A dreary-looking country is the " Great American Desert," in Utah, the northern boundary line of which I traverse next morning. To the left of the road is a low chain of barren hills; to the right, the uninviting plain, over which one's eye wanders in vain for some green object that might raise hopes of a less desolate region beyond; and over all hangs an oppressive silence - the silence of a dead country - a country destitute of both animal and vegetable life. Over the great desert hangs a smoky haze, out of which Pilot Peak, thirty-eight miles away, rears its conical head 2,500 feet above the level plain at its base.

Some riding is obtained at intervals along this unattractive stretch of country, but there are no continuously ridable stretches, and the principal incentive to mount at all is a feeling of disgust at so much compulsory walking. A noticeable feature through the desert is the almost unquenchable thirst that the dry saline air inflicts upon one. Reaching a railway section-house, I find no one at home; but there is a small underground cistern of imported water, in which "wrigglers " innumerable wriggle, but which is otherwise good and cool. There is nothing to drink out of, and the water is three feet from the surface; while leaning down to try and drink, the wooden framework at the top gives way and precipitates me head first into the water. Luckily, the tank is large enough to enable me to turn round and reappear at the surface, head first, and with considerable difficulty I scramble out again, with, of course, not a dry thread on me.

At three in the afternoon I roll into Terrace, a small Mormon town. Here a rather tough-looking citizen, noticing that my garments are damp, suggests that 'cycling must be hard work to make a person perspire like that in this dry climate. At the Matlin section-house I find accommodation for the night with a whole-souled section-house foreman, who is keeping bachelor's hall temporarily, as his wife is away on a visit at Ogden. >From this house, which is situated on the table-land of the Bed Dome Mountains, can be obtained a more comprehensive view of the Great American Desert than when we last beheld it. It has all the appearance of being the dry bed of an ancient salt lake or inland sea. A broad, level plain of white alkali, which is easily mistaken in the dim distance for smooth, still water, stretches away like a dead, motionless sea as far as human vision can penetrate, until lost in the haze; while, here and there, isolated rocks lift their rugged heads above the dreary level, like islets out of the sea. It is said there are many evidences that go to prove this desert to have once been covered by the waters of the great inland sea that still, in places, laves its eastern borders with its briny flood. I am informed there are many miles of smooth, hard, salt-flats, over which a 'cycler could skim like a bird; but I scarcely think enough of bird-like skimming to go searching for it on the American Desert. A few miles east of Matlin the road leads over a spur of the Red Dome Range, from whence I obtain my first view of the Great Salt Lake, and soon I am enjoying a long-anticipated bath in its briny waters. It is disagreeably cold, but otherwise an enjoyable bath. One can scarce sink beneath the surface, so strongly is the water impregnated with salt. For dinner, I reach Kelton, a town that formerly prospered as the point from which vast quantities of freight were shipped to Idaho. Scores of huge freight-wagons are now bunched up in the corrals, having outlived their usefulness since the innovation from mules and "overland ships " to locomotives on the Utah Northern Railway. Empty stores and a general air of vanished prosperity are the main features of Kelton to-day; and the inhabitants seem to reflect in their persons the aspect of the town; most of them being freighters, who, finding their occupation gone, hang listlessly around, as though conscious of being fit for nothing else. >From Kelton I follow the lake shore, and at six in the afternoon arrive at the salt-works, near Monument Station, and apply for accommodation, which is readily given. Here is erected a wind-mill, which pumps the water from the lake into shallow reservoirs, where it evaporates and leaves a layer of coarse salt on the bottom. These people drink water that is disagreeably brackish and unsatisfactory to one unaccustomed to it, but which they say has become more acceptable to them, from habitual use, than purely fresh water. This spot, is the healthiest and most favorable for the prolific production of certain forms of insect life I ever was in, and I spend the liveliest night here I ever spent anywhere. These people professed to give me a bed to myself, but no sooner have I laid my head on the pillow than I recognize the ghastly joke they are playing on me. The bed is already densely populated with guests, who naturally object to being ousted or overcrowded. They seem quite a kittenish and playful lot, rather inclined to accomplish their ends by playing wild pranks than by resorting to more austere measures. Watching till I have closed my eyes in an attempt to doze off, they slip up and playfully tickle me under the chin, or scramble around in my ear, and anon they wildly chase each other up and down my back, and play leap-frog and hide-and-go-seek all over my sensitive form, so that I arise in the morning anything but refreshed from my experience.

Still following the shores of the lake, for several miles, my road now leads over the northern spur of the Promontory Mountains. On these hills I find a few miles of hard gravel that affords the best riding I have experienced in Utah, and I speed along as rapidly as possible, for dark, threatening clouds are gathering overhead. But ere I reach the summit of the ridge a violent thunder-storm breaks over the hills, and I seem to be verily hobnobbing with the thunder and lightning, that appears to be round about me, rather than overhead. A troop of wild bronchos, startled and stampeded by the vivid lightning and sharp peals of thunder, come wildly charging down the mountain trail, threatening to run quite over me in their mad career. Pulling my six-shooter, I fire a couple of shots in the air to attract their attention, when they rapidly swerve to the left, and go tearing frantically over the rolling hills on their wild flight to the plains below.

