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Friday, May 28, 2010

Trip Diary 1916

This is a transcription of a trip diary which was posted in parts on the advrider forum:

On that forum is a description of where the diary came from.

I have not looked at this in a couple of years.

I copied the posts, and fixed a few obvious typing errors.

For some reason, I also seem to have underlined some words which were originally all in caps.

There seems to be a page in the diary which was not transcribed in the forum, but I'm not sure.

There are some photos at the end.

Numbers in [] are the original diary page numbers.

The story of the trip from Montgomery, Ala -to-Abington,Va. -via- Atlanta, Ga Spartanburg, SC Charlotte, NC Winston-Salem, NC Roanoke,Va 859 miles in 43hr.35 min On a 1916 Indian motorcycle
By Chas K.Findlay
Thur. June 8th 1916
After looking over the motor, filling the tanks and strapping on the baggage the nite before.
Baggage consisted of rain coat and gal. of oil. I was ready to go as soon as I was dressed. I put on my riding suit which was already dirty and greasy so you can imagine what I will look like at the end of the 859 miles. I cranked off at 5:20am I was leaving Montgomery behind me.
5:45 I almost froze! I didn't know a June morning could be so cold espesialy in Ala. I found some of yesterdays newspapers by the road. Looked clean so I stuffed them under my coat. [3] and then rode on more comfortable.
6:00 Baggage shook loose but I've got it strapped on now so it won't give me any more trouble.
7:00am passed thru Tuskegee, Ala. This is where the big Booker T. Washington negro college is.
7:40am Auburn, Ala. Had breakfast. This is where big Military college is
8:15 am Opelika, Ala. The only thing that happen was I got a gal of gas. The morning was fine and the roads were fair. [4] So I was rambling along to a town. I stayed there just long enough to find out how to get out. Just a little while before I got to West Point Ga. I got on the finest road you ever saw. Just smooth as a carpet and wide enough for three autos to run abreast. I noticed a strange thing I didn't see a single track on it! I couldn't quite get the idea why such a fine road should be unused All-of-a-sudden as I came around [5] I came to the end!! There happen to be a man plowing in a field by the road and I asked him why this good road stopped right here and how to get to West Point Ga. He said "That road aint finished yet. They run out of money and had to stop building it. You should have turned to the right 5 miles back, but you can take this wagon road thru the woods and it will bring you to West Point road". I did as he said and was soon on the right road. [6]
In a little while I was in West Point, Ga.
9:40am I got gal. of gas. The road was very sandy out of here, the new road is not finished yet. The drive chain to speedometer broke! I took it apart and found broken piece. Took out my pliars and clipped out a piece of the barbed wire fence, made a chain link put it in place of the broken one. Put speedometer back on then rode on everything all right.
12:00 - Newman Ga. This was end of first day's stop when I rode to New York with My father. [7] It happen to be where I had lunch. About 20 miles from Altanta the road was being fixed, and that road was the biggest mess you ever saw! It was just like riding thru a plowed up field. When I came into College Park (about 10 miles from Atlanta) the express train bound for Atlanta was standing at the station. We both pull out at the same time! (The road very good here to Atlanta). We stayed side-by-side! When we had gone a mile [8] or more we reached the speed of about 55 or 60mph. Everybody in the train was staring out the windows at me and seemed much surprised at the fact that a motorcycle could keep pace with the Atlanta express. Then something happened! I was watching the train too much and didn't see the bad place I was going into. The road had a kind of a wash out right straight across it, It was about 3-4ft deep and about 20ft wide with sloping banks on both sides. Well I dropped down [9] in there about 58 mph and then shot up the other side and into the air! Believe me it was some jump! I know my wheels cleared 5ft or more and I covered about fifty feet in distance before I came down! The second I came down I opened up and kept up with the train. It surprised me very much how easy I landed. About this time I think everybody was on one side of the train! About 2 miles further and I had to slow down. I was getting into Atlanta [10] and there was too much danger of running into a wagon, auto or something. Well I keep up with that train for about 5 miles. I had a lot of fun by running up to the engine and then slowing down and drop back to the observation car, then open up to the engine again and stuff like that. 2:00pm I was in the heart of Atlanta, Ga. Which makes a run of nine hours from Montgomery, Ala. My back tire was just about worn out and I knew it would be giving trouble so [11] I decided to buy a new one. I liked that "Kelly Springfield" tire and I knew they had a branch place here so I tried to find it. Atlanta Ga. is the hardest place to find your way around than any other place of its size I have ever seen. After looking for the "Kelly Springfield" tire co. for ONE whole hour at last I found it. And then after a long continueation of delays I at last got the new back tire on the wheel. It was until 6:00pm that I was leaving Atlanta. I stopped on way out for gal. of gas. and gal. of oil
I made a big sprint for "Winder Ga. Which is about 55.8 miles from Atlanta. (This was my second stop when I was on my way to New York with my father. It happens to be my first this time.) There were paved roads10 miles out of Atlanta and after that was in fair shape. It got dark and I had to use my light. I came flying around a corner and came to the cross roads. It happen right where the roads cross there was a big and very bad sand bed, my light wasn't burning very extra [13] bright just then so I didn't see it right away and went flying into it and down went me and the motor before I knew what happen! I got up, picked up my motor, nothing was hurt. Now it happened that I was right in the middle of the crossroads so I saw four roads leading four different way, they all were the same build and looked alike, now I didn't know which one to take. I was glad the moon was shining good and bright. I set my motor on the stand [14] and went back to the place I hit the ground, then followed my tracks back to the road! I had come from and I knew my route was straight thru. Next little town I lost three min. getting a gal. gas and then beat it on into "Winder Ga." A run of two hours from Atlanta. Stayed at a small hotel, same one my father and myself stayed at, and got a good nights rest. The end of the first day's run. 250 miles.
