103490 $4.95 by John Edwin Hogg From the towers of Manhattan to the soaring peaks of the Pacific Northwest, North America ;~ unbelievably vast and beautiful. On its waterways, thousands of motorboat enthusiasts journey for those thrills and adventures that only trips on the water afford. Most boatmen are content to take short cruises. But long-distance cruis is becoming more and more popular. Twice across North America by Motorboat ing the story of a man who in 1925 made the transcontinental crossing, from Oregon to New York. Boating conditions were far less favorable then than they are now. Last year, to repeat the journey under the new conditions, he took an outboard cruiser coast to coast from East to West. Vigorous, peppery, 69-year-old John Edwin Hogg here tells of the excitement, the problems, and the joys of both his trans continental trips. In 1925, Hogg and moviecameraman Frank Wilton had an 18-foot runabout powered by a single outboard en gine. They camped most of the way along the 137-day journey. The rivers, particu larly in the West, were torn by rapids and floods, which made for hazardous going. is first The 1959 journey, which Hogg made with young John Richard Dahl, was an adventure of another kind. This time even handling the 19-foot, fiber-plass craft, powered by twin engines much more powerful than the 1925 putt-putt, was exciting. New marinas offered hospitality and supplies all along the way. Twice across North America by Motorboat proves once again that boating is fun, and that long-distance cruising if you do it the Kansas city |g^s public library Books will be issued only on presentation of library card, ease report lost cards and change of residence promptly. Card holders are responsible for all books, records, films, or other library materials checked out on their cards. picti TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MO TORSOAT JOHN EDWIN HO GO ZIFF-DAVIS PUBLISHING COMPANY NEW YORK the Zff-JDavis I&gt;uhlishing 1P6O, Oo;pyright rights reserved. This book, or Gorrrpany. thereof, may not be reproduced in. any form, quotations in a except for tlie inclusion, of revie^v, ^withtotat permission of the publishers International copyri^ht secured.. t&gt;y &lt;g&gt; j&gt;arts &gt;Vtl t&gt;rief L,lbrai*y of Congress Catalog &lt;SO- PHOTO 1052T C3R.ET&gt;TTS ^4, ]VIorris Rosenfeld; , 58-64, John Edwin S5-57, Stanley KLosenfeld; ^S, John JDahl; p. 66, John 3E- Hogg; Hogg; I3ave Sutherland; 68, 14^-151, John E. 67, 154Hogg;John E.1S2-1S3, Stanley Rosenfeld; Hogg. 164, r&gt;. . j&gt;p. I&gt;- i&gt;j&gt;. p&gt;. pi&gt;. I&gt;. lr&gt;- i&gt;p- UST K THOB XJTSTCTED STATES CMF I^HEW YOStKZ. OEORGE IMXaKZBBDSr & SO3NT, BK.OOKZJ-. insr, -^, on my &lt;?om&gt;Z.nf.o&gt;r*. d -***f^ joys ^/z.^ -\7z.rt&lt;z&gt;z*.s &lt;?orirt:ttt&tt-t:s froolc t f of PREfACE did you ever find the route to make such an unheard-of motorboat voyage possible?" "How I the began hearing that question in 1925, after I had skippered motorboat (Transco) to travel across the continent, from first Ocean to the Atlantic, over the inland waterways of the United States and Canada. It was a voyage of 137 days over 5,286 miles of water, and touched the shores of seventeen Ameri can states and two provinces of Canada. I had found my route by putting together American history and the Pacific geography. The natural topography of the land created every mile of the route except for the relatively few man-made canals that we used. The actual pathfinding was done for me by the various early explorers of the North American continent. They were Henry Hudson, Samuel de Charnplain, Jacques Cartier, Louis Joliet, Jacques (Pre) Marquette, Robert de La Salle. They mapped the waterways from the mouth of the St. Lawrence, through the Great Lakes, and down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. Then, Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark made their the Missouri River, over the Continental and Columbia Rivers to the Pacific, and Divide, back to St. Louis again in 1804, 1805, 1806. To work out the best boat route from ocean to ocean, I had historic journey down up the Snake vii PREFACE Viii only to sketch the history of North American continental explora tion onto a set of modern maps and charts. I had to go over the Continental Divide, as Lewis and Clark did, by making a relatively minor overland journey between the upper Missouri River and the Snake River at Lewiston, Idaho. That 400-mile overland portage, however, is not much when compared with 5,286 miles of boating on rivers, lakes, and canals that create the problems and perils of ever-present contact with land. The voyage of Transco II reversed the route of the first Transco we started from New York City and went through to Astoria, Oregon, in a leisurely 102 days. John Dahl and I thus became the first boatmen to cross the continent from east to west. I became the first and only living person to complete the round trip of i 10,572 water miles. JOHN EDWIN HOGG CONTENTS 7 The Idea Takes Shape 2 "The Best-Laid Plans 1 ..." 4 From Peekskill into Lake Champlain From Ticonderoga, New York, into 5 Down the Richelieu to Sorel, Quebec 6 From Montreal to Ontario s Trent Waterway 7 Lake Ontario 8 Across Ontario, from Peterborough into 9 From Midland, Ontario, to Manitoulin Island From Manitoulin Island to St. Ignace, Michigan From St. Ignace to St. Ignace From the Straits of Mackinae into Manistique, 3 French Canada to Peterborough via the Trent Waterway Lake Huron 7 7 7 72 14 19 28 37 44 69 78 87 96 105 112 Michigan 73 11 From Manistique to Joliet, Illinois From Joliet to St. Louis, Missouri ix 119 126 CONTENTS X 75 From 76 Up Louis to Kansas City, Missouri the Missouri from Kansas City to St. Omaha, Nebraska 17 From Omaha to 78 Across South Dakota from Fort Randall to the Kenel Dogs 7 9 20 Chamberlain, South Dakota From Kenel to Fort Benton, Montana From Fort Benton to Astoria, Oregon, and the Pacific 133 142 168 176 185 194 THE IDEA TAKES SHAPE In November, 1958, I began toying with an idea that seemed, at first, almost laughable. As the only living person ever to travel by motorboat across North America from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic over the inland waterways of the United and Canada, I seriously wondered if I might not try to do York again. This time, however, I hoped to start from States it New City, reversing the route traversed by the late Frank Wilton and me during the summer of 1925. seemed probable that almost anyone to whom I talked about my plan would doubt my sanity. Indeed, what man in his right mind would even think about starting such a project at the age of sixty-seven after having endured the hardships and hazards of a similar expedition at the age of thirty-four? Perhaps the last thirty-four years had erased many memories of those 137 days afloat hi an 18-foot wooden boat, traveling 5,286 miles over the rivers, lakes, and canals of seventeen American States and two It provinces of Canada. But no, every major detail of the Transco voyage was still as fresh in memory as it was in 1925. In formu lating plans for Transco II, I also consulted a collection of old photographs and the yellowing pages of the Transco log for inci dents I might have forgotten. I was thinking, of course, in terms TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 2 and improved boats, vastly improved equipment, recent years by gigantic engineering waterways so changed in of modern, resemblance to the wild, uncontrolled torrents we had endured in 1925. The more I thought about it the more I became convinced that a similar voyage by a Transco 11 projects that they bear little more comfortable, more feasible, the than and more enjoyable original history-making cruise. in 1959 should be infinitely safer, be able to view this project in the aware that, in my own light of my own experience? I was well on nation other than in more earth, all men past the any country Now, would any one else age of sixty-five are supposed to be good only for drawing pensions and being kindly grandparents. I confided what I was thinking about to my wife, Ruth. I feared the worst because I knew she could never forget the mental torture she had endured during those 137 days in 1925. She had remained at home in California while Frank Wilton were threading our way across the continent in a small, open boat. For her those were uneasy days of waiting: waiting for my telegrams, for my letters that were often a week in transit, and for and I the press reports that might bring news of our progress or disaster. Could she ever forget the horrible words that leaped up at her one morning from the pages of a California newspaper? Transcontinental Motorboatmen Lost in Lake Michigan Without Food or Water. Fortunately, she detected the newspaper error almost the instant she read it. She knew it was possible for me to be lost in Lake Michigan water! Then, . . but not without food and an abundance of potable just after she read the story, a Western Union mes . senger handed her a telegram I d sent from Manistee, Michigan, with the same date as the newspaper dispatch. On at the the previous day Frank Wilton and I had left Milwaukee break of dawn, with the announced intention of cruising some 97 miles almost straight east across Lake Michigan to Lud- THE IDEA TAKES SHAPE 3 lake was like a millpond, and we cruised easily all day, blithely unaware that a minor compass deviation was pulling us considerably off course to the north. Result: ington, Michigan. The We missed Ludington by many miles, cruised 120 miles, and found ourselves off the Manistee pierheads in the summer evening twi light. Our men Ludington left a group of newspaper mastheaded on the docks there. They sent the word crackling failure to arrive in over the wires: when we were "lost in Lake Michigan!" my wife that I was thinking about attempting to do the Transco voyage all over again, she was naturally not Thus, I told very enthusiastic. I explained that, this time, if I were successful in getting the project out of the incubator stage, a bigger and far better Transco II would start from New York City, reversing the original route and finishing the trip in the Pacific mouth of the Columbia River. "What it do you think of the idea?" Ocean off the I asked, after having outlined to her. "I admire your spirit, your fortitude, and your courage . . . but she replied. you feel that you must do it, I d suggest keeping all the insurance you now have. Then I ll call our insurance agent and have him write a new policy on I deplore your your head "Not an . . . against woodpeckers!" so fast, idea. I "If judgement!" my dear," have not the I exclaimed. "I slightest assurance m it only talking about will ever be given by anyone else. But let s do this. The Na Motor Boat Show will be held in New York in January. I d like to fly there, have a look at all the boats in the show, and a visit with some old friends in the boating industry. At the same time I d like to see some New York editors. I can probably line up enough work from them to keep us supplied with the necessi ties of life for perhaps another year. Now, why don t you come to New York with me. I ll make reservations now and you ll have serious consideration tional about sixty days to make your own plans for the Obviously, this was the correct approach. trip." TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 4 thoughtful for a moment. Then she spoke: "Maybe those woodpeckers are not the threat to your head I thought they Ruth was were. I for me delighted to go to New to go there is in the winter. d be York with you, and the time You know how I dislike the heat and humidity of eastern summers. I could have a lot of fun could also see some doing some shopping on Fifth Avenue. We and how I long for good stage plays, on the half shell! Yes. Let s go while we have to some fresh blue point New York. Let s oysters enjoy life it!" January rolled around. All the plans for the New York trip were completed, and after a seven-and-one-half-hour flight from Los Angeles to New York, Ruth and I found ourselves in a suite on Central Park South. Fortunately, almost everyone I had ever known in the motorboat industry was also staying at the St. Moritz. Perhaps the fact that the Coliseum, where the show was being held, was only a five-minute walk away had something to do with this happenstance. On exhibition in the Motor Boat Show I found quite a number of craft that would have been well suited for the Transco II voyage. The one that appealed to me most, in the light of my experience with many types of small boats, was the 19-foot Glasspar ClubMariner Cruiser. This craft had a comfortable cabin with sleeping berths for two, a head, a combination sink and wash basin, a in the St. Moritz Hotel 14-gallon tank and pump for potable water, ample storage lockers, a space that could be converted into a galley, a spacious open deck aft, and space under the gunwales for installing the big gaso line tanks the Transco II project would require the weight would trim ship amidships. This Glasspar, with two 35-h.p. Evinrude Lark Motors for power, would certainly be my choice. Operation would be from a central control station forward in the open deck, to port of the cabin door and abaft the cabin. Here was a 1959 boat that made my old Transco look about as crude as a dugout canoe. boat problem in my own mind, another allimportant question remained. Could I finance the expedition I Having settled the THE IDEA TAKES SHAPE was attempting 5 to organize? My editors would have to supply the And they did! answer to that one. The next question was, where could I find a man, preferably a fairly young man with extensive small-boat experience and, well, a seemingly impossible list of qualifications to go along as assistant skipper of Transco 111 I was personally acquainted with no such man, but thought I knew how such a rare individual might be tracked down and interviewed. About two days after I d dropped a few thoughts on this subject among some friends in the motorboating fraternity, I received a telephone call in my suite. The voice on the phone sounded to young man. It was deep, clear, me like that of a fairly and resonant, with the diction of a well-educated person. The I m voice said, "Mr. Hogg, my name is John Richard Dahl. a stranger to you, but I ve heard a suggestion that you are looking for an experienced boatman to accompany you on an unusual motorboat voyage. I believe I may have the qualifications required. I would like to meet you in person and discuss this subject." "Where "In are you now, Mr. the lobby of the St. Dahl?" I asked. Moritz." come down. Please introduce yourself to the information clerk; I ll meet you in front of his desk. You ll recognize me as a man wearing a blue serge suit and a Van Dyke beard." "I ll This was my first meeting with John Dahl, a thirty-year-old bachelor, graduate student at Columbia University, and a native and resident of New Rochelle, New York. Our conversation lasted was favorably impressed with his personality and his boating experience. But, of course, no agreement was possible that evening in the face of numerous other unanswered questions several hours. I remaining in the Transco II project. My wife and I remained in New York for several days after the Boat Show. With each passing day the Transco II project was still passing from the realm of fantastic dreams to the world of reality. TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 6 The nebulous idea was becoming a definite and realizable project, far more feasible and better organized than the original Transco project had ever been. I could now return to California and start making definite plans. I hoped to take Transco II up the Hudson from New York City late in April or May, or as soon as possible after the ice was out of the waters of Lake Champlain, the Trent Waterway of Ontario, and the Great Lakes. In 1925, when Frank Wilton and I made the first ocean-toocean voyage across North America in an 18-foot boat powered with outboard motors, Ole Evinrude, who had invented the out board motor only sixteen years earlier, was very interested in our project. I visited with him, his wife, Bess, and their youthful son, Ralph, in Milwaukee. In New York in January, 1959, my wife and I again met Ralph Evinrude, this time with his wife, Frances Langford. Ralph, once a tow-headed, eager boy, is now the fifty-year-old, barrel-chested, egg-bald kingfish of a vast and worldwide outboard motor in he has inherited a great enthusiasm for boating from his Norwegian forebears. By the time of the original Transco trip, Henry Ford had dustry; already put most of the nation on wheels with a functional auto mobile that cost only about $500. As Americans flocked to the Model Ts with all the gregariousness of blackbirds or European boating sports languished. Our vast inland and coastal waterways were almost empty of pleasure craft. There were few, if any, marinas in the sense that we know them today. Only a starlings, few struggling enterprises managed in the vicinity of our major cities. to find and retain a toehold When Frank Wilton and I "putt-putted" up the Columbia River, on our way from Astoria, Oregon, to New York City, we did not often see other noncommercial craft on the waters. What s more, service nonexistent. we facilities for small craft such as ours We had to take on supplies and fuel found them, and make the best of it. The original Transco was a very simple were almost when and where craft, primitively THE IDEA TAKES SHAPE 7 when compared with Transco II. Those old Giant Twin, Evinrude Motors of 1925 weighed about 100 pounds 2-cylinder each. Their operation was about as simple as that of a T-Model equipped, Ford. I could easily lift one of them off the stern of the boat and hoist it inboard for any necessary overhauling. few simple tools and little more than an advanced-amateur knowledge of gasoline A engines and other things mechanical did the job. While one motor was being overhauled, the other kept the boat moving, on course, at only slightly How reduced speed. did Transco ever constant contact with all make it across the continent, then, in the hazards of land, with almost no for the servicing of boats, and with practically no aids to navigation other than the limited equipment we carried shore facilities aboard? For navigation on the rivers we had bales of state maps that told us nothing about the rivers other than their general loca For the Great Lakes we had adequate and marked long-recognized dan rock such as reefs, and deep-water channels lead gerous points, ing into harbors. In the boat we had a binnacle in a portable box, a sextant, and a chronometer, plus the knowledge of Bowditch Navigation I d gained in the Navy and the determination of men who had just lost two pennies in a peanut-vending machine. New York City was 5,286 watery miles away, and the betting odds were 15 to 1 we d never make it! How different everything was in February, 1959, when I re turned to California from New York. The first Transco had been built to my plans and order by the late Emil Aarup, a master boatbuilder who had learned his trade in his native Denmark. For many years prior to his death in the middle 1930s he was the number-one boatbuilder in the Los tion within the state. accurate charts. Aids to navigation Angeles area. He started construction of Transco in September, 1924, and delivered the finished craft to me, afloat for trial runs in the Pacific Ocean, early in April, 1925. For trial runs we took the craft out to sea in almost the worst weather the Pacific capable of giving us. We cruised to Santa Catalina Island, 28 was miles TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 8 mainland, and back to Los Angeles Harbor. We took her to San Clements Island, some 30 miles west of San Barbara Island, 100 miles straight Diego, and to bleak Santa these ocean out in the Pacific from Los Angeles Harbor. With the Pacific aboard hoisted was Steamship Transco tests completed, Five days later and passenger liner, Queen. s off the California Company freight walked down the Queerfs gangplank to step ashore in Astoria, Oregon, where we took delivery of Transco afloat, on the Columbia River. In February, 1959, I took a blueprint the hull plan of the and drew in various 19-foot, Glasspar Club Mariner Cruiser Frank Wilton and I needed for the voyage of Transco II. This com where on February 26 pleted, I drove to Costa Mesa, California, Jack Brown, a Glasspar Boat Company executive, and I went into a series of huddles to design the best possible Transco II we special features could ever hope to assemble within the standard Club Mariner, fiber-glass After hull. we d sketched out and mulled over every last detail of the projected craft, the Glasspar boat engineers took over and re the sketches to mechanical drawings and exact engineer ing blueprints. These prints were air-mailed to the Glasspar plant manager, Frank Finney, in Petersburg, Virginia, who was to duced all proceed with construction of the bare hull and have my arrival in Virginia on April it ready for 12. Meanwhile, I had accepted John Dahl s bid to become partner and co-skipper of the Transco II cruise. No better qualified man was found among the many applicants who were investigated and interviewed. Each of us signed a simple working agreement and then went to work. Dahl was to devote his attention to details of outfitting and other chores that could best be handled in New York. I was to attend to innumerable other plans that could still be handled from California by long-distance telephone, telegrams, and air-mail correspondence until I could join him at the New York Athletic Club on April 12. We would then fly to Richmond, near Petersburg, to be in the Virginia plant of the Glasspar Boat THE IDEA TAKES SHAPE Company Transco 9 to supervise personally construction of every detail of II. After the boat s construction was completed, arrangements were made to do the final outfitting, trial runs, and shakedown cruises on Long Island Sound. Meanwhile, John Dahl and I also had to take time out for miscellaneous errands in New York, Washington, and Boston. During nearly six weeks in and about New York, watching and working on the fitting out of Transco II, I realized that boating is no longer a simple, inexpensive pastime. Indeed, it has become quite the opposite. If boating is to be as safe, comfortable, and recreationally rewarding as human ingenuity has allowed for, it must be dreadfully complicated and expensive. John Dahl and I stood over the preparations, seeking to leave out every possible pound of equipment that might be better left ashore. But there wasn t too much that could be left out without also encroaching upon operational efficiency or safety. In 1925, for we had had no no radio direction example, ship-to-shore telephone, finder, finder, no no sonic depth- electric starters or generators, pair of 12-volt storage batteries. We got along without such things and many another item because they just did not exist. no Now all those things and many more have become necessities, almost indispensable to safe, comfortable boating. So we watched the control station aboard Transco II grow from a bare piece of work cabinet into a complicated assembly of instruments, buttons, dials, switches, levers, cockpit of a Dahl and item of I this Some push and whatnots, suggestive of the modern jet plane. To further complicate complexity, had to understand and know the use of every single equipment. modern small-boat equipment is so simple that any it in minutes. Some is quite use learn to could bright schoolboy complicated. It is one thing to have a sonic depthfinder in one s of this boat and quite another to learn how to use it to keep from going aground on an invisible sand bar or reef of rocks. Using the radio direction finder taxed my knowledge of mathematics, physics, TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 10 flunked the instruction with navigation, and electronics; I d have out the training gained through naval and aeronautical study and experience. It was also necessary to study the radio ship-to-shore telephone in preparation for examinations to obtain legally mandatory op erator s licenses in both the United States and Canada. During seemingly endless hours of study, often far into the night, there were times when the task seemed hopeless and I thought I d never make At such d always the handy can t teach an old dog new tricks!" Refusing to be that kind of a dog, I d knuckle down to the textbooks again; hi due time I had memorized all the examina tion questions and answers. John Dahl and I eventually received it. times I recall that old saying, excuse for mental laziness, our interim licenses. We "You also survived the ninety-day probationary period, after which permanent, annually renewable licenses supposed to be mailed to us from Washington and Ottawa. were BEST- LAIV PLANS . . In the spring of 1959 John Dahl was the owner of a small foreign car which we arranged to use for a multitude of errands in and about New York. first ride with him was My from the New York Coast Guard Athletic Club, facing Central Park, to a office near the Battery. It took us right through the heart of the worst traffic conditions on Manhattan Island. The drive gave me the opportunity to observe that I had apparently made no mistake in having chosen John as co-skipper of the Transco He II. is as competent a motorist as I ever hope to ride with. Logically, if a man is a competent driver of motor vehicles, he is apt to be equally competent as a boatman. Conversely, a reckless, careless, irresponsible motorist is about the last fellow I d ever v cruise steeped from its very inception in the voluntary acceptance of countless calculated risks. By the last week in April the fitting out of Transco II was prac want aboard on a motorboat complete. We had given her a series of trial runs on Long Sound during which she had left little to be desired in the of performance. We began to visualize May 1 as a date for tically Island way 11 TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 12 idea of getting to heading up the Hudson, with the tentative weeks. toria, Oregon, in about twelve As But there were still many details to be arranged in fields where we had no control. Summer was late in arriving in the Canadian The winter ice had not gone provinces of Quebec and Ontario. out of some of the waters we d be into a few days after leaving came and went. Our radiotelephone licenses were yet to be received and where was that permit we d applied for for taking Transco II through the St. Lawrence Seaway? The New York. May 1 at Cornwall, Ontario, did opened, and the administrative office not seem to be in any hurry about issu ing a permit for the noncommercial American small boat to Seaway was not yet officially first seek such transit. Our departure date from the 79th Street Boat Basin on the Hudson River was moved up to May 7. May 7 came and went and we were still mastheaded in Man hattan. The ice was breaking up and melting fast in Canadian waters. But we still had no radio licenses and no permit for the St. Lawrence Seaway. What was worse, Transco II, which had behaved so perfectly in the salt water of Long Island Sound, be came somewhat of a lazy tub when we brought her fully loaded through the Harlem River into an outflowing tide on the Hudson. I had met this same kind of trouble some years earlier. It was especially noticeable in taking certain naval craft through the Panama it knew more crazily upon leaving the heavier salt water of the oceans for the water of Gatun Lake, the reservoir that supplies the water Canal. I that the smaller the craft, the acted fresh for the operation of the ever, we had been little Panama Canal locks. In the Navy, how concerned with the cranky fresh-water behavior of submarines and other naval craft. If we merely we got into fresh was easy to temporary fresh-water crankiness, knowing that normal behavior would be restored upon our return to salt water. water, got rid of a lot of barnacles. It tolerate the Knowing about this kind of trouble was one thing knowing how to correct it was quite another. John Dahl admitted he didn t know what to do. So I decided to ask a man who d had experience "THE BEST-LAID PLANS 13 ..." in solving this particular kind of problem. Forthwith, then, I got in touch with my long-time friend, Mr. Charles F. Chapman, Editor and Publisher of Motorboating magazine. "Chap" is one of the greatest living authorities on all phases of boating, a veritable walking library of information gained from his nearly three-quarters and of a century of boating It didn t take editing experience. him very long to tell me what to do. "You may have to lighten ship. But first, try shifting the load forward a bit. If that doesn t do it, try changing propellers; a heavy-duty, fourbladed propeller may be your best bet. But it s something you ll have to determine by fast rules for and trial error. Here, there are no hard and anything." I spent most of the week of May 714 tinkering with the boat, knowing that we would not be in salt water again from the Statue of Liberty to the mouth of the Columbia River. John Dahl and We put ashore some 200 pounds of equipment that could safely be called excess baggage. We tried the boat out again; it behaved better. We tried every imaginable arrangement of cargo stowage and accomplished a few more gains. Finally, we tried much various types of propellers, reserving the heavy-duty, brass fourbladers for the last. They did it! With the change to the four-blade props Transco II came alive like the snappy craft she had been on Long Island Sound. When opening the throttles we soon learned to warn each other or anyone aboard: throttles opened she With "Hang on, I m going to open her up!" d jump out of her role as a displacement boat and begin planing, with half her hull out of the water, in seconds. Anyone on the loose would either hit the cabin bulkhead or fall flat on the deck. On glass-smooth water she could easily hit a speed of 25 knots or cruise rather leisurely at 18 to 20 knots. On Monday, May 18, Come what may, we d up the Hudson we set the next depart from noon on Thursday as "D-day." City and be off New York We disregarded the weather and even the outflowing tide to set the time primarily for the also convenience of the newspapers, television, and radio. at that day. We TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 14 agreed to take a chance with the final uncompleted details of the all-important St. Lawrence preparations. We still did not have Seaway permit, but I accepted a telephoned assurance that the permit would be issued after our arrival in Canada. As I stepped from a taxicab at the 79th Street Boat Basin I couldn crowd t even see Transco II at her mooring place because of the jammed the boat basin. that A twitter ran through the crowd and I heard someone say, man with the beard! That Eventually I managed s to Captain Hogg! Here he make my way through is "The now!" the throng and hopped aboard Transco 11 to find John Dahl quietly stowing away a few odds and ends. Once aboard, I looked back at the crowd on the docks and saw, among countless strangers, almost everyone I ve ever known in boating and allied publishing enterprises. For on the dock a score and photographers milled about, elbowing each other the next several minutes confusion reigned of reporters as for the most favorable positions. Down through the years I ve been in many similar situations, but usually as one of the reporters or photographers. Thus, I knew what to do. Holding up both hands in a plea for order and silence, I had the attention of the group almost instantly. "Gentlemen, Dahl and I will cooperate with to the best of Mr. our you ability. an orderly press conference. I ll hand each of you a prepared statement of facts. We will take whatever time is neces sary to let you take the photographs you want. Then we can all Let s make sit down this for a question-and-answer discussion of how is all North America by motorboat from east to be the first to make it a round trip." It what the Transco about. In the fact sheets you ll find the story of Mr. Dahl and I hope to become the first persons to cross II enterprise to west and how I hope soon became apparent that Transco II wasn t going to get up the Hudson on our first day. On the original Transco very far had learned the value of having for lunch that day John and I ate cruise thirty-four years earlier I favorable public relations. So, "THE BEST-LAID PLANS 15 ..." hamburgers and sipped coffee from paper cups wMle the flashbulbs popped and the television cameras buzzed. It was 4 o clock in the we afternoon before getaway. Even could make any semblance of a graceful then, as I took Transco II out of the boat basin and opened the throttles, we were far from being alone on the fleet of about a dozen small boats roared out of the Hudson. A basin in our wake, each bulging with both still and motioncameramen. We were off in a veritable aquatic rat race, picture with the camera craft cutting circles around us, coming alongside to be drowned in Transco IFs spray, or speeding ahead to get into some favorable photographic position. It was like driving an amphibious auto on a watery Hollywood freeway. There was even a New York smog, almost as thick and smelly as the sorrow of Los Angeles. The race finally ended a couple of miles above the George Washington Bridge, where the camera boats began drop ping back. They soon disappeared in the haze behind us. "How far can we go today?" asked John Dahl, as Transco II clipped off the knots practically alone make on the broad Hudson River. have a good yacht club there, and I for one would be perfectly happy to cook our own food and have a good night s rest in a comfortable berth. 