Most of the rain falls on the plain and in the lake, and when I arrive at the summit I pause to take a view at the lake and surrounding country. A more auspicious occasion could scarcely have been presented. The storm has subsided, and far beneath my feet a magnificent rainbow spans the plain, and dips one end of its variegated beauty in the sky-blue waters of the lake. From this point the view to the west and south is truly grand-rugged, irregular mountain-chains traverse the country at every conceivable angle, and around among them winds the lake, filling with its blue waters the intervening spaces, and reflecting, impartially alike, their grand majestic beauty and their faults. What dreams of empire and white-winged commerce on this inland sea must fill the mind and fire the imagery of the newly arrived Mormon convert who, standing on the commanding summit of these mountains, feasts his eyes on the glorious panorama of blue water and rugged mountains that is spread like a wondrous picture before him. Surely, if he be devotionally inclined, it fails not to recall to his mind another inland sea in far-off Asia Minor, on whose pebbly shores and by whose rippling waves the cradle of an older religion than Morrnonism was rocked - but not rocked to sleep.

Ten miles farther on, from the vantage-ground of a pass over another spur of the same range, is obtained a widely extended view of the country to the east. For nearly thirty miles from the base of the mountains, low, level mud-flats extend eastward, bordered on the south by the marshy, sinuous shores of the lake, and on the north by the Blue Creek Mountains. Thirty miles to the east - looking from this distance strangely like flocks of sheep grazing at the base of the mountains - can be seen the white- painted houses of the Mormon settlements, that thickly dot the narrow but fertile strip of agricultural land, between Bear River and the mighty Wahsatch Mountains, that, rearing their snowy crest skyward, shut out all view of what lies beyond. From this height the level mud-flats appear as if one could mount his wheel and bowl across at a ten-mile pace; but I shall be agreeably surprised if I am able to aggregate ten miles of riding out of the thirty. Immediately after getting down into the bottom I make the acquaintance of the tiny black gnats that one of our whiskey- bereaved friends at Tacoma had warned me against. One's head is constantly enveloped in a black cloud of these little wretches. They are of infinitesimal proportions, and get into a person's ears, eyes, and nostrils, and if one so far forgets himself as to open his mouth, they swarm in as though they think it the "pearly gates ajar," and this their last chance of effecting an entrance. Mingled with them, and apparently on the best of terms, are swarms of mosquitoes, which appear perfect Jumbos in comparison with their disreputable associates.

As if partially to recompense me for the torments of the afternoon, Dame Fortune considerately provides me with two separate and distinct suppers this evening. I had intended, when I left Promontory Station, to reach Corinne for the night; consequently I bring a lunch with me, knowing it will take me till late to reach there. These days, I am troubled with an appetite that makes me blush to speak of it, and about five o'clock I sit down - on the bleached skeleton of a defunct mosquito! - and proceed to eat my lunch of bread and meat - and gnats; for I am quite certain of eating hundreds of these omnipresent creatures at every bite I take. Two hours afterward I am passing Quarry section-house, when the foreman beckons me over and generously invites me to remain over night. He brings out canned oysters and bottles of Milwaukee beer, and insists on my helping him discuss these acceptable viands; to which invitation it is needless to say I yield without extraordinary pressure, the fact of having eaten two hours before being no obstacle whatever. So much for 'cycling as an aid to digestion. Arriving at Corinne, on Bear River, at ten o'clock next morning, I am accosted by a bearded, patriarchal Mormon, who requests me to constitute myself a parade of one, and ride the bicycle around the town for the edification of the people's minds.

" In course they knows what a ' perlocefede' is, from seein' 'em in picturs; but they never seed a real machine, and it'd be a 'hefty' treat fer 'em,"is the eloquent appeal made by this person in behalf of the Corinnethians, over whose destinies and happiness he appears to preside with fatherly solicitude. As the streets of Corinne this morning consist entirely of black mud of uncertain depth, I am reluctantly compelled to say the elder nay, at the same time promising him that if he would have them in better condition next time I happened around, I would willingly second his brilliant idea of making the people happy by permitting them a glimpse of my " perlocefede " in action.

After crossing Bear River I find myself on a somewhat superior road leading through the Mormon settlements to Ogden. No greater contrast can well be imagined than that presented by this strip of country lying between the lake and the "Wahsatch Mountains, and the desert country to the westward. One can almost fancy himself suddenly transported by some good genii to a quiet farming community in an Eastern State. Instead of untamed bronchos and wild-eyed cattle, roaming at their own free will over unlimited territory, are seen staid work-horses ploughing in the field, and the sleek milch-cow peacefully cropping tame grass in enclosed meadows. Birds are singing merrily in the willow hedges and the shade-trees; green fields of alfalfa and ripening grain line the road and spread themselves over the surrounding country in alternate squares, like those of a vast checker-board. Farms, on the average, are small, and, consequently, houses are thick; and not a farm-house among them all but is embowered in an orchard of fruit and shade-trees that mingle their green leaves and white blossoms harmoniously. At noon I roll into a forest of fruit- trees, among which, I am informed, Willard City is situated; but one can see nothing of any city. Nothing but thickets of peach, plum, and apple trees, all in full bloom, surround the spot where I alight and begin to look around for some indications of the city. "Where is Willard City. " I inquire of a boy who comes out from one of the orchards carrying a can of kerosene in his hand, suggestive of having just come from a grocery, and so he has. " This is Willard City, right here," replies the boy; and then, in response to my inquiry for the hotel, he points to a small gate leading into an orchard, and tells me the hotel is in there.