Fri. June 9th 1916 I had my breakfast early so I could get a good start at the road. About 6:45. I left Winder, Ga. and was on my way to Athens, Ga. The road to Athens is a very good road, broad and hard but you have to be careful because at places it seems to jump right off a cliff right into a chasm! Down you go, around steep and sharp curves and then shoot out across a bridge at bottom, then up again on the other side about the same [16] way as going down. A little less than an hour riding put me in Athens Which is a very good size town. The roads from here on are not so good, It is very hilly and rough, It gets good at times and then bad, and then bad to worse and then good for a while and so on. Gee! The sun is hot! The handle bars of the motor are so hot I can't touch them anywhere except on the rubber grips. And the heat from that engine! Good [17] Night! I had to ride with my feet on the handle bars to keep my legs from being burn't Couldn't hold my hand a foot away from it, It was so hot. It's a wonder it didn't melt. I didn't stop, I just keep on going and that engine was running just a pretty as you please, but believe me I was giving it the oil, I used two quarts in 20 miles! I left a trail of smoke behind me like a ocean liner! I got off the motor at one town when I was [18] having a gal. of gas put in the tank. When the sun had been warming up my leather seat!! I got back on I got right off again quick!! I said "Say! Do youall have this kind of weather always"? One fellow answered, Nope. Very unusual, you may not believe it but it hailed last nite and the weather man says strange things for this after noon, so keep your eyes open. I thanked him for the information then poured a bucket a water [19] over the seat to cool it off then rode on. It had, I mean the weather had cooled off a bit and the sun was under a cloud so the riding was much better.
There were two ferrys crossing to S.C.and they had up big signs along the road. One saying they had the best boat and route and the other would say they had the best road and quickest crossing. As the distance grew shorter to the ferries the signs grew very large and the bull written [20] on them had also grown very large. At the forks of the road where you were to decide which ferry you wanted were signs as big as a house with letters on then you could read a mile telling you which one was the best. Both ways went to Anderson, S.C. I looked at the signs a minute and then I decide that both were the best so I took out a coin and said heads-right tails -Left I pitched it up and it came down heads so I took [21] the right road.
It was a very good road, I rode along for about a mile then I saw the river down the gorge, very beautiful seanery but I wasn't interested in it. The road went down and down- around sharp curves in and out of cliffs for about a half mile or more and then at the bottom. I came to the ferry landing. Everything looked like it was dead. There was a little ferry that looked to me if you didn't get right in the middle it would turn over. There was [22] a little shed by the ferry that looked like it was about to fall to pieces. I sounded my horn to get somebody to take me across. I heard very strong voice "Well get in the boat"! I looked around quick and saw a white bush on the ferry! It was the voice in the bush!! Oh, excuse me I'm a little bit wrong , I took another look and saw it was an old man with a beard!! He was about 4ft 5in high and had a great mass of white [23] whiskers that nearly reached the ground. And covered his body from the chin down. I never saw such a beard in all my life. That old man could make a fortune in a circus side show with that beard. I got on the boat and we started across the river. I was very nervous, I didn't like his looks. He looked to me like he was just about to jump out from behind that beard on to my neck. He spoke! I nearly jumped in the river! His voice was like [24] thunder! He said, "we had hail storm here last night" I said "Yes I know and we are having a thunder storm right now" He said "What!" I said "nothing". And at the same time put my hand in my pocket where my gun was. Well we got across and I was still alive. He made it very plain that the charge was 25 cents I gave it to him at arms length and jumped on my motorcycle and left, and the way I went up that hill!! I know my engine [25] must have thought a band of wild indians were right behind me. I don't know what made me such a fool to be afraid of that old man because I am much larger and stronger than he, but there was something about him I didn't like.
About the only difference I could see in the two states Ga. and S.C. is that S.C. state had more bumps and holes in the road than in Ga. I passes thur Annderson S.C.a good size town. Had lunch there. The roads were [26] fair. Anderson S.C. was the third days stop when I was going to New York with my dad. I ate lunch a little before noon here this time. The roads were pretty bad just out of Anderson but got better later on but there were still bad places every little ways. It's nothing but a plain old dirt road. About 2:00 pm I came to Greenville, S.C. I got gas and oil for [27] my motor and a milk shake for myself and then left. The roads from here on are very good for a little ways and then it gets back to the same old clay-dirt road as before. I got into Greenville. I meet another fellow on a motorcycle, we had a little race but it didn't last long. He gave up and let me by. I was bound for Spartanburg, S.C. I thought I would get in about 4:30 pm There is a rock road for the last ten miles just before Spartanburg [28] The rock road is about 20ft wide and on each side it has a dirt road for wagons. I prefered to ride the dirt road, it was much better than the rock road. The rock road was very badly worn and full of deep holes.
4:15pm I arrived at Spartanburg, I paid a hurried visit to the Clinkscales, some old friends, and then left for Charlotte, N.C. I had just got started out of Spartanburg when the trouble started!! I was riding along at a nice speed when [29] I noticed the air was hot and stuffy I couldn't quite understand that because it was getting along late in the afternoon and it ought to be getting cool. Every now and then a little breeze would come and it would be as hot as if it came out of a blast furnance, and then I begain to hear strange sounds such as one thinks he hears in a graveyard at night, anyway I heard these and they grew louder and louder, then came a [30] breeze so hot I thought I would roast and then came a breeze so cold I almost froze. I remembered the warning the fellow gave me in this morning about keeping my eyes open and watch out for strange things to happen. I looked around to see what it was all about, I found out and it almost scared me green! The road was very sandy right along here and at places there was deep sandbeds but I didn't [31] mind that. I opened up to get away! It was a funnel shaped whirl wind about 500 or 600 ft high, It might have been higher for all I know but it looked a mile high to me. It was so powerful that it pulled up small trees, torn off limbs of big ones and took all the road signs with it. It was about 100 ft behind me when I saw it and it stayed at that direction till I came to a turn in the road and the whirlwind went straight [32] I watched it for a little while, tearing up thing it went and finaly died away in the distance.