1 can think of nothing more welcome after forty days of hotel life "Let in s New York it to Peekskill," I replied. "They City." John agreed. A few minutes later Peekskill came into distant, haze-shrouded view on the east bank of the river under the golden glow of sunset. My field glasses searched the waterfront and soon sighted a group of structures that seemed to match the location of the Peekskill Yacht Club on our chart of the lower Hudson. We headed toward something that appeared to be a breakwater, with several openings for the passage of boats. Any doubt about our location then quickly vanished. At a distance of roughly 2 miles, I could see through the glasses a group of people on the dock; they seemed to be waving to us to come on in. Approaching the breakwater at reduced speed, we were soon TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 16 near enough to hear the words of a man who called out to us in! Captain Hogg through a megaphone: "Transco II, come on and Mr. Dahl, welcome to the Peekskill Yacht Club!" few minutes later Transco II was moored into a slip and we were shaking hands with various officials and members of the A Peekskill Yacht Club. We were cordially invited to be guests of every facility at our disposal. soon heard the story that seems to verify the value I have the club, with We its always placed upon having good public relations in any enterprise few minutes before even remotely similar to that of Transco II. A yacht club had group our film of a television and heard on seen departure from New the clubhouse sighted York City. Some one who had walked out of a small boat that was instantly identified. Then and there John Transco II arrived Dahl and I became hoped at the off Peekskill, the beneficiaries of the kind of public relations I to maintain all the way across the continent. me was that it prise about it for was bearing The only fruit so quickly sur due to the speed of television! I There had been no television in 1925 when Frank Wilton and across the continent. On that cruise, too, a deliberate came maintain the best possible public relations had rewarded many ways. But it was slower in those days; we had only the press and a few primitive radio broadcasts to help us in telling effort to us in people along our route what we were attempting to do. The Hudson is one of the most beautiful rivers in the world. It is a tidal stream from its mouth to the government lock, the lock of the Champlain Canal, about 6 miles above Troy. Moreover, Albany is a seaport accessible to all but the largest of first Famed for the beauty of its shores, rich as the birth much American history, fabled in song and story, it is one of the most horribly polluted large rivers on the face of ocean ships. place of also the earth. The pollution was all too apparent when Frank Wilton and I came down the Hudson from the Champlain Canal with Transco during the first week of October, 1925. It was mostly sewage and "THE BEST-LAID PLANS industrial wastes. it is 17 ..." Today, the river is not only a trunk-line sewer, obviously a dumping ground for every kind of rubbish that any lumber, discarded railroad ties, and old one wants to get rid of utility poles menace all go into the to navigation. This floating trash is an obvious still, because the river is a tidal river. Worse filth goes upstream with the inflowing tides and down the outflowing current I ll leave it to the sanitary with stream engineers to figure out how many miles the pollution must travel, stream, the or how many days that under it may take we even got from, say, Albany to the Statue to Peekskill, Dahl and I agreed no circumstances would we make any attempt to cruise of Liberty! Before on the Hudson at night. When we came down the Hudson with Transco in 1925, we passed a small town on the east shore above Poughkeepsie known as Hyde Park. At that time it was of scant importance; a minor political figure named Franklin Delano Roosevelt was just begin ning to recover partial use of his legs after a bout with infantile paralysis in 1924. In 1932, Hyde Park began to gain fame as the home of this same F.D.R., now President of the United States. Today, the Roosevelt home is a national monument visited an nually by thousands of persons from every part of the nation and the world. It has taken its place with the many shpnes of American history that are scattered along the banks of the Hudson. From descriptions of the F.D.R. monument at Hyde Park I visualized it as something that would be invisible from a small boat on the Hudson. I had been thinking in terms of the famous had knew how little one may see from the was river pleasantly sur the bank on low Hyde Park side prised, then, to find a relatively of the river making the Roosevelt memorial easily visible from even a rowboat. It was an easy, ten-minute walk from the boat Hudson River of what Palisades and s on top of those great cliffs. I landing. Above Newburgh, the pollution of the Hudson from sewage and industrial wastes becomes slightly less obnoxious than in the is largely vicinity of New York City. That small gain, however, 18 TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT canceled out from the boatman s point of view by the vast increase encountered in floating rubbish. The few thousand beer cans, bottles, and small driftwood around us posed little threat to Transco II. But veritable floating islands of scrap railroad ties, were definite hazards to be old utility poles, and metal oil drums avoided if possible. Anyone in an aircraft flying above the river who noticed our erratic, trash-dodging course would have been justified in saying, "Watch that boat down there; the fellow driving it is drunk!" FROM PEEKSKIU INTO LAKE CHAMPLAM Wherever we stopped along the Hudson at Peekskill, Newburgh, Kingston (Port Ewen, on Rondout Creek), Hudson, Albany, and other points we saw the evidence of how news of the Transco II enterprise traveled ahead of us. At Newburgh, for example, we needed no introduction and actually stayed an extra day as guests of the local yacht club. At Kingston we found no satisfactory marina facility, but were directed into Rondout Creek, a stream that would be called a river in any European country. About two miles up Rondout Creek we fond Tony s Marina, a well-equipped shore facility at Eddyville, almost to the head of navigation below a power dam in Port Ewen. News of our arrival seemed to have spread with great rapidity. Ashore, and with Transco II tied up, we barely had time to shake hands with Tony Roberti, the marina operator, and members of his family before cars began arriving. Most of these motorists were also part-time boatmen who had seen us on television or read about us in the newspapers. Among them, however, were the usual reporters, press photographers, and radio and television men. The 19 TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 20 latter soon had our voices on tape, the boat and All this was on Saturday afternoon, May my beard on film. 23, and it seemed to men barely had time to get back before in studios to their Tony called us into his office. Kingston next fifteen minutes we listened the He turned on the radio, and for me that the radio and to ourselves speaking I learned that my room of our home valley nestled television from the mysterious electronic box. Later, wife heard the same radio talk in the living in the Vale of San Jacinto, an isolated, alpine among the highest and snowiest mountains of south ern California. have appeared on radio or television, I have won anyone was actually listening. There was certainly no Whenever dered if doubt about I it after our broadcasts at Eddyville, New York. In minutes after the tapes had been aired, cars and more cars began pulling up to a stop on the highway near Tony s. Throngs of people came to look at our boat and have a few friendly words with us. The usual question was, there anything we can do for you? We ll be glad to take you into Kingston if you need to do any shopping." Obviously, there was nothing artificial about that kind "Is of hospitality! was talking with a group of such visitors when a gentleman introduced himself as James O Brien noticed a St. Christopher medal I was wearing. I who had you a Catholic?" he asked. I am, I replied. "Would you like to go to Mass with "Are "Indeed sir!" me and my family tomorrow morning?" "I certainly would!" we pick you up here about eight-forty tomorrow Our Church of St. Francis is on a hill morning? overlooking the Hudson at St. Remy, about 4 miles from here." "Then suppose In the church that Sunday morning, the pastor, Father Kelly, to whom I d previously been introduced, stepped to the altar rail before starting Mass. He paused for a moment and looked out PEEKSKILL LAKE CHAMPLAIN 21 through the crowded church. I sensed that he was looking for a a beard. man with upon me and he spoke: "Friends, we have with us this morning a gentleman who has embarked upon a most unusual journey. He is making his second trip across the [North American continent over the inland waterways of the United States and Canada as skipper of a motor yacht scarcely 20 feet in length. It is a voyage of more than 5,000 miles through seventeen Ameri can states and two provinces of Canada. Perhaps you have read about him, heard his voice on radio, or seen him on television. He sets an example I hope others may follow: he has time for God! It is my pleasure to introduce Captain John Edwin Hogg, skipper Presently his eyes fell of the motor vessel Transco I arose, saluted, mained and II. sat Captain Hogg, will you please rise?" again. The packed church re down but the reaction of the congregation was easily that I had gained an intangible something that could silent, visible. I felt never be anything but beneficial. Little did I realize then that John Dahl and I would soon have thousands of people praying for our safety and success. On Monday morning, May 24, I took Transco II back into the Hudson from Rondout Creek. A tidal current of perhaps 5 miles an hour was moving downstream, and a 30-mile-an-hour wind was blowing upstream. This is a bad combination, as every experienced river boatman knows. On any stream the size of the Hudson it sets the wind to fighting the current, rolling up a conflicting fury of short, choppy waves that can be dangerous to small boats. I wouldn t say that a boat as seaworthy as Transco II was in any particular danger that day. Nevertheless, the river was rough enough to make her uncomfortable and difficult to handle. We were soon taking spray aboard. When sea, as we had to do, any boat has a tendency to yaw off course, making it a bad day for the man at the wheel. Moreover, in such a sea speed has to be greatly reduced. Transco II could take it, but running before a following her occupants took the punishment that would have included sea- TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 22 sickness without the high degree of immunity that both John Dahl and I had developed over the years. By the time we reached Catskill, we d had about enough of the punishment that was burning a lot of gasoline without producing Catskill, however, offered no small-boat shore not even a place where we could tie up without was There facility. serious risk of damage to the boat. After an inspection of the entire much mileage. CatskiU waterfront, my decision was to get back into deep water and take the seas for another 10 miles by running for Hudson, New York. At Hudson the river was still rough. We found several quietwater mooring slips alongside the clubhouse of the Hudson Power boat Association and cheerfully accepted the hospitality of the club that was immediately and graciously offered. For a couple of already weather-beaten motorboatmen, the well-equipped club house was a perfect place to be on a day when the wind continued to howl and toss the crows around. The following day dawned with ideal weather, and Dahl and I agreed to get an early start to meet a tentative appointment in swift tide was flowing Albany with the Governor of New York. A We shoved off, with Dahl at the controls of Transco IL well for about three minutes. We had barely reached downstream. All went the deep water of the shipping lane in the middle of the river when John gave the steering wheel a hard turn to starboard and nothing knew instantly that down the motors. Transco happened. After turning the wheel to port, he we had II was He lost all steering control. adrift on the outflowing I scrambled astern, would permit me tide. grabbed a paddle, and found a fulcrum that to use the paddle as a jury rudder. taking the boat ahead with one tle. The from shut motor We then tried at about one-quarter throt had gained with the paddle was far was enough to let us get back to the boat-club steering control I perfect, but it dock and make an orderly landing. Dismantling the steering mechanism, we found a sheared-off pin that had released one of the steering cables. By foresight PEEKSKILL LAKE CHAMPLAIN 23 was in no sense luck, we had the pin to replace it in our of spare parts. Within an hour after our jury-rigged landing, were off for Albany again. that box we In 1925, Frank Wilton and I were overnight guests of the Albany Yacht Club, which was then on the Albany side of the river. Now, a greatly enlarged and elaborate Albany Yacht Club is on the other side of the river, in Rensselaer. The two-man crew of Transco II promptly accepted a cordial invitation to enjoy every hospitality the club had to offer. I d been ashore only a few minutes when I sighted an elderly puttering in a flower bed on the broad lawn in front of the man clubhouse. I felt that somewhere, long ago, I had met him. But where and when? I began peering into the dark corners of mem ory. Then, suddenly, the whole mystery cleared and the man s name was on the tip of my tongue. In 1925, the state of Tennessee had a law that prohibited the Darwin s theory of evolution in the public schools. Coincidentally, while the original Transco was on her way down the Missouri River, a legal battle was going on in Dayton, Tennessee. A teacher by the name of John Scopes was being prosecuted on the charge of having taught evolution, in teaching of Charles violation of the state law. became a farcical contest between orthodox religion and science. Scopes had retained one of the world s fore most criminal lawyers, Clarence Darrow, to defend him. The The Scopes trial prosecution was undertaken by William Jennings Bryan, former Secretary of State and three-time loser as a candidate for Presi Darrow proclaimed himself an agnostic. Bryan was the modern St. George out to slay the dragon that dared to question a single word of the Bible. The court battle made newspaper dent. Bryan won the exhaustion. from sheer Scopes had life, probably indeed violated a state law. The jury found him guilty, and headlines all over the world. William Jennings case but lost his Tennessee gained a nickname, "The Monkey State." On the last lap of our cruise, when Frank Wilton and I stopped TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 24 of the club was named Albany Yacht Club, the Commodore John Scopes. With the "Monkey Trial" still in the news, Commo dore Scopes, Frank Wilton, and I laughed over the coincidence of names. Commodore Scopes had assured us he was in no way at the Mr. John Scopes of Dayton, Tennessee. after thirty-four years. I Thus, the story came back to me man the walked toward puttering among the flowers. elderly "Aren t you Mr. John Scopes?" I asked he replied, rising, removing a work glove and am, related to sir!" "I extending his hand. Mr. Scopes. speak your name, please!" exclaimed sure I know you and can recall "Don t "I m it." He member now. "Aren t you Captain Hogg? I re a small motorboat across the continent a moment. hesitated for You brought stopped overnight with us when this club was over on the other side of the river. And how about your partner? many years ago and Wasn t "I m his name Wilson sorry to tell you, or was Mr. died from natural causes in it Wilton?" Scopes," I said, "that Mr. Wilton 1947." John Scopes is now eighty-seven years of age. He organized the Albany Yacht Club in 1896. He became Commodore of the club in 1908 and retained that post until he retired in 1958. Now he around the club, where he is constantly meeting boatmen from far and near, many of whom have been his friends for more than half a century. In Albany our tentative appointment with New York s Gover practically lives had to be canceled. A high official of had died, and his funeral in Albany was nor, Nelson Rockefeller, the state government being held almost at the hour of our arrival. Obviously, the Governor could not be in two places simultaneously. This unfortunate coincidence was largely offset by the rousing welcome we received from representatives of the press, radio, and television and the entire organization of the largest local outboardmotor retail store. The latter gave us such a round of cooperation PEEKSKILL LAKE CHAMPLAIN 25 and "red-carpet" entertainment we almost forgot about and weather that was uncomfortably hot and humid. Those May flies were at the beginning of their May "season" flies when Transco II arrived in Albany. At first there were only a few of these pests, but their number seemed to increase steadily. By the time we got to the locks of the Champlain Canal they were out by Every lock in the canal was swarming with the tens of billions! them. Everyone in that part of the state was going about with flailing hands and arms. To a man from Mars we might have some strange race of deaf mutes using a wild sort of sign language, but we were only pawing at the May flies. By great good fortune May flies don t bite or sting. They are looked like just soft-bodied, Their lacy-winged little flies about half an inch in length. name, Ephemerida vulgaris, literally means shortlife," which is a biological fact about May flies to scientific common "the be heartily approved by man or beast. Their larvae are aquatic. Once each year, usually in May, the adults appear in tremendous swarms. The adult only a few days; ordinarily the annual infestations seldom last more than a week. They re a flying life cycle is dreadful nuisance while they last, however, in clouds before one s eyes, buzzing around the ears, or crawling down inside shirt collars. quarrel with the May flies was that they clustered on My camera lenses and flew in clouds every time I pointed a camera like a black snow storm nearly at anything in the Champlain River. the Richelieu of Lake and on some Canal, Champlain, parts John and Dahl start out of Albany, By getting an early-morning I made excellent progress up the Hudson to Troy, then through Champlain Canal and the southern part of Lake Champlain in a single daylight day. The weather, although uncomfortably hot and humid, was almost perfect for cruising, and we suffered little the from the heat as long as we kept moving. It was in the locks that the heat really became uncomfortable and the May flies didn t help much! Even there we were lucky. At the first lock of the Champlain Canal above Troy, the only TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 26 one in the Champlain Canal system that is operated by the Federal government, we found a red light against us. A voice came over the public-address system, saying, "Attention aboard the small pleasure craft! There a freight barge coming up the river only s When we open the gates, let the barge Follow it in and we ll put you both through a few minutes behind you. go into the lock first. together." A perhaps 2,000 tons, flying the Canadian flag and bearing a Montreal registry, soon hove in sight; we trailed her into the lock. About twelve minutes later we followed the diesel barge of barge out of the lock and decided to stay right with her on into Lake Champlain. By this method we never lost a minute waiting at the locks. We were in Whitehall for lunch shortly after noon, and went down the last lock of the Champlain Canal into Lake Champlain. Lake Champlain, roughly one-fourth the boundary between New York and Vermont, bears little resemblance to what most of us think of as a lake. It is so long and narrow, less than a quarter of The southern part of length of this gigantic lake that forms the a mile wide at several points, that current, set green hills. it looks like a river without any down between rugged cliffs of brown rock and rolling To me, this is the most beautiful part of Lake Cham- plain because all the scenic beauty is visible at close range, in contrast to the distant views that characterize the lake farther north, The where aquatic distances widen out to 15 miles or more. same there, but it s shore-line scenery remains essentially the a greater distance from the boatman. weather is good, as it was for us during our first afternoon on Lake Champlain, navigating the lake is quite a simple task. at If the Our charts gave us in safe waters the a detailed picture of the entire lake. boatman has only To keep to follow a channel well marked with buoys at every spot where a buoy is needed. At least, that s what John Dahl and I thought as Transco II sped northward through Lake Champlain after leaving Whitehall, LAKE CHAMPLAIN PEEKSKILL New the York. We could relax and enjoy numbered buoys We 27 flashed past all the scenic beauty, while and disappeared astern. at about 20 knots, coming up on Vermont, when there was a noise like a the stern. The boat shuddered, and the port-side were skimming along buoy No. 39 off Orwell, small explosion at squeal. Dahl, who was at the helm, switched off both motors. instantly We ll probably never know exactly what happened. Apparently, the port-side motor must have struck its underwater mechanism motor raced with an ear-searing some very against soaked We that solid, submerged obstruction, perhaps a water- log. tilted the motor and found a slightly seemed to have immediate evidence indicated that to On the Vermont shore we be replaced. "Marina, damaged propeller power head. The a broken shear pin would have lost its connection with the Buoy No. 39." We went in sighted a good marina on one motor and tied up in a sheltered cove. More serious trouble loomed when we removed the propeller and found the shear pin intact. The motor was hoisted off the boat and taken into the repair shop. Half an hour later we knew what the trouble was a broken drive shaft. This vital part is so rarely a source of trouble in any modern outboard motor that not included a spare. The nearest Evinrude dealer was in Ticonderoga, we had New York, away on the opposite side of Lake Champlain for us. Also, there was no safe place to tie up there if bad weather came up. To make a bad situation worse, Marina, Buoy No. 39 was a new enterprise, still on the waiting list for the installation of a telephone. A sixteen-year-old boy who was playing around the marina with 8 miles a small boat and outboard motor offered to take us across the lake to Port Marshall, a telephone to call New York. There we would have access to a taxicab for the 5-mile We gladly accepted his offer and lost trip into no time in Ticonderoga. getting under way. fROM TICONDEROGA, INTO FRENCH CANADA Misfortune can often suddenly change into a nearmiracle of good luck. Some months ago, for example, I was to go on a trip with four friends in a private airplane. I was bitterly disappointed when I was forced to withdraw from the projected flight in favor of an emergency appointment with the dentist. After a painful hour in the dentist s chair, a radio news report told me that a toothache had saved life: the plane had crashed and my burned in the High Sierras of California. Three days later, I was a pallbearer at the funeral of the four who had died in the crash. I could cite many other instances of bad luck turning out to be the greatest of good fortune. So it may have been for Transco II, John Dahl, and me when we had motor trouble on Lake Champlain. A violent thunderstorm was gathering by the time we arrived in Ticonderoga from Port Marshall. What s more, that storm turned out to be not just one rip-roaring twister of wind, torrential rain, thunder, and lightning: it was only a prelude to five whole days of the most violent weather 28 FRENCH CANADA TICONDEROGA 29 imaginable. If we had been caught out on Lake Champlain in that weather, there is no telling what trouble we might have gotten into. So, we remained in Ticonderoga while the lake was a seeth ing cauldron of fury in which no small boat could have lived. As the wind continued to rage, broken only by an occasional hour or two of blue sky and sunlight, we obtained the motor parts we needed. Stewart Moore, owner of the local hardware store, then took us to Marina, Buoy No. 39 in his pickup truck. He drove south, past Port Marshall on the New York side of the a point where the shortest car ferry on the entire lake operates over a stretch of water where New York and Vermont are only about half a mile apart. From the ferry landing on the lake, to Vermont side, a 15-mile drive took us over a tortuous and scenic rural road into Orwell; then we went north and west back to the Marina, Buoy No. 39. To know and find been impossible for an unguided stranger. this route would have Transco 7/ s ailing motor was repaired and operative again within an hour after Johnny Connors, a skilled outboard motor mechanic and Mr. Moore s son-in-law, went to work on it. But what about the weather? Obviously, it was no day to be traveling about 75 miles through the widest parts of Lake Champlain. I made a call to the U. S. Coast Guard Station in Burlington. The advice I received was, "Small-craft warning signals are flying. more of same today, tomorrow, and pos after You d be wise to stay in port." tomorrow. sibly day In Ticonderoga, 6 o clock that evening, John Dahl and I were having dinner. Outside, the wind was trying to blow the raincoats off the backs of pedestrians. The rain was coming down in tor rents. Thunder was booming and the lightning was causing the lights in the restaurant to blink on and off. Bob Barton, owner of the theater next door, came in and spoke to us. 6:45 you re a in on the screen newsreel. If d to be like to see your you going as in come selves, my guests." On the screen we saw ourselves as others had seen us leaving Weather forecast is for "At TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 30 Boat Basin in New York up the Hudson, and going under the George Washington Bridge. Then we spent the remainder of a bad-weather evening seeing two very the 79th Street City, speeding good Hollywood productions. Before visiting Lake Champlain anyone might take a refresher course in American history. The lake is, of course, a product of geography, and geography has always played an important part in shaping the events of history. Thus, Lake Champlain was a natu ral and convenient travel route between conflicting colonial enter French to the north and the British to the south. It was predestined by its geographic location to become a battleground, prises, the Cockpit of Europe" be Belgium became known as cause it was set down between the long-conflicting interests of France and Germany. just as "the Long before the American Revolution, every shooting war be tween England and France brought bloodshed to Lake Champlain. The used wise, British colonials it it on their way and the to thirteen original make war on American colonies the French in Canada. Like became the most convenient route of invasion every time Canada sent military forces seeking to drive the the French in British out of New England. During the American Revolution, by which time the British had almost succeeded in wresting control of Canada from the French, Lake Champlain became a battlefield this time it was the British, with French, German, and French-Canadian mercenaries, fighting British colonials who had the audacity to rebel against a tyrannical James III. Little wonder that Whitehall, New York, destined to be the birthplace of the United States was Navy. Likewise, the lake, as a highway of two-way military enterprises, made it possible for U. S. General Richard Montgomery to seize British King, Montreal in 1775, leaving in his path such hallowed battlegrounds Crown Point, Ticonderoga, and Saratoga. Bad weather and the enforced sojourn in Ticonderoga gave us the opportunity to visit Fort Ticonderoga and to make a trip by as TICONDEROGA FRENCH CANADA 31 Lake George. Lake George is one of the most beautiful on the face of the earth; for many years I had hoped to auto to lakes see it. Driving out with new-found friends from Ticonderoga in a downpour of rain, I wondered if we would see anything of the lake when we got there. Good As we neared fortune was with us. the lake, the rain stopped and we had about two hours under a blue sky flecked with huge and beautiful cumulus clouds! No question about the beauty of Lake George; ever hope to see on this side it is about the nearest thing I of the Atlantic to Switzerland s Lake Geneva. it possible to go by water from Lake Boatmen often ask, into Lake The surface George?" The answer is, Champlain of Lake George is approximately 100 feet higher than that of Lake Champlain. The overflow from the former drops through a rocky gorge on the outskirts of Ticonderoga. A huge steel aqueduct picks up most of the water within the city limits of Ticonderoga and puts it through the hydroelectric turbines that keep the town "Is "No!" supplied with electricity to run the paper mills and other industries. To that pure, cold, sparkling Lake George water, industrial wastes and sewage are then added and dumped into create the usual water-pollution problem. Lake Champlain As yet, to however, the Lake Champlain is not very serious. The lake is just too big to be seriously polluted by the present population and in pollution of dustry around it. After six days in Ticonderoga with almost continuous high wind and downpours of rain, good weather returned for us on Lake Champlain. There was blue sky overhead and the lake was like a gigantic sheet of glass as John Dahl and I sped northward from Marina, Buoy No. 39. With everything in our favor we de cided to go fast while the going was good and be out of the lake, if possible, before the bad weather might again catch up with us. During the last week of September in 1925, it took Frank Wilton and me three days to run the length of Lake Champlain, TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 32 York, to Whitehall, with the original Transco. Two of those days gave us about as much weather as we dared to be out in. The second afternoon chased us off the from Rouse s Point, New lake into a sheltered anchorage in Basin Harbor, Vermont. The from Basin Harbor to Whitehall, third, during which we traveled on a placid river. Thus, experience had taught me was like boating that Lake Champlain has a Dr. Jekyll-and-Mr. Hyde personality. Vast as weather it is it is, in gentle a placid, beautiful, fresh-water sea, a paradise for any lover of small boats. But let no boatman be are as suddenly changeable as the New fooled; its moods England weather. Let a 30-mile-an-hour wind spring up and this docile, king-sized millpond quickly becomes a wave-lashed cauldron of seething fury. In minutes and 6 it can build up waves that seem to be 10 feet high feet apart, easily capable of capsizing or small boat or pike-poling The lake s bottom it swamping any to the bottom. is soft, slate-gray mud. After a few days calm weather the water appears to be remarkably of clear, reflecting New England sky. But when the wind blows, the mud is quickly churned up from the bottom and the whole lake becomes a mousy gray, as it was when Transco II set out the deep blue of the on her northward journey. Natives who have the shores of the lake say that it lived for years on usually takes several days for the mud has been churned up by a storm. New York, Dahl and I charted a course to water to clear after the From Ticonderoga, Burlington, Vermont. Transco II ate of a seagull. usual, We We up the miles with the voracity were in Burlington a little after noon, and, as found the gentlemen of the press waiting. paused only long enough to have lunch in a waterfront restaurant and then spent an hour being interviewed and photo graphed. The lake was still calm when we got away from Burlington about 2 o clock in the afternoon, heading for Rouse s Point. Transco II clipped off about half the distance within an hour after FRENCH CANADA TICONDEROGA Then a leaving Burlington. 