The hote l -like every other house and store here - is embowered amid an orchard of blooming fruit-trees, and looks like anything but a public eating-house. No sign up, nothing to distinguish it from a private dwelling; and I am ushered into a nicely furnished parlor, on the neatly papered walls of which hang enlarged portraits of Brigham Young and other Mormon celebrities, while a large-sized Mormon bible, expensively bound in morocco, reposes on the centre-table. A charming Miss of -teen summers presides over a private table, on which is spread for my material benefit the finest meal I have eaten since leaving California. Such snow-white bread. Such delicious butter. And the exquisite flavor of "spiced peach- butter" lingers in my fancy even now; and as if this were not enough for "two bits" (a fifty per cent, come-down from usual rates in the mountains), a splendid bouquet of flowers is set on the table to round off the repast with their grateful perfume. As I enjoy the wholesome, substantial food, I fall to musing on the mighty chasm that intervenes between the elegant meal now before me and the "Melican plan-cae " of two weeks ago. "You have a remarkably pleasant country here, Miss," I venture to remark to the young lady who has presided over my table, and whom I judge to be the daughter of the house, as she comes to the door to see the bicycle.

"Yes; we have made it pleasant by planting so many orchards," she answers, demurely.

"I should think the Mormons ought to be contented, for they possess the only good piece of farming country between California and 'the States,'" I blunderingly continued.

"I never heard anyone say they are not contented, but their enemies," replies this fair and valiant champion of Mormonism in a voice that shows she quite misunderstands my meaning. "What I intended to say was, that the Mormon people are to be highly congratulated on their good sense in settling here," I hasten to explain; for were I to leave at this house, where my treatment has been so gratifying, a shadow of prejudice against the Mormons, I should feel like kicking myself all over the Territory. The women of the Mormon religion are instructed by the wiseacres of the church to win over strangers by kind treatment and by the charm of their conversation and graces; and this young lady has learned the lesson well; she has graduated with high honors. Coming from the barren deserts of Nevada and Western Utah - from the land where the irreverent and irrepressible "Old Timer" fills the air with a sulphurous odor from his profanity and where nature is seen in its sternest aspect, and then suddenly finding one's self literally surrounded by flowers and conversing with Beauty about Religion, is enough to charm the heart of a marble statue. Ogden is reached for supper, where I quite expect to find a 'cycler or two (Ogden being a city of eight thousand inhabitants); but the nearest approach to a bicycler in Ogden is a gentleman who used to belong to a Chicago club, but who has failed to bring his "wagon" West with him. Twelve miles of alternate riding and walking eastwardly from Ogden bring me to the entrance of Weber Canon, through which the Weber River, the Union Pacific Railroad, and an uncertain wagon-trail make their way through the Wahsatch Mountains on to the elevated table-lands of Wyoming Territory. Objects of interest follow each other in quick succession along this part of the journey, and I have ample time to examine them, for Weber River is flooding the canon, and in many places has washed away the narrow space along which wagons are wont to make their way, so that I have to trundle slowly along the railway track. Now the road turns to the left, and in a few minutes the rugged and picturesque walls of the canon are towering in imposing heights toward the clouds. The Weber River comes rushing - a resistless torrent - from under the dusky shadows of the mountains through which it runs for over fifty miles, and onward to the pkin below, where it assumes a more moderate pace, as if conscious that it has at last escaped from the hurrying turmoil of its boisterous march down the mountain.