About 30 minutes later I had a race with a Hudson Super "six" up kings mountain S.C. It was a beautiful road winding in and out the cliffs of the mountains and about 30% grade. The car had a head start on me but about half way up I passed it, I was in high about 30 and the Hudson must have been in second for [33] it was only making about 10 mph. I reached the top, went down, passed about a dozen little towns and then looked back to see if anymore whirl-winds were behind me, there wasn't any but there was a rain storm about 3 miles behind me so I increased speed about 5 mph and rode about 40 miles and then I noticed that the storm was closing in on me from all sides. It was getting very dark and I had to use my [34] light. I could tell storm was closing in because lightning flashes were thick and fast on all sides, and the air was very cold! The road was good and my light was bright so I speeded up for a sprint into Charlotte, N.C. which is about 5 miles away. I reached there just as it begain to - not rain but hail! It was SOME hail believe me! I'd just as soon somebody would throw gravel at me. I went [35]
flying into the first garage I saw and nearly ran over everybody and everything in there. That hail came down so hard on my motor I thought were it would crack all the enamal off and put little dents in the tank, But it didn't hurt it. I looked it over good. I left my motor at the garage and went to the nearest hotel, cleaned up a bit, (you should have seen the water when I got done) and then [36] went out to a resturant and had supper, and right back to the hotel I went! And to bed! So ended my second day's adventure, I had come from - Winder, Ga. to Charlotte, N.C. thu ALL of S.C. and 55 miles of S.C. a total of 241 miles the day. I got into Charlotte at 7 P.M.
The morning of the third day I started out with the idea of crossing the Blue Ridges [37] Mountains into Roanoke V.A. before sun down. I left Charlotte N.C. at 7:00AM The road was good at times and very bad at other times and generally fair. Nothing happened worth writing about until 11:00AM I stoped in Winston-Salem N.C. and got something to eat. I had come 84 miles from Charlotte. The road out of Winston-Salem is a extra good hard road, so I was just flying along. I came over a hill about 45MPH and right there in the road just a little ahead of me I saw two of the [38] Largest Hounds I ever saw. And they stood right there in front of me and wagged thier tails. I was on them in a second! I missed one but it was to late to miss the other! I held the handle bars firm and crashed right into his broadside, it seems as if I could hear his back bone twist and his ribs snap!! I next thing I knew I was wabbling down the road and it was all I could do to keep it up. The dog was so big that the wheel would not go over him so [39] I just knocked him out of the way and at the same time crushing his breast for you know it a pretty hard hit to into anything going 45 mph.
All went well after that till I came within 15 miles of Martinville VA. where I came to a very large healthy mud hole which lasted for about 200 yds A Ford was stuck right in the middle of it but my old motor pulled me thru. The fellows in the Ford told me to go back to the last town I left [40] Because the roads ahead were impassable. I told them I didn't mind a small matter like that and then rode on. From there on I had a great deal of mud all the way into Martinsville,Va. Where I stopped and had some ham and eggs. I asked about the road from there to Roanoke Va. They said that this was the first day in two weeks it had not rained, and the road were just about impassable even with a wagon. I made up my [41] Mind to try it any way. Everybody there said "nobody home"! I left and rode on about 3 miles in the slippery slopy mud and then I came to a place where the wheels began to sink in deep, and kept on sinking down until the footboards rested on the ground! But the old indian pulled out! A little further on I came to some real soft mud and as I got into it I begain to sink again ! This time I closed the muffler right quick [42] before it went under so it wouldn't get full of mud. The hubs went under! The footboards went under! The magneto went under! I knew if the mud would get to the carberater it would be a case of good night! I was getting ready to leave the thing when it stopped sinking, I suppose it was on rock hard bottom. I tried to start the motor but found it rather hard to operate the starter under the mud! At last I succeeded, [43] It was good thing I remembered to close the cut out before going in because it was a great deal of back presure as it was, But I gave it the gas and it pulled out! A little further on I came on to another mud hole that looked like it would be impossible to go thru and I thought I would have to ride back thru the mud about 20 miles back. I got off my motor and looked around to see if there was any possible chance of getting thru or [44] around it. I would hate like everything to have to go back to Martinville and let those fellow laugh at me and say "I told you so" I found a little foot path that went out into the woods on the left hand side of the road. I figured that maybe this path was use by people walking to, get around the mud hole. I thought well it won't hurt to try it. I got on the motor and started out on the path [45] It zizzaged around in the woods a little and then I was on the road again! I was very pleasantly supprised! I look back and I saw the awful mud hole. Sure enough, I had gone around it.
After a few more little things like that I arrived at Rocky Mount,Va. (a town of about 500 - 1,000 people, 28 miles from Roanoke, Va.) I stopped at the town grocery store and made a lot of fuss with my engine. It looked like [46] everybody in town came out to meet me, and they all stood around and looked at me. Just like they would stand when a circus would come to town. One fellow stepped up to me and said "where in the hell did you come from!?" I said "Oh I just popped up out of the ground". Silence! Then he said "well you look like it." Then more silence! Then another [47] fellow came up to me and said, "I am asking you like a gentleman. Would you be so kind to inform us as to the place you have come from. I said "I will do so with great pleasure, I came from Charlotte N.C. this morning, but I have had the most delightful ride from Martinsville here, the country was beautiful, the seanery was magnificent and there was no dust on the road" to have heard [48] those country fellows laugh. They slapped each other on the back and roared. One fellow asked me if I saw any tracks on the road. I said, "come to think of it I didn't see any tracks except a lot of old ruts". He said "well, the road for the last two weeks has been concidered impassable for any thing except horseback riders. We sent word into Martinsville for them to tell everybody that tried to get thru" I said, "yes, they [49] told me that but I told them that I didn't mind a small matter like that". He said, "now I'm going to tell you something and I am going to impress it on you. You'll have to stop here, you can't go on, on a motorcycle. The train is the only thing that leaves this town now. If you want it impressed I'll tell you you have got to ford "Big Creek", and it ten feet high so you would find it rather hard to ford. I said "you win" [50] I put my motor in a fellows barn and I went to the Hotel. It was now dark and raining. It was SOME hotel. After I got my room the landlady said "now if you want to cleanup a bit we have a pick and shovel and the hose in the back yard". Her advice was good so I went out in the back yard and had a fellow turn the hose on me while another was going over me with a stick scraping the mud [51] off, everybody else was standing around laughing. I didn't mind the hose because I was wet already and happy because I had showed that a motorcycle could travel over impassable road when everything else had given up. I went to my room and went to bed leaving my clothes hanging before the fire before the fire to dry. So ends my third day's ride. I had come within 28 miles of where I said I would be at the end of the third and I [52] Would have gone on if BIG Creek had not been too deep to ford. For the days ride I had come from Charlotte, N.C to Rocky Mount, Va.a distance of 178 miles. For the three days I had come 669 miles. The next morning it was raining hard and I saw there was no chance to get away from here on a motorcycle, so I left it in Rocky Mount Va. and took the train for Wythville Va. via Roenoke Va. My father [53] and step mother are staying in Wytheville with my aunt and uncle, they came up from Montgomery, Ala. on the train via Birmingham, Ala. Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tenn.When I arrived in Wytheville my father asked me where was the motor? Told him how everything happened and said that I would wait till the roads dry enough for travel and then I would go back and get it. I waited about ten days and the weather was good so [54] I went back to get the motor.When I arrived in Rocky Mount I looked up the man that was keeping my motor in his barn for me. He unlocked the barn and said "you'll find your motor just as you left it, nobody has touched since you left it". I rolled it out and looked it over, everything was ok. The tires hadn't even gone down a bit. I offered to pay him something but he wouldn't take anything so all I could do was to thank him.