33 gentle breeze from the north rose to about 20 miles an hour and the lake began to get rough. We had to throttle down to half speed, and for a time we thought we d have to go into Plattsburgh. But we found the wind and seas get ting no worse, so we decided to keep going. We docked at the Gaines Marina in Rouse s Point a little before 6 o clock. In less we had run about three-fourths of the length Lake Champlain and were now at the northern end of it. than eight hours A few minutes before 6:30, Mr. Gaines took us in a local tavern. There we of his car to sat at a table sipping beer while we watched ourselves on television as others had seen and heard us in Burlington earlier in the day. Next morning, as to the offices of U. offices opened for business, I went Customs and Immigration Service and re ceived clearances for Transco II and her crew to re-enter the soon as the S. United States from Canada at DeTour, Michigan. I was agreeably the and by simplicity of this procedure. It is now surprised speed red from free remarkably tape. The entire transaction was com pleted in about ten minutes. when Frank Wilton and I arrived at Rouse s Point Canada with Transco at the Canadian Soo, I paid duty on some furs I d bought for my wife in Canada. The customs officer then asked, "Do you have anything aboard your In 1925, after having entered boat that could be considered "Yes, sir," I replied. "I contraband?" have a bottle containing about half a quart of good Canadian bourbon." (At that time prohibition was supposed to be the law of the land throughout the United States.) can t let you take the said the customs officer. "Very well," "I whisky into the United States. you drink But I can look the other way while it!" Forthwith, Wilton and I divided the whisky and swigged it down. Frank and I cruised on down the lake. While a gentle rain Moon Came over the Cowshed," a familiar song in the trenches of World War I. dropped around us, we sang "The TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 34 Before leaving the Richelieu New York and St. in Transco II I Lawrence Montreal. But the charts, which Rouse s rivers had ordered charts of from Rouse we had expected Point, failed to arrive. This left s Point to to receive at John Dahl and me with the prospect of having to make the run of roughly 150 miles down the Richelieu and up the St. Lawrence to Montreal as best we could. It was not a happy thought. But we d have to go on and accept the risks and inconvenience of being without charts over this part of our route. We were about ready to shove off when a big, beautiful, 50-foot yacht flying the Canadian flag and carrying a Montreal registry came into the Gaines Marina. The Canadian party of six stepped ashore, and the conversation was soon going thick and fast in French. I heard the skipper of the yacht ask where he might obtain Lake Champlain, the Champlain Canal, and the Hudson to New York City. I also overheard and understood him to say that he had charts from Montreal to Rouse s Point, but none for the remainder of his route to New York City. Here was my chance to do a little "horse-trading," I thought. charts of Summoning all of a language I per: the rusty French I could muster from knowledge had not used for years, I spoke to the yacht skip me, sir, but my partner and I have the charts you have the charts we don t have. Let s exchange charts. "Pardon need. You All of us will then have the charts we want and need!" Needless to say, this obvious and logical exchange was quickly made. few minutes later, Transco II was speeding down the A Richelieu with a gentle current boosting us along. Our complete set of Canadian charts showed every needed detail of our route on into Montreal. Likewise, the French-Canadian yacht, heading was a mere speck on the watery horizon of Lake Champlain with a skipper at the helm who knew where he was going. I doubt south, any more mutually convenient exchange of property was ever consummated between Americans and French Canadians. At any point on the boundary between the United States and if TICONDEROGA FRENCH CANADA 35 French Canada, the change of language is as sudden as it is at every other international boundary where linguistic barriers meet. This was no new experience for me. I d been through it a thou sand times, traveling in various parts of the world. Moreover, I southern California, only a few miles from the Mexican live in border in a land that was under Spanish and Mexican dominion hundred years. Here, bilingual Americans are a dime a for three dozen. When went to France as a youth, I knew that I had no right Frenchmen to be spealdng English for my convenience. No, indeed, it was up to me to speak French. Likewise, when I went to Germany, I couldn t expect Germans to be speaking my native language. At home, in California s Alpine San Jacinto Valley, I don t expect Spanish-speaking Americans or native In I to expect dians or Mexicans to speak fluent English. The polite and courte ous thing to do is to speak their language, and down through the year s I ve found it a sure-fire way to make friends and influence people. Nevertheless, year after year, I ve gone into one foreign coun try after another to some to of be utterly amazed and often chagrined by to be unable my own monolingual countrymen who seem cope intelligently with the language barrier. In 1925, when I spent some weeks in French-speaking Canada as part of the Transco cruise, English-speaking French Canadians were as scarce as French-speaking American tourists are in Canada today. My choice was between speaking French or enduring all the penalties and potential penalties of being inarticulate. I pre French none too fluently after long disuse, but ferred to speak adequate for every purpose of contact with the people in one of and picturesque areas of the North American continent. Now, in 1959, during my tour of French Canada with Transco II, I hoped to restore my rusty French to some semblance of working order. But I didn t get very far. the most At St. interesting John, Quebec, Transco II was tied up at a floating slip 36 TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT in a well-equipped government yacht basin. John Dahl and I stepped ashore in a beautiful little city with little similarity to any thing to be found in the United States. Although only a few miles of the broad Richelieu River separated us from the states of New York and Vermont, it was like being set down somewhere in the heart of France. Everything was different; French would have to be the major usable language for the next several weeks. DOWN THE RICHELIEU TO SOREL, QUEBEC We had intended to stop at St. Johns only long enough to load gasoline, potable water, ice, groceries, and a few other items needed aboard Transco H. We had no more than set foot on the dock, however, before we were greeted by the usual delegation of reporters, photographers, radio and television repre sentatives, the mayor of the city, and various representative citi zens. For the first few minutes the meeting was little more than a babel of languages. French Canadians are obviously just as demonstrative and volatile as continental Frenchmen. Monsieur le Maire insisted that we see his beautiful, brand-new City Hall. We did. It was a fine, modern building inside and out of which any city of 100,000 might be proud. The Mayor was careful to explain that the building had been designed by a FrenchCanadian architect and built entirely by local French-Canadian workmen using Canadian materials. monsieurs must see our tax office!" said the Mayor, A modern automatic elevator sped us upstairs, where we stepped out onto a large and beautiful inlaid tile floor. "Ah," "les 37 TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 38 The was tax office distinctly different in one respect: There were in front of the tax-collection wickets padded kneeling boards such as are found in churches. John Dahl was at a loss to know what the kneeling boards might have to do with the payment of taxes. "Ah," explained the Mayor, "perhaps you do not understand how deeply religious our French-Canadian people are. They sel dom do anything without asking le bon Dieu to guide them to do the right thing. They come in here, and first they kneel and pray for the good intentions of their elected public officials. They also pray made of their tax money. They Then they kneel again and pray that God may having paid just taxes and give them the grace to that the best possible use will be pay their taxes. them for be fair and honest the next time the tax assessor bless believe in all Canada calls. I firmly righteous prayers are answered. I also believe that here we have a government that respects the prayers of our people, as fair and honest a government as fallible mankind has ever succeeded in devising for himself. Vive la Canada!" Monsieurs Lasnier and Galipeau, local outboard sales repre sentatives, insisted that Dahl and I be their guests for dinner that evening; that is, if we had no objection to eating in a very quiet and orderly Canadian beer hall famous throughout Quebec for the superb quality of the food it serves. We Those gentlemen were also modestly truthful about the food. The French Canadians seem to have the same love of food as their European brothers. Our dinner gladly accepted this invitation. that evening was as good food is ever liable to be in a with literally bulging good food, good chefs, and restaurant who know how to serve it. In fact, our first week in Canada people as good land revealed that the rank and file of Canadian cuisine is on a par with the best in the United States or any other a with country high standard of living. When I visited Canada on the original Transco cruise, the Canadians had nothing like the high standard of living that now prevails throughout the Dominion. Thirty years ago Canada had DOWN THE RICHELIEU TO 39 SOREL The country, which then had a popula of about tion 10 million people, lived almost entirely by only relatively little industry. agriculture and exporting raw materials. Practically every manu factured article was imported from the United States, England, or France. Today, Canadians can buy everything from a tube of toothpaste to an automobile or a jet plane, all with the mark MADE IN CANADA. Geographically, Canada is larger than the United States, even with our new states, Hawaii and Alaska. The population is esti be around 17 million, which means that Canadians are have plenty of elbow room far into the foreseeable future. The Canadian economy is expanding by leaps and bounds in every direction. In 1925, the Dominion had practically no petroleum. mated to going to Today, Canadian-built motor Canadian gaso over the country. Protests are even being heard in Washington against heavy importations of line, are vehicles, fueled with operating on paved roads all Canadian petroleum products into the United States. Two or three decades ago Canada had few opportunities to offer and uni versities. Many young men and women whom Canada had pro duced and educated emigrated to the United States. Canada lost them forever, and the United States gained thousands of highly the graduates of her vast national chain of high schools new citizens. now no longer necessary desirable It is to find greater in recent years for young talent to leave Canada economic opportunities. All this has come about by the construction of vast hydroelectric power projects, such as those of the St. Lawrence Seaway, Kitimat, and others. There has also been a tremendous boom in mining enter prises around newly discovered resources of iron ore, nickel, uranium, and petroleum. The St. Lawrence Seaway now makes an ocean seaport of every Canadian city on the Great Lakes, as it does of every American city on our side of the lakes. Not so many years ago much of Canada was considered to be a sub-arctic wilderness; an uninhabited land of vast distances, without transportation, frozen solid from six to nine months each TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 40 and permanently useless for the year; poor in natural resources; all this. Because purposes of mankind. Air transportation changed now has economic po of the airplane, the Canadian Northland be able to skip the costly tentialities as promising as Alaska. It will of the con railroad construction that characterized the development United States and jump right into the Air Age. Canadians have learned that it is possible to live through long, subzero winters about as comfortably as they do in Toronto, Montreal, or Quebec. tinental tide of emigration out of Canada into the United reversed. An ever-increasing trickle of Americans has been States The human is moving into Canada. seeking to better themselves economically of six young Amer total a met I While on the Transco II cruise icans at widely separated points who were about to become Cana dian citizens. They had found good jobs or established themselves d married Canadian girls. They believed their in business; they economic future to be more promising than it might be in the United States. Today, under existing Canadian laws, any American who wants to live in Canada is at liberty to do so. He may take a job or engage in business with all the rights citizen, except the right to vote. The surface of Lake Champlain level. and privileges of a Canadian normally 103 feet above sea This means that the Richelieu River, after flowing out of the lake at s Point, New York, drops almost 100 feet from goes into the St. Lawrence at Sorel, Quebec. The no small river; the average volume of its flow is ap Rouse that time until Richelieu is is it proximately the same as the Rhine, at Cologne, West Germany. Put that volume of water on such a slope and it s going somewhere, fast! In 1925, when Frank Wilton and I came up the Richelieu, we had way from the St. Lawrence Lake Champlain. In many places the current cut our less than 1 mile an hour over the ground. The old locks to fight the swift current all the at Sorel into speed to were but they were not in operation. days to get up the Richelieu. there, as they are today, took us five It DOWN THE RICHELIEU TO SOREL 41 saw with Transco II! The old locks remain about the same, but several new dams have been built. These dams have taken the slope out of the river for pur What a different sort of a Richelieu I poses of navigation; each electric-power-plant dam site. operation of the locks; no is The also a revenue-producing, sale hydro of electric power finances are charged for their use. tolls St. Johns at 8 o clock in the morning, Transco II Richelieu and arrived at Sorel, Quebec, in less than were at the Sorel Yacht Club at 6 in the evening, and By leaving down the ran one day. We bright daylight continued until about 9 P.M. In Sorel, we were tow by Monsieur Roger Peticlerc, the local outboard whose store is in the heart of Sorel s business district. taken in dealer, Farther back on the near river, St. Ours, I had noted several miles of shore line along both sides of the river where huge trees had been uprooted and standing trees had been stripped of bark to a height of about 15 feet been an ice jam here, I above the ground. There must have mused; millions of tons of moving ice was the only imaginable force capable of wreaking such havoc. In Sorel, I asked Monsieur Peticlerc about the damaged trees. "Your observation is correct," he replied. "When the ice broke up this spring it formed a jam up there that threatened several towns along the river. But we succeeded in breaking the jam with dyna mite. We kept the river in to the trees its channel, and the only damage was you Yacht Club is on the west side of the Richelieu just above the point where it flows into the St. Lawrence. The city is on the east side. Fortunately, our mooring place was almost along side a ferry landing. John Dahl and I took turns riding the ferry across the river for our meals and to have a look around the city. The saw." Sorel any language other than French in Sorel, the only place was when I met Madame Peticlerc. Although a native of Quebec, she speaks Spanish like a native of Spain. She made If there is I found it the Spanish language her hobby after having learned it in schools and during a series of visits to Cuba and other parts of Latin America. TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 42 The next morning the weather looked favorable as we left Sorel Lawrence for Montreal. But Transca II and headed up didn t get very far up the huge, swift river before the wind began to blow; it was a following wind that soon became a 40-mile-anthe St. hour gale. In no time at all the wind was rolling the current back, creating the biggest, fastest, meanest waves I ve ever seen water in all my years of boating experience. on fresh The waves seemed to be 16 feet high and 8 feet apart. They came at us from all directions at once. Transco IPs bow would be rising on one wave as another one crashed us from astern. Countless tons of water went completely over our heads in solid masses, and we were taking spray aboard about as fast as two could bilge pumps put it back in the river. It was impossible to move or stand in the boat without hanging on. It was also an uncomfortably cold 45 degrees! We could have gone into any one of several ports along that storm-tossed 50 miles of the St. Lawrence, but decided to fight to Montreal. We made it after six hours of run reduced speed. We were cold, wet, and bedraggled. Montreal is a vast commercial seaport. It s an excellent port in a storm for ships the size of the Queen Mary, but as miserable the waves on in ning at a place as I ever hope to see for a craft as small as Transco II. Dabl and I hunted all over the waterfront for a place to tie up. The river was so rough, the wind was so violent, and the rain was so thick that we cruised around for an hour before we found a place where it was even possible for John to scramble ashore. We had to go alongside a moored tug so that John could make a jump for it. I laid off for the hour it took for him to find and have a conference with the harbor master. The harbor master s advice was to go up the river to a spot below the first lock of the old LaChine Canal, where he water. We the oil "believed" we d find fairly calm found the designated place to be only a little better than open river. The water was very choppy and fouled with crude from the commercial shipping. I went ashore and had a DOWN THE RICHELIEU TO SOREL 43 versation with the lock-keeper. He agreed to get us out of our predicament by putting us through the first lock into an anchorage basin about 5 acres in area that lay above the lock. We thus found quiet water, but the area lacked much of being a yacht club. The rain was still coming down in torrents. With hands numbed by the cold, we secured Transco II alongside a gigantic grain elevator. The water was foul with oil-like liquid tar. To make matters worse, we shared the mooring with five tugs spewing out clouds of black smoke and soot that turned the rain an inky liquid. Remaining aboard Transco into II under these conditions was quickly ruled out. I called a taxicab and we went to the luxurious Laurentian Hotel two wave-beaten, half-frozen, wet, and be draggled scarecrows lugging bags of wet clothing. I chose the Laurentian because its fast and continuous valet service would be able to thaw and dry all our wet things overnight. It was a much brighter world after a hot bath, dry clothing, and a swig of French Canada s favorite drink, "weesky blanc!" Weesky blanc is whisky made from wheat. The best brands it look like spring water in a glass and are 100 proof. It s of as mellow as moonlight, but with atomic potency. I ve been in Montreal many times and, to me, it is still one of the most interesting and attractive cities hi North America. It is probably the most bilingual city in Canada; about 75 per cent of the people are French Canadians and only people are English-speaking Canadians. 25 per cent of the John Dahl and I spent four days in Montreal, during which time the weather was mostly bad, with high winds and an almost continual rain enveloping the city. FROM MONTREAL TO ONTARIO S TRENT WATERWAY In Montreal, between showers, we had our usual and television. Some days later, I heard the first time in French. I managed for on radio, speaking myself well with remembered French, reading from a prepared my pretty sessions with press, radio, script delivered by teleprompter in the recording studio. I was from the speaker a sound far better when I put the speech on tape. The pleasantly surprised to hear than I thought it would be modern tape recorder is one of the greatest mechanical aids ever it permits him to hear him invented for the student of languages; self as others hear him. In Montreal, Transco IIt John Dahl, and I received a generous press, as Frank Wilton and I had thirty-four years The ago. write-ups, with photo illustrations, appeared in French in Presse and hi English in the Montreal Star. and favorable "La On Monday, June 8, the early-morning weather was fair, but a near-gale wind was blowing up the St. Lawrence. Knowing what this meant for us out on the broad, swift-flowing river, Dahl and I decided to 44 go on up the old LaChine Canal into Lake St. Louis MONTREAL TRENT WATERWAY 45 LaChine. This would save our having to go back downstream for several miles, crossing the river, and entering the Lambert at first lock of the St. Lawrence Seaway. It would also bypass us around the St. Catherine Lock, the second lock of the Seaway. Success or failure of this plan, however, would depend Lock, the upon the weather. Lake St. Louis had given the original Transco a dreadful beating in 1925 when Wilton and I came downstream across it in a similar upstream wind. If the wind continued, Transco II could expect to fare no better in attempting to get across the lake to enter the Seaway at the Beauharnois Locks. Lawrence Seaway now provides a far better route, the old LaChine Canal is rapidly falling into disuse and will probably be abandoned sooner or later. Its operations are now Because the St. It took four hours for Transco II to get through the 10 miles of the old canal from Montreal to LaChine. We were haphazard. delayed in getting through the locks and at each of the numerous low drawbridges that had to be opened to let us through. At one bridge we waited for an hour for the bridge tender to come out from Montreal after I d succeeded in locating him by telephone. These delays, however, turned out to be another blessing in dis guise. It was past noon when we got to LaChine. By that time the wind had died down and we had near-perfect weather for getting across the vast open-water expanse of Lake St. Louis. At Le Club Nautique de LaChine we received a hearty wel come and were invited to linger, but I decided we d better get across the lake while the weather was favorable. We made the run from LaChine to the Beauharnois Locks over a huge and often dangerous lake that remained as smooth as silk for our trip. Approaching the Beauharnois Locks, Transco II was dwarfed by the magnitude of her surroundings. We still had no permit for the St. Lawrence Seaway. What were those French-speaking lockkeepers going to say when I asked them to let this flyspeck of a boat into locks built to handle gargantuan ocean ships? The only way to answer this question was to go ashore and find out how cooperative the lock people might be. We tied up to TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 46 the tremendous sea wall that extends far out into Lake St. Louis from the first lock gate, a structure that looks more like an office of a gate. The sea wall was building than it does like any kind but a good place for a small boat to tie up, but it was anything the only place available. Up the ladder and on top of the wall, I walked about 2 miles before locating the lock master. He spoke no language other than French, in a staccato style that I failed to understand; he stuttered like a castanet solo and then whistled his his affliction polite own encores. Apparently I bore with my French better than I did his. sensing that he was making an honest he could understand effort to be and cooperative. Finally, I understood that, since he could make no decision in such out-of-pattern circumstances, he would have to call the office of the Superintendent of the St. Lawrence Seaway Administration in Cornwall, Ontario. After putting the telephone call through in and then handed me sentences a few he French, stuttery spoke the in had lockman the the phone. And, since French, spoken in French. polite thing for me to do seemed, I should speak As best I could, I described the situation and requested that Transco II be granted permission to traverse the Seaway. I an swered numerous questions, knowing that boats under 20 feet in length are not permitted in the St. Lawrence Seaway. When be "20 that question feet, 4 came, as I knew it would, my answer would inches." H s length would be about 22 feet if we added and the overhang of the motors to her 19-foot main Actually, Transco the motor well hull. We continued talking in French, although I was in a sweat grop ing for words from a vocabulary all but lost through years of disuse. Then, I learned that I was speaking with a Mr. Sprung. The name didn t sound French, so I asked. From there we com pleted the conversation in English. No man more courteous and cooperative. was not customary to issue permits to boats could ever have been Mr. Sprung said it MONTREAL TRENT WATERWAY 47 seeking to enter the Seaway at intermediate points. However, in view of the circumstances I had explained, he d be happy to make an exception in our case. He would instruct the lock master at the Beauharnois to see him Locks in person the perimt and to send us through. He would arrival at Cornwall, upon pay the toll charges. then ask us where I could pick up In the Beauharnois Locks, Transco II looked like a Lilliputian toy. The two locks are each 900 feet long. They are 80 feet wide between the lock sills and have a minimum water depth of 30 feet. The two locks lift or lower vessels a perpendicular 84 feet. Transco II entered these locks and tied up in a corner. A 20,000- German Robert Bornholm, then snailed her way into the locks behind us. When the gates were closed we had a view that was like looking up from the bottom of a gigantic well. Look ing up from under the bow of the German ship reminded me of ton ship, trying to see the top of from the New York City s Empire State Building street. The Beauharnois Locks lifted Transco II from the level of Lake St. Louis to the level of Lake St. Francis. This drop was formerly made by the infamous Rapide Soulanges (The Long Soo Rapids) which the original Transco had come down without mishap in 1925, bouncing over towering waves at white-water speed. All those terrifying St. Lawrence River rapids today are drowned in the lakes that were created by the control dams of the St. Law rence Seaway. Once above the Beauharnois Locks, we of daylight, near-perfect weather, and still had several hours flat-water sailing for the 20-mile run into Valleyfield, Quebec. There, at Le Club Nauitque de Valleyfield, we were promptly taken in tow by as jovial a group of French Canadians as before I ever hope to meet. Only a few minutes pulled up with Transco II at the club docks, various and members of the club had seen us on television in a we officials Montreal-recorded broadcast in French and English. I have yet to meet a French Canadian without a delightful sense of humor. This was again proven when we met Monsieur TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 48 around in the Valleyfield club that evening. He told us that he was the inventor, manufacturer, and exclusive Canadian wholesaler of a rotating spaghetti fork. John Jules Coteau while Dahl and we I sitting had never heard of any such unique eating could easily imagine Actually, I thought tool, but its utilitarian merits for eating spaghetti. we d met some subtle, French-Canadian humor Monsieur Coteau produced a couple of his forks, ordered plates of spaghetti, and proceeded to show us how they work. until The forks were successful, and should be equally useful for eating noodles, which, like spaghetti, seem to have a definite aver With the rotating spa fork the tines with an index finger, rotate fork ghetti you just wind the spaghetti securely on the tines, and convey it to the mouth. It really works! No more spaghetti (or noodles) slipping and skidding all over the place. At first, Monsieur Cotedu couldn t find anyone in Canada to manufacture them. Eventually, he found a manufacturer in Japan who is now making them for him. The sion to being eaten with forks or spoons. forks are selling very well in Canada. At Cornwall we found a small marina that was within a mile new office building that houses the St. Lawrence Seaway of the Authority. It was there that I went to keep the appointment with Mr. W. M. Sprung. I found him to be very much the sort of gentleman I d visualized him to be. I received the official permit for Transco II to operate on the Lawrence Seaway. There was no further question about the size of the boat. I paid a toll charge of $14 based on the Seaway tariff $7 per ton for a noncommercial craft of 2 tons or slightly St. At my was the first less. request, Mr. Sprung verified the fact that Transco II small pleasure boat of American registry to the St. Lawrence Seaway. trip through make the Returning to the marina on the Cornwall waterfront, I found John Dahl swapping yarns with the usual group of newsmen. There was nothing to do but cooperate with them, although it took an other hour at dockside out of a daylight day. By this time experi- MONTREAL TRENT WATERWAY 49 ence had taught us that any attempt to keep a schedule while on a transcontinental cruise is worse than useless. From Cornwall we took Transca II across the river and up stream a few miles to the foot of the Snell Lock. Half an hour later we were over the lock, speeding on to the Eisenhower Lock. In two locks and the few miles between them we were back in New York again. Snell and Eisenhower Locks are the of the St. Lawrence Seaway within the United States. only part these the State of Consequently, they are American-administered; temporarily, at English became the official language again. least, With daylight to spare we were soon back in Canadian waters, speeding upstream through the area where the St. Lawrence is 10 miles wide and dotted with numerous islands. The river had been very fast and narrow when I came down it in 1925. we were now in wasn t even there then, having been formed when the Moses-Saunders Dam was completed a few The huge lake The miles above Cornwall. Long Soo rapids and made hills when lake drowned another portion of the islands out of some rolling Canadian the rising waters surrounded them. It was here that Transco II passed out of the Canadian province of Quebec and entered Ontario, a Dominion province nearly twice the size of Texas. As we approached the Iroquois control dam and locks, Dahl and I began looking for a place to tie up, with the intention of remaining aboard Transco II that night. If we tied up in the river, however, we knew we d be jostled all through the night by every passing ship; the volume of Seaway traffic made this undesirable. finally settled the problem very neatly by running about a We quarter of a mile into an abandoned portion of the old Long Soo Canal. There were May flies and a few mosquitoes there, but with a screened cabin and an aerosol bomb we could hold our against the insect pests. We own we preferred the quiet water where wouldn t be bounced around by ships that passed in the night. we made a beeline for the Iroquois lock Early next morning TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 50 the gate swing open to admit a rusty Norwegian tons that we had passed far down on freighter of about 18,000 Lake St. Francis. The green light remained on for us, and we gate when we saw followed the freighter into the lock, last of the St. Lawrence Sea way locks. Coming out of the Iroquois Lock, we were on the level of the St. Lake Ontario, 246 feet above sea level. In the locks of Lawrence Seaway we had climbed up 228 feet from the surface of the river at Montreal, For that day, Thursday, June which is 11, the 18 feet above sea level. weather was uncomforta bly hot, but ideal for our purposes of cruising through a section of the St. Lawrence renowned for its scenic beauty. In flat water was amazed by the speed with which Transco II could run off a next one. Many times large-scale chart and start eating up the that day I took my eyes off the instrument panel long enough to note that we often kept abreast of the slower-moving cars and trucks on the highway that follows the shore on the north side of the St. Lawrence practically all the way from Kingston on Lake I Ontario to the City of Quebec. Navigating this portion of the St. Lawrence is no problem at Dahl and I merely followed the buoy-marked ship lanes, know all. ing exactly where we were on the charts every minute. few miles above Brockville, Ontario, the ship lane becomes A two ship lanes through the Thousand Islands. channel because and some for the boatman Bay took the north we planned supplies. Alexandria We to stop at Gananoque to pick up mail a color-print, picture-post-card country there ever was one. After going under the Here if is Bridge, the Thousand Island region becomes a veritable fairyland of castle-studded islands, almost too beautiful There are actually about 1,700 islands in of them the property of Canada. to be true! this area, all We passed Heart Island, which is dominated by an ornate castle was never quite finished by its millionaire owner, a man by the name of Boldt. Back in the 1890 s, it is said, one of Boldt s that chefs concocted a tasty salad dressing, the world as Thousand Island dressing. known to this day around TRENT WATERWAY MONTREAL 51 Transco II arrived in Gananoque at noon, poking her nose up the river to tie up at a small marina at the foot of a power dam. one of the most beautiful and picturesque spots imagina the town look like something picked up from the heart of France and set down in Canada. Enroute to Gan- Here ble. is The harbor and anoque s before I there, as Department des Postes, I hadn t been ashore five minutes was spotted and recognized by dozens of people. And elsewhere in French Canada, I was addressed, "Monsieur Capitaine ogg". In French, the letter included only in the written alphabet. Leaving Gananoque, h has no vocal sound; we soon passed Kingston to start it is our cross Lake Ontario. Here was a stretch of water where we almost lost sight of land. In bad weather, Transco II or any other small boat would be in serious danger here. But the weather was good to us. Lake Ontario was like a ing of the far northeast corner of we got across this wide-open stretch at full cruising the slightest incident. In no time at all, or so it without speed seemed, we were speeding through the sheltered waters of vast millpond; Adolphus Reach, Long Reach, and the Bay of Quinte. 