Advancing into the yawning jaws of the range, a continuously resounding roar is heard in advance, which gradually becomes louder as I proceed eastward; in a short time the source of the noise is discovered, and a weird scene greets my enraptured vision. At a place where the fall is tremendous, the waters are opposed in their mad march by a rough-and-tumble collection of huge, jagged rocks, that have at some time detached themselves from the walls above, and come crashing down into the bed of the stream. The rushing waters, coming with haste from above, appear to pounce with insane fury on the rocks that dare thus to obstruct their path; and then for the next few moments all is a hissing, seething, roaring caldron of strife, the mad waters seeming to pounce with ever- increasing fury from one imperturbable antagonist to another, now leaping clear over the head of one, only to dash itself into a cloud of spray against another, or pour like a cataract against its base in a persistent, endless struggle to undermine it; while over all tower the dark, shadowy rocks, grim witnesses of the battle. This spot is known by the appropriate name of "The Devil's Gate." Wherever the walls of the canon recede from the river's brink, and leave a space of cultivable land, there the industrious Mormons have built log or adobe cabins, and converted the circumscribed domain into farms, gardens, and orchards. In one of these isolated settlements I seek shelter from a passing shower at the house of a "three-ply Mormon " (a Mormon with three wives), and am introduced to his three separate and distinct better-halves; or, rather, one should say, " better-quarters," for how can anything have three halves. A noticeable feature at all these farms is the universal plurality of women around the house, and sometimes in the field. A familiar scene in any farming community is a woman out in the field, visiting her husband, or, perchance, assisting him in his labors. The same thing is observable at the Mormon settlements along the Weber River - only, instead of one woman, there are generally two or three, and perhaps yet another standing in the door of the house. Passing through two tunnels that burrow through rocky spurs stretching across the canon, as though to obstruct farther progress, across the river, to the right, is the "Devil's Slide" - two perpendicular walls of rock, looking strangely like man's handiwork, stretching in parallel lines almost from base to summit of a sloping, grass-covered mountain. The walls are but a dozen feet apart. It is a curious phenomenon, but only one among many that are scattered at intervals all through here. A short distance farther, and I pass the famous "Thousand-mile Tree" - a rugged pine, that stands between the railroad and the river, and which has won renown by springing up just one thousand miles from Omaha. This tree is having a tough struggle for its life these days; one side of its honored trunk is smitten as with the leprosy. The fate of the Thousand-mile Tree is plainly sealed. It is unfortunate in being the most conspicuous target on the line for the fe-ro-ci-ous youth who comes West with a revolver in his pocket and shoots at things from the car-window. Judging from the amount of cold lead contained in that side of its venerable trunk next the railway few of these thoughtless marksmen go past without honoring it with a shot. Emerging from "the Narrows" of Weber Canon, the route follows across a less contracted space to Echo City, a place of two hundred and twenty-five inhabitants, mostly Mormons, where I remain over-night. The hotel where I put up at Echo is all that can be desired, so far as "provender" is concerned; but the handsome and picturesque proprietor seems afflicted with sundry eccentric habits, his leading eccentricity being a haughty contempt for fractional currency. Not having had the opportunity to test him, it is difficult to say whether this peculiarity works both ways, or only when the change is due his transient guests. However, we willingly give him the benefit of the doubt.

Heavily freighted rain-clouds are hovering over the mountains next morning and adding to the gloominess of the gorge, which, just east of Echo City, contracts again and proceeds eastward under the name of Echo Gorge. Turning around a bold rocky projection to the left, the far-famed "Pulpit Rock" towers above, on which Brigham Young is reported to have stood and preached to the Mormon host while halting over Sunday at this point, during their pilgrimage to their new home in the Salt Lake Valley below. Had the redoubtable prophet turned "dizzy " while haranguing his followers from the elevated pinnacle of his novel pulpit, he would at least have died a more romantic death than he is accredited with - from eating too much green corn.

Fourteen miles farther brings me to "Castle Rocks," a name given to the high sandstone bluffs that compose the left-hand side of the canon at this point, and which have been worn by the elements into all manner of fantastic shapes, many of them calling to mind the towers and turrets of some old-world castle so vividly, that one needs but the pomp and circumstance of old knight-errant days to complete the illusion. But, as one gazes with admiration on these towering buttresses of nature, it is easy to realize that the most massive and imposing feudal castle, or ramparts built with human hands, would look like children's toys beside them. The weather is cool and bracing, and when, in the middle of the afternoon, I reach Evanston, Wyo. Terr., too late to get dinner at the hotel, I proceed to devour the contents of a bakery, filling the proprietor with boundless astonishment by consuming about two-thirds of his stock. When I get through eating, he bluntly refuses to charge anything, considering himself well repaid by having witnessed the most extraordinary gastronomic feat on record - the swallowing of two-thirds of a bakery. Following the trail down Yellow Creek, I arrive at Hilliard after dark. The Hilliardites are "somewhat seldom," but they are made of the right material. The boarding-house landlady sets about preparing me supper, late though it be; and the "boys" extend me a hearty invitation to turn in with them for the night. Here at Hilliard is a long V-shaped flume, thirty miles long, in which telegraph poles, ties, and cord wood are floated down to the railroad from the pineries of the Uintah Mountains, now plainly visible to the south. The "boys" above referred to are men engaged in handling ties thus floated down; and sitting around the red-hot stove, they make the evening jolly with songs and yarns of tie-drives, and of wild rides down the long "V" flume. A happy, light-hearted set of fellows are these "tie-men," and not an evening but their rude shanty resounds with merriment galore. Fun is in the air to-night, and "Beaver" (so dubbed on account of an unfortunate tendency to fall into every hole of water he goes anywhere near) is the unlucky wight upon whom the rude witticisms concentrate; for he has fallen into the water again to- day, and is busily engaged in drying his clothes by the stove. They accuse him of keeping up an uncomfortably hot fire, detrimental to everybody's comfort but his own, and threaten him with dire penalties if he doesn't let the room cool off; also broadly hinting their disapproval of his over-fondness for "Adam's ale," and threaten to make him "set 'em up" every time he tumbles in hereafter. In revenge for these remarks, "Beaver" piles more wood into the stove, and, with many a westernism - not permitted in print - threatens to keep up a fire that will drive them all out of the shanty if they persist in their persecutions. Crossing next day the low, broad pass over the Uintah Mountains, some stretches of ridable surface are passed over, and at this point I see the first band of antelope on the tour; but as they fail to come within the regulation two hundred yards they are graciously permitted to live.

