Charles Lummis walked from Cincinnati to Los Angeles in the Fall of 1884.
"I WOULD have this ... taken only for what it is — the wayside notes of a happy vagabondizing. It was written in hurried moments by the coal-oil lamps of country hotels, the tallow dips of section-house or ranch, the smoky pine-knots of the cowboy^s or the hunter's cabin, the crackling fogon of a Mexican adobe, or the snapping greasewood of my lonely campfire upon the plains; and from that vagrant body and spirit I have not tried to over-civilize it. A prim chronicle of such a trip would be no chronicle at all. Nor have I desired to make it either an atlas or an encyclopedia of the country. Economic and geographic essays do not belong within its scope. It is merely a truthful record of some of the experiences and impressions of a walk across the continent — the diary of a man who got outside the fences of civil- ization and was glad of it. It is the simple story of joy on legs."
- A TRAMP ACROSS THE CONTINENT
You were kissed by the dust near the end
As I crawled from The Queen of the West.
Your growl was the knell as the fall apples fell.
How I wish that I could see you run through the pines again.
I pushed on through a Sierra pass
Then came to view Los Angeles at last.
I'll settle down, start writing for the times.
Expose this town if you read between the lines.
Here there are ghosts
who pour floods on the land.
They are whispering their fictions to a fool.
And the fool will comply
with the whisper's lie
He will smother his love with the ruse.
But I can't stay so stagnant
In this movable town
Where the rainfall is never enough.
I'll head back to the soul of the indian west
Where I'll write of the rust
And the thieves.
Besides I gotta go back
And settle up with old Set
To take an eye for the friend
That he stole.
So when I came down to the desert again
Set challenged a race with stone boats.
But his shoulder was bent when the buckshot was spent
and Tiburcio ran up like a ghost.
Someday I'll return to the hills in Jimez
and I'll sleep in the shade of the pines.
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