6 o clock that evening, we entered the Trent River and tied dock in the heart of the City of Trenton, with sev up eral hours of daylight to spare. We had come to the eastern end By at a public of the Trent necting Waterway System, the boat route Lake Ontario and Lake Huron. The Trent Waterway is 240.55 any boatman who can find a way across Ontario con miles of delightful boating for it. I was so to get himself into impressed with its beauties and charm in 1925 that those ories were still with me aboard Transco II in 1959. mem This scenic beauty had led me to tentatively schedule the Transco II cruise to spend a week in the Trent Waterway. That may seem like wasting a lot of time to cover a distance of 240.55 miles in a boat easily capable of 25 miles an hour, but for those are out to enjoy boating without striving for any speed who records, it s a good idea to spend as Trent Waterway System. much time as possible in the 52 One could TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT easily spend an entire summer cruising several thou sand miles and visiting the countless scenic spots in wilderness areas off the established boat route. Here, in the remote reaches is an unspoiled land of forests, quiet visited by only a handful of human streams and bubbling bays, Here are hundreds of square miles of one in year. any beings waters teeming with fish that few fishermen have ever tried. The contiguous land areas are alive with every form of animal and bird life known to the North Temperate Zone. At numerous points along the boat route there are thriving little towns and delightful small cities. And the Canadians! Well, to know them is to love them. There is no other area on the face of the earth where the people are more cultured, more friendly, of huge connected lakes, or more hospitable. Months of preparation went Here Hogg into both Transco voyages. studies one of the thousands of charts used during the second trip. 53 and maps 54 55 56 On to Oregon! Transco II passes under the majestic George Washington Bridge as she speeds up the Hudson on the first day of the trip. I! 2 si I Si The Champlain Canal was the first of several man-made inland waterways that made Transco s trip across the con tinent easier and quicker. 59 Hogg and Dahl avoided diesel tug York, into delays by trailing a Canadian through the Champlain Canal -from Troy, New Lake Champlain. 60 At Marina Buoy 39 near Orwell, Vermont, the bad-weather delay gave the travelers the opportunity to remove about 300 pounds of excess baggage. 61 In the first of the Beauharnois Locks of the St. Lawrence Seaway, Transco II is dwarfed by the German freighter, Robert Bornholm. 63 Transco II entering the hydraulic lift lock at Peterborough, Ontario. This huge "elevator" raises or lowers boats 65 feet as they go through the Trent Waterway. 64 65 In the Trent Waterway the Big Chute Marine Railway car ried Transco II over one of the dams there. On oil the car of the marine railway, John off the hull. and other foreign matter 66 Dahl swabs crude The mayor of Peterborough, Ontario, presents a Canadian Captain Hogg, for delivery to Oregon s Governor flag to Mark Hatfield. II m Mickey Duggan s marina after near-disaster Lake Michigan. The Straits of Mackinac Bridge is 5 Transco in miles away, in the background. 68 LAKE ONTARIO TO PETERBOROUGH VIA WE TRENT WATERWAY The spot where Transco II was tied up in Trenton was by no means a satisfactory one. The water was heavily pol luted, and the city had no marina facilities, not even a waterfront fuel pump. Since we preferred not to eat and sleep aboard in such a cesspool, Dahl and I decided to go ashore. We found a very good Chinese restaurant, but no hotel that looked attractive. We then decided to move the boat, went up the Trent River to a Canadian Government dock, and found water clean enough to let us sleep aboard without risking our health. With an early-morning start the next day, we hoped to be in Peterborough by evening. But what about gasoline? We finally located a man with a tank truck who agreed to meet us below Lock No. 1, about a mile up the river from Trenton. At this point a brief description of the Trent Waterway System is in order. It would take a well-illustrated book to describe it in detail, but I have assembled here facts for boatmen who con template visiting this delightful vacation land that engineering science has assembled out of existing geography. 69 TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 70 various groups of French and the mouth of the St. Law from British explorers found their way rence and into the Great Lakes to the present site of Chicago, built up an accumulation of maps that could be About three centuries ago, when they gradually studied were and compared. There sketched in the wilderness is no doubt that the by men unskilled maps, which as cartographers, were grotesquely inaccurate by the standards of mapmaking of accurate to reveal that today. Nevertheless, they were sufficiently across the Isthmus of Ontario there was a route strewn with rivers and lakes that could be used as a canoe route a shortcut between Lake Ontario and Lake Huron. Traveling this route involved a number of portages, but the early explorers and their camp fol lowers, the traders, preferred the hardships of the portages if they could reduce travel distances by hundreds of miles. This was the beginning of the Trent Any modern map Waterway System. will reveal that, although the Trent takes by a voyage of 240.55 miles, from one end of the Trent than 600 miles a voyage of more boats across the Ontario Isthmus it is by way of the Welland Canal, Lake Erie, the Lake St. Claire, and Lake Huron. Thus, the pio neers and those who followed saved about 360 miles. In 1925, when I skippered Transco across the continent, I chose the Trent route for two reasons. It eliminated approximately 360 miles of useless, uninteresting distance through vast, wideopen waters where bad weather would mean delays and danger for any small boat The shorter Trent route offered a safer journey mostly through sheltered waters. This was a far more interesting small-boat highway through picturesque and scenic country un spoiled by the noise and odors created by industrialization. Thus, route to the other Detroit River, maps, logic, and experience told me to take the Trent as part of the route across the continent for The Transco Waterway II. idea of creating the Trent Waterway as we know it today when the United States was in a life-or-death struggle originated the Civil War. During that war Canadian wheat was in great de in the states that remained loyal to the Union. And to get mand LAKE ONTARIO PETERBOROUGH 71 wheat from the wheat-growing provinces in western Canada, Cana dians conceived the idea of building a barge canal across the Ontario Isthmus, thus shortening the distance between Lake Huron and Lake Ontario. Very imagination was needed to visualize The isthmus was strewn with big and little lakes, overflowing to form rivers that flow in opposite directions, into Lake Huron and into Lake Ontario. Dig a few miles of canals, put in some dams and locks, connect the lakes this rather little ambitious project. a water route over the few stretches where the and traders had to portage their canoes, and there early explorers would be formed a commercial barge canal right across the On tario Isthmus. So reasoned those who favored the project. and the rivers with Preliminary surveys of the Trent made Waterway in the 1880s revealed the feasibility project. Actual construction began soon 1912, the barge canal was in wheat Canadian began to move over the shortened operation. route between Lake Huron and Lake Ontario. The Trent Water after the turn of the century. way gave ment By the Province of Ontario more than a valuable improve in transportation. It created dozens of ideal sites for the development of hydroelectric power. This power brought lumber mills, paper factories, and other industry to the area; towns and thriving cities were built in the former wilderness of forests, lakes, and roaring, white-water streams. Today, the Trent Waterway as a commercial transportation route is a thing of the past. Its once-vast fleets of freight barges are little more than nostalgic memories of elderly Canadians. The barges could not compete with improved Great Lakes steamers that can now load wheat in any Canadian port on Lake Superior and deliver it in Montreal for a few cents per ton. The railroads and a network of improved highways swallowed the remaining fragments of the Trent Waterway freight business. But the water route for pleasure boating is still there. All the New ones have original hydroelectric plants are still in operation. been and are being added. Potential sites for further power devel opment are also there. Revenue from the sale of hydroelectric TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 72 of the Trent power has long been sufficient to permit operation attraction. tourist Waterway as a toll-free Trenton, at the Ontario end of the Waterway, as I have already stated, is A modern not a very attractive place. sewage disposal system is It is improving, however. under construction. An improved also being built and promises to elim small-boat marina is inate the present water-pollution problem. the waterway starts out of Lake Ontario at an alti tude of 243 feet above sea level. From there it climbs up to its At Trenton "summit," down 841 feet on the surface of Balsam Lake. Then it comes upon entering Georgian Bay. This is the level to 578.5 feet Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. To get over the hump at Balsam Lake and down again to the level of Lake Huron, the Trent Waterway has a total of fortythree float locks, two gigantic hydraulic lift locks, and two marine railways. At each of these points where water levels change, the cruising boatman may expect to be detained about half an hour, more or less. This means a total of about eighteen and one-half hours going up or down from one water level to another. The of may vary considerably. If the boat traffic is heavy, an take to get through a single float lock. Or, if every hour may condition is favorable, one may be lucky enough to get through time, of course, it any of the water-level changes in as little as twenty minutes. Boat ing on the Trent Waterway today is essentially the same as Frank Wilton and I found it when we came through in 1925. The Trent Waterway has every appearance of having been built to last a thousand years. The lock sills are of stone masonry, huge blocks of stone cut and fitted together like the walls of an ancient European cathedral. In a land where electric power is cheap and opening and closing the gates opening or closing the huge valves to flood a lock chamber or let the water out is still plentiful, done by The man power. on or near the lock property. hear a boat they give a horn signal, they saunter out and start winding the cranks. Usually the crank is a double-ended When lock-keepers usually live LAKE ONTARIO boom steel PETERBOROUGH like the 73 kind on an old-fashioned grist mill that used by horses. The lock-keeper gets on one end of the boom, his assistant (if he has one) gets on the other, and around and around they go in a circle until they pry open a gate or lock to be turned valve. member of a boating party becomes the lock-keeper s voluntary assistant That is often the quickest way to get a boat past a change of water levels in the Quite frequently the skipper of a boat or Trent Waterway. Leaving Trenton early on the morning of Friday, June 12, John Dahl and I hoped to be in Peterborough by late afternoon. The weather was favorable. Attaining our objective would depend on how long it might take to get through a would lift Transco II from 243 Trenton to 613 feet at Peterborough. locks that total of nineteen float feet above sea level at Six of these locks are a sort of aquatic stairway through dams across the Trent River in the 7.26 miles between Trenton and Frankford. We got through those locks with their swarms of Lock No. May Glen Ross, put us into Percy Reach, a lakelike expansion in the Trent River where the water surface is 373 feet above sea level. flies in remarkably good time. 7, at Beyond Percy Reach there s another stairway of locks the double-lifts at Ranney Falls and Heely Falls that took us up to a 25-mile stretch of the Trent River that is 604 feet above sea level. For a boat traveling entirely on water we were certainly climbing fast! Hastings, Lock No. 18, Transco II was lifted to the level of Lake and the Otonabe River, 613 feet above sea level and Rice 370 feet above Lake Ontario. Rice Lake is big and shallow. It is about 20 miles in length and averages 4 to 5 miles in width. If anyone thinks that such a lake can t get rough, he hasn t seen Rice Lake when the wind At blows! Transco II was just about in the middle of the lake when the wind began to blow. gentle breeze soon became a 25-mile-an- A TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTOTBOAT 74 hour wind. In a few minutes the lake became a heaving mass of waves and whitecaps that tossed Transco II around like a cork and sent countless tons of water flying over our heads and far astern. For a time it looked as if we d have to seek shelter in the one of the lake s several islands or put in at the little town of Harwood, which lies behind a protecting peninsula on the south shore near the middle of the lake s length. By running at reduced speed, however, we were in no immediate lee of to fight the lake; danger if the wind became no worse. We decided we could take another 10 miles of it, we d come to the mouth of the Otonabe River, where there would be sheltered waters if for the remaining distance into Peterborough. ment, then, and made We took the punish it. Once into the Otonabe we were in a different kind of a world. The river seemed very small and narrow after the vastness and turbulence of Rice Lake. It twists and turns for miles and miles through a veritable jungle of temperate-zone forest and under brush. Fortunately, the channel is deep and well marked. I drove Transco II over the entire length of the Otonabe, about 25 miles, and it was a thrill to be remembered forever. For mile after mile, with wide-open throttles, I took the boat skidding around the innumerable twists and turns in the river. The shores are so near on both sides that it took constant jockey ing of the wheel to keep off the banks. I didn t have to worry about the wash astern because there was nothing there to be dis turbed but the forest and rocks. The echoes that came rolling back out of the forest sounded like a fleet of outboards speeding up the river. At one point near the mouth of Squirrel Creek I came into a where I could see the course ahead About half a mile ahead I sighted something long, straight stretch of river for at least 2 miles. that looked like several small heaps of brush moving slowly across the river. To determine what this was, I reached for a pair of field glasses. The mystery cleared instantly. There was a herd of deer swim- LAKE ONTARIO PETERBOROUGH The 75 of brush" turned out to be the John Dahl, who was in the cabin, to come out and see something he d never see on Manhattan Island. By the time he could get himself out of the cabin door, however, the deer had splashed ashore and disappeared into the ming across the river. "heaps antlers of the bucks. I called to forest. At another point a few miles farther on I came swinging around a point of land at full throttle to see something I had never seen before and will probably never see again. On the shore not 30 feet away there was a half-submerged auto tire. There, in the a pair of pintail ducks had a nest. As I passed, sitting on the old tire with more than a dozen little center of the ducks were tire, ducklings swimming around in Papa Duck, Mama Duck, and front of them. I looked all corks over Transco IPs waves. time of their lives and so was the They back to see ducklings bobbing like were apparently having the little I! We went through Lock No. and were soon tied up 19 on the outskirts of Peterborough at a government dock in the heart of the with several hours of daylight still to go. We intended to remain in Peterborough over the weekend. It was our big chance city, to get everything shipshape aboard Transco II with the cooperation of the Canadian Division of the Outboard Marine Corporation. Soon after stepping ashore in Peterborough I a stabbing a small, hard felt pain in an upper right molar. Simultaneously, I felt object adrift in my mouth. I fished out a gold inlay. Here was a purely personal matter in which I needed help, fast. But how does a stranger in a Canadian city find a dentist late on a Friday afternoon? I spoke to Mr. Dave Sutherland, the No. 2 dian Outboard Marine organization. "I think I can do something about that," for the telephone and dialed a number. After a brief conversation on the phone, official he said. you." He call Cana reached he turned to me. have an appointment with Dr. John Braund, I ll for of the "You a taxicab TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 76 A few minutes later I was at Gate No. 1 of the Outboard Marine plant. I waited for about ten minutes without sighting the anticipated taxi. whizzed through the gate and slid to a stop. As a heavy male voice blared from its radio speaker: stopped, "Go to Gate No. 1; look for a man with a beard." The taxi driver Finally, a taxi it had found the man he was looking for. About an hour later my emergency session with the dentist was completed and the inlay was restored. I went back to Mr. Suther s office, where I think I did a rather sorry job of being inter viewed by representatives of the press; half my face was still temporarily paralyzed from a shot of novocaine. land When Mr. his Sutherland noticed comment was, frozen your "Yes," "Oh! You my face look as if by a half-smile, Dr. Braund must have distorted face!" I replied, "if freezing be happier when the thaw-out is what you call it in Canada, m comes!" Leaving Peterborough, after a well-spent weekend, we came to lock No. 20, just inside the city limits. There the lock-keeper, an man, came to the lock sill, extended his hand, and said, Hogg, welcome back to the Trent Waterway! Do you remember me?" elderly "Captain "George Thank God put Eason!" I exclaimed. "Indeed for keeping us both alive these me through this lock with my boat, I do remember you! years since you many Transcol" Mr. Eason, now sixty years of age, was the keeper of this same lock when Frank Wilton and I went through it in 1925. He was then serving his first year on the job. He is now eligible for retire ment, but says he prefers to keep on working. "Excuse me for a moment, please," said Mr. Eason. want "I to step into the office. I believe I can show you something of interest." He disappeared into the office, but was soon back on the lock sill carrying a bulky ledger. The ledger of the Trent was the record of boats sent through Lock No. 20 Waterway during the navigation season of 1925. LAKE ONTARIO PETERBOROUGH 77 Turning the yellowing pages he soon found the entry he was seek was in his own handwriting. "Wednesday, September 6, 1925. Locked down motorboat Transcontinental (which we ab breviated to Transco.) 2:30 P.M., Skipper, John Edwin Hogg, Alhambra, California, U.S.A., Assistant, Frank S. Wilton, Huntington Park, California, U.S.A. Both U.S. citizens." ing. It 8 ACROSS ONTARIO, FROM PETERBOROUGH INTO LAKE HURON Lock No. 21, within the city limits of Peterbor an Ontario showplace. It is the world s largest hydraulic lift lock. It is essentially a huge balanced elevator with two rec tangular tanks of water riding on pistons that look like king-sized silos. In a matter of minutes it raises or lowers a seagoing yacht or a veritable fleet of smaller boats a perpendicular 65 feet. How does this Gargantuan piece of machinery work? There are gates in both ends of each of the two water tanks. They are very much like the gates in an ordinary float lock, but ough, is instead of swinging open horizontally, the lift-lock gates are hori bottom and open vertically from the top. With the gate open at the end of approach, a large yacht or a number of smaller boats move in. The gate is then closed and the two great tanks, boats "aboard," begin to move. As one tank goes up, the other comes down. The weight of the two tanks is exactly balanced on the two gigantic pistons be cause the weight of one tank with any given weight of boats in it zontally hinged at the 78 PETERBOROUGH LAKE HURON 79 exactly balanced against the weight of the other tank full of water with or without boats. Thus, a few relatively small electric motors geared into the mechanism furnish ample power for the is entire lock operation. At gate the top of the lock the rising tank comes to a stop. The opened, and the ascending boat or boats go out under their is own power at into a section of canal 65 feet above the water level which they entered the tank. The Trent Waterway above Peterborough is a continuation of up the Otonobe River, and I really mean up\ Including the route the huge lift lock, there are eight locks in about Peterborough and Stony Lake. Those eight locks a total of 156 feet. As we went through 10 miles between lift or lower boats those locks, John Dahl and I found our moving right along with the Canadian May fly season. The northern Canadian May flies might more appropriately be called June flies. All the locks swarmed with them. They were with us into Katchiwano Lake when we remained aboard overnight at Lakefield. After that we never saw another one and were happy to be selves rid of them. From Stony Lake on into Georgian Bay, a distance of about 100 miles, is by far the best and most scenic part of the Trent Waterway System. Along this part of the route the towns become fewer, smaller, and more scattered. rocky and more rugged; pine all The scenery becomes more forests begin to the water is cold, crowd every land crystal-clear, and scape. Here, practically pure enough to drink. Arriving on Balsam Lake, thirty-five locks and 157 miles from Trenton and Lake Ontario, Transco II had reached the summit of the Trent Waterway. We were now 841 feet above sea level feet above Lake Ontario. At Kirkfield, a few miles west Balsam Lake, we entered the Kirkfield hydraulic lift lock, which is very similar to the one at Peterborough. We were starting our level of Lake Huron trip down the aquatic stairway to the water and 598 of TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 80 and Lake Michigan. This drop of 262.5 feet is accomplished by of which are flight locks and going down four float locks, three two marine railways. At the Kirkfield Lift lar to the one I Lock I had another pleasant surprise simi at Lock No. 20, at Peterborough, where had had had met George Eason. Cornelius Macdonald was the operator of the Kirkfield Lift Lock in 1925. On September 4 of that year he had operated the I me lock to hoist Frank Wilton and to the level of Balsam Lake. eighty-two years of age, retired, and living near the lock where he was employed during the greater part of his long He now is Having seen Transco II, John Dahl, and me on television, he came to the lock to meet us and renew a thirty-four-year-old life. acquaintance. Coming down from Balsam Lake, John Dahl and I encountered a knotty problem at Lock No. 41. This lock is located almost at the end of a short stretch of artificially excavated canal between a small lake known as Canal Lake and Lake Simcoe, the largest and most notoriously dangerous lake for small boats in the whole Trent Waterway System. Just below the lock there highway over the canal. is a low bridge that carries a It lock. was 5:05 in the afternoon The lock-keeper had gone in his cabin, calmly counting, leeches he The would later sell when Transco off duty at II arrived at this 5 o clock. I found him from one dish pan into another, for fishbait. would have been entirely within he had refused to put us through the lock after his working hours. But he obligingly offered to put us through to per mit us to take advantage of existing perfect weather for getting across Lake Simcoe. But what about that low bridge down there? Could we get under it? The bridge tender had already knocked lock-keeper, of course, his rights if day and gone home. Dahl and I decided to go down the lock and worry about the bridge when we came to it. We found that we lacked about 6 inches of clearance for getting under the bridge. We could go off for the LAKE HURON PETERBOROUGH 81 under the bridge by removing the windshield, or we could wait for another day and possibly find ourselves with bad weather that would mean staying off Lake Simcoe. took us about forty-five minutes to remove the windshield, the bridge, and put the windshield back again. We still under go It had plenty of daylight left for getting across Lake Simcoe, into OriHia on Lake Couchiching, where we hoped to stop that night at Holland s Marina. Speeding out of the canal, we found the huge lake like a sheet of glass. The opposite shore line was not even visible under a lowering sun. The prudent thing to do was to set a course for the throttles, and try to get there before the weather Orillia, open had a chance to change. Lake Simcoe has a bad reputation. Some weeks earlier five Royal Canadian Constables had started across the lake from Orillia in a 25-foot motorboat. A blow came up and caught them in the middle of the lake. Their bodies, each in a life preserver, were found floating in the lake several days later. They had died either from suffocation in the waves or from blood fatally chilled in the icy water. The wisdom of our decision to get across the lake while the going was good was soon demonstrated. Orillia was in sight and we were coming into the narrow strait that connects Lake Simcoe with Lake Couchiching when the wind began to blow. Lake Couchiching was running whitecaps by the time we got through the and across about 2 miles of open water in the smaller lake s Marina on the Orillia waterfront. It took little imag ination to visualize what Lake Simcoe would have been in the 30-mile-an-hour wind that continued to howl all night and all the strait to Rolland next day! Orillia we took Transco II into a slip in a marina operated a third by generation of the Rolland family. There on Saturday, At June 13, a grandson of the man who pumped gasoline into the s tanks original Transco in 1925 put the hose into Transco and loaded 50 gallons. The present Mr. Rolland, a man less than H half my age, told me how his grandfather had told his father about TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 82 had relayed the story to old enough to have a lively interest him when he became a boy in the geography of the world. the 1925 voyage of Transco. His father John Dahl and I shoved off next morning from Orillia and headed down the length of Lake Couchiching into the teeth of a one compared with its howling North wind. The lake is a small into overflows it, but it was running big brother, Simcoe, which We began to wonder whitecaps and getting rougher by the minute. if we could make our way through its 10-mile length to Washago, where the sheltered Severn River would become our downhill route into Georgian Bay. Since we were in we decided to go on at reduced speed. no immediate danger, We reached the quiet waters of the Severn at Washago, after an hour of pounding through Lake Couchiching for 10 cold, wet, and uncomfortable miles. Beyond Washago, after about 15 miles in the sheltered waters of the Severn with a gentle current boosting us along, Sparrow Lake promised to be our next trouble spot, if the wind continued to blow. Sparrow Lake is an expansion in the Severn River that was created by construction of a 50-foot-high dam that drowned the notorious Swift Rapids of the Severn when the Trent Water way was built. When we arrived at Sparrow Lake we found the wind dying down, so we went straight across the lake. The whitecaps disap peared before we were even halfway across. We were soon back in the quiet waters of the Severn again and sped on to the up stream end of the Swift Rapids Marine Railway. At Swift Rapids a huge dam of earth-fill and masonry blocks the Severn. It channels part of the flow of water through the and diverts the surplus over spillway that looks like a miniature Niagara Falls. hydroelectric turbines railway portages boats up and over the a man-made The marine earth-filled portion of the dam. Except for a fairly recent coat of paint, the Swift Rapids looks exactly as I saw it marine railway in August, 1925, at when LAKE HURON PETERBOROUGH Frank Wilton and I rode it 83 over the hill. The same old cars, cable incline, crossties, and rails are there and in operation exactly as they were thirty-four years ago. I could see nothing that had changed, although there was ample evidence of routine care and maintenance. Since leaving Montreal, John Dahl and I had had no way to clean Transco IPs hull below the waterline, and her snow-white fiber glass was foul with the tarlike, black oil she Canadian seaport. had picked up in We had long discussed the possibility of doing a hull-cleaning job while our craft was out of water drydocked, so to speak, on a car of the Swift Rapids Marine that great Railway. It was nearly 5 o clock in the afternoon when we arrived at the Swift Rapids Marine Railway. Nevertheless, the operator graciously offered to work overtime, if necessary, to put Transco II over the hill. I almost hesitated to ask while we him to it on the car least an hour. the boat remain The task would take at seemed rather obvious that no other boats were cleaned the hull. Simultaneously, let be coming along to ask for service after the operator s hours. working After thinking things through quite carefully, I finally mustered enough courage to speak to the operator about it. His reply was a likely to delightful surprise. "I m me ing the car, he said. "My wife will soon be call what I ll do. We ll get your boat on you over the and hill, pull stop on the downgrade. We won t as hungry as a wolf," to dinner. Tell have any more boats along today, so I ll go have my dinner. can have an hour to do your cleaning job before I return." You The agreement could hardly have been better. The car was sent the rails until its bed was submerged to a depth of about 3 feet Transco II was floated aboard and the hull blocks on the car were adjusted. The car moved up the hill and then came to a stop on the downgrade, with our dry-docked boat aboard. From a nearby house we heard a dinner bell. The operator of down TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 84 the railway departed. Dahl and I went to work with cans of sol buckets of water, and cleaning vent, boat soap, plastic sponges, fast and furious job. Nevertheless, an hour later, rags. It was a when the railway operator returned from his dinner, Transco II was a clean boat inside and out, from the keel to the tip of her radiotelephone aerial. From the downstream end of the Swift Rapids Marine Railway tied up to remain it was an easy run to Severn Falls, where we aboard overnight in one of the most delightful spots on the entire Trent Waterway System. It (he rocks and is a lovely a bend in the forest at little village set down river, like the Spotless in Town A delegation of local citizens showed us the heads ashore and politely asked us to seal our bilges. The clear, of the fairy tales. water. sparkling Severn is their drinking At Severn Falls there used to be a small waterfall of rapids that spilled many When a canoe. and a the Trent stretch Waterway and rapids were drowned with completion of the Big Chute Dam at Big Chute, 8 miles downstream from the was built, the falls Dam. The marine railway Swift Rapids at Big Chute Swift Rapids. Transco II, Dahl, is very similar to the one at and I got over this hump and down into an arm of Six-Mile Lake without the slightest difficulty. From Six-Mile Lake the Severn River wiggles through a narrow, rocky canyon with a current swift enough to create small