I loaded up with gas and oil and then started for the ride over the Blue Ridge Mountains of Va. I made good time but there were still a good deal of deep mud holes in the road. When I came to "BIG creek it was still a little high and mudy so I couldn't see the bottom. But I went right in. When I got about in the middle and the water about half way up on the engine I hit a big rock which started me up stream in deeper [56] water, then I hit another rock!! I tried to hold it but some how I couldn't find any place to put my feet so down I went! Motor and everything! I went under head and all! I got up and looked around to see where the motorcycle was! There was a country boy standing on the bank and he seemed to be enjoying my hard luck to a very great extent. I gave him 25 cents to come in an help me find the motor. He saw about 3 inches of the [57] handlebar above the water., we went over to it and there it was. We fished out and then I spent some time in drying the running parts. I had to take the carberator all apart and dry each part seprate. The magneto wasn't hurt by the water at all, and none got in the gas and oil tanks, but it is a wonder it didn't crack the cyclinders. In a little while I got started up the mountain, I had to run in low for the mud, but along [58] Near the top it was dry so I put it in high, (this is not poetry) and went up that place, but not for long for as I came around one of those sharp turns I skidded over right close close to the edge of the cliff and then went the rest of the way up in second! Believe me it was some steep climb, about like going up the steps at times, If you consider the steps to be very eragular. I got up all right and then I stopped for a min. [59] to look around, I'am on a point 5,000-6,000 ft high. It's some sight from here believe me. The road here is right along by a cliff that makes a straight drop for about 800ft! It was the same cliff that I skidded over to! Just then a very strange feeling came over me, supposing I had skidded a little bit further!!!? I didn't think but when I went down the other side my greatest speed was 8 miles per hour! Until I reached the bottom. I bet I slid the back wheel half way down that [60] place trying to hold back. I got down alright, (by this time my wet clothes were feeling very uncomfortable) then a little latter I was in Roanoke,Va. I stopped there for awhile and saw the Indian people there. They were very good to me, they showed me every attention they could. I got a few little parts for my motor that had worn out and shook loose. I filled up with gas and oil and then I asked them how much. He said, "OH, nothing, we always do that for a traveler on a Indian" I thanked him very [61] much and then I asked him how do I get on the road to Wytherville Va. He said "Wait just a minute, I'll have one of my men escort you out of the city". He went back in the shop to get the man and I went out to crank up my motor. A fellow came out of the shop with a motorcycle, and the boss of the place right behind him. The boss said "this fellow (pointing to me) came from Montgomery Ala. and is going to Abington Va. He wants to stop in Wytherville over nite with some of his [62] people and go to Abington in the morning. You take him out of town about 3 miles on the Wytherville road, give him directions and come back". He wished me luck and then we left. (my clothes were about dry now) Gee! How that fellow did drive a motorcycle! We just FLEW out of that town! I don't know if he was trying to run away from me or not but I stayed right behind him. We got into the country and we still flew along. We took the left [63] at the fork in the road about 58 mph and then he held out his hand, (a signal to stop) and we stopped. He said "now you are on the right road, (and then gave directions that would fill a book). Don't try to run fast like we have been going because the road from here on is not so good and it dangerous. If you don't know it by heart you are libel to kill yourself if you don't go slow". He then turned around and left wishing me good luck. He was right about [64] it when he said the roads were not so good from now on. It looked like rain very much and it did rain, but not very hard so I just keep on going. About a half hour later I was going up a big valley with good size mountains on each side. Well, right ahead of me was coming a big rain storm and it was a big one just as black as it could be. I said to myself, "well, I guess I might just as well go into it". I fixed my rain coat on me as close as I could so [65] It would stand the storm and keep me dry. Just as it looks like I was going into that rain a funny thing happened, The rain parted right at the road and I went thru that storm without feeling a drop of that rain and it was just pouring down fifty feet on each side of me. When I got thru that storm it was raining the same as it was before. At last it stopped raining, and I have come 58 miles in the rain. Later on [66] I came to a fork in the road, One road was VERY good road and the other was not. Over the good road was a sign - 4 miles to Puliske Va. and the other road didn't have any sign. Now the fellow that went out of Roanoke with me didn't say anything about going thru Puliske but I thought surely that must be the right road so I went that way. It was a road that went along the side of a mountain so there was a cliff on one side of the road and a mountain [67] side on the other. The road was a fine one so I was flying along. The road was always going up and right about the top was a danger sign but I didn't slow down. I went up to it about 30m.p.h and found it was a right angle turn on the side of the cliff, there was a straight drop down about 300ft (I didn't notice the exact distance down) Well as I say I came up to it about 30mph, and was very much surprised at the short turn. Now I'm pretty good at doing things at short notice and [68] I would have made it alright but just on the other side of the turn was a wagon with a mule team right in my way! I naturally turned out a bit when I first saw the wagon and then it was too late to turn back in and hold the road! The motor slipped out from under me and we slid for the cliff!! I grabbed on to a bush on the edge of the cliff and held on. I got my toes under the handlebars and held the motor, The back [69] wheel was hanging about a foot over the cliff. I saw what a place I was in. I said,"motor-cycle, I'm going to hold you up if I can, But if I feel this bush slipping I going to let you go!" The fellows in the wagon helped me up with a rope. They were scared to go so near the edge themselfs. When I got up I thanked them and jumped on the motor and left. Now I couldn't go slow because that would show that I was very scared so I went flying down the road as if [70] nothing had happened. But believe me I watched the turns. Now the reason I had ignored the danger sign is the last 100 miles I have seen about 200 danger signs and all the danger signs seem to be put up at the wrong place - where there is no danger, But this time there was. It seems to me they ought not allow that, it's like calling "wolf". I got into Puliski, Va. only to find that I was on the wrong [71] road. The road to Wytherville does not go thru Puliske but turns to the left at the forks I had passed. Well I had to go back, -- I got around the dangerous turn O.K. and then just before I came to the forks I passed the same wagon that caused me trouble. I told them that we had our little trouble for nothing, that I was on the wrong road. I got on the right road. It was very bad, rough-muddy-sandy-rocky and lots of creeks to ford. I got along alright on it and [72] a little way before I got into WythervilleI opened up for several miles. The road was very good. My motor was so full of carbon the best it would do was about 45m.p.h. On a level. I got into Wytheville O.K. I went around to my uncle's house where I had a nice supper and stayed over night. This end's my shortest day's ride. I had come from Rocky Mount Va. to Wytherville Va. by [73] Roanoke Va. A distance of 119 miles, riding was 7 hours. Next morning after breakfast I left for Abington Va. My home town. I had very good road a little way out of Wytherville which I road wide open until I came to the old stare road. Now this road is nearly a hundred years old. Built when this part of Va. had only a few settlements. Now by the looks of this road I don't believe it has had any work on it [74] since it was built It is a limestone rock road and the rocks are sticking out of the road six to 8 inch high and are fixed in the road so it is impossible to miss them. After a little way I was on a clay road which was worse than ever. After a few miles of that I got on a good, very good road, and open up again. I went thru Marion Va.and just as soon as I got out I opened [75] up again and flew along. This road lasted for about ten miles and then hit the plain dirt road again. When I got within 10 or 14 miles of Abington I got on the good hard road and flew along. I came over a hill and was flying down into the bottom and all at once crack! snap! and then a loud grind! The bearings in the front wheels had broken. I was going about 40mph and it was all I could do to keep it from falling. Believe me it did the Solome dance! [76] I just did get it stopped in time. Everything in the front hub had broken up and locked the wheel. Now something told me that was going to happen so I was prepared for it when I left Montgomery, Al. I got a big rock and out it under the engine base to raise the front wheel off the ground, then I took the front wheel off. I opened up a small package I had in the tool box which had a whole new set of front [77] wheel bearings. I put them in the hub and put the wheel on and was going again, - only lost twenty minutes. Six miles before I got to Abington I came to dirt road again, It was very bad. My engine was so full of carbon I could ride it wide open in most any kind of road , it would hardly do 35 mph I came to a big mud hole in the road that looked like one I had come thru before I got to Rocky Mount. It was clear across [78] the road and looked deep. I didn't see anyway around it and the only way to the other side I could see was straight thru the middle. There was an old man plowing in the field right by the road. He looked like he was a hundred years old. I asked him "why don't they fix this mud hole here"? He laughed and said "son, that mud hole has been there for fifty year and has never been [79] dry yet". I didn't say anything more about it but went on thru If it has been there for fifty years I know they will never fix it. I arrived in Abington O.K. Three hour ride from Wytherville. It's 65 miles. Also 38 creeks to ford (I counted them). I was going thru town when my father and step-mother waved me down from the porch of Mrs Davidson's home. I stopped and greeted them. So ends the [80] trip making my last day's ride the shortest. I have been on the road five days but my riding hours were short - First day I rode 11hrs (250miles) second day (250miles) 10 -1/2 hours (241miles) third day 11-1/2hrs (178 miles ) forth day 3 hrs (65miles) I went 18 miles further into Bristol, Tenn. just to run the trip into Tenn. Which make it 859 miles in 43hrs 35 min. On the trip I used 16 gal. of gas. Which makes an average of 54 miles to a gal. I also used 14 qts [81] of oil which makes an average of 62 miles to a qt. There was no repair work (except the busted front wheel) The motor came thru as smoothly as you please (except filling up with carbon, any motor will do that) and didn't give any trouble at all, even when I fell in the creek it was alright after I dried it out