At Piedmont Station I decide to go around by way of Port Bridger and strike the direct trail again at Carter Station, twentyfour miles farther east.

A tough bit of Country. The next day at noon finds me "tucked in my little bed" at Carter, decidedly the worse for wear, having experienced the toughest twenty-four hours of the entire journey. I have to ford no less than nine streams of ice-cold water; get benighted on a rain-soaked adobe plain, where I have to sleep out all night in an abandoned freight- wagon; and, after carrying the bicycle across seven miles of deep, sticky clay, I finally arrive at Carter, looking like the last sad remnant of a dire calamity - having had nothing to eat for twenty-four hours. From Carter my route leads through the Bad-Lands, amid buttes of mingled clay and rock, which the elements have worn into all conceivable shapes, and conspicuous among them can be seen, to the south, "Church Buttes," so called from having been chiselled by the dexterous hand of nature into a group of domes and pinnacles, that, from a distance, strikingly resembles some magnificent cathedral. High-water marks are observable on these buttes, showing that Noah's flood, or some other aqueous calamity once happened around here; and one can easily imagine droves of miserable, half-clad Indians, perched on top, looking with doleful, melancholy expression on the surrounding wilderness of waters. Arriving at Granger, for dinner, I find at the hotel a crest-fallen state of affairs somewhat similar to the glumness of Tacoma. Tacoma had plenty of customers, but no whiskey; Granger on the contrary has plenty of whiskey, but no customers. The effect on that marvellous, intangible something, the saloon proprietor's intellect, is the same at both places. Here is plainly a new field of research for some ambitious student of psychology. Whiskey without customers. Customers without whiskey. Truly all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Next day I pass the world-renowned castellated rocks of Green River, and stop for the night at Rock Springs, where the Union Pacific Railway Company has extensive coal mines. On calling for my bill at the hotel here, next morning, the proprietor - a corpulent Teuton, whose thoughts, words, and actions, run entirely to beer - replies, "Twenty-five cents a quart." Thinking my hearing apparatus is at fault, I inquire again. "Twenty-five cents a quart and vurnish yer own gan." The bill is abnormally large, but, as I hand over the amount, a "loaded schooner" is shoved under my nose, as though a glass of beer were a tranquillizing antidote for all the ills of life. Splendid level alkali flats abound east of Rock Springs, and I bowl across them at a lively pace until they terminate, and my route follows up Bitter Creek, where the surface is just the reverse; being seamed and furrowed as if it had just emerged from a devastating flood. It is said that the teamster who successfully navigated the route up Bitter Creek, considered himself entitled to be called "a tough cuss from Bitter Creek, on wheels, with a perfect education." A justifiable regard for individual rights would seem to favor my own assumption of this distinguished title after traversing the route with a bicycle. Ten o'clock next morning finds me leaning on my wheel, surveying the scenery from the "Continental Divide" - the backbone of the continent. Pacing the north, all waters at my right hand flow to the east, and all on my left flow to the west - the one eventually finding their way to the Atlantic, the other to the Pacific. This spot is a broad low pass through the Rockies, more plain than mountain, but from which a most commanding view of numerous mountain chains are obtained. To the north and northwest are the Seminole, Wind River, and Sweet-water ranges - bold, rugged mountain- chains, filling the landscape of the distant north with a mass of great, jagged, rocky piles, grand beyond conception; their many snowy peaks peopling the blue ethery space above with ghostly, spectral forms well calculated to inspire with feelings of awe and admiration a lone cycler, who, standing in silence and solitude profound on the great Continental Divide, looks and meditates on what he sees. Other hoary monarchs are visible to the east, which, however, we shall get acquainted with later on. Down grade is the rule now, and were there a good road, what an enjoyable coast it would be, down from the Continental Divide! but half of it has to be walked. About eighteen miles from the divide I am greatly amused, and not a little astonished, at the strange actions of a coyote that comes trotting in a leisurely, confidential way toward me; and when he reaches a spot commanding a good view of my road he stops and watches my movements with an air of the greatest inquisitiveness and assurance. He stands and gazes as I trundle along, not over fifty yards away, and he looks so much like a well-fed collie, that I actually feel like patting my knee for him to come and make friends. Shoot at him . Certainly not. One never abuses a confidence like that. He can come and rub his sleek coat up against the bicycle if he likes, and - blood-thirsty rascal though he no doubt is - I will never fire at him. He has as much right to gaze in astonishment at a bicycle as anybody else who never saw one before.