breakers. Then it bursts suddenly out into Ontario s famous, scenic Glouces a veritable fairyland of natural beauty. Here are small, rocky, pine-forested islands set down in waters under a sky that is more often than not the color of indigo. Here are jutting head ter Pool, lands of chocolate-colored rock and emerald-green forests. Here the bright summer sun comfortably warms the pure, pine-scented is any other spot of earth in any way comparable to Gloucester Pool, the only one I know is an arm of Lake Lucerne in the vicinity of Alpnachstad, Switzerland. air. If there Ontario At s Port Severn Transco II locked down through Lock No. 43 accompanied by almost enough big and little Canadian pleasure PETERBOROUGH boats to way make a locks for us. LAKE HURON 85 lock load. This was the last of the Trent Water We came out of it onto the waters of Georgian we d be on the Bay, a part of Lake Huron. From there to Chicago same water level, 578 Vz feet above sea level. Coming out the first of the Trent Waterway at the Lake Huron end, on the Midland Bay side of part of the run to Midland the Penetanguishene Peninsula is a buoy-marked channel through a mystic maze of bare, brown rocks. The last leg of the journey consists of about 10 miles of wide-open Georgian Bay that Transco II crossed in near-perfect weather. Arriving at Midland near noon on Saturday, June 20, we had little difficulty in finding Bev s Marina. Dahl and I were promptly taken in tow by Mr. Beverly Keefe, owner and operator of the marina, which had been just barely completed in time for the 1959 boating season. After lunch in a restaurant ashore, we spent most of the after noon with the newspaper reporters and photographers and the radio and television representatives. Saturday evening Mr. Keefe took us in his car some 60 miles around the southern end of Georgian Bay to Honey Harbour and the famous Honey Harbour Hotel. There we were the guests of the Canadian Power Squadrons for a delightful evening of dining, dancing, and entertainment. Coming south through Georgian and I had stopped overnight at the Bay in 1925, Frank Wilton Honey Harbour Hotel. Re it again in 1959, I was delighted to find it exactly as was thirty-four years ago; same management, same good food, and same charming Canadian hospitality. The atmosphere of the place is that of being an invited guest among friends in a palatial private home, something so thoroughly enjoyable that it makes one wonder why all hotels do not create this same kind of atmos turning to it phere. We out of decided to spend the whole weekend in Midland. Coming St. Church on Sunday morning, I was pleasantly be recognized and greeted by some of the Canadians Margaret surprised to s TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 86 I had met the previous evening at the Canadian Power Squadrons these new-found friends and party. I felt quite at home with a nearby Chinese restaurant. in breakfast for them of table a joined There are several good restaurants in Midland, all of them Canada there is usually a Chinese restaurant in every little town and several of them in a city the size of Mid land. Moreover, the Chinese people who operate the restaurants Chinese. Throughout are usually oriental only in physical appearance. Practically all of them are naturalized Canadian citizens, or native-born Cana,dians whose ancestors came into the country one or more genera tions ago. In Canada one also sees an occasional Negro who conducts his life like any other Canadian. Canada took in thousands of runaway slaves who escaped to freedom via the Underground own Railroad before the Civil War. Throughout Canada, too, fullblooded Indians or Canadians who are part Indian are about as numerous as they are hi Oklahoma or California. Thus, in our neighbor to the north, and friendship. many races live together in peace, harmony, fROM MIDLAND, ONTARIO, TO MANITOULIN ISLAND Having skippered the original Transco through the Great Lakes in 1925, experience told me just about what Transco II could do, or could not do, in attempting to travel ap proximately 750 miles on these notoriously dangerous fresh-water oceans. There are some definite limitations on what any small boat can do hi the Great Lakes. The experienced boatman knows his boat and the bounds of its capabilities. It is possible for him to travel the Great Lakes without taking any risks greater than the normal hazards of all boating. The neophyte boatman, on the other hand, will undoubtedly live longer by keeping off the Great until he has gained considerable experience in smaller and treacherous waters. Even boatmen thoroughly experienced in other waters can get themselves into deadly peril very quickly if they go blundering into the Great Lakes unprepared for the sur Lakes less prises the great waters are capable of hurling. If the Great Lakes are as dangerous as their reputation portrays them, how tinent ever did the Indians and the men who explored our con to travel all over them in canoes? Well, they manage 87 TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 88 traveled only when the weather shore lines and headed was favorable. They followed the warning of bad for land with the first weather. Their canoes could be dragged ashore almost anywhere. The travelers could make camp and wait until the weather made canoe travel possible again. In this way, a canoe is one of the best small craft for getting around on the Great Lakes without taking any risks greater than the normal hazards of canoeing. I took the original Transco through the Great Chicago to the Georgian Bay end of the Trent Water Long before Lakes from way, I was well aware that the lakes are often swept by storms no small boat can live. Indeed, it is nothing unusual for in which the lakes to experience weather that sends the largest ships scurry ing into the nearest ports or protected anchorages. Of t be dragged ashore to travel the however, possible, Great Lakes with any reasonably seaworthy small boat quite safely by recognizing all foreseeable hazards and then using all course, boats such as both Transcos to escape fouling weather. It one s mental resources to avoid them. made can is As skipper of the two through the Great Lakes for a total distance of about 1,500 miles without getting into any very serious trouble. I did this only by accepting the fewest possible number of wellTranscos I it calculated risks. On both cruises I followed the shore lines as nearly as possible and always studied the charts to keep a port or sheltered anchor age handy if needed. On both trips bad weather chased us off the lakes several times; sometimes we were kept on land for days. We also apparently avoided a lot of trouble, delays, and potential dangers by keeping in touch with the Coast Guard stations as much as possible and getting weather forecasts practically every hour by radio. It is true that on the 1925 cruise Frank Wilton and I crossed half Lake Michigan on a diagonal course of 120 miles from Milwaukee to Manistee, Michigan. We did that, however, by shoving off from Milwaukee at 4 o clock in the morning after having spent the night with Captain Bill Kincaid at the Milwaukee Coast Guard station. MIDLAND MANITOULIN ISLAND 89 The weather forecasts told us Lake Michigan would be flat day; there wasn t any kind of bad weather brewing in any that part of the entire Great Lakes area. Moreover, there was so much com mercial shipping on Lake Michigan that day that we had one or more ships in sight practically all the way across. To make the run from Midland, Ontario, northwest through the wide-open southern arm of Georgian Bay to Honey Harbour, We didn t have was a strong wind howling out of the Northwest. Georgian Bay was a fresh-water ocean of whitecaps, and the small-craft warning signal was flying on the Midland waterfront. The prudent course was to remain in port. The following day dawned with the kind of weather we had hoped for. The wind had died to a gentle breeze, and the smallcraft warning signal had been hauled down. We shoved off and sped northward through nearly flat water in the lee of the Penetanguishene Peninsula. Beyond the tip of the peninsula we had a few miles of uncomfortably choppy water, but we soon got out Transco II would have to have favorable weather. on Monday, June 22, it of to it by coming for there into the lee side of Beausoleil Island. Honey Harbour and on into Parry From there Sound we could almost We would be running through the beautiful ignore the weather. Island Thousand region of Georgian Bay, and there is Thirty relatively little open water through this veritable wonderland of islands. In 1924-1925, I studied d ever when I was planning the first Transco voyage, a large-scale chart of Georgian Bay and wondered how my way through the Thirty Thousand Islands! Here is a labyrinth of islands scattered over an area of several hundred square miles. The islands are so numerous they look as if they d I find been put on the chart with a pepper shaker. There are islands of all shapes and sizes. They range from mere snags of rock to islands of a hundred square miles or more. The question of finding our way through this maze of rocks and pine-forested islands van ished when I learned that the Canadian Government had estab lished well-marked navigation channels through all important parts TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 90 of the archipelago shortly after the turn of the century. Today, any boatman who can read a chart and follow a veritable fence among the Thirty Thousand Islands knowing on the chart at all times. In 1925, when Frank Wilton and I came southward through the Thirty Thousand Islands, there was hardly any human habita tion on the islands. Nearly all of them were as they must have been when first sighted by the earliest French explorers. At that time, almost any island in the group could have been bought for of buoys may travel exactly where he a few is dollars. Today, hundreds of these same islands are studded with the palatial homes of wealthy Canadians and Americans. For $10,000, one may buy an island consisting of a few acres of rocks and trees if there are any people up for sale. For $100,000 it is still possible buy an island several square miles in area. The occasionally to who now own these islands, big or small, often spent $50,000 or more to build beautiful, modern summer homes on On many their property. senting large investments of the islands there are estates repre for a recreational retreat that is usable only two or three months each year! About nine months of each year, most of the islands revert to their original states and become uninhabited wildernesses of ice, snow, and subzero cold. As Transco II sped through the narrow channels between islands of the Thirty Thousand Island group, Dahl and I sighted nu merous boats, most of them the by seemed summer to fairly large craft apparently owned them residents of various islands. Nearly all of be heavily loaded, hulls down to the Plimsoll lines, with deck cargoes of crates, boxes, bags, and barrels. It was the last week in June, and people were moving in. The family with a summer home on an island among Ontario s Thirty Thousand must have a boat. Without a suitable boat, which is often a luxury model housed in a boathouse alongside a small seaplane, Islands this type of insular summer would be impossible. The development of two-way radiotelephone communication has also residence MIDLAND MANITOULIN ISLAND 91 played a very important part in popularizing the Ttibrty Thousand Islands as a summer playground. Arriving at Parry Sound late in the afternoon, John Dahl and I took Transco II into the mouth of the river and tied up below almost at the exact spot where Transco had stopped overnight thirty-four years earlier. This time the differ ence was that I took Transco 11 into a modem marina operated the railway bridge by Mr. Richard Holmes. He was there to greet us, along with his family and the newspaper reporters and photographers. Mr. Holmes happened to be within earshot as Dahl and I dis we should remain aboard Transco 11 that night or He immediately spoke: "Gentlemen, Mrs. Holmes cussed whether go to a hotel. and I have other plans for you and hope you ll accept them. We have made preparations to have you as guests in our home." Such Canadian invitation on was irresistible. We accepted the the Holmes s home, which is located hospitality and soon left for Sound waterfront alongside the marina. After a good home-cooked dinner that was a joy to both Dahl and me, we were standing in the twilight on a dock in the Holmes Marina looking at a tall, steel observation tower maintained by the Canadian Forest Service atop a nearby hill. Speaking to Mr. Holmes I said, imagine there must be a wonderful view from the Parry "I the top of that tower over there." there?" he asked. you would indeed! All of us went to the top of the hill Holmes s car. The tower was about 100 feet high, and "Would like to go up We quite a climb to the top up a zigzag stairway of steel. in it Mr. was The mag panoramic view from the top was well worth the effort of climbing the stairs. To the east was a vista of hundreds of nificent square miles of the rolling, forested hills of the Ontario mainland. The small city that is Parry Sound spread out like a map to the north. To the west we gained a far better idea of what the Thirty Thousand Islands would look so many wooded like from an islands interspersed aircraft. There were by shimmering expanses of TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 92 water that any attempt to count the islands would have been like trying to count stars. In the Holmes s living around the television that evening we all gathered view a Transco II broadcast from room set to CKVR in Barrie, Ontario. The previous day s delay by the weather Midland had made that broadcast possible. Ken Robertson from CKVR had come the 40 miles from Barrie to Bev s Marina, in where he recorded the broadcast on film and sound tape. When we left Parry Sound the next day, Transco II, John Dahl, and I had some miles to go before running out of the Thirty Thousand Islands into the waters of Lake Huron. By great good luck the weather was kind to us; the lake was fairly flat and the visibility unlimited until we arrived within about 10 miles off Byng Inlet Here we were almost out of sight of land when Lake Huron decided to give us a sample of what it can do in even a very small wind. The wind rose to about 20 miles per hour, and in a few minutes we had all the seas we had any business to be out in. Whitecaps were all around us, and Transco II was bumping rather uncomfortably when a ship coming out of Byng Inlet showed us to a row of buoys marking the channel into the quiet, sheltered waters that extend some 10 miles inland into an ancient glacial gorge. For days before we arrived in Byng beautiful, thriving place it talking about what I had seen of we had been was. Of course, Inlet, I John what a telling I was in 1925. Consequently, when arrived there late in the afternoon of June 23, 1959, he proba it bly thought I was the most infernal liar who had ever lived. I had suggested landing at the dock of a paper mill where Frank Wilton and I had tied up. When we got there, however, there was no paper mill and no dock only a mass of rotted piling and in back of it a ghost town. What s happened here in the last thirty-four years, I from the few Canadians who I soon heard the sad story Byng Inlet their home. The big lumber mill had gone out mused? still call of business because they had MIDLAND MANITOULIN ISLAND down 93 the forest that could be turned into lumber. The went out of business because the flow of pulp logs paper ceased. The fisheries went out of business when over-fishing and cut all mill eels turned once-productive fishing grounds into watery Because there were no jobs and no payrolls, Byng Inlet s people moved away to find economic sustenance elsewhere. They left behind a ghost town of abandoned houses and crumbling in lamprey deserts. dustrial plants reminiscent of a mining the borrascal We know all camp in the West after the term bonanza, a Spanish word we ve taken into strike of gold or other valuable our language that means a rich mineral. Why the economic word borrasca, the Spanish noun for collapse that usually comes in the wake of a bonanza! not, then, the now in the borrasca. It has practically nothing to than a small, seasonal business in the service trades catering to summer visitors. June, July, and August; then that scanty business is finished until next year. Nine months of Byng keep it Inlet is alive other snow, ice, and subzero temperatures follow the summer, and the people of Byng Inlet somehow get through year after year with out any income. After spending the night tied up alongside a coal dock about go out of business in Byng Inlet, I became acquainted with the town s last remaining general storekeeper, a Canadian citizen to about my age who is a native of Germany. As soon as I heard his accent I spoke to him in German. He was obviously delighted to find a native-born American of Scottish and French ancestry who spoke German with I learned at least much from something resembling native fluency. this fellow while loafing around his shop waiting for the howling winds to die down. John Dahl and I attempted to run out of ing, but turned around and came back after Byng Inlet that morn we found Lake Huron running mountainous whitecaps. We returned to the coal dock and tied up. The Canadian Coast Guard advised us to stay in port, so we could do nothing but wait. Next morning the weather was perfect. Dahl and I had agreed TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 94 to Little Current upon a plan to run straight across Lake Huron on Manitoulin Island, an island of near-continental proportions in the northern end of Lake Huron. We were soon out of sight of land on a compass course with a beam signal coming in clear and strong on the radio direction finder. Little chance for getting on this fresh-water ocean! About midafternoon we sighted the eastern end of Manitoulin and tied up at a Island, sped through the Straits of Kilarney, ourselves lost out here we were greeted by Mr. W. J. public dock in Little Current. There Little Current s newspaper, of and editor the publisher Patterson, the very gentleman I had was Here Current Little the Expositor. long hoped to meet, because he is at once a delightful personality and a prolific source of information about Manitoulin Island and the whole of Canada. Manitoulin Island the world is s largest island in fresh water. is approximately the same as New York s Long but Island, any similarity between the two islands ends right there. Manitoulin Island is about 80 miles long. Its width varies from Its land area 5 miles at its narrowest point to 50 miles at its widest. Its shore a profile map of the Swiss Alps. It had dozens line is as irregular as of big and little mostly and souls of rolling, forested hills sizes scattered work of and bays lands are gnarled with hundreds of lakes of assorted peninsulas, sounds, straits, isthmuses, to delight the eyes boatmen. Its around the landscape. The island now has a net hundred miles of good roads connected to the several highways of the Ontario mainland by a series of bridges over the narrow straits to the north. All the waters in and around Mani toulin Island of teem with game known fish, and its forests abound with every kind to the vast wilderness areas of Ontario, that Manitoulin Island is a sportsman s paradise is To say an understate ment. In fine fishing waters Dahl and I such as those of Manitoulin Island John heard the question that was asked of us across the continent: "How much fishing do you do?" all the way MIDLAND MANITOULIN ISLAND The answer was always: "None!" There was not so fishhook aboard Transco 11 for two reasons. 95 much as a In 1925, Frank Wilton and I had carried fishing tackle. We we had the chance which was most of the time and we made some of our best catches by trolling. More over, we ate all the fish we caught. We camped ashore nearly fished every time every night that we were away from cities, and the fish we caught were a substantial contribution to our food supply. On the Transco 11 cruise, however, I found conditions so differ ent that fishing was ruled out. Some villain had invented a taxcollecting device known as an angler s license. Dahl and I would have liked to fish, but we couldn t have done it legally without buying a total of thirty-eight nonresident fishing licenses, two in each of seventeen American states and two provinces of Canada. It would have taken hours of shopping to buy all those licenses, and the total cost would have been about $300. Our second big discouragement against fishing was that we just couldn t take the time. With the mileage we had to make from day to day, any serious fishing would have meant adding about two weeks to the time and expense element of our cruise. More over, Transco IPs cruising speed was much too fast for successful trolling, even if the license matter had not already thrown cold water on the fishing. 10 fROM MAMTOUUN ISLAM* TO Sr. IONA&, MICHIGAN Little Current gets its name from the fact that current, sometimes flowing as fast as 6 miles per hour, through the narrow strait to the north that separates Manitoulin Island from the Ontario mainland. Sometimes the current there is a little flows east. Sometimes at it flows west. Sometimes there is no current all. What causes this? No one knows with any real scientific cer could be caused by any one of several known forces or constantly varying combinations of these forces. At various points tainty. It the Great Lakes have been known to have measurable tides. The lakes are also big enough for the wind to push a lot of water in either direction through a narrowing of the land such as the Strait of Little Current. Then, too, the Great Lakes are fed by hundreds of big and little rivers that carry a constantly varying volume of Only one river flows out of the Great Lakes, the mighty Lawrence just about the most predictable river on earth. Its water. St. average flow 96 is 246,000 cubic feet per second. MANITOULIN ST. IGNACE 97 On Thursday, June 25, Transco II headed westward through the North Channel from Little Current. Dahl and I were lucky enough to have the current with speed for the first few added a couple of knots to our or until the current was dissipated miles, us. It in the vast fresh-water sea that lies between the western part of Manitoulin Island and the Ontario mainland. That day the weather also favored us until about noon, when the sky became cloudy and we were speeding westward through a gentle rain. The gentle rain, however, gradually became what Oregonians call duck drownder." Visibility went from about 20 miles "a a scant 2 miles. The water surface, after having been slightly choppy, was quickly flattened under the pelting rain. With the to cockpit canopy and side curtains up, Dahl and I had no problem had head-to-foot waterproof we needed it Our major problem was a two-man job in keeping ourselves dry. clothing if We also of navigation. Running at reduced speed because of the limited visibility soon became decidedly monotonous. At times the rain came down so hard that the windshield wipers couldn t carry it off fast enough. We could see nothing but a relatively small circle of rain-lashed water around the boat and a slate-gray sky overhead. The falling rain as seen through the windshield presented a somewhat dis torted picture. After about two hours of this near-blind cruising, Dahl and I decided to go on westward as nearly as possible in the middle of the North Channel. That would keep us off the land, with at least 10 miles of water on both sides and a world of water ahead of our We would keep on going west until we could find a line north and south through Blind River, a lake port on the north shore of the North Channel and the mainland of Ontario. bow. was quite simple to find that imaginary line. The radio sig coming in clear and strong from several directions. We began picking up one from the Canadian Soo, corrected our course It nals were to slightly north of west, and kept going. About 3 o clock in the TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 98 the signal from Blind River, put the direc found we were due south of it. We and it, changed course to due north and followed the signal. I estimated that we d sight land after 10 miles at 15 miles an hour, and have 5 more miles on the northbound course at 10 miles an hour. These calculations turned out to be completely afternoon I picked tion finder accurate. up on Almost on the anticipated tick of the chronometer we of the line of buoys that marked the navigation sighted the channel into Blind River s breakwater-protected harbor. played safe by moving very slowly, following the line of buoys exactly. first We A few minutes the murky later the town itself became dimly visible through rain. This bit of near-blind navigation over a distance of approxi mately 75 miles was a happy morale-builder for us. It convinced me that with Transco IPs superb navigational equipment we could go anywhere on the Great Lakes under conditions of bad visibility and be able to come up on any given point with accuracy. It abolished practically every fear I ve ever had of the Great Lakes except the very real danger of getting caught far from land in high winds and seas lashed to a fury in which no small boat can live. In these cold northern waters Transco II, John Dahl, and I we left the Hudson River until we went out of Lake Michigan at Chicago. Over that entire route we were traveling on water that had been ice only a few weeks earlier. The summer sun had been able to warm it by only a few degrees. At many points I put a thermometer into the water and found temperatures that ranged from a minimum of 38 degrees faced a hazard from the time Byng Inlet to a maximum of 52 degrees at Milwaukee. In water at those low temperatures even the best swimmer isn t going to last very long. Rescue from the icy waters far offshore at would have to come very quickly to be effective. Any protracted immersion in such waters would undoubtedly lead to the fate of the Royal Canadian constables who had perished in Lake Simcoe some days before John Dahl and I took Transco 11 across it in favorable weather. Those strong, healthy, athletic young men didn t MANITOULIN ST. IGNACE 99 drown; they were suffocated by the waves or died when chilled blood could no longer support life. Their life jackets only helped their relatives to recover the bodies. My old Transco had several air chambers that actually kept who built her, and Los Angeles Harbor in preparation for the transcontinental voyage. And the test was completely successful. Transco II also had a big fiber-glass air chamber below decks that was supposed to keep her afloat if she capsized or was swamped. I never saw that claim demonstrated. I ve seen too many her afloat with open sea cocks. Emil Aarup, I made this test in naval ships, holed through by gunfire or blasted with bombs, that "watertight compartments" did not were sunk in minutes. Their save them. In tion: that "There is The my own years with the Navy I s no such also the safest assumption for all little fact that Canadian accepted the admoni thing as an unsinkable city of Blind ship." River takes its has a river with an invisible mouth. it Obviously, motorboatmen. name from It is the one of the few spots on earth where geography in the making placed a nat ural dam of rock right across the mouth of a river. It all happened in some prehistoric glacial age. The river, of course, had to find some other route into Lake Huron around this barrier. Conse quently, it spilled over a little marshland, thus creating a the marsh vegetation. farther upstream into a large, low new mouth completely concealed by Canadians knew what to do when they found this unique situa They built a spillway and control dam, raised the water level, and put a hydroelectric plant on top of the natural rock dam. tion. power now turns the wheels of Blind River s major industries, the lumber and paper mills, as it did when I stopped there in 1925 to pick up mail, gasoline, and groceries. Today, Blind River looks very much as I saw it then, except for new and better paved streets, more and better motor service stations, and quite a number of new buildings, including a couple of modern motels. The town now has quite a prosperous summer-tourist business that was practically nonexistent thirty-four years ago. The electric TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 100 In Blind River we had the E. A. finest kind of cooperation from Mr. Bebee, the local outboard dealer. He checked and tuned our motors, supplied some needed tools, replaced a few parts that were getting worse for wear, and repaired a gasoline line that had begun to leak about a teaspoon of gas every twenty-four hours. also went over the entire boat, adjusting all controls, fixing a He troublesome leak under the windshield, and checking everything that might become a source of trouble. By the time we were ready to leave Blind River, we had a boat that was in even better con dition than it College Point, On was when we Long left Emil Mayer s Boat Works at Island. Saturady, June 27, the weather seemed to have settled down a steady, gentle rain with almost no wind. The visibility wasn t very good. The day promised to be one of flat water on Lake Huron, however, so Dahl and I decided to make Blind River our last port of call in Canada. We planned to go westward through the to until we sighted St. Joseph Island. We d be out of most of the way. After spotting St. Joseph Island, we d run between it and Drummond Island and into the St. Mary s River. Then, we would go down the river to re-enter the United North Channel sight of land States at DeTour, Michigan. This plan worked out pretty well while it lasted, but that wasn t very long. After leaving Blind River we sped westward through the North Channel for 30 miles. We were 10 miles off the Ontario mainland and much farther away from St. Joseph Island, with wind began to blow the rain clouds away. A first sudden blast was followed by a steadily rising wind. The North Channel was soon a sea of whitecaps. I quickly con no land in sight, when the tacted Rogers City, Michigan, and received the bad news. The wind was rising all over the northern Great Lakes area, and winds of 35 miles per hour were expected. Small-craft warning signals were already flying at the Soo! Dahl and we d better not try to run to DeTour. our course from west to north; we would changed go back into Canada, to the port of Thessalon, and wait for better weather We I quickly decided MANITOULIN ST. IGNACE 101 and concrete. The wisdom We were riding in furious seas, and Transco II had about 20 gallons of water aboard ahead of behind a protecting breakwater of of this decision was soon obvious. the bilge pumps by the time at Thessalon. There are no marina steel we came facilities at in behind the breakwater Thessalon; the town itself is about half a mile from the waterfront. Fortunately, we got around the problem of finding fuel quite easily. In an icy wind accom panied by showers that included a deluge of small hailstones, I trudged into the town and found a gas-station operator who agreed to service Transco II with a tank truck water. The boisterous water continued from the top of the break day, and because of the all remoteness of the town from the waterfront, Dahl and I decided to remain aboard. Sunday was another bad day, so we stayed put. Monday morning came and with it the hoped-for lull in the weather that usually comes after a storm. It was a balmy day, with just a few clouds and no wind. Dahl and I got under way while the North Channel looked as flat as an Iowa farm, from the Thessalon breakwater out to the very limits of the horizon. We sped across this vast expanse of shimmering water, and St. Joseph Island and Drummond Island began to rise out of Lake were also exactly on course to find Huron after the first hour. We the line of buoys marking the ship channel through the strait that separates those Drummond two big islands. approximately 400 square miles of rolling part of the state of Michigan, it was our first major glimpse of American soil since Transco II cleared into Canada at Rouse s Point, New York. St. Joseph Island to the north hills and Island forest. is A about 400 square miles of the same kind of country as Drummond. It is a part of the province of Ontario. is also the strait between St. Joseph and Drummond was in the St. Mary s River, a mighty stream II Transco Islands, that is only about 100 miles in length. What it lacks in length, Once through made up by volume. It carries the entire overflow from Lake Superior into Lake Huron. And the overflow from Lake however, is for TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 102 fresh-water lake, is enormous. If we Superior, the world s largest had that water in California, it would be enough to irrigate more miles of a semi-arid state where a water well than 100,000 square more valuable than an oil well. Transco II was well into St. Mary s River when a often is strong, chilly wind began blowing out of the Northwest. The river was soon we might have running whitecaps, putting an end to any thought had of