THE STORY of the ride back to Montgomery ,Ala. -from- Abington ,Va. -to-Montgomery, Ala. -via- Knoxville. Tenn. Chattanagoo, Tenn. 625 miles in 26hrs. 25 min
By Chas. K. Findlay. on the same 1916 Indian Motorcycle as came up on.______
4:30A.M. The alarm clock woke me up I choked it, I looked [2] Out the window, It was pitch dark. I said, "oh well. I don't mind a small matter like that. I dressed in my riding outfit, Put on my football helmet and went down to the little brick store under the printing office where I kept my motor. I turned on the light and gave it once over, I knew it was all right before I had put a lot of work on it myself, cleaning carbon, grinding valves and a general fixing up for the trip. I tested it out yesterday [3] and believe me that thing did have some pep. Just give it a little gas and it would pick right up and get away from here. I straped on the baggage which was a rain coat. Mrs Davidson had made me a little lunch to eat on the trip but it's too much trouble to carry any thing like that so I ate it before I started. I rolled the motor out and said, "well old motor we are leaving here on a long jump again". It cranked off the first shot and seemed to be very pleased with the [4] idear of the travel.
5:15am I was flying down "MAIN" st of Albington, faster than anything ever went before, I bet! I guess the people thought the town was being raided by Germans or something. I had newspaper stuffed under my clothes to keep me warm thru the early hours of the morn, Because it sure is cold. It was still dark but I knew I was the only thing on the road ! My light was shining bright and gee! I did fly! There is three miles [5] of very bad road on the road to Bristol Tenn. and the rest is very good hard road. 5:40 AM It was day-light enough for me to turn out my light and five minutes later I arrived in Bristol, Va. My record from Abington to Bristol (18miles) is 23 min. But it was dark when I went there, the bad road, I got messed up in a lot of mud holes and had to go slow for awhile, but I made it to Bristol in 30 min. Now Bristol is on the state line, [6] one side is Bristol Va. and the other side is Bristol Tenn. Also it changes from Eastern time to central time in Tenn. I set my watch back one hour, so now I have come 18 miles and it is 30 minutes before I started ! I did not stop in Bristol but beat it on to Kingsport Tenn. which was the next town on the route. It was good and light when I was leaving Bristol, and a fine morning to ride aside from the fact that is was not [7] warm enought to take the newspaper from under my clothes. Fog pockets were so thick on the road that at times I didn't know if I was going over a cliff or into a river or something. (A fine feeling) I forded a lot of creeks, two good size ones and many small ones, and then I started up Johnson Mountain, Tenn. It was a very winding steep road and the gravel was loose on it so I had to be careful. Soon I had reached the top. I stopped for a minute to take a good [8] breathe and look at the wonderful landscape laid out before me. It was certainly beautiful, The sun had just risen, and the sky was all a red glow, the red tint on everything , and the fog in the valleys made a wonderful sight. I didn't lose much time, The next thing I was flying down the mountain on the south side. I didn't have any use for the engine for three miles. When I arrived in Kingsport, Tenn. a few minutes later, I stayed [9] there just long enough to find the road to Morristown, Tenn. Quite a good distance from here. (The sun was warming up things so I pulled the newspaper out from under my clothes) After I left Kingsport I had good roads for a while and then I got on the roughest road I most ever saw. It looked like the road to the old saw mill! It didn't stay straight for 50ft and rocks were sticking 6inches or a foot out of the road and they were laid out so they were [10] impossible to miss, also mud in between. After about three miles of that I had good road for about five foot !! Then had bad road again until I came to the Tenn. river. (about 10 minutes) Oh yes, I forgot to say before I set a schedule time of 23.3mph for all the way Into Montgomery Ala. Now let’s see if I can keep it. Now to go on with the story --- (right at this [11] point the river is not swift enough to run a ferry across so it has to be run by an engine. I thought the ferry-man would want to charge me about 50 cents to cross so I was ready with the engine running as soon as the boat landed on the other side, But I asked him "What's the charge?" He said "10 cents, " I said, "what! Do you mean to say you come down here from your house, run your this engine, take me and motorcycle across, charge me only a dime and then cross [12] back?" He said, "well, that's been the price for motorcycles ever since motorcycles have been running." I asked him what was the price for a car, and he said "20 cents" We landed on the other side. I gave him 50 cents and told him I didn't have time to wait for change. My brakes were working better than I ever saw them work before, Just a little preasure on either hand or foot brake and it would hold, a little more preasure and [13] they would slide the wheel. A little later on I needed them. I was riding very high up on the side of a hill and came to a turn around a small cliff and I was going about 30 mph and right around the turn the road seemed to go right over the side of the cliff it was so steep down. Right in the middle of that was a right angle turn then across a bridge. I had done such things before so I made it alright, My brakes and my experience is what [14] saved me. There was not a piece of a danger sign around, there are a great many danger signs on this road but they are all in the wrong place is one of the most dangerous places I ever saw. Just supposing some thing had had been coming up that place when I was going down. The next town on the route was Sulphur Springs city. A little while later I got on the dustiest road I ever saw. My [15] drive chain got full of dust and dirt and was making a lot of fuss and sticking so I had to stop and oil it. I measured the dust it was 6 inches deep! It was like fine powder, when I was going my front wheel plowed thru it like a motor boat plows thru the water. If there had been a car on the road going my way and if I had caught up with it, it would have been impossible to pass it on account of the dust. I never saw such dust in [16] all my life. It changed color every little way, it was from red, yellow and gray. A little later I got a surprise. All-of-a-sudden and then a shower of water and I was good and wet. I had forded a creek about 30 m.p.h. I didn't fall but you know to go thru water at that speed would knock water everywhere, even on the driver. I had been riding along unconsciously half asleep and dreaming about [17] something that is none of your business and of course I did not see the creek. Believe me that cold water sure woke me up. A little while later I came to a fork in the road, a sign said take right road to "Sulphur Springs". I thought well, That's my next town, so I took right road, it started up a mountain side, after I had gone about a mile up a steep grade I reached the top where there were several springs. the road ended!!! There was a Sunday [18] school picnic of nothing but girls! One of the girls came up to me and asked me what, I wanted coming up here on a private road. I told her I was making a trip and I thought Sulphur Springs was on my way. She said "you mean Sulphur Springs City. You take the left road at the forks for there, but that's alright, won't you stay with us up here awhile?" (I can't imagine how they could want a dusty greasy thing like me around) I said, [19] "thank you very much but I have a very important document from Washington, D.C. (bull) and I am due in Chattanooga, Tenn. by sundown. (which I was.) I am 35 min late now (which I was) and I will have to run a-mile-a-minute to make it up!" (more bull) I know she believed every word I said when she saw me go down that mountain road. Gee I did fly down that place (making a big show for my self) It's a wonder I didn't break my [20] neck. I got back to the forks in the road in good health. I was then 40 min. late. I took the left road, it was good along here and I just about kept my word about going a mile-a-minute! Just about then I saw a woman come running out of a farm by the road. She was screaming at the top of her voice and held something in her hand, she was having a