Staying over night and the next day at Rawlins, I make the sixteen miles to Port Fred Steele next morning before breakfast, there bein" a very good road between the two places. This fort stands on the west bank of North Platte River, and a few miles west of the river I ride through the first prairie dog town encountered in crossing the continent from the west, though I shall see plenty of these interesting little fellows during the next three hundred miles. These animals sit near their holes and excitedly bark at whatever goes past. Never before have they had an opportunity to bark at a bicycle, and they seem to be making the most of their opportunity. I see at this village none of the small speckled owls, which, with the rattlesnake, make themselves so much at home in the prairie-dogs' comfortable quarters, but I see them farther east. These three strangely assorted companions may have warm affections toward each other; but one is inclined to think the great bond of sympathy that binds them together is the tender regard entertained by the owl and the rattlesnake for the nice, tender young prairie-pups that appear at intervals to increase the joys and cares of the elder animals.

I am now getting on to the famous Laramie Plains, and Elk Mountain looms up not over ten miles to the south - a solid, towery mass of black rocks and dark pine forests, that stands out bold and distinct from surrounding mountain chains as though some animate thing conscious of its own strength and superiority. A snow-storm is raging on its upper slopes, obscuring that portion of the mountain; but the dark forest-clad slopes near the base are in plain view, and also the rugged peak which elevates its white crowned head above the storm, and reposes peacefully in the bright sunlight in striking contrast to the warring elements lower down. I have heard old hunters assert that this famous "landmark of the Rockies" is hollow, and that they have heard wolves howling inside the mountain; but some of these old western hunters see and hear strange things!

As I penetrate the Laramie Plains the persistent sage-brush, that has constantly hovered around my path for the last thousand miles, grows beautifully less, and the short, nutritious buffalo-grass is creeping everywhere. In Carbon, where I arrive after dark, I mention among other things in reply to the usual volley of questions, the fact of having to foot it so great a proportion of the way through the mountain country; and shortly afterward, from among a group of men, I hear a voice, thick and husky with "valley tan," remark: " Faith, Oi cud roide a bicycle meself across the counthry av yeez ud lit me walluk it afut!" and straightway a luminous bunch of shamrocks dangled for a brief moment in the air, and then vanished. After passing Medicine Bow Valley and Como Lake I find some good ridable road, the surface being hard gravel and the plains high and dry. Reaching the brow of one of those rocky ridges that hereabouts divide the plains into so many shallow basins, I find myself suddenly within a few paces of a small herd of antelope peacefully grazing on the other side of the narrow ridge, all unconscious of the presence of one of creation's alleged proud lords. My ever-handy revolver rings out clear and sharp on the mountain air, and the startled antelope go bounding across the plain in a succession of quick, jerky jumps peculiar to that nimble animal; but ere they have travelled a hundred yards one of them lags behind and finally staggers and lays down on the grass. As I approach him he makes a gallant struggle to rise and make off after his companions, but the effort is too much for him, and coming up to him, I quickly put him out of pain by a shot behind the ear. This makes a proud addition to my hitherto rather small list of game, which now comprises jack-rabbits, a badger, a fierce gosling, an antelope, and a thin, attenuated coyote, that I bowled over in Utah.

>From this ridge an extensive view of the broad, billowy plains and surrounding mountains is obtained. Elk Mountain still seems close at hand, its towering form marking the western limits of the Medicine Bow Range whose dark pine-clad slopes form the western border of the plains. Back of them to the west is the Snowy Range, towering in ghostly grandeur as far above the timber-clad summits of the Medicine Bow Range as these latter are above the grassy plains at their base. To the south more snowy mountains stand out against the sky like white tracery on a blue ground, with Long's Peak and Fremont's Peak towering head and shoulders above them all. The Rattlesnake Range, with Laramie Peak rearing its ten thousand feet of rugged grandeur to the clouds, are visible to the north. On the east is the Black Hills Range, the last chain of the Rockies, and now the only barrier intervening between me and the broad prairies that roll away eastward to the Missouri River and "the States."

A genuine Laramie Plains rain-storm is hovering overhead as I pull out of Rock Creek, after dinner, and in a little while the performance begins. There is nothing of the gentle pattering shower about a rain and wind storm on these elevated plains; it comes on with a blow and a bluster that threatens to take one off his feet. The rain is dashed about in the air by the wild, blustering wind, and comes from all directions at the same time. While you are frantically hanging on to your hat, the wind playfully unbuttons your rubber coat and lifts it up over your head and flaps the wet, muddy corners about in your face and eyes; and, ere you can disentangle your features from the cold uncomfortable embrace of the wet mackintosh, the rain - which "falls" upward as well as down, and sidewise, and every other way-has wet you through up as high as the armpits; and then the gentle zephyrs complete your discomfiture by purloining your hat and making off across the sodden plain with it, at a pace that defies pursuit. The storm winds up in a pelting shower of hailstones - round chunks of ice that cause me to wince whenever one makes a square hit, and they strike the steel spokes of the bicycle and make them produce harmonious sounds. Trundling through Cooper Lake Basin, after dark, I get occasional glimpses of mysterious shadowy objects flitting hither and thither through the dusky pall around me. The basin is full of antelope, and my presence here in the darkness fills them with consternation; their keen scent and instinctive knowledge of a strange presence warn them of my proximity; and as they cannot see me in the darkness they are flitting about in wild alarm. Stopping for the night at Lookout, I make an early start, in order to reach Laramie City for dinner. These Laramie Plains "can smile and look pretty" when they choose, and, as I bowl along over a fairly good road this sunny Sunday morning, they certainly choose. The Laramie River on my left, the Medicine Bow and Snowy ranges - black and white respectively - towering aloft to the right, and the intervening plains dotted with herds of antelope, complete a picture that can be seen nowhere save on the Laramie Plains. Reaching a swell of the plains, that almost rises to the dignity of a hill, I can see the nickel-plated wheels of the Laramie wheelmen glistening in the sunlight on the opposite side of the river several miles from where I stand. They have come out a few miles to meet me, but have taken the wrong side of the river, thinking I had crossed below Rock Creek. The members of the Laramie Bicycle Club are the first wheelmen I have seen since leaving California; and, as I am personally acquainted at Laramie, it is needless to dwell on my reception at their hands. The rambles of the Laramie Club are well known to the cycling world from the many interesting letters from the graphic pen of their captain, Mr. Owen, who, with two other members, once took a tour on their wheels to the Yellowstone National Park. They have some very good natural roads around Laramie, but in their rambles over the mountains these "rough riders of the Rockies" necessarily take risks that are unknown to their fraternal brethren farther east.

