries typed.  An entry on this date appears out of order.  In February he describes, “the strangest New Year I have ever heard of this time.”  First the train and mill whistles blowing started the coyotes harmonizing, then, “at the Cocnino Bar some hound slipped in and put a bit of limburger on top of the stove.”  Drunks were vomiting, the bar had to be closed, and there was talk of lynching.

February 20, 1898

The bitterly cold weather prevents hopping a train, but Hayes wants to quit this place and go visit his mother and sisters in Texas.  The railway charges $40 from San Francisco to El Paso with no reduction for boarding at Williams.  The mill pays $1.75 a day, with half subtracted for board.  Hayes won’t pay a railroad 53 days hard work when he can jump a freight for free and it’s too cold to ride, so he’ll just have to wait it out in Williams

Occasionally Hayes records an extremely dark entry into the diary.  Stuck in this high, cold Arizona mill town, he writes a long paragraph about the women he sees made prematurely old by their terrible lives of prostitution and of old “miners, prospectors, cowboys, and other adventurers,” reduced to menial labor to scrape together a few coins for liquor.  He concludes, “I wonder if I will be like this when I am old?  Better a thousand times I die first.”

March 2, 1898

Still stuck in Williams.  The mill pays monthly and March is five weeks this year, but “I will have that much more cash and the weather will be better.”



3. Portland to San Francisco

February 12, 2011

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.


Lessons Learned Early

February 5, 2011

View This Path on Google Maps Clicking any of the numbered titles below will take you to the same map.

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

View the First Ten Paths 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):

– Sacramento, CA
– The Dock at Bandon, OR
– Mouth of the Coquille River, OR

Here and There diary Synopsis:

2.1  Kindness at Sacramento

December 1892

On the train to Sacramento, other passengers saw a fifteen-year-old boy, who looked even younger, traveling alone. Many shared food with him, so he was able to hoard his resources arriving in Sacramento with $1.65.

Upon arrival, some of the most down-and-out residents of the city recognized a boy adrift and responded with kindness as when a gambler handed him a dollar. Country life in Texas and Oregon had never introduced Hayes to a “fallen women.” They appeared to Hayes “the most beautiful girls I had ever seen,” and so many of them, “sitting at their casement windows, beckoning to passers-by.” To Hayes, obviously alone in the world, they always offered a coin, some food, or even a place to sleep. From these “waifs in the world,” the gambler, the prostitutes, Hayes learned that those with the least are often the most generous with what little they have.

2.2 A Walk Up to Marysville

1891

Walking was a common mode of transportation in these days before the automobile. Still, 52 miles up to see the nearest town must have been a strenuous jaunt. Soon though, “the tutelage of more experienced wayfarers,” instructed Hayes in jumping trains. He rode the rails throughout the American west for years – as long as his conscience would allow.

2.3 Four Rough Years: Mining, Lumber Camps, Ranching

1891-1895

The diary compresses events of the early years of the 1890’s. He mentions working at mining, lumber camps, and ranches and speaks of staying with uncles for a time without saying where. His first job was cooking in a lumber camp for which he was not paid. The owner explained, “You are a minor, and all contracts are null and void.” He fell through a gap in a dock at Bandon, Oregon requiring two years to recover from his injuries. This brief gloss sums up the half decade

He does, however, record the lesson life taught him in these rough years: “The prizes of this life were to those who took them.” Those who wronged him, “were special objects to wreak vengeance upon.” Eventually, wronged or not, he determined that a smart man in an unjust world must take all he can by whatever means.

Perhaps the short paragraph covering these years indicates that the older author writing this portion of the diary was less than proud of the actions of his younger self.

2.4 Between Coos Bay and the Mouth of the Coquille River

1895-1897

At eighteen, Hayes meets a nice girl, two actually, one a cousin he “loved as a sister.” Apparently their influence elicited some self-reflection; in the same paragraph he mentions the girls, he says, “I began to realize I was wrong… [and] I turned from the worst of my evil life.”

Working the entire summer of 1897 at his uncle’s ranch pays $65; the crops are good but there is no market. Hayes describes the men of his father’s family as “high strung, quarrelsome, and somewhat tight in money matters.” They have some virtues: “they all worked hard, paid their debts and kept out of jail.” But this “fair record” doesn’t prevent Hayes from quarrels and departure at the end of the summer. From his uncles he learns another lesson: “in a quarrel someone must give in in the end” – so it is best to avoid conflict with those who love controversy.

During these years Hayes also tried his hand at trapping along the “desolate coast” of southern Oregon. But the blood and broken bones of these innocent animals turned him from making a living this way.

This completes Hayes’ recollections of his earliest years. From September 3, 1897 his diary continues with dated entries written as the remarkable events of his life unfold.