cruising beyond DeTour, Michigan, that day. Moreover, after the river had given us quite a beating, we tied up behind the breakwater at DeTour to find the small-craft warning signal flying at the U. S. Coast Guard Station. my At DeTour, first duty was to report the arrival of Transco and ourselves to the U. S. Customs and Immigration Service officials. What a casual way they have of asking that this be done! I could find no Federal officers anywhere around the waterfront. II found a sign suggesting that all boat skippers entering the United States from Canada should call a given telephone number. I found a public telephone and made the call. Finally, I "We ll send a man to the dock to inspect voice on the other end of the line. It you," said the male was then about 2 o clock in the afternoon. About 6 o clock that evening a uniformed officer sauntered out onto the dock and identified himself. He seemed to be more inter ested in the nature of our trip than in anything else. We had a friendly discussion for about twenty minutes. Eventually I d received I at got around to handing Rouse s Point, New him the clearance papers York. He glanced at them, put the papers in his pocket, and "inspected" our boat at it from the dock. It was by far the most simplified trusive by looking and unob customs and immigration inspection I ve ever experienced come back into the United States in all the scores of times I ve from trips to other nations. The northwest end of Lake Huron from DeTour into the Sttaits of Mackinac at St. Ignace, Michigan, is a notoriously wind swept area of the Great Lakes. These waters seem to have an MANITOULIN ST. IGNACE 103 almost chronic antipathy toward water craft of all sizes. They ve swallowed many a small craft and occasionally they bag a fullfledged ship out of the constant parade of iron-ore boats and other commercial shipping that moves in both directions during the seasons of Great Lakes navigation. The skipper of any small boat will take a lot of punishment and risk his life if he attempts to cruise these waters without understanding and respecting the fury with which they can deal with him in bad weather. With Transco in 1925, Frank Wilton and I avoided the Straits Mackinac altogether by coming up the east side of Lake Michi gan from Manistee to Petoskey. From Petoskey we went through of of Michigan s South Peninsula to Lake Huron at Cheboygan. From Cheboygan we ran to Mackinac Is land, where we were mastheaded by bad weather for three days the Inland Waterway we could get on to DeTour. At DeTour, Transco II John and I faced that same familiar and infamous 30 miles of Dahl, Lake Huron. We waited three days for favorable weather. Mean while, the wind continued to blow at 30 to 35 miles per hour, and the small-craft warning signal remained on the flagpole at before &gt; DeTour Station of the U. S. Coast Guard. At long last the wind died about as suddenly as it had caught us on the St. Mary s River. The small-craft warning signal was hauled down, and the Coast Guard officers advised us to get along to St. Ignace while we could be sure of having at least a few hours of windless weather. It was then nearly noon. Transco 11 was soon under way again over a placid and docile Lake Huron bearing the not the slightest resemblance to the furious sea an hour it had been only earlier. Rounding DeTour Reef Lighthouse, which marks a rocky shoal far out in Lake Huron from the mouth of St. Mary s River, Transco II was soon on a compass course a few degrees south of west. The low hills on the North Peninsula of Michigan were dimly visible until we came abeam of Les Cheneaux Islands, but in every other direction the scenery was sky and water. About an hour after leaving DeTour, however, Bois Blanc Island, Round TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 104 and Mackinac Island began to creep out of the water far to the west. Then, as we headed for the narrow passage between Round Island and Mackinac Island, I sighted what looked like two fragments of a toothpick standing perpendicularly above the water. A look with field glasses revealed that these objects were what I thought they might be, the piers of the world s largest and longest suspension bridge, spanning the Straits of Mackinac to Island, the west of St. Ignace. There was no bridge across the Straits of Mackinac when the Transco visited these waters thirty-four years ahead of Transco first IL Construction of the present $100 million structure was started May, 1954. It was opened to vehicular traffic hi November, 1957, and the formal dedication was in June, 1958. With the best weather imaginable and unmistakable landmarks directing us, the remainder of Transco // s run into St. Ignace was as delightful a bit of boating as I ever hope to enjoy. The run past Mackinac Island alone was an excursion through scenic beauty that might have been lifted from the canvases of Maxfield in Parrish! John Dahl and I stepped ashore in a small marina a stone s throw from the central business district of St. Ignace. We were given a rousing welcome by Mayor Raymond France, newsmen, photographers, radio and television reporters, and so many citizens of the community that the old wooden dock creaked and wobbled under their weight. We didn t know it at the time, but we were due to be detained hi St. Ignace by bad weather for a week. That week cannot be considered as having been lost. Actually, I d like nothing better than to spend the remainder of life in the midst of similar my hospitality and happiness! 11 fROM ST. IONACE TO ST. IGNACE Every American old enough to have memories in these United States half a century or more ago may recall the old-fashioned kind of Fourth of July celebrations we of life had in those days. The Fourth was a day of general hell-raising and noise-making such as no man had ever seen or heard since the days of the Crusades! For weeks in advance of our national birthday, the major pre occupation of adults and children alike was collecting giant fire crackers, gunpowder, dynamite, big and little guns, and every land of fireworks ever invented in China; in fact, anything and everything that could make a noise was pressed into service. The bigger the noise, the better we liked it. It was a day when Ameri cans seemed to go completely berserk. Cleaning up the mess and counting the casualties came later. These wild, uninhibited annual jamborees took an appalling toll in death, mayhem, and property damage. Thousands of Fourth of July celebrants died each year in their own self-detonated explosions. They cremated themselves. They 105 TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 106 amputated countless shattered other parts of the body. Doctors treated fingers, hands, feet, and kind or another. all sorts of wounds traceable to fireworks of one blew out their own eyes. Surgeons about 1910, Fourth of July celebrations had become so banning the posses sion and sale of fireworks. Such laws proved to be enforceable, and the old-fashioned Fourth of July practically passed out of By disastrous that state after state enacted laws American scene. At St. Ignace, Apparently this was not so in Michigan in 1959. as the first rays of daylight began to appear, I was awakened by the an explosion that shook the hotel and rattled the windows. Look ing out the window, I saw two men placing something that looked like a small bomb under a late-model car in the parking lot below. One men of the reached under the car with a lighted cigarette devil himself were after them. lighter; then the pair ran as if the There was another tremendous explosion. The costly car in the parking lot was still there, but it was blackened by the explosion, its hood bent skyward like the mouth of a yawning hippopotamus. Another shattering explosion shook the building. This was fol lowed by another and another. St. Ignace was really booming. I was witnessing an old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration such as I had not heard or seen in half a century. The exploding bedlam of that day brought back to me the mem ory of seeing my brother James pouring a train of black powder from a brass powder flask our paternal grandfather had used when he was a captain in the Union Army during the Civil War. Brother Jimmy, three years my senior, had poured the powder train over the length of a 10-foot board. I looked around just in time to see another boy touch a stick of glowing punk to the middle of the powder train. The only word I had time to cry out It was too late. was, "Don t!" At was a roaring explosion and everything eyes disappeared in a cloud of fire and smoke. At that instant there in front of my a distance of about 15 feet I clothing and eyelashes. I saw the awful heat that singed my brother Jimmy hit the ground, feet felt IGNACE ST. ST. 107 IGNACE skyward and clothing ablaze. Somehow don t know him. He was howling to this day I we tore the burning clothes off of a banshee from the pain of first-degree burns over the entire front of his blackened body, from thighs to forehead. His eyelids how like were seared, but they had saved his eyes. The doctor cleaned him up and bandaged him like a cocoon in ribbons torn from bed sheets soaked with linseed oil and limewater. After many painful days he recovered; he was not even seriously scarred. The next day after the barrage was Sunday, and the weather was hopelessly bad. It was no day for Transco II, John Dahl, and me to attempt to get through the Straits of Mackinac. Accordingly, put on my rain togs and set out on foot for early-morning Mass through a downpour of rain and gusts of wind. The wind was still blowing after church, but the rain had stopped, so I decided to I wander around town a grave of As a bit. It was in this way that I found the Pre Marquette. lifelong student of history, I had read early in life of the accomplished in America by such Frenchmen as Samuel Champlain, Jacques Cartier, Louis Joliet, Jacques Mar explorations La Salle, and others. And in had read P&re France, many Marquette s autobiogra phy, one of the most fascinating volumes I ve ever set hands and quette (Pere Marquette), Robert de years ago, I eyes upon. Jacques Marquette was born at Laon, France, in 1637. Edu cated for the clergy, he became a Jesuit missionary and explorer in America. He accompanied Joliet in his voyage down the Mis sissippi and back up the Illinois River in 1673. He died while attempting to establish a mission among the THini Indians, from the state of Illinois derives its name. By his own dying whom body was transported by canoe from the present site of Chicago and buried in a churchyard in St. Ignace. The grave, marked by a simple granite monument, has become one of the request, his most frequently visited historic shrines in the state of Michigan. At paid this shrine I my respects to Father Marquette and all his TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 108 countrymen who were the pathfinders of voyages by both Transcos. intrepid like those undertaken One windy to day, after John Dahl had decided to take the ferry Mackinac Island and bicycle around that beautiful stood on a dock in St. Igance in conversation with island, I Mickey Duggan, a free-lance photographer, and his wife Mary. The time was late afternoon. Somehow the desultory conversa tion got onto the subject of the edible qualities of various kinds of fish. remarked that I eating fish No "In my than the Great Lakes opinion, there never was a better whitefish!" sooner said than I received a hearty invitation to a home- Duggans home. prepared, grilled whitefish dinner at the minutes later, we were close to the shore in Mickey Duggan almost dangerously close rection of the Straits of A s boat, scooting few along in the general di Mackinac Bridge. Knowing Duggan home was in the forest looking out Lake Michigan west of the St. Ignace end of the bridge that the into we d have to go under the bridge to get was wrong. Mickey sped among the rocks of what he approach, I thought that there. I called his "private waterway." He kept up a steady pace of around 30 miles an hour. For a couple of uneasy minutes I thought he was going to crash the boat right into the rock wall of the bridge approach, but as we swung around a huge, forbidding rock-reef, I could see a culvert spanning a narrow strip of water under the bridge approach. Mickey headed for the hole. The boat roared through the culvert little room to spare. Another mile and there the small marina that Mickey and his with came into view boating neighbors have created in a quiet little bay. Before entering the marina he took the boat into the strait al m most to the end of the bridge approach. taking you out here," he said, show you the route to my landing just in case you might need it some day." As we shall soon see, Mickey Duggan must have had some sort of premonition. His in "I "to thoughtfulness ST. IGNACE showing me ST. IGNACE this route 109 turned out to be quite a stroke of good fortune. During the week-long sojourn of bad weather in St. Ignace, John Dahl and I made three attempts on three different days to take Transco 11 through the Straits of Mackinac. With strong North winds and the small-craft warning signals flying at the U. S. Coast Guard Station on Mackinac Island, it seemed reasonable we could get through the straits, we would find calmer water along the north shores of Lake Michigan. In prac to believe that, if however, this plan was a failure. Three times we managed to get under and several miles beyond the Straits of Mackinac Bridge, only to be turned back by short, tice, fast mountainous waves that threatened to like a barrel, or take her down by the roll beam Transco 11 over ends. I had hoped to get pictures of the bridge, but found it impossible; there was no way to keep a camera dry with tons of water flying overhead, and a wet camera is a ruined camera. Even if the camera might have been kept dry, there was no way to hold it still enough to get a picture. Moreover, if I d ever let go of handholds on the boat long enough to get a firm grip on the camera, Fd have been overboard in that icy water or a Mexican jumping bean. rattling around in the well deck like The mighty waves buried Transco II over her cabin and wind and sent gallons of water under heavy pressure gurgling into the cabin around the Plexiglas windows that are watertight under anything like normal cruising conditions. When I went into shield the cabin and attempted to dog the windows down tighter, I could not do anything except hang on to any available handhold. Let ting go would have meant getting slammed around in the cabin from end to end, crashing into starboard and portside bulkheads, the lower deck, and the overhead decks. Dahl collected as many bruises as I did. Did we through find Transco II unseaworthy? many Not at all. She came a sea that would have rolled or foundered a smaller TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 110 We were simply face to face with the or less well-designed craft. that beset every small boat. When the Great physical limitations Lakes heave and churn, every small boat on them becomes little more than a frail Lilliputian toy. On the next day, Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain came through the Straits of Mackinac. The weather in St. Martin s Bay was Transco II out into the good enough for John Dahl and me to take of other boat Hundreds straits to see Her Majesty s yacht go by. the same idea. The straits were dotted with small boats. About the time the Queen s yacht was due to be sighted a peaTransco 11 crawled soup fog closed in and nobody saw anything. tied and in St. back to the marina up again. Ignace In our fourth attempt to get on with the cruise we took an awful men had straits. That time we managed to get about 5 miles Lake Michigan from the Straits of Mackinac Bridge. A strong wind was blowing from the North, and we got some tem porary relief from the fury of the lake by going around the south side of St. Helen s Island. But the minute we got out of the lee of the island the wind became stronger and the seas more furious. Then and there Dahl and I agreed that any further attempt to travel Lake Michigan in such weather would be foolhardy. The fact that we turned around and headed back toward St. beating in the out into Ignace without having Transco II pike-poled by her beam ends I can attribute only to a superb job of boat handling by John Dahl. I clung to my handholds and watched him in silence; I had no suggestion for handling the boat any better than he was doing it. to have an almost uncanny sense of timing and never He seemed missed a trick with steering wheel and throttles to keep Transco II off the crests and hitting the passes between waves. Nevertheless, I m sure he was as much was when we finally made and with only about 50 gallons of relieved as I the turn without being rolled water ahead of the bilge pumps. Having made the turn we were still literally just a breath away from being tossed into the cold-boiling, mad seas. We moved back toward the straits, yawing and tossing like a straw in the ST. IGNACE ST. IGNACE 111 wind. It became more obvious by the minute that the strait would be our grave if we remained afloat to go under the Straits of Mackinac Bridge. We had to get ashore somewhere fast even if it meant swimming for it and seeing Transco II smashed to bits on the rocks! At that moment I thought of Mickey Duggan. We were saved! Now, if I could remember the route Mickey had shown me through the treacherous rocks to his little inlet, all would be well. I put all my wits into trying to remember exactly how he had taken me out just a few days before. We were still half a mile offshore, worming our way in among the rocks, when I sighted a group of people on the dock at the marina. Through the field glasses, I could see Mickey Duggan getting into his boat. He came whizzing out and was alongside Transco II in a few minutes. "Follow me!" Those were the only words we heard above the roar of wind and waves. But what welcome words they were! With a pilot boat to get us the rest of the way through the channel, our ordeal with the lake would soon be ended. We couldn t have landed among finer friends! After the four-hour beating, getting nowhere on a storm-tossed Lake Michigan, Dahl and I were cold, tired, hungry, and counting our bruises. Our friends, however, provided some delightful com pensations. Compared with the lake, the huge living room in the Duggan home seemed like heaven on earth. Our slowly re turned as we sat before a blazing log fire, sipping Scotch and soda. "land We spent the rest of the afternoon right there. legs" 12 fROM THE STRAITS Of MACKINAC INTO MANISTIWC, MICHIGAN The gigantic bridge spanning the Straits of Mackinac is now the official boundary between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. The indefinite location of that boundary had caused some confusion in previous years. Another point of con fusion that has recently been eliminated from the straits area is the pronunciation of Mackinac. Some said "Mackinac," while others insisted that it was "Mackinaw." Recently, to the joy of the citizens of i-naw" Mackinaw was adopted. City, the uniform pronunciation one sees fit to spell the word How kremains "Mac optional. After having been chased off Lake Michigan by the surging John Dahl and I decided to stay in the small marina we had found until the weather let us get going again. As soon as the weather would permit, we planned to get under way on a course almost due west over 60 miles of wide-open water to Manistique. seas, The following day dawned with the near-perfect weather we had long hoped to see. Lake Michigan was fiat; the waves were little more than surface ripples. 112 STRAITS OF MACKINAC 113 MANISTIQUE Mickey Duggan and Captain Densmore took Mickey s boat and led us out into the wide-open water. Even as we waved good-bye to our friends, Transco II was eating up the miles at full cruising speed. If that speed could be mtaintained, it would take us to. Manistique, on the west side of the lake, and southward down the entire length of the lake to Chicago in a few hours. In cruising the Great Lakes with a small boat, however, any attempt to travel on a time schedule is impossible. Schedules are always liable to be knocked into a cocked hat by weather that is unpredictable and tricky. Attempting to keep to a schedule may on when get a boatman into serious trouble by spurring indicates that he should head into the nearest sheltered prudence Mm port with all possible speed. After the delay in St. Ignace, John Dahl and I made the mistake of throwing caution to the winds and taking Transco II through the Straits of Mackinac, with Manistique our intended destination set a tight schedule for ourselves for no better for the day. We reason than the fact that our friends in Milwaukee had planned a big welcome for us upon our arrival there. We didn t want to dis appoint them. Everything went well for us as we went into scenery that be came almost exclusively sky and water. It took a long time for the Straits of Mackinac Bridge to disappear over the eastern horizon. A small island appeared off our port-side bow and was easily Hog Island. Then, far off to the south and west, Gar den Island, Beaver Island, and the Whiskey Islands came dimly identified as into view. wind began to blow from the South remain gentle very long. It steadily increased until the lake was running whitecaps with waves that were getting bigger, About that time a gentle west. It didn faster, t to be rising storm. the port? Our charts showed nothing within 30 and closer together by the minute. It was time for us finding a port to get in out of a But where was miles that looked particularly promising. Anything shelter from the wind and increasing fury of the seas would be that might offer acceptable. TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 114 be the Bay of Epoufette, on the North Peninsula of a very small, seemingly protected bight Michigan 20 miles to our north. We took two hours of punishment The best spot battling the on the charts appeared to waves before reaching the bay. As we headed bay it was clear that it was nothing Tike be on the chart. It was so exposed to the direction of the weather that it offered little more protection than what it into the appeared to any other spot along a coast line of rocks. Then, to make a bad we discovered that the bay was strewn with rock situation worse, which breakers were crashing. We were within 100 yards and didn t know what to do! Dahl tossed me a life jacket and I quickly tied it on with one reefs over of the rocky beach hand while stretch of retaining a handhold with the other. sand beach that might have been all of 50 We sighted a feet in length. Dahl was for beaching the boat. "Not in a thousand years!" I protested. "Let s get out of here and back into deep water!" "But what about the waves?" he asked. "The waves be damned! I can take the waves if you can. If we can keep afloat, we re going into Naubinway! That s going to be at least four hours of hell for both of take the deep water and the waves any time as a risk that s 40 miles and us. I ll this packet it s safer than crashing Somehow, we fette Bay without on the beach." got Transco II turned around and out of hitting anything. I Epou prayed that our motors would keep turning to get us away from the rocks and surf-battered shores. The grace of God must have been with us; the motors never missed a beat even though they were about half-submerged each time we climbed out of a wave trough. To avoid any more adventures with uncharted reefs we went about 5 miles out into the seething lake. The water out there was exactly as I expected to find it 16-foot waves. Transco II could them. At times she waterborne by the nothing but short, fast, frothing, do nothing but hog and sag into d be almost out of the water amidships and bow and stern. The next second she d be half STRAITS OF MACKINAC out of the water by the be racing in thin down a air. 115 MANISTIQUE bow and in We the stern her propellers would both felt as if we were in a barrel rolling rocky hill. It took five hours to make that 40 miles from Epoufette Bay into Naubinway, and it was a story of men against the seas every steep, foot of the distance. Nevertheless, as long as we could keep the bilge pumps ahead of the incoming water, our chances for keeping afloat seemed to be favorable. Those five hours of pitching and pounding seemed like an eternity. Naubinway has little to offer boatmen except quiet water and a place to tie up, but it was like heaven to us. Through years of experience in seagoing ships and small pleas ure boats, I have developed a high degree of immunity from sea sickness. If I exposed to it long enough in a rough sea and in m a wobbly boat, however, I can still get slightly squeamish. In all the beating Transco II took in making that run into Naubinway I did not experience any ill effects. After I got ashore, however, it took several hours to get the land to quit I staggered around, an alcohol-less drunk. my own dition before, I could prescribe whiskey. Half an hour sensation of dizziness walk without staggering; could walk a straight line. later I could was gone; I was so dizzy faced this con Having medicine a jigger of rolling. I all The weather forecasts predicted near-perfect weather for all of Lake Michigan the following day, and they turned out to be cor rect. At dawn Lake Michigan looked like a big, docile millpond. seemed almost unbelievable that it was the same furious sea that had given us such dreadful punishment only a few hours earlier. Dahl and I decided to get on to Manistique as fast as pos sible before the lake might again show us the treacherous side of It its personality. a lake that On showed scarcely a ripple our run to Manistique from Naubinway was uneventful. From Naubinway we took a straight compass course almost out of sight of land that cleared Point Patterson by about 5 miles. A similar run of about 20 miles took us around Point Seul Choix. After another 25 miles Transco TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 116 where we were Club. Yacht to go ashore as guests of the Manistique of about 5,000, provides an Manistique, a pleasant little city in many excellent example of a change that is now happening Lawrence St. the of With Seaway, Lakes Great completion ports. like other Great Lakes towns, wants to be a seaport II cruised into the mouth of the Manistique River, Manistique, to attain that commercial advantage. To accomplish a Gargantuan program of port facility improvements is needed. Manistique already has a substantial breakwater protecting the and is striving this, mouth of the river. Extensive dredging has widen and deepen the river in development project this area. will give the city conveniently located alongside its been under way to Completion of the harboran adequate port facility central business area. At Manistique John Dahl and I saw another example of how unreliable Lake Michigan weather can be. Transco II had just been moored at the Manistique Yacht Club when a strong wind began blowing from the South, sweeping the entire length of the lake s 24,000 square miles. Oddly enough it was the seagulls who gave the first indication that this blow was coming. Just across the basin from the Manis tique Yacht Club a wholesale fish market is located near a group of docks for fishing boats. No boats were there when I first noticed the place, and it seemed to be devoid of human activity. The fish market and the grounds around it, however, appeared to be a rendezvous for all the seagulls of Schoolcraft County. These were glaucous gulls, those powerful, raucous, always-hungry birds that are seen throughout the Great Lakes area. Thousands of gulls were roosting on the roof of the fish-market buildings; the place was almost solid white with them. All of a sudden, as if by signal, the entire flock began to cackle and squawk. Then they took to the air and headed out into the lake. They must have sighted an incoming fishing boat, we thought. Twenty minutes later a big, diesel-powered trawler, accompanied by all the wheeling and squawking gulls, came up the river and STRAITS OF MACKINAC 117 MANISTIQUE Other fishing boats were soon coming in off the lake, all having received storm warnings. The gulls, incidentally, presented an interesting sight as they sat, tied up at the fish market. apparently waiting for something. Eventually, a dump car came out of the market riding on a narrow gauge track of steel rails that ran to the water s edge. The car reached the end of the rails and out a couple of tons of fishheads, tails, entrails all the refuse from the trawler s catch. Bedlam broke loose among the spilled The next hour was a feathery riot of flapping, squawking, birds for screaming fighting any morsel of the smelly meal that could be grabbed and carried away. The birds settled down to the gulls. again only after they had swallowed the last ounce of the fish-market refuse. lazy life By midafternoon the wind was blowing a near gale. Several other boating parties in boats larger than Transco II also came in off the lake and tied up in the yacht basin. By that time Lake Michigan was throwing countless tons of water completely over the Manistique Harbor Breakwater. There was every indication that we were not going to get out of Manistique in time to be on hand for the welcome that had been arranged in Milwaukee. John Dahl decided to remain aboard Transco II until we found out what the weather would permit us to do. I went on to the hotel because I seemed to be developing a cold. My brow was slightly feverish and there was a scratchy feeling in my throat that was fast giving me a whiskey voice with bullfrog overtones. At the Barnes Hotel, Art Hough, the proprietor, tried to make me as comfortable as possible. Next morning I awoke feeling as if I had somehow incurred the wrath of God. One minute I d be burning with fever. A minute later I was like an iced fish. My throat felt as if it had been stuffed with feathers. I thought I d better ask for help while I still had some voice left. Art Hough came to the room, and I croaked out my story as best I could to a gentleman thetic and cooperative. who could not have been more sympa TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 118 "Do you want "That me the big s know whether to call a question," to ask for physician?" I replied. he asked. "The a doctor or a way priest! I feel I But don t let s get the m liable to live." and find out how long I hour an about seeking to find the source Dr. James Fyvie spent convinced you of my trouble. Finally, he said, "Captain Hogg, I have a serious case of virus infection of the throat." He then gave me a hypodermic shot of penicillin and some prescription medi cines. I was told to stay in bed and go light on food. The doctor doctor first m would come again the next day. The medicine apparently included a sedative. I slept practically the clock around. When I awoke, I was on fire with fever. My pajamas were soaked with perspiration. More than this, the hotel room was full of May flies! When I tried to grab a handful of them, however, I could not catch a single one. These flies, which were my eyes, were only the perfectly clear there right in front of feverish imagination. This is the state in which Dr. figment of my Fyvie found me. When I tried to speak to him I couldn t make the slightest sound. To answer the doctor s questions I could only ask and paper by sign language and write notes. t have to do any selling job to induce me to accept hospitalization. I managed to dress and climb into the doctor s car under my own power. In the Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital the doctors and nurses really went to work on my weak ened body with around-the-clock shots of penicillin and all sorts for pencil Dr. Fyvie didn of bright colored Some thirty-six pills. Most of the time I just slept. hours after entering the hospital, I awoke from a sleep of several hours. The fever was gone and there were no May flies in the room. I was much better! "Good feel morning, Captain Hogg," said the nurse. "How do you today?" "I feel pretty good for the shape I m in," I replied. had spoken instinctively without even realizing my voice had returned after three days of speechlessness. As soon as Dr. Fyvie released me, I was ready to check out of the hospital, take com I mand of Transco II again, and get on with the cruise. 