Tuesday morning I pull out to scale the last range that separates me from "the plains" - popularly known as such - and, upon arriving at the summit, I pause to take a farewell view of the great and wonderful inter- mountain country, across whose mountains, plains, and deserts I have been travelling in so novel a manner for the last month. The view from where I stand is magnificent - ay, sublime beyond human power to describe - and well calculated to make an indelible impression on the mind of one gazing upon it, perhaps for the last time. The Laramie Plains extend northward and westward, like a billowy green sea. Emerging from a black canon behind Jelm Mountain, the Laramie River winds its serpentine course in a northeast direction until lost to view behind the abutting mountains of the range, on which I now stand, receiving tribute in its course from the Little Laramie and numbers of smaller streams that emerge from the mountainous bulwarks forming the western border of the marvellous picture now before me. The unusual rains have filled the numberless depressions of the plains with ponds and lakelets that in their green setting glisten and glimmer in the bright morning sunshine like gems. A train is coming from the west, winding around among them as if searching out the most beautiful, and finally halts at Laramie City, which nestles in their midst - the fairest gem of them all - the "Gem of the Rockies." Sheep Mountain, the embodiment of all that is massive and indestructible, juts boldly and defiantly forward as though its mission were to stand guard over all that lies to the west. The Medicine Bow Eange is now seen to greater advantage, and a bald mountain-top here and there protrudes above the dark forests, timidly, as if ashamed of its nakedness. Our old friend, Elk Mountain, is still in view, a stately and magnificent pile, serving as a land-mark for a hundred miles around. Beyond all this, to the west and south - a good hundred miles away - are the snowy ranges; their hoary peaks of glistening purity penetrating the vast blue dome above, like monarchs in royal vestments robed. Still others are seen, white and shadowy, stretching away down into Colorado, peak beyond peak, ridge beyond ridge, until lost in the impenetrable distance.

As I lean on my bicycle on this mountain-top, drinking in the glorious scene, and inhaling the ozone-laden air, looking through the loop-holes of recent experiences in crossing the great wonderland to the west; its strange intermingling of forest-clad hills and grassy valleys; its barren, rocky mountains and dreary, desolate plains; its vast, snowy solitudes and its sunny, sylvan nooks; the no less strange intermingling of people; the wandering red-skin with his pathetic history; the feverishly hopeful prospector, toiling and searching for precious metals locked in the eternal hills; and the wild and free cow-boy who, mounted on his wiry bronco, roams these plains and mountains, free as the Arab of the desert - I heave a sigh as I realize that no tongue or pen of mine can hope to do the subject justice.