regular duck fit! I thought sure someone was being murdered! [21] I slammed on the brakes and slid to a stop! I jumped off and with my hand on my gun I went running over to her!!! She was all out of breath and couldn't say a word! When I did get her to speak, she said, -"oh excuse me, I thought you were the mail man!" I didn't faint and I didn't say anything, but you can imagine how I felt. I was now 50 min. late! For the next 8 miles into Sulphur Springs City I made a lovely streak down the [22] road. Then after I left Sulphur Springs City I made another lovely streak for 25 miles into --- Morristown, Tenn. Good road: (20min late) Gee! I did run! If I could have kept that up, I would either have killed myself or been in Montgomery, Ala. that night! I got my tanks filled in Morristown (forgot to pay for it). The road was bad for a while and I lost time again, but as soon as I hit the good hard pike I made it up. [23] Just a little way from Knoxville, Tenn. I looked at my watch and mileage, I laughed to myself when I saw I was only 5 min late. I said to myself I was going to make that up before I got into Knoxville. I came flying around a turn and then out to the big bridge across the Tenn. river. A man came running out in front of me and tried to stop me but he almost got run over. Then another tried to stop me and almost got run over. I shot out on the bridge and [24] then I found out what was the matter!! I slammed on the brakes and slid up within three feet of a gap in the bridge! There was nothing but water nearly 100ft below!! There were a bunch of workmen there to fix it and they were all sure I was going thru. One fellow said --- "gosh! you fellows with motorcycles sure can stop quick!" Another fellow said " Some brakes!" I asked them how long it would be before they could get the gap fixed? [25] They said it would be about an hour. I said , "But dog-gone-it I've got to get across." "Well, we are sorry" they said "but we can't help it." I said "oh yes you can, just lay that plank across the gap (I pointed to a big strong plank) and I'll ride across". (The gap was about 6ft wide) They laid down the plank and I rode across easy enough. I gave them the high-ball sign and the next they saw was a cloud of dust on the other side of the bridge. I arrived in [26] time!!! It was just 11 o’clock and I had come 145 miles! How's that? I went into a restaurant to get something to eat. The waiter asked me where I came from. I told him - Abington, Va. He said "when did you leave? Yesterday morning?" I said, "No I left this morning". " Oh go on" he said, "you can't stuff me with that bull" After I had finished eating (ham and eggs) I went to the chamber of commerce to find out the best road to Chattanooga, Tenn. They asked me where [27] I came from and I told them but they wouldn't believe it. They asked me where I was going. I said, "Montgomery, Ala. but I mean to reach Chattanooga by sundown" They said, "now we know you are crazy". I learned the best road and took down the names of all the little and large towns on the way. I got the tanks filled. Oiled up all moving joints and bearings, then hit the pike again. I had only stayed in Knoxville 45 minutes. The road was fairly good out and I made good time. There was [28] just a continuous deep bass "purr" from my engine for 40 miles until I arrived at some little town just before I crossed a small range of mountains, (I forget the name of the town). I stopped there a minute to find out the road over the mountain to a larger town I don't remember the name of. I got on the right road and started up. It was a good road for a mountain road so I pulled it in high gear nearly all the way. When I got to the top in place of the road going right [29] down on the other side it went winding in and out the coves of the mountain. I never saw such a crooked road in all my life. Just as soon as I came out of one turn I had to switch around quick and make another turn. I was running as fast as the turns would allow me and I thought I would put a kink in my motorcycle before I got away from there! I got down ok I passed through some good size towns I forget the names of. Then I started out on what I thought was the right road to [30] Chattanooga. I was riding along on a high embankment over some big river, All at once the road turned down the bank, the bank and right into the river! There was another time I used my brakes! There were some fellows down by the river and they started right away to tell me that the bridge had been washed away. I told them. "Yes, I see it has." They said, - "go back a half mile and take the left fork, go down the river bank for eight miles and take the ferry across to the main road on the [31] other side." I did as he said and soon found myself on the right road. I was 20 minutes late and of course it was only natural for me to try it make it up. All went well until about an hour later. I was riding along on a high embankment with jagged rocks down below me on both sides. I was going about 40m.p.h. When all of sudden - Bang! Rattle! Squeak! My drive chain broke! It jammed up in the back wheel and locked it, Of course the bloomin' thing went crazy right there [32] with me. It did the Solome dance and everything, It was a regular bucking bronco. It made a big dive for the embankment and the only way I saved myself was to cut the handlebars around straight in opposite direction to make the motor, fall flat, and we did slide!!! But I didn't go over the embankment. I had made up the lost time I had before but it took me 15 minutes to fix the chain so I was that much latter again. Of course I set out to make that up as soon [33] so I got started. Nothing much happened after that, except that the roads were fairly good and I was buzzing along. When I came to a town I would stay there just long enough to find out how to get out. I came into one little town just a little ways from Chattanooga, Tenn. I got some gas there. The fellow asked me where I came from. I told him Albington, Va. He said "when, yesterday morning?" I said," no, this morning." He said, "Aw! go chase yourself, you can't stuff me with that bull."I said. "Well, you [34] don't have to believe it if you don't want to." He asked me if I intended stopping tonite in Chattanooga. I told him "yes". He said "well, you had better be on your way because it's a 25 mile jump and the sun will be down in an hour and this is the last burg you will see before you get there." With a mighty roar I left there leaving a cloud of smoke behind me. The road was good so I was hitting it up and right on the dot 6:55 P.M. I arrived in Chattanooga. [35] The sun was just going down over the hills I had come 325 miles and my riding time was 13hr 55min. I made one stop! That was a 45min stay in Knoxville, Tenn. Of course I made several stops for gas and oil but that don't give any rest so I don't count them. I put my motor in a garage and it was the dirtest, dustest, greasest, thing you ever saw, you couldn't tell what color it was, well couldn't tell what color I was either so far as that goes. I then went to a hotel and got a [36] room for the night. I dusted off, washed up a bit, you should have seen my face! I had samples of a road 325 miles long! I got some eats and then went out to see a picture show. I saw William S. Hart in the "Captive God" It was sure a fine picture. Right after the show I went to my room and put in a call for 5:00 am and went to bed! And believe me I did some sleeping.
Aug 29 1916 My call came out 5:00 am as I wanted it [37] I didn't feel like getting up but I did. I got my breakfast and went to the garage to get my motor out. I gave it a once over and oiled it up - it was o.k. I got my tanks filled and at six o'clock I was leaving Chattanooga, Tenn. It's not so easy to leave this town. I had quite a ride before starting up Lookout Mountain. It was not what you would call a beautiful morning like yesterday morning when I left Abington, Va. It was drizzling rain to start with and [38] Look-out Mountain was in a cloud. However I keep on going. I started up the mountain and went into the cloud. The road was steep and muddy, my wheels were slipping and at times my back wheel was spinning and I was standing still. Well, anyway I got up. The road goes along the top for awhile. They say the view from here is wonderful but I was in the fog, I couldn't see fifty feet ahead of me and I was creeping along and sounding my horn [39]