13 fROM MANISTIWE TO JOLIET, ILLINOIS After all the rough going Lake Michigan had given us from the Straits of Mackinac to Manistique, it gave us a sample of its occasional docility and good behavior on the next leg of the journey. From Manistique Transco II sped southward over glassy seas past Point DeTour and the string of big and little islands at the mouth of Wisconsin s Green Bay. In slightly less than five hours of delightful, fair-weather cruising we clipped off 10D miles and were ashore in Menominee, Michigan, for lunch and refueling. From Menominee we had 20 miles of open water across Wis consin s Green Bay to the Sturgeon Bay ship canal. This canal is a 6,000-foot channel cut through ti(ie solid limestone of the Door Peninsula. Completed in 1881, it provides a ship lane between Lake Michigan and Green Bay near the middle of the southern half of Green Bay. It shortens the distance by over 100 miles for vessels that would otherwise have to go around the end of Lake Michigan s longest peninusula. Thanks to the canal and continu ing good weather, Transco II ended the day s run in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Another day of almost perfect weather and Transco II sped 119 TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 120 southward again, keeping about 5 miles offshore on the world s sixth largest lake that was now as placid as a duckpond. The last 80 miles of this leg of our long voyage was little more than an at the Milwaukee Yacht Club. appetizer for lunch as we docked Several busloads of Milwaukeeans were on hand to give us a real Wisconsin welcome. original Transco had stopped for several days in 1925 at Yacht Club, where she was pulled out of the water Milwaukee the for a coat of paint and a general overhauling. Thirty-four years The only thing that looked familiar about the Yacht Club was the skyline of Juneau Park. The club that I knew burned some years ago and had been replaced with a bigger and after that first visit, the modern structure. The old club had perhaps a hundred members with as many boats. Today s club has boats literally by the acre, including hundreds of the most luxurious seagoing yachts better to be seen anywhere in the world. During our three days .in Milwaukee, I had the opportunity of renewing many friendships established during the 1925 cruise. Because the Evinrude Motor Company cooperated with me in the cruises of men both Transcos, many of my associations have been with Hugo Biersach was the person I He had been the guiding spirit of the original Transco cruise and, although now retired, had taken a consultative role in planning the 1959 journey. At the age of seventy-two, Hugo has a home on Lake Pewaukee, a few miles outside of Mil the of that organization. most wanted to see. waukee, and still manages to spend a good deal of his time aboard both motor- and sailboats. Curling is his favorite winter sport. On Friday, July 17, John Dahl and I arose in the morning to out for Chicago. When we arrived at the Milwaukee Yacht Club, however, we found Lake Michigan shrouded in a buttermilk start was o clock the fog began to became possible to see a ship at a distance of about 300 yards. To be as safe as possible we took the boat about 5 miles offshore before heading south. fog. Visibility a lift bit. We practically zero. shoved Off Waukegan, off when Illinois, By 8 it the fog lifted to give us a visibility of MANISTIQUE JOLIET about 5 miles. We 121 decided to go ashore in Waukegan for lunch and to have a consultation with U.S. Coast Guard officers. I wanted to know a lot more than our charts told us about a missile- range that spanned many square mile^s of Lake Michigan from a land base south of Waukegan. My own experience in the Navy had made clear what a perilous nuisance small-boat oper firing ators We would go can be on a naval proving ground. the middle of Lake Michigan, if right down necessary, to keep out of such dangerous waters. Fortunately, the Coast missile firing that day. Guard We officers told us there would be no could go right on down the lake within mean having several sight of the shore all the way. It would also safe harbors conveniently near, in case of emergency. Transco II was about 5 miles off the Chicago Breakwater Light house when a husky wind began blowing from the Southeast. In a few minutes we were fighting our way at reduced speed through a sea of choppy whitecaps. John and I could easily take the pound ing at this stage of the cruise. We d soon be out of it by getting behind the Chicago Breakwater and then going down the lock that dropped us from the level of Lake Michigan onto the Chicago River. We had come to the end of our 800-mile run through every kind of summer weather the Great Lakes could throw at us! Half a century ago the Chicago River flowed into Lake Michi gan. Then, the engineers decided that it around and send it it would be southward through the better to turn Illinois River to the Mississippi. There was no dam at the mouth of the Chicago River in 1925 when I took Transco out of the river into Lake Michigan. The river then had a current of 5 or 6 knots. The dam and lock now control the flow of water out of Lake Michigan, and there is very little current. Near the Michigan Avenue Bridge over the Chicago River Transco II tied up at the same steel-and-concrete dock where the original Transco had stopped overnight. There, in the shadow of the skyscraper home of the Chicago Tribune, we were greeted by the familiar huddle of reporters, TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 122 and television men. After we finished photographers, and radio this "ordeal," we met Janie, the wife of my late brother James, and her son Walter, who is about the same age as John Dahl. This was one of the most pleasant of the many reunions that occurred II. throughout the cruise of Transco I had spent in Canada and on and After the weeks that John the Great Lakes in weather that ranged mostly bitter cold, we had from chilly to acquired the acclimatization of a couple of Milwaukee a temperature of 75 degrees was like the climate of Singapore to us. In Chicago we came off the chilly lake into a temperature of 95 degrees and intermittant drizzles of rain. What heat! What humidity! It was like a steam bath. polar bears. In "What a exclaimed John Dahl, mopping the perspira By the time we d been in Chicago less than half climate!" from an hour we were already yearning for the cool breezes of the his face. tion Lakes. "Yes," I replied. you thinV this it s "And is hot, wait going to get a lot worse for us. If till we get to St. Louis, Kansas City, Omaha, and all the way up the Missouri River into western Mon tana. We are not liable to see any cool weather again until we go down the gorge where the Columbia River breaks through the Cascade Mountains into western Oregon. You ll see plenty of snow on those mountains when we get there." For about half a century I ve times. In 1916, shortly after my to been in and out of Chicago many I were married, I gave up Ruth and job as a reporter-photographer with the Los Angeles Express associate editor of a well-known magazine of inter become an national circulation published in Chicago. I signed a contract for a year. During that year Ruth and I had about everything that money could buy, and very little of everything that money can never buy. Living in a South Side apartment and working in a Loop office, I was like a caged bear! On the day that my contract expired we had our trunks and bags packed and were on a train that took us back to California. A few weeks 123 JOLIET MANISTIQUE later the United States entered World War I. I was called to active duty as a voluntary reservist in naval aviation. would be grossly unfair to draw a picture of the nation s second-largest city as a boatman sees it from the Chicago River. The Chicago River is the city s trunk-line sewer, and Chicago is It no more like its sewer than Paris or any other city. After hundreds of miles of boating in clean, wide-open waters, the Chicago River seems very crooked and narrow. Moreover, after weeks of breathing clean, pure air, one s sense of smell be sensitive, which only tends to make the aroma of the Chicago River all the more obnoxious. Another factor is that the river is a bottleneck for everything that moves on water comes remarkably between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi. Commercial and pleasure craft by the thousands add up to a traffic jam as bad as on any road in On the land. boatman is too busy keeping clear of other boats of anything else. If he does have a chance to look up and around a bit, however, he has a perfect worm s-eye view from the river a to see much under the numerous bridges. He is seeing Chicago from the bot of a small, man-made canyon, the walls of which are the tom skyscrapers whose sewers cascade from the basements into the river. The Michigan Avenue Lake water there. As one goes on Michigan mostly Bridge. across the vast city on the downstream route, the pollution gets progressively worse. The sewers become bigger and more numer river is fairly clean in the vicinity of the It is ous as the river twists and turns through the famous Chicago Loop the retail-shopping and office-building area into the seem ingly endless wilderness of industrial plants. I tried to assure we John that if could get to the big, pollution would become he could retain his breakfast until new lock just below Joliet, Illinois, the less obnoxious because of increasing dilution. About the only good thing I can say about Transco II s run TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 124 through the Chicago River legal speed limits Loop and on through the is that we got out of just as fast as right through the bowels of the nation s second-largest having to stop at a single experience that was! city without lightful it would permit. Moreover, we went traffic signal. What a de We entered the big, modern Chicago Drainage Canal, which had been much enlarged and improved since I saw it from Transco 1925. The trash-dumping we observed in this area is shocking. If dumping the like of which we saw continues, will be filled to the point of closing it in certainly the canal to all navigation! no such rubbish accumulations during the 1925 Transco voyage through the canal. Now, for a distance of about 50 miles the water surface of the canal was iso heavily littered that we had to reduce our speed to a crawl. Several times we had to stop to find a route through masses of floating scrap lumber. We had litter ing of this sort on the Hudson River, but it was infinitely worse I saw in the Chicago Drainage Canal. John was at the wheel of Transco II when I noticed something I d never before seen in running the old Chicago Drainage Canal. For some reason Transco II was throwing "soapsuds" off her bow, and her wake looked like a swath of foot-deep snow churned astern. up I called John asked him if s attention to this strange phenomenon and he coud think of the reason for soapy-looking water for a moment, but could it. He eyed the come up with no explanation. A later I had a thought: Could it be that all that soapywater is a product of the detergents sent down the sewers looking of Chicago? In 1925 detergents hadn t been invented. This was, perhaps, the reason why I had not seen any foam on the original little Transco voyage. Because of our limited speed through the Chicago River and the Drainage Canal it was late afternoon when Transco II arrived in Joliet, Joliet where we had planned has no service remain overnight. facilities whatever for small boats; we to 125 JOLIET MANISTIQUE couldn t even find a suitable place to main canal, we d be wake of passing barges. the tie up. If we remained jostled every five or ten minutes in by the We finally found a quiet spot behind a weir under a railroad drawbridge. There we were, afloat in a cesspool, with freight trains thundering overhead. "What do you want to do?" asked John, as we locked the boat for the night. we better scramble over this sea wall," I replied. a good hotel here, the Louis Joliet. Let s go there and clean up, have some food, then get a good night s rest. By "I think "There s noon tomorrow we ll be at the Joliet Yacht dub, where we re going to be met by a nephew and niece of mine, Mr. and Mrs. Kirk Fowler, from Davenport, Iowa. We ll be able to have a picnic lunch with them fried chicken with all the trimmings!" At Joliet the Chicago Drainage Canal goes through the city between steel-and-concrete retaining walls. The canal s surface is on a level with many of the housetops. Now, I wouldn t live below those walls for all the gold in Fort Knox! If that steel and concrete ever let go, Joliet would have a flood that would make any flood disaster of record seem like a perfumed bath. The city would be submerged in a cesspool! At one point, as Transco II was coining through the Chicago Drainage Canal, John asked me, "What would you do if you were to fall into this awful "I d swim cation!" out," water?" I replied. "Then I think I would die of mortifi FROM JOUET TO ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI At the huge lock just below Joliet we found the red light against us. Leaving Dahl to bring the boat through the lock, I took a camera and went ashore to take a few pictures. After the gate opened I made a couple of shots to show Transco II entering the lock. Then I scrambled down the long flights of concrete stairs beyond the lower lock gate, where I found a per fect spot for getting a picture of our boat coming out of the lock. The foul water below the gate began to swirl and flow in eddies, indicating that the gigantic valves were being opened to let the water out of the lock. In a few minutes the water came roaring out of the lock. As it heaved and tumbled it also began to foam. area between the sills and below the lock gate was soon cov ered with what looked like a yard-deep layer of new snow. Farther down the canal the suds broke up into small, floating islands. When the lock gate opened I got a picture of Transco II coming The out. She appeared to be pushing snowdrifts aside of withering heat! One of the army engineers 126 came along the this on a day retaining wall and JOLIET ST. LOUIS 127 up a brief conversation with me. Having seen us on tele and read our story in the newspaper, he was quite interested vision in our trip. When I asked him about detergents causing the sudsy water in the canal, he said, "Your idea is correct. The suds are struck caused by the tremendous quantities of soapy detergents in the sewage." Below the huge lock near River widens out Joliet the Illinois a lakelike expanse where there is no perceptible current. Here the sewage becomes stagnant, decomposes, and bubbles in a vast, open septic tank. The liquid in it is as black as ink and the gas into it bubbling is the "purest" kind of common sewer gas. After getting out of that cesspool as fast as possible, John and I were delighted to find ourselves, not in clean water by far, but that keeps in water clean enough to be a tremendous improvement compared with the Chicago River and the Drainage Canal. A few miles below "Septic Tank Lake" the river narrows. The Kankakee and Des Plaines Rivers come into the Illinois at this point, bringing with them a volume of relatively clean water suffi cient to thin out the pollution. A on we sighted the marina of the Joliet Yacht the opposite side of the river from, and some 20 miles below, Joliet. The choice of location is obvious; boatmen little Club. It is farther on and boat clubs At the Joliet selves at home keep away from polluted waters. Yacht dub, Dahl and I were invited to make our will always as guests of the club as soon as we stepped ashore. A little later Kirk and Jane Fowler, with their two children, Timmy and Nancy, arrived in their car. The weather was hot and humid. Off to the west a thunder storm was rolling in, but we didn t let a little thing like that stop us. We carried all five picnic baskets aboard Transco II, hoisted and put up the side curtains. Just then there was a flash of lightning and a clap of thunder that sounded like a salvo of 16-inch naval guns. The rain came down in wind-blown sheets the top, and torrents. With our folding table set up, the six people on Transco 7/ s TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 128 deck were a and we heat, crowded. However, the storm had dissipated the were out of the rain. We had a comforting, snug bit pouring down, gnawing fried chicken off the bones and eating baked beans and all the other good things stowed in Jane s baskets. We began to reminisce. I said something about remembering the day when Kirk was born. and Aunt Ruth at that time?" asked Jane. "Where were feeling as we sat there with the rain you you "Can "Indeed actually remember?" I do," I replied. "It seems like yesterday. were aboard a naval transport, the U.S.S. Ruth and I Chaumont, en route from San Francisco to Shanghai. It was Thanksgiving Day, 1926. Our off the coast of China. We had just ship was about 2,000 miles finished a fine turkey dinner in the wardroom when an orderly me handed on a radiotelegram from the other side of the earth and I had hoped to Oklahoma, a town was the message Ruth Bartiesville, from us! It receive, but didn t receive, stopped in Honolulu: EIGHT-POUND THANKSGIVING LOVE . We when our ship BOY ALLS WELL HARRY. It was a welcome message!" had a happy four hours there at the Joliet Yacht Club. The . . Fowlers started back to Davenport, transferring all the surplus food from the picnic baskets to Transco 7/ s refrigerator before they left. rain stopped. Dahl and I ran on down the river and tied the up for night at Ottawa, Illinois. In 1925 Transco had tied up at Ottawa after hours of battling up the rapids of the Illinois River The past Starved Rock, a few miles downstream. Frank Wilton and I had stopped at the Ottawa Hotel. In 1959 I found the old hotel still a new and modern steel bridge over was much the same as it had been thirty-four in business. Except for the river, Ottawa years ago. The following day (Monday), Dahl and I had a thoroughly ran down the Illinois River from enjoyable day of cruising. Ottawa to Peoria, and the weather and other conditions were made We to order. JOLIET ST. 129 LOUIS A few miles below Ottawa we went down the Starved Rock Lock. It lies alongside historic Starved Rock, now an Illinois State Park, and the fourth lock in the system controlling the flow of water from Lake Michigan all the way down the Illinois into the Mississippi. In the vicinity of Starved Rock the landscape has not changed, except that the rapids that gave Frank Wilton and me such an arduous battle are gone. They were drowned by the dams and locks that were built for flood control and improvement of navigation. In the Starved Rock area and all the rest of the way down the River into the Mississippi, water pollution is not as bad nowadays as it was when the original Transco came up the river. Illinois A number of new sewage-reduction plants are gradually restoring the river to something like its original cleanliness and beauty. In 1925 no fish could live in the waters of the Illinois. At that time, we did not see a bird of any kind. Now, the fish are beginning to reappear in the too, and many known of the birds to the Illinois again, Midwest have returned. I counted scores of great blue herons, little green herons, ducks, wading birds, blacked-crowned night herons, owls, hawks, and about all the other land birds familiar to residents of Illinois. There were also literally hundreds of white big, snow-white herons that have from the American of near-extinction egrets, those beautiful, made a comeback after years scene. After a stop for lunch at Chillicothe, Illinois, Dahl and I sped into Lake Peoria, an expansion in the Illinois River that is physi cally similar to Galilee. where, again, of the club. We and about the same In midafternoon we docked we met many size as the Biblical at the Sea of Peoria Yacht Club received a hearty welcome and interesting people there, all of all the privileges them boatmen of one kind or another. The most unusual character was Patrick O Brian Pat is of Seattle, Washington. a bachelor in his long hobby and a way of For him, boating has been a life Many years ago, he told me, he had fifties. life. TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 130 first Transco voyage. He had always hoped that he might find a way to make at least some part of the someday same trip. Eventually, he built himself a small cruising houseboat watchmaker by trade, he lived in the with an outboard motor. read about the A Lake Washington while working ashore. In the spring of 1959 he and his dog got going on the longanticipated cruise. He had his houseboat trucked from Seattle to Fort Benton, Montana, with the idea of going on through to New York City in his own good time. He went down the Missouri for houseboat on Seattle s 2,286 miles, into the Mississippi, and then up the Mississippi and the Illinois into A Lake Michigan. on Lake Michigan convinced him he very brief experience didn t have the right kind of a boat for the Great Lakes. He turned around and went back to Peoria, found a job, and had just re home turned to his afloat when we came ashore Yacht Club. "Where do you expect to go from here?" "Well," said Pat, down Orleans. I ll This get along is the I asked. I see winter sneaking up on me, I ll the Illinois River and the Mississippi to New find a job there, spend the winter in a mild climate, get along and "when at the Peoria somewhere life for else when another summer rolls around. me!" Because I had several errands to be looked after in downtown Peoria, I decided to spend the night at the Jefferson Hotel. The following morning, while checking out of the hotel, I dis St. Christopher medal I d been wearing was miss covered that a ing. The hotel manager checked the staff to see if anyone had but no one had. Somewhat chagrined I handed the it, some one manager a card bearing my home address, saying, finds the medal and turns it in, please send it to me. But if it is found "If not found, my loss will be mostly sentimental." From Peoria Dahl and I made a happy, easy day of it by running down the lakelike waters of the Illinois River to Beardstown. This was delightful cruising slug her way up on a river where in 1925 Transco had to against a 6- to 8-knot current Because of the JOLIET ST. 131 LOUIS excellent system of locks and dams, a boatman may now relax and enjoy the beauty of the wooded shore line. Beardstown, where Transco II arrived by midafternoon, was little changed since Transco had stopped overnight there. The changes that were in evidence were mostly along the waterfront. In 1925 Beardstown had no waterfront service facilities for probably because there were no boats and appar pleasure boats ently not the slightest interest in any kind of boating! Today the situation is quite different. The improvements of recent years have raised the water Beardstown a beautiful, almost-landlocked bay. The a has town thriving boat club, a good marina that is being steadily enlarged and improved, a substantial fleet of boats, and boundless river level to give The bay, the club, and the marina constituted a happy surprise to me. quite Next day Transco II sped down the last 90 miles of the Illinois and out of the mouth of the river into the mighty Mississippi, the biggest river we d seen since leaving the St. Lawrence. Another 20 miles down the Mississippi and I went ashore at Alton, Illinois, to pick up some money waiting for me at the Western Union office. I got back to the waterfront just as a downpour of rain, boating enthusiasm. with plenty of thunder and lightning, began. Transco II was tied up alongside a dredging barge; to get aboard I had to go over a gangplank and traverse the deck of the barge. On the deck was a buxom woman about fifty years of age in bathing togs, standing on the deck as if about to dive off into the river. She was accompanied by a girl about eight or ten years old, who was wearing a bathing suit and a life jacket. Alongside the woman and the girl were five of the huskiest German "police dogs" I ve ever set eyes upon. They looked more like Canadian timber wolves than dogs! m the human boat!" exclaimed the lady as I walked past her. and held her nose feet With that she first, into the splashed, "I The child and the dogs leaped in after her. For the next ten minutes Dahl and I stood there, with the Mississippi. rain TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 132 down our faces, watching this strange group swim in out in the river. The dogs were yapping, growling, barking, and snapping at each other with great ferocity. They ap and peared to be having a grand time, however, as did the her "dinghy." They were still swimming when Dahl and I shoved running circles far "boat" heading down the Mississippi for St. Louis. Because this stretch of the Mississippi has a normal current of 6 to 8 miles per hour, our 25 miles downhill on the Father of Waters didn t last very long. We were going so fast we almost ran past the Monroe City Boat Works, where we intended to land, before we could even sight it on this river of majestic distances. St. Louis looked very much the same as it had from the first off, Transco. American The old Eads Civil War, Bridge, built only a few years after the in use. Except for the new buildings, is still has not changed appreciably. At the yard where however, Transco II was almost in the shadow of the huge Veterans Bridge, a magnificent structure that was not there in 1925. the city we s skyline tied up, 15 FROM ST. LOUIS TO KANSAS C/Ty, To me, of American St. MISSOURI Louis of nearly a million people, its father might have been Chicago Orleans. New is one of the most interesting Midwestern. With a populatioi personality is that of a city whos&lt; cities. It is distinctly and whose mother was Nev waterfront, particularly, St. Louis resemble; Orleans. Inland, in the vicinity of Choteau and Jeffersoi Along the Avenues, one can easily imagine himself in the Chicago Looj district. The only characteristic of St. Louis I really dislike is harsh climate in which it lives and thrives. The winters are no so bad, but the summers are almost unbearable. th&lt; Getting a late morning start up the Mississippi from St. Louis on Friday, July 24, we had a choice of two routes to the moutl: of the Missouri River. There had been no such choice for the original Transco. One of many Mississippi River improvements made in recent years was the construction of the Chain of Rocks Canal, which leaves the Mississippi within sight of the St. Louis on the Illinois side and comes back into the river almosi bridges 133 TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 134 Missouri. Transco II could thus go up opposite the mouth of the the canal or stay in the river. The Chain of Rocks Canal bypasses a bend in the river, short is negligible for ening the distance by several miles. This saving small craft, however. The canal is primarily for slow, heavy, com mercial boats going upstream; it gives them still water instead of John and I decided to be more timego up the river because the canal would probably consuming for Transco 11. It had taken me four hours to traverse the 18 miles from St. Louis to the mouth of the Missouri in 1925. the 10-mile-an-hour current of the river. Transco 11 could laugh at the swift current; she cut three hours off that time. As Transco up 11 approached the mouth of the Missouri we came Omaha, pushing six barges of bounced over her wake and went astern of the big, diesel tug perhaps 2,000 tons each. We into the Missouri only slightly ahead of her. Omaha and her barges were on We noted that the way from Houston, Texas, to Sioux City, Iowa. When the original Transco had come down the Missouri, all the way from Fort Benton, Montana, to its mouth the river had had no commercial traffic whatever. In fact, about the only boats we saw were a few ferryboats, shuttling across at widely their separated points. Although many attempts have been made to operate boats as commercial carriers up and down the Missouri, only in recent years has this long-cherished dream become a reality. The pro moters of all the earlier attempts found themselves contending with a wild, cantankerous, temperamental river that was totally unpredictable, and soon gave up. The vast commerce the river became possible only when the Federal government took a hand and installed a controlled and marked navigation carries today channel from Sioux City into the Mississippi. At the wheel of Transco II I didn t have to go very far up the Missouri to realize that I was in a very different kind of a river from the one I d come down in 1925. Today s Missouri River has been brought pretty well under human control. The volume of LOUIS ST. silt it 135 KANSAS CITY carries has been substantially reduced from the cubic mile silt that was going out of its mouth each year until recently. Not only did Transco II have a marked and controlled naviga tion channel all the way up to Sioux City, but we also had largean entire book of them detailing every mile of the scale charts route. Frank Wilton and I had to get down the river "navigating" of by water-surface indications that were often deceptive enough to put us on sand bars a dozen times a day. Worse, there were then no charts of any part of the river; we only had a series of state maps that told us in a general way where the river was going. We only knew about where we were in any state and could entirely usually find our location with relation to the counties of the various states. Sighting a bridge was always a sure way of pinpointing on the maps. From the general map picture of the river ourselves we itself and check with the compass and to know about when and where learned to study the river to identy curves in the river we were due to sight the next and-miss method of town or city. It was rather a and we missed quite river navigation, hit- fre quently. From the experience of having come down the then-navigable the Missouri, I certainly had no delusions about the of length chore Transco II s engines had before them to get us up the river knew the motors could do it, but it was going to be a slow business. The opposing current would pull our cruis ing speed down to about 15 miles an hour. There were also some relatively short stretches of fast water, where I knew we d be against the current. I lucky if the current left us 5 miles an hour. Steering upstream on the Missouri calls for mental and physical activity that will keep any boatman alert at the wheel. Bucking the current and keeping in the channel are difficult tasks. The rolling current constantly produces on the surface of the water huge boils that swirl violently in all directions. tugging at the throw the bow of the craft off course. They are eternally upbound boat, and each one tends The man course only by constant vigilance. at the to wheel can keep on TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 136 The bridge was coining across the river at St. Charles, Missouri, into view around noon, the time for Dahl to take his him and stint at the down on For the next hour or so I sat there, watching the river ahead, checking our progress on the charts, and glancing at John occasionally in an effort to see how he might wheel. I surrendered the control station to sat the chair abaft the cabin door. be reacting to this kind of river. It was reassuring to note that he was handling the boat prac tically the same as I would have. He was fast gaining knowledge about a river he d never seen until that day, and I decided to let him learn in his own way. I had ample confidence in his skill as a boatman. After quite a long period of silence, John turned to frown and a shake of his head. "What s on your mind?" me with a I asked. was just thinking," he said, "what a whale of a push it s going to be before we ever get to the top of this river!" "There s no doubt about I replied. "From here to Fort Benton we re climbing at the average rate of about 1 foot to each mile. Put this volume of water on such a slope and it s going somewhere fast, as you can see. We have 2,286 miles of this. When we get to Fort Benton we ll be half a mile above sea level, or more than 1,000 feet higher than we were on Balsam Lake at the summit of the Trent Waterway System. But this time we re "I it," not making any of that climb in locks!" In 1925 there had been times when the river had seemed utterly interminable. There were days when I was asking myself, "Will I ever come to the end of this crazy river?" Of course, the day finally came when Transco slid out of Big Muddy onto the rela and more placid waters of the Father of Waters. tively clear Nevertheless, if any one who has ever boated down the Missouri him turn around thinks he has traveled the world s longest river, let and go back up, as we did with Transco 111 After a one-hour pause for lunch and rest at II slugged her way on up St. Charles, Transco against the swift, swirling current of the ST. LOUIS 137 KANSAS CITY we town of Washing ton and headed for the shore, to what looked like a marina and a cluster of small boats. The marina turned out to be the Washington Boat Club, where we found the usual hearty welcome and hos Missouri. Late in the afternoon sighted the pitality. about 7,000 popula tion. Nestled among the rolling, green Missouri hills overlooking the river, it looks about the same as it did in 1925. Washington s Washington is a picturesque number-one industry is little city of the manufacture of corncob pipes. Local experts claim they make about 35 per cent of all the corncob pipes puffed by tens of millions of smokers throughout the United States and around the earth. The neighboring Missouri River cities of Hermann and Boonvflle make most of the rest of the world s supply. After having had two bad nights in the heat of St. Louis in a hotel without air conditioning, I suggested to John that we have a good meal in a restaurant and sleep aboard Transco II that night. He was all in favor of doing just that. Turning to one of the boatmen at the club, I asked, "Do you know a restaurant here where we can get a good meal?" "There s no better place than Mealers!" he replied. The name