My road is now over Cheyenne Pass, and from this point is mostly down-grade to Cheyenne. Soon I come to a naturally smooth granite surface which extends for twelve miles, where I have to keep the brake set most of the distance, and the constant friction heats the brake-spoon and scorches the rubber tire black. To-night I reach Cheyenne, where I find a bicycle club of twenty members, and where the fame of my journey from San Francisco draws such a crowd on the corner where I alight, that a blue-coated guardian of the city's sidewalks requests me to saunter on over to the hotel. Do I. Yes, I saunter over. The Cheyenne "cops" are bold, bad men to trifle with. They have to be "bold, bad men to trifle with," or the wild, wicked cow-boys would come in and "paint the city red " altogether too frequently. It is the morning of June 4th as I bid farewell to the "Magic City," and, turning my back to the mountains, ride away over very fair roads toward the rising sun. I am not long out before meeting with that characteristic feature of a scene on the Western plains, a "prairie schooner;" and meeting prairie schooners will now be a daily incident of my eastward journey. Many of these "pilgrims" come from the backwoods of Missouri and Arkansas, or the rural districts of some other Western State, where the persevering, but at present circumscribed, cycler has not yet had time to penetrate, and the bicycle is therefore to them a wonder to be gazed at and commented on, generally - it must be admitted - in language more fluent as to words than in knowledge of the subject discussed. Not far from where the trail leads out of Crow Creek bottom on to the higher table-land, I find the grassy plain smoother than the wagon-trail, and bowl along for a short distance as easily as one could wish. But not for long is this permitted; the ground becomes covered with a carpeting of small, loose cacti that stick to the rubber tire with the clinging tenacity of a cuckle-burr to a mule's tail. Of course they scrape off again as they come round to the bridge of the fork, but it isn't the tire picking them up that fills me with lynx-eyed vigilance and alarm; it is the dreaded possibility of taking a header among these awful vegetables that unnerves one, starts the cold chills chasing each other up and down my spinal column, and causes staring big beads of perspiration to ooze out of my forehead. No more appalling physical calamity on a small scale could befall a person than to take a header on to a cactus-covered greensward; millions of miniature needles would fill his tender hide with prickly sensations, and his vision with floating stars. It would perchance cast clouds of gloom over his whole life. Henceforth he would be a solemn-visaged, bilious-eyed needle-cushion among men, and would never smile again. I once knew a young man named Whipple, who sat down on a bunch of these cacti at a picnic in Virginia Dale, Wyo., and he never smiled again. Two meek-eyed maidens of the Rockies invited him to come and take a seat between them on a thin, innocuous-looking layer of hay. Smilingly poor, unsuspecting Whipple accepted the invitation; jokingly he suggested that it would be a rose between two thorns. But immediately he sat down he became convinced that it was the liveliest thorn - or rather millions of thorns - between two roses. Of course the two meek-eyed maidens didn't know it was there, how should they. But, all the same, he never smiled again - not on them.

At the section-house, where I call for dinner, I make the mistake of leaving the bicycle behind the house, and the woman takes me for an uncommercial traveller - yes, a tramp. She snaps out, "We can't feed everybody that comes along," and shuts the door in my face. Yesterday I was the centre of admiring crowds in the richest city of its size in America; to-day I am mistaken for a hungry-eyed tramp, and spurned from the door by a woman with a faded calico dress and a wrathy what - are? look in her eye. Such is life in the Far West.

Gradually the Rockies have receded from my range of vision, and I am alone on the boundless prairie. There is a feeling of utter isolation at finding one's self alone on the plains that is not experienced in the mountain country. There is something tangible and companionable about a mountain; but here, where there is no object in view anywhere - nothing but the boundless, level plains, stretching away on every hand as far as the eye can reach, I and all around, whichever way one looks, nothing but the green carpet below and the cerulean arch above-one feels that he is the sole occupant of a vast region of otherwise unoccupied space. This evening, while fording Pole Creek with the bicycle, my clothes, and shoes - all at the same time - the latter fall in the river; and m my wild scramble after the shoes I drop some of the clothes; then I drop the machine in my effort to save the clothes, and wind up by falling down in the water with everything. Everything is fished out again all right, but a sad change has come over the clothes and shoes. This morning I was mistaken for a homeless, friendless wanderer; this evening as I stand on the bank of Pole Creek with nothing over me but a thin mantle of native modesty, and ruefully wring the water out of my clothes, I feel considerably like one. Pine Bluffs provides me with shelter for the night, and a few miles' travel next morning takes me across the boundary-line into Nebraska My route leads down Pole Creek, with ridable roads probably half the distance, and low, rocky bluffs lining both sides of the narrow valley, and leading up to high, rolling prairie beyond. Over these rocky bluffs the Indians were wont to stampede herds of buffalo, which falling over the precipitous bluffs, would be killed by hundreds, thus procuring an abundance of beef for the long winter. There are no buffalo here now - they have departed with the Indians - and I shall never have a chance to add a bison to my game-list on this tour. But they have left plenty of tangible evidence behind, in the shape of numerous deeply worn trails leading from the bluffs to the creek.

The prairie hereabouts is spangled with a wealth of divers-colored flowers that fill the morning air with gratifying perfume. The air is soft and balmy, in striking contrast to the chilly atmosphere of early morning in the mountain country, where the accumulated snows of a thousand winters exert their chilling influence in opposition to the benign rays of old Sol. This evening I pass through "Prairie-dog City," the largest congregation of prairie-dog dwellings met with on the tour. The "city" covers hundreds of acres of ground, and the dogs come out in such multitudes to present their noisy and excitable protests against my intrusion, that I consider myself quite justified in shooting at them. I hit one old fellow fair and square, but he disappears like a flash down his hole, which now becomes his grave. The lightning-like movements of the prairie-dog, and his instinctive inclination toward his home, combine to perform the last sad rites of burial for his body at death. As, toward dark, I near Potter Station, where I expect accommodation for the night, a storm comes howling from the west, and it soon resolves into a race between me and the storm. With a good ridable road I could win the race; but, being handicapped with an unridable trail, nearly obscured beneath tall, rank grass, the storm overtakes me, and comes in at Potter Station a winner by about three hundred lengths.

In the morning I start out in good season, and, nearing Sidney, the road becomes better, and I sweep into that enterprising town at a becoming pace. I conclude to remain at Sidney for dinner, and pass the remainder of the forenoon visiting the neighboring fort.