like an ocean-liner does in a fog. Then the road started down on the other side and pretty soon I was out of the cloud. I got down in the valley and was riding along - I didn't know where I was and it was just about as glomy morning as I ever saw. It was so dark I almost had to use my light and it looked like it would burst out in a big storm any minute. I didn't care I just kept on going. I passed a negro man in a wagon and I asked him if this is the right road. [40] to Trenton, Ga. (the next town on the route). He said, "yes suh! Take the left at the first forks." Well I knew that but just wanted to be sure. (by the way here is where I got thru a little corner of Ga. for 35 miles). I took the left at the forks and at once I knew I was in Ga. for I got on just about a bad a road as I ever saw. They were building a big new fine highway right by the side of this rotten one. I felt like waiting till the new road was finished because [41] the road I was on was rocky-muddy and sandy! Is that enough? After all I was making a surprizing good time. I timed myself for one mile just to see what I was making (which I very often do) I made a mile in three minutes even (20 mph) How's that for a bad road riding and on such a bad road as that? After a while I arrived in Trenton Ga. without anymore happenings. I asked a fellow how much longer would I have this bad road. He said" You will have this bad road [42] now for 20 miles until you get in Ala, then you will have as fine a road as you ever saw. But be careful because it has a lot of bad turns". Then I was plugging at that awful road again. Gee! What a road! It's as bad as what's called a road across the Blue Ridge Mountains of Va. I had run about 20 miles when I came to a little place called Sulphur Springs Station is right! The station is the only thing [43] I could see. When I left there I was in Ala. and was on a beautiful gravel road, just as yellow as it could be. It was a very hilly country and that fellow in Trenton Ga. was right when he said it had a lot of bad turns!! Gee!! I almost ran into a cow! She tried to cross the road in front of me and didn't quit calculate my speed. I was making up time which was lost on the road and in the fog. I was [44] running fast but believe me I was watching those turns like a hawk! The good road lasted for about 25 miles (which I covered in about 40 min.) Then I came into FT. Payne, Ala. I got gas and oil, then left. From then on the road was not so good, but it was plenty good enough for me to run faster than schedule time, so I was still making up lost time. I had enough to make up alright for I was 1 hr and 10 min late as I came into Ala. Then I [45] made up 20 min. of it on the 25 miles of good Ala. road I have now 50 min. more to make up. The road seemed to be getting better as I went along and so pretty soon I was on a good road and flying along. You know it's wonderful how much a motorcycle will stand, After all it's been thru and so muddy,dirty, dusty and greasy you can't hardly tell what color it is, and yet when I give it the gas it will pull-pick-up and get away from here [46] My next stop was "Attalla" Ala. quite a long ways from here (about 40 miles). There are plenty of little towns all along the way, they are about 5 miles apart, but you can hardly call them towns or even villages. The clouds were now gone and it was a bright sunshiny day. The road was fair so I was still making up lost time. It certainly was a tiresome 40 mile ride into Attalla. Nothing happened at all and the road didn't change [47] Every mile seemed to be just like the mile I left behind , and then came the only time the roar of the engine ever got on my nerves and I closed the muffler! At last I came into Attalla Ala. and believe me I was glad to get there. I got my tanks filled up there and then beat it on for Birmingham. I got into a hilly country then. Pretty soon I got on that fine yellow Ala. gravel road. I came off of one hillside down into the thick wooded little [48] valley, just then a deer ran across the road right in front of me! Now I know it was a deer because I had a good look at it. I started to shoot the thing but thought-what would I do with it if I did kill it, and the next second it was out of sight in the woods. Now that's all that happened on the way to Birmingham to speak of. At 2:00 P.M. I arrived in Birmingham, Ala. on time. I went to a restaurant and had a bite to eat, then [49] filled my gas and oil tanks, fooled around a little while and at 3:00P.M. I was leaving Birmingham for Montgomery. The road right after you leave Birmingham over the iron Mountains are something fierce! I don't mean the road is bad because it is a very good gravel road, but it's steep, up and down all the time and just about as bad turns as you will find on any road.(except some Virginia roads I know). The guy that rides that road has to keep his eyes open and foot ready for the [50] brakes, or else his family will be going around in black. A Little while later after I had gotten away from dangerous part of the road, an automobile came up behind me and passed me before I know what had happened. Now this was first time in whole trip had anything on the road passed me from behind. So I set out to put my-self ahead of it again. After I had been in their dust for about 3 miles, I saw my chance and with the motor wide open I [51] went by and gave them the dust!!! For 5 miles they tried to get ahead of me again but there was not a chance. At one time during the chase I came around a curve about 55m.p.h. and crossed a railroad track, it happened that the rails stood about 6-8 inches higher than the road!! Oh, Gee! The rims on both wheels hit the rails and every spring went to the bottom!! There was a loud crash of metal! The next instant I was speeding along [52] the road on the other side just as if nothing had happened at all. I looked at the springs, wheels and frame ,-everything was alright, not even anything bent that I could see so I just kept on going and never slowed down at all. I never did see anything more of that car that was trying to catch me. It was only 4 P.M. I looked around to see what was the matter and -good-night. Here comes a storm! It was right after me [53] and it was just about a black a cloud as I ever saw! Well, right here was where some more racing was done. The storm didn't seem to be in very much of a hurry so in a little while I had left it a pretty safe distance behind me. But I noticed other little storms all gathering around me. The sky was still clear over the road to Montgomery but the two big storms on my right and left seemed to be coming together right in front of me. My hope was to run through that. [54] gap before the storms closed in on me ,so I speeded up more than ever. With a mighty roar and a cloud of smoke I went thru "Ocamp" Ala. I didn't stay there very long . The chase was getting close! Just about the time I got under the gap the two clouds came together and Oh ,Boy! Did it rain? Well I recond it did! (I believe all those storms were brough up for my special benifit.) I stoped and put on my rain coat and then rode on in the rain. It was raining [55] so Hard that the water coming down on my head and shoulder felt like a heavy weight. The road began to get wet and slipery!! I started to slow down but before I could say scat the front wheel went one way and the back wheel went another and down went me and the motor! Did I slide? Well, I'll say I did! I picked up the motor ,rode on and sliped up again. I picked it up again, went on about 50 ft and fell again! Three falls in about two minutes! I though that was [56] about enough. There was a little farm house right by the road. I though I would ask the people there if they would let me have shelter till the rain was over. I didn't see anyone to ask so I just rolled my motor under the shed. I went up on the porch of the house and knocked on the door. I pushed the door and it came open. I walked in and looked around. It was a nice little farm house on the inside. I went thru the parlor, dinning room, kitchen [57] and out on the back porch-nobody home. I took a chair out of the parlor to the porch where I waited for it to stop raining . It stoped raining and I put the chair back where I got it and closed the door. I got on my motorcycle and went on. I couldn't go any faster than about 5m.p.h. without falling because the road was so slipery. It didn't rain long but believe me enough water came down when it did rain . Right here a big car had sliped down in the ditch and couldn't get out it was so slipery...

