B. Scott Holmes

Just trying to stay alive and keep my sideburns too
Kuna Glacier circa 1975

The Kuna Glacier circa 1975. It no longer looks like this.

I Ching Trigrams

"Face it Tim, we’ve broken the sky, and we will have to pay for it.", Martin Cohen

  • Quaternary Geographer
  • Professional Cartographer/Remote Sensing Analyst
  • Park Ranger
  • Database Application Developer (Informix, PostgreSQL, MySQL etc)
  • HTML, CSS, PHP and most recently Drupal Designer
  • Retail Grunt
  • Mark Twain Aficionado

Richard Francis Burton and Samuel Langhorne Clemens Crossed the Great Plains

Mon, 10/24/2016 - 12:37 -- scott

These two explorers crossed the Great Plains of North America one year apart, Burton in 1860 and Clemens in 1861. I have clipped large sections of Burton's book, "The City of the Saints, and Across the Rocky Mountains to California" for my web site project "Mark Twain's Geography" as Burton visited the same Overland Coach stations as did Clemens. Mark Twain, in "Roughing It", is very sparse in his descriptions of the stations and mentions only a few by name.

Section 6: The Pacific Northwest

Tue, 09/20/2016 - 17:00 -- scott

Twain's party crossed the Cascades, on the switchbacks, in about two hours. It took six more hours to reach Seattle. Native Americans were pretty much gone from the area, the Treaty of Point Elliott was one of the major instruments in their removal and confinement in reservations. Some did, however, retain fishing rights. Seattle had become the western terminus of the Great Western railway, reaching the city in 1893. Four transcontinental railways jostled for position along the waterfront.

Section 5: From the Rockies and Over the Cascades

Tue, 09/20/2016 - 16:58 -- scott

August 6th, Twain's party departs Missoula on the Northern Pacific railway. This particular train had two special cars attached carrying the newly appointed receiver for the bankrupt railroad and the Supreme Court judge who had appointed him. Twain did not join them. They traveled through the Bitterroot Valley, ancestral home of the Salish people. They passed the site of the "starvation winter" of 1883-1884, and on through the Flathead Indian Reservation.

Section 4: The Rockies

Tue, 09/20/2016 - 16:55 -- scott

Twain's party departed Great Falls at 7:35 am, Thursday, August 1st, 1895. They rode the Montana Central Railway, part of the Great Northern Railroad owned by J.J. Hill. Hill needed to connect his interests in Great Falls with the mining operations in Helena, Butte and the smelter in Anaconda. The railroad followed part of the old Mullan Military Road. Along the way we examine the fate of Egbert Malcolm Clarke and one of the most egregious actions taken by the U.S. Army against Native American peoples, the Marias massacre. Twain gave a lecture that evening in Butte.

Section 3: Across the Prairie

Tue, 09/20/2016 - 16:15 -- scott

Departing the Great Lakes region, July 22, 1895, Twain's party heads for the Great Plains. First though, into an area of tourist attraction, no small part due to to the fantasy world created by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his Song of Hiawatha, Lake Minnetonka and Minnehaha Falls. Twain gave lectures in Minneapolis July 23rd and 24th, rested on the 25th then headed to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Returning from Winnipeg, July 28, they traveled through "that wonderful wheat ocean" and stopped in Crookston, Minnestoa. Twain's name is the first in the register of the Crookston Hotel.

Section 2: The Great Lakes Region

Mon, 09/19/2016 - 09:44 -- scott

Mark Twain left Cleveland, Ohio July 17 on board the SS Northland. They sailed across Lake Erie to the Detroit River, across Lake St Clair and along the St. Clair River. July 18th they crossed Lake Huron and landed in Sault Ste. Marie. Here he gave his third lecture of the tour. On July 19th, they took the sreamboat F.S. Faxton to Mackinac Island for a lecture in the Grand Hotel. On July 20th, Twain and Major Pond traveled to Petoskey, Michigan by boat and train, the Northern Arrow. Petoskey is the site of the extermination of the last major breeding colony of passenger pigeons, in 1878.


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