....I asked the fellow in the car how far it was to the next town ( I knew it would be foolish to try to get into Montgonery with the road as slipery as that and getting late besides.)He said the next town was "Strassburg" Ala. (sounds German, don't it ?) Just around the turn about 1/4 of a mile. I couldn't hardly ride my motor, I just had to kind of hobble along with it. The road was so slipery the wheels wouldn't even stay under the motor but I got to "strassburg".....

Strassburg business section was a station , hotel, four stores and a drug store. I looked at my watch and was very much surprised to find that I was still 15 minutes AHEAD OF TIME! Even after havening been tied up in the rain. Gee, don't you know I must have been running before that storm got me . I got a fellow to let me put my motor in his barn for the night and I put up at the hotel. I don't call this a regular end of day regular stop but just a weather stop .I will continue the........

.....schule tomorrow if the weather permits. Well, next morning I got up around 9 a.m. There was no use to get up early because I had only about 50 miles to go. It wasn't a very beautiful morning but the road had dried down to where they were not slipery. I got tab on my schedule and then left. After I had been riding about ten minutes it began to sprinkle rain but not enough to make the road slipery so I just keep on going . I passed thru Clanton Ala. and kept on going [61] I was 15 minutes ahead of time when I got into Strassburg yesterday but today after a little ways out of Clanton I got mixed up in a bad piece of road and mud so I lost that fifteen minutes which put me on time. Nothing happened for about 15 miles and then as I came over a hill I saw several cars standing by the road at a bridge at the bottom of the hill. When I got there I asked one fellow what was, - he said "piece of the bridge has been washed down!" [62] I got off my motor and walked over to the gap in the bridge. The storm had washed away a section of the bridge and left a gap. about ten feet wide and the section just before that had the props washed out from under it so it had a saged down a bit but it seemed to be good and strong yet. I noticed all of that and then I decided to jump the gap with my motor ! I told all the guys around there to give me a clear road, I was going into [63] Montgomey. They had a lot to say about it, they called me a nut, a fool and a lot of other thing and said it was suicide to try such a thing, but I just laughed at them because I knew that such a thing was very simple to do, that is of course if you know how I backed off a little ways to get a start,---everything was clear! I shot out on the bridge about 40m.p.h. I droped down into the saged place ,up the other side then into the air!!! [64] The second I landed on the other side I opened up, waved my hand and went flying over the hill leaving a bunch of fellows standing with an expression like a fish! There was no need to worry about falling in the gap for I jumped high enough to clear a man's head and ten or twenty ft futher than I realy needed. I aimed straight and made a very easy and graseful landing. I lost fifteen minutes before I decided to jump so I am that much late now, but  [65] I'll make it up. I had gone about 30 miles and had just a little way to go when the last eventfull thing happened. I was riding along extra fast on a good road about 7 miles from Montgomery, when a grasshopper tried to cross in front of me but didn't guite make it and it hit the glass on my goggles! Well, that grasshopper just flattened out just like you spread butter on a piece of bread . That goes to show the mighty force which a motorcycle goes thru the air. Now just suppose [66] that would have been a brick wall instead of a grasshopper! It just happened that this was the only time on the whole trip that I wore goggles .I don't like to wear them but the road was damp and sand was flying off the wheels and I had to wear them. I was on a road that I have traveled lots before and I knew it by heart so I was flying along . 10:05 a.m. I crossed [67] the toll bridge over the ala . river I was still three minutes late. I was nearly in Montgomery and the end of the trip. Just after I left the bridge I had a little streach of good road for about 1/2 a mile which I covered like a streak then I was on the edge of Montgomery Ala. 10:15 a.m. I arrived on court square Montgomery Ala ON TIME to the second ! Then I went out to the Woman's College to let my dad [68] know I was here. I had run 625miles in 26hrs .25 minutes . I used 9 gal gas which makes an average of 69 1/2 miles to a gallon. I came into Montgomery with just about a 1/2 pint left in the tank . I forgot how much oil I used I had absolutely NO engine trouble at all. not even an adjustment to make . I used the same tires on both trips (to Va and back) and didn't even have to put a pump to them this trip. ..........THE END ***********

With Richenbacker      Trailer he built later to tour country     Charles
Got married no kids was what I was told.
He went to live with his grandparents in Germany. His mother died shortly after his birth. He was well known musician at very early age. Member of Berlin Chamber Orchestra that was performing in U.S. in the 1920's. He loved travel, photograph, tinkering with motorcycles, building things - travel trailer, also built a plane which the great woman who gave me this info flew in. She was only 8 years old at the time. They flew out of tri-cities airport.
Picture shows wife was Madeline.
Charles playing              Front center Charles
Plane he built (he’s on right side)

Camping with wife. Fish before and after dinner
With lady on Music tour

1 comment:

Gwen said...

Hello, can you tell me what became of the pictures?

Thank you,

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