was a puzzler. Are people who eat in restaurants mealers in the dialect of Missourians, or could mealer be a family name? Another question and answer got that one straightened out. Mr. and Mrs. Mealer own and operate the restaurant. Forthwith, John and I accepted the suggestion "Eat Your Meals at Mealers," and found the food about as good as restaurant food is ever liable to be. Dog-tired and short of sleep, Dahl and I crawled into our berths about 9 o clock that evening and were soon asleep. I d been asleep for hours, it seemed, when I was awakened by light as bright as the dawn sun. I crawled out of bed, thinking it was time to be up and going again. Looking out the cabin door, I saw what I thought was the rising sun coming up over the middle of the river. Then the light went out. Simultaneously, the sound of a TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 138 coming up the river reached my ears. The light I had seen was its slightly amber-hued searchlight. I looked at my watch: 3 o clock in the morning! I went back to bed. diesel tug Some hours earlier I d been wondering how those Missouri River tug skippers could find the buoys to push those tugs and the river at night. Now I had the answer; strings of barges up so their lights are powerful that they re second only to a noonday by a modernization kind we had for street sun! I learned later that these lights are created of the old-fashioned carbon arc lamp, the Kansas City in the late 1890s. My three older brothers were wonderful because they attracted swarms of flying insects. Collecting, studying, and classifying in sects became one of our favorite summer pastimes. In about three lights in and I thought those lights summer semesters of this sport for we learned name them all in curious-minded boys a lot about the insects of Missouri and could English and Latin. It never occurred to us then that this harmless hobby had considerable educational value! Pushing on up the river from Washington, Transco II docked at Hermann at noon. We took an hour out for lunch and rest, and got going again. Against the surging current our progress upstream was tantalizingly slow. Looking at the water refueled, over the side of the boat gave the illusion of traveling at full cruis ing speed. Looking at the shore, the story became entrely different; our speed measured against the land seemed to be that of a turtle. Despite her modern engines, Transco II wasn t going up the Mis souri any faster than my old Transco had come down, with the swift current boosting her along. Of course, on the lower Missouri the bigness of the river also gives a magnified impression of slow speed, even in a fast boat going downstream. The intensity of that impression depends entirely upon the distance between the boat and the shore line. Despite our seemingly slow progress, Jefferson City, Missouri s capital, began creeping into view about 4 o clock that afternoon. The first buildings I could easily identify were the great, sprawling structures of the Missouri State Penitentiary. I had seen it several ST. 139 KANSAS CITY LOUIS times before, the first time in 1908, when my brother Jimmy and I traveled the more than 300 miles from Kansas City to St. Louis in a 16-foot canoe. I was then sixteen years of age. Years later I was sent to the penitentiary, not as a convicted criminal, but as a reporter. I was assigned to witness and write the story of the execution of a notorious criminal. I must confess that did not see that hanging. I sat in the warden s office reading a magazine while the execution was being carried out. Minutes later, when the warden returned to the office, I got the story. I I then called my editor. How much of a story do you "We can t use it tomorrow until about 6 inches. Put what it "The execution has been completed. want?" afternoon," in the mail, special he said. delivery." "Let And s have that s I did. As Transco II, Dahl, and I came past the penitentiary, I could see through field glasses the faces of numerous prisoners looking at us from their steel-barred windows. Some of them waved. The thought in my mind at that moment was, I m on prison, looking in. They re on those jailbirds give places with us? The beautiful, if they could relive their domed the outside of that the inside, looking out! own What would lives to trade Missouri Capitol was a far more pleasant sight than the penitentiary. As we sighted it John and I began looking for a place where a small boat might tie up. In Jefferson City, however, the natives seem to be totally un aware that the great Missouri River is flowing past them. With dozens of strings of freight barges going up and down the river every day, there isn t even a boat landing. There are no marinas, no home-based pleasure boats, no launching ramps; in short, do with the river. I saw it when the first Transco practically nothing having anything to The waterfront today is exactly as up to some willow trees on the tied river bank at Jefferson City in 1925. Nothing here has changed in the last thirty-four years. It was Saturday afternoon and I had to find a place to get ashore because I had an appointment to make a radio broadcast. TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 140 along the waterfront, John and I finally decided to tie up alongside a sand-dredging barge; we assumed that it probably wouldn t be moved before Monday morning. Dahl agreed After hunting all to stay with the boat, while I went ashore. After scrambling ashore over the decks of the barge, I had to walk about half a mile to find a telephone. Eventually I got to a hotel in downtown Jefferson City in a taxicab. That evening I made the broadcast, returned to the hotel, and had a telephone conversation with my wife, who was in Bartiesville, Oklahoma, waiting to hear from me. We were carrying out a plan arranged some days earlier. She was to meet me in Kansas City when I could set the time for Transco 7/ s arrival in the town where we had grown up together. She had flown from California to visit her sister in Bartiesville, from whence she could easily get to Kansas City, The next day, Sunday, Transco II was again on her way up the river. We made it to Boonville for lunch and to Glasgow late in the afternoon. At Glasgow we found number of pleasure boats scoot But the town, like Jefferson City, has no quite a ing around on the river. waterfront boat-service facilities. I managed to complete the usual shore errands by making use of a telephone in the waterfront office of the Army Engineers. The telephone was a museum relic, apparently a model of the late 1890s. It was mounted on the wall and had a little crank which one turned to call the operator. After a night in Glasgow, we got an early start next day. We took Transco II for a day s run that took us halfway across the state of Missouri. All this part of the river was quite familiar to me, and I was out to do a speed run that day because I had a date for that evening in Kansas City with Ruth. The night was as black as charcoal by the time Transco II was on the Jackson County side of the Missouri, 12 miles below Kansas City. There were buoys in the river, however, and we had a powerful spotlight for finding off the mouth of the Blue River, ST. LOUIS KANSAS CITY them. The river soon became 141 fairly well lighted with all the re from the now-looming, distant city. At the Sharlyn Marina, on the day County side of Kansas City, the floating docks were wobbly under the weight of the welcoming crowd. I stepped ashore amidst popping flash bulbs, and Ruth and I were together again after months of separation .For about two minutes we seemed to be alone on the dock as we clinched with flected light the tears of joy in my beard. In the Muehlebach Hotel that evening, Ruth handed me the St. Christopher medal that had gone adrift in Peoria, Illinois. Some unidentified, honest soul had found it and handed it to the manager of the Hotel Jefferson. He had sent It had been forwarded to Ruth in Bartlesville. it to California, and 16 UP THE MISSOURI fROM KANSAS CITY TO OMAHA, NEBRASKA so many selves to years be total strangers there. this idea wrong The day Ruth and I had been away from Kansas City for seemed reasonable to believe we would find our it We soon discovered how happily turned out to be. after the arrival of Transco II , we were headlined on the pages of the Kansas City newspapers. That afternoon, when it was so hot outdoors that we were reluctant to go out of our air- conditioned hotel suite, we stayed in and watched ourselves on television. Our telephone rang many times that night. I answered the first and found myself in conversation with a local lawyer, one of my classmates in grade school and a companion hi those youth ful bug-hunting expeditions under the old carbon arc street lamps. The phone rang again and Ruth was talking with a woman, now a grandmother, a companion of high-school days whom she had call not seen in twenty years. The calls kept right on coming as fast as we could handle them. Old pals also came to the hotel for brief visits. 142 We made many dates with friends for meals, motor KANSAS CITY trips about the OMAHA 143 and similar pleasant events covering our entire city, sojourn in Kansas City. We also took time out to dential area visit a now-somewhat-run-down resi where the Hogg and Ashbrook families had lived for years as neighbors after about 1894. made this trip into the old home neighborhood in a bor rowed car driven by John Dahl. John, of course, was in a big city We where he was a total stranger. Ruth and I directed him through streets with which we have long been familiar. along it dawned on me that Kansas City s forest of had done a lot of growing since Ruth and I had last seen it. The whole story of the Kansas City forest came back from my memory. About the time of the Spanish-American War, an elderly Scot, William Thompson, was one of our neighbors. To him, trees were something almost sacred, and he was a specialist in their cultivation. He hounded the city officials until he got them to create a city Department of Forestry, with himself as its director; he had the official title of City Forester. Within a few years he had little trees As we rode trees planted all over Kansas City. native to the Midwest. When the Scot who Thompson planted tree-planting is of the earth. Its streets the kinds of trees all s little trees loved trees died, younger him took over and the Today Kansas City stately trees. He thrived and grew. men program went trained under right on. probably the woodsiest city on the face and boulevards are lined with beautiful, The forests. If all city has a vast system of parks that are veritable buildings were razed, the whole of Jackson County within the city limits would be virtually a forest. I directed John to Linwood Boulevard and Michigan Avenue. turned south into Michigan Avenue, watched the house num bers go by, and soon came to number 3412. There, back in a We recognized the old Ashbrook home. It is in use as a residence and looks very much as it did sixty years forest of giant elms, still we ago. To the amusement of Ruth and John Dahl, I pointed out a rain TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 144 fire of dry grass and leaves spout in which I had made a small three. was Ruth when I was five years old and what happened?" asked John. lot of should have happened!" I replied. "Exactly what smoke went up the rain spout. It made a cloud of smoke over the roof. Some one hollered fire! At that moment, Elmer Ashbrook, "And "A a prancing, banggalloped into the driveway astride act of the poking more dry tailed polo pony. He caught me in into the rain spout that functioned like a chimney." Ruth s father, grass Mr. Ashbrook did what my father had told him to do if any of the Hogg boys committed any vandalism on his property. He laid me over his knee and paddled my rear end with a rolled-up copy of the Kansas City Star. Having administered the spanking I deserved, Mr. Ashbrook handed me over to my father and I received another spanking, this time with a T-square (Father was an architect). I wish I had known then what I was to know some years later. I would have told my future father-in-law, "Someday I shall spank your grandson!" Two doors down the street from the old also standing in a forest of gigantic elms we father had built in 1896, after our first my stroyed by an awful fire that razed an Ashbrook house and found the old house home had been de entire city block of homes, dog kennels, wooden fences, and everything The Hogg family of four sons and one daughter growing up in that old house, and my father and there long after their offspring had matured. Today barns, chicken houses, else combustible. did a lot of mother lived the old place is still in use as a residence and has the appearance of being well maintained. The property now has an ornamental fence around it, and a garage stands where the horse and cow barn used to be. How vividly I remember that fire of 1896! On an October evening, my father hitched our old mare, Bess, to the family surrey and we all went downtown to see a spectacular parade of marching bands, gaudily turned out horses, men in colorful uniforms, and all KANSAS CITY OMAHA 145 the trimmings. When the parade was over and we started for home, we saw the light of a big fire that my father suspected was danger ously close to our neighborhood. Dad for whip on the old mare s back and she clip-clopped as fast as her hoofs could get us there. Arriving at 34th laid the home and Michigan Avenue, we found our house and much of the neighborhood in flames. We could go no further and had no place to go. Old Bess was put away in the Ashbrook stables, and seven members of the Hogg family moved in with the Ashbrooks. Ruth was evicted from her bed to sleep with her mother, and I slept in her bed in a nightgown borrowed from her brother, Roy. In 1896 organized disaster relief such as we have throughout America today was practically nonexistent. Americans of that day, however, had a sort of unwritten code of honor under which neighbors were always on hand to help in times of distress. Interesting and enjoyable as the Kansas City stopover was, the long hours and number of appointments was a rugged pace to maintain. to be When the appointed day rolled around for Transco II on a still long voyage up the Missouri River, could again be perfectly happy with the gypsy getting along then, I felt that I life afloat. Ruth returned to Barflesville. By that time I was beginning to visualize an eventual end to the voyage. John Dahl and I had a promised to put us in Astoria, Oregon, in Ruth and I also had a plan that promised month. another perhaps to ease the pain of even this temporary separation. We would tele phone each other every few days, as we had been doing ever since tentative schedule that Transco II left New York. In due time I would call her from Lewiston, Idaho. She would then fly to Portland and meet me at the Columbia River docks of the Oregon Centennial Exposition upon Transco H s arrival there. On the unimproved Missouri River of thirty-four years ago, it had taken Frank Wilton and me an entire day to get down the river from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Kansas City. We spent most TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 146 of the day getting the boat off a dozen sand bars. In the new and channel, Transco II made a nonstop run improved buoy-marked upstream from Kansas City to St. Joseph between breakfast and lunchtime! St. a city of nearly 100,000. It is modern and pro many ways. Like Jefferson City, however, it seems to Joseph gressive in is days when on the Mis steamboats some 15,000 sternwheel, paddle operated It has no waterfront sissippi River and all its navigable tributaries. have forgotten that it grew up as a river port in the service facilities for pleasure boats sional commercial The city is and almost none for the occa craft that stop there. a beehive of industry and is the distributing center for a rich agricultural area of Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska. It also has a tourist attraction which seems out of keeping with its a name. site St. Joseph has turned the old Jessie James house into come from far and near to sit of historic interest. Visitors in a chair that Jessie the murderer who James once terrorized the and otherwise to Midwest during the 1870s and sat in "honor" early 1880s. Joseph Frank Spector, a local sporting-goods dealer, in John and I take the time out to be his guests for lunch. After a fine meal in a comfortable, air-conditioned restau In St. sisted that Mr. Spector wanted to stop at his store for a few minutes before returning us to the river. had not been in the store ten minutes when the wind began to blow. Inky black clouds obscured rant, We and it got as dark as midnight. With the darkness came a deluge of rain, almost continuous lightning, and thunder that sounded like a battle. John and I were glad to be in Mr. Spector s the sun, store and not fighting our way through the storm on the river. lasted for an hour; then daylight returned The tornadolike storm and the weather settled down to a gentle rain. We were soon back on the river and on our way up the Missouri again. The cruising was uneventful, with improving weather, until about 4 o clock in the afternoon. We were nearing the little town of Rulo, Nebraska when we sighted a large, fast, outboard-powered KANSAS CITY OMAHA 147 boat coming down the river. This other, then another, and another. Omaha, 100 miles Commodore boat was followed by an was a welcoming fleet from first It we d been half expecting. was Martin Stobda, Omaha outboard- farther upstream, that of this fleet and marina operator. treated us like visiting royalty. tied up at Rulo, stepped into waiting cars, and drove off to Falls City, motor dealer, boat seller, The Omaha boys Nebraska, where We we attended a banquet in our honor and then stayed overnight in the local hotel. Next morning Transco II went up the river with the whole fleet escorting her. I was not aboard. Dahl was now the skipper of with Wally Merriam, an Omaha boatman, impersonat took over the boat of Mr. and Mrs. Claude Brackett Transco II, ing me. I the fastest boat in the fleet so that I could get pictures of Transco and other boats of the fleet in action. This was my long-sought opportunity to get a batch of other wise-unobtainable pictures. I had a handbag full of film and spent most of the forenoon making pictures with three cameras. I had two 35mm still cameras, one for pictures in black and white and the other for shooting color firm. The third camera was a motionpicture camera with which I shot roll after roll of both black-andwhite and color film. II No one went ashore for lunch because every boat in the fleet had its own bountiful supply of good food, soft drinks, and beer on ice. By 2 o clock could be on in the afternoon I made without had all the pictures that duplicating scenes and action already put film. About Dahl brought Transco II alongside Mr. Brackett s boat, Twin Cities, and signaled that he wanted to speak with me. He said he was going to need gasoline soon and that the best place to get it would be Hamburg, Iowa. that time I replied, "you better stop at Hamburg. We ll go right," Omaha. I ll meet you at the marina or at the Hotel Castle." With this arrangement agreed upon, John swung Transco II toward the Iowa shore and was on course for Hamburg, then just "All on to TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 148 coming into view. Two of the fleet boats went into Hamburg with and began catching up with Dahl. I gave Twin bound. Omaha were the other boats of the fleet that For the next couple of hours everything went well. I was having Cities full throttle a lot of fun driving Mr. Brackett boat, a fast, responsive craft; s she was carrying almost no load at nearly a ton of cargo. all compared with Transco IPs buoy flew astern of us. Another thunderstorm had begun to roll up from the west. I didn t like the looks of it, but the Brackett s, who are used to such storms, didn t seem to be worried. We still had ample daylight and might even get into Omaha before Buoy after the storm broke. A We few minutes after we couldn t have been more wrong. had gone under a couple of bridges the storm struck like the one John Dahl and I had sat out in St. Joseph. It was almost a tornado. The sky turned black. The daylight vanished. The lightning came The booming of thunder was deafen in almost-continuous flashes. ing. The force; it visibility torrent of rain was thrown by a wind of at us cyclonic was as if we d gone under a waterfall. In a split second was reduced to about 50 feet a little bit farther when the lightning flashed. About all I could do was to throttle to about the speed of the current and try to keep the bow of the boat headed upstream. If we tried to make shore by running blind and not knowing where the shore might be, I knew we faced the prospect of being carried downstream to crash into a pier of one of the bridges we d just come under. Trying to anchor in a 10-mile-an-hour current seemed equally tricky. As these thoughts flashed through my mind, I asked Mr. if he had any suggestion, can t think of anything better than what you are doing," he replied. He then assisted Mrs. Brackett into a life jacket. He tossed a jacket to me, too, but I couldn t let go of the wheel long enough to put it on. Brackett "I Sighting a red buoy with the swift current swirling past began running in circles around the buoy. If I could keep it, it I in and DoA/ at f/erf p opposite the -wholesale fish market -where thousands of seagulls Manistique, Michigan, scavenge for food. 149 Right through the heart of Chicago without stopping for a traffic light! Note the detergent foam wake. 150 stirred up in the Q&gt; "^ *&gt; 3 ^ s 5. Is 11 11 III 151 Hogg says "Transco II ran on gasoline and coffee" Stove used propane gas. The skipper trimmed his beard with a pair of scissors, and John Dahl kept neat with a electric shaver. battery-operated 152 Even -when problem hotels were not available, roomy cabin. sleeping was no in the Hogg and Dahl enjoyed many tasty meals prepared small but adequate galley aboard their trim craft. 153 in the Transco On II had power to spare for stretches of clear, her cross-country cruise. calm water, the miles clicked turnpike style. 154 off 155 1 I! K 156 There are no locks in the Missouri River flood-control system, so Transco II was trailered around each of five dams. This is the pull-out below the Fort Randall Dam. 157 John Dahl and Verne Cecil consider the problem of get ting their craft launched into Fort Peck Reservoir. Truck and trailer also transported Transco II over 400-mile por tage from Fort Benton to Lewiston. 158 -n ** &lt; T/ze original Transco tied up at this exact spot in Mobridge, South Dakota, in 1925. Then, there was no bridge over head. When level will a new flood-control dam is completed, water be at least halfway up huge pillars. 159 160 -S I I - 161 I o 52 II 1 I 162 Journey s end! Hogg and Dahl maneuver their craft among the thousands of small boats that call Astoria, Oregon, home. 163 John Dahl talks with Ruth Hogg, the skipper s wife, who had a joyous welcome for the two men at the end of their historic voyage. 164 KANSAS CITY 165 we d be safe; sooner own mad violence. sight, with OMAHA or later the storm would exhaust itself its For a tense and agonizing half hour Then I lost sight of it hailstones, the waves, on the current I cruised around the buoy. in the wind, the rain, the bombardment of and the near-total darkness. We were adrift again. Disaster could strike at any second, and it did! To try to see something anything about where we might be going with the current, I leaned far out over the starboard gunwale, holding the wheel with one hand, and peered into the torrent of wind-blown rain. I could see only about 10 feet ahead of the bow, except for being near-blind every few seconds while covered from each flash of lightning. How my eyes re long this agony of suspense lasted I ll never know; it eternity. Then, as a tremendous flash of lightning gave seemed an me a split second of vision, I saw that we were headed bow-on and piling not 10 feet ahead! There wasn t into a wall of rocks even time to reverse the motor. The boat struck the rocks with a crunching bang and I hit the water, swimming by the instinct of self-preservation. Thank God who taught his sons to swim at a very would have ended in the Missouri early age! Otherwise, my from Omaha. about 30 miles downstream for a father life Knowing I was in mortal danger, it took a tremendous exertion power to avoid the panic that would have sealed my doom of will in minutes. As I hit the water, I took a deep breath, let myself go under, and took off my shoes. I repeated this little trick until I was down to my underwear. As I came to the surface from the final submersion, I was forced to dive again; my head was being beaten with a barrage of hailstones as big as golf balls! The black sky belched ice, water, and fire together! Swimming with just as little exertion as lungs, I let the swift current take it took to keep me, knowing my me ashore somewhere sooner or later. It did just that. I don t suppose I had been in the water it more than air in would five toss minutes TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 166 when I had the sensation of being carried now in water that was littered with small into an eddy. I was pieces of driftwood, a further indication that I was in an eddy. I could still not see more than a few feet away as I looked for a piece of driftwood few big enough to float me when my feet touched bottom. A seconds later I crawled ashore and was standing up to mud. was little more than my knees in soft, slimy I safely ashore when a tremendous flash of lightning illuminated the rain-lashed scene. I caught a glimpse of the Brackett boat hardly 20 feet from where I was standing. Splashing through the mud until I was back in the river up to my chest, I called out to Mr. Brackett, "Claude, throw me an anchor!" the anchor splashed into the water. I grabbed it, ashore as far as the line would go, and hooked it firmly Seconds took it into the later, mud. The danger was over and Twin Cities was still afloat. is a huge, powerful man. I went back into the the boat, in water up to my neck. Mr. Brackett river, alongside reached over the side, caught me under the arms, and hoisted me Claude Brackett aboard like a wet rag doll. Mrs. Brackett was saying her rosary as her husband began rum maging and pulling things out of a watertight forepeak locker. A couple of minutes later he handed me dry clothing. By that time the rain had stopped. a complete A brilliant outfit of his own rainbow spanned the river. Cold and shivering, I put on the dry clothing that was many sizes too big for me. Mr. Brackett is about 6 feet, 4 inches and weighs around 250 pounds. By something of a near-miracle, the Brackett boat was not even seriously damaged, although we had slammed bow-on into the rocks and piling of a wing dam in a 20-mile-an-hour current. This was the same current that carried me into the eddy below the wing dam. tall We livered made it me to into Omaha in about an hour. The Bracketts de the Hotel Castle in their car. Bare-footed, in Claude KANSAS CITY OMAHA 167 s king-sized clothing, and spattered with mud, I was undoubtedly the most grotesque living scarecrow ever seen in the few minutes after I was assigned to lobby of an Omaha hotel. a room John Dahl called to say that he was at Stobda s marina. With a suitcase full of my clothing from a locker aboard Transco 11, John hurried to the hotel. An hour later he and I were having dinner and I was telling him my story. For us it was the end of a somewhat eventful day in the voyage of Transco II across the Brackett A North American continent. 17 fROM OMAHA TO CHAMBERLAIN, SOUTH DAKOTA Martin Strobda s marina in the only one I ve ever seen where Omaha is unique in boats are stored in a warehouse. No boat remains permanently in the water. Strobda has complete mechanical facilities for picking up any boat in the warehouse and setting it in the water, or plucking it out of the that it is all water and putting it away in the warehouse. Such boat-handling operations are accomplished with amazing efficiency and speed. The advantages of this type of marina operation are obvious. I thought that hundreds of such marinas could undoubtedly be profitably operated at locations on waterways everywhere. They would flourish hi countless locations we saw where marinas range from nonexistent to primitive and from mediocre to fairly good. The haul-out operation is fairly simple and quick. A set of slings are adjusted under the hull. The slings come from a crane, which lifts up the boat and sets it down on a flat-bed motor vehicle especially designed and built to handle boats between water and warehouse. In the warehouse the boat is lifted again and set down on her own rented cradles. The whole operation is completed in 168 CHAMBERLAIN OMAHA. minutes without so much 169 as a chip of paint being knocked off the boat. With kind of marina service this decided available, John Dahl and I we would probably never have a better opportunity for taking Transco II out of the water for a hull inspection. Our boat went into the repair shop, where we found her hull completely intact. We did need a few minor motor repairs, and we also had the opportunity to make a few above-deck alterations we had long wanted for our own comfort and convenience. These activities kept us in Omaha for two days. Martin Strobda is an enterprising young man of thirty who knows how to combine imaginative What this is doing for him and his active business partner, is ideas with business ability. lovely wife, who is also bis in evidence at his marina and his fully busy retail store on the outskirts of Omaha s central business area. His hobby is collecting outboard motors that have made their con tribution to the history of boating. outboards of yesteryear he showed me one that was a 1925 model Evinrude, a smaller version especially interesting of the identical motors that drove the first Transco across the Among his continent in 1925. As this old motor, wondering how we ever managed such a keep primitive thing functioning, I noted a small brass riveted onto it. I looked at the plate inscription on the plate and I looked at to was surprised to see SOLD BY EMIL AARUP, LOS ANGELES, CALI FORNIA. I told the amazed Mr. Strobda, knew Mr. Aarup inti mately for many years. He was a native of Denmark and a master "I boatbuilder. He sold the first Evinrude ever seen in California and was a pioneer in Los Angeles in boatbuilding and of small-boat chandlery. He boat business in Los Angeles today. original Transco, Transco Our II, and sojourn in Boys Town, which Omaha is He was to that extent John Dahl, and retail sales laid the foundation of the gigantic I are now also the builder of the was a contributor to what doing." gave me the opportunity to visit only a few miles out of the city. I had long also TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 170 famous city of youth, dedicated to salvaging of all races, creeds, and orphaned, homeless, and wayward boys them to useful lives. colors, educating, equipping, and restoring Americans by the tens of millions have helped to finance its worthy wanted to visit this The time I spent there was truly inspiring. from Omaha to Sioux City, Iowa, the river Missouri the objectives. Up is very much the same as it is from Kansas City to Omaha. It is the same old swift-flowing river with the buoy-marked navigation channel. The same rich farmlands are on both sides of the river, and the same sleepy The river, of course, little is river towns are scattered along the banks. two states, Iowa and the boundary between Nebraska. Boating over this portion of the river became a bit monotonous, after the hundreds of miles we had traveled through and riparian terrestrial scenery where there is little dissimilarity about anything. The bright spot in this portion of the Transco II journey near Decatur, Nebraska, about sighted two small boats coming was 40 miles below Sioux City, We down the river and soon learned another escort. In the boats were Roger Hasek, and John Getz. Those fellows had the interest in Gary Gunderson, we were us and what doing to come down the river from Sioux City, sleep in their boats overnight, and then wait several hours we had picked up before they sighted us. To me, traveling on waters that have a few other boats on them is far more interesting than being all alone, although John and I were used to going for as much as 100 miles without sighting any other craft. So, naturally, we were happy to meet these fine fellows from Sioux City s Missouri River Boat Club. Being thoroughly familiar with every foot of their local geography, our Sioux City pilots led us past their city. They kept right on for several miles to the west until I began to wonder where they might be going. I soon had the answer. They turned into the mouth of the Big Sioux River, which is the boundary between Iowa and South Dakota. We marina on the Iowa side of the stream. went into the boat club s CHAMBERLAIN OMAHA There, to make 171 the hospitality of the club a little more com plete, Dahl and I were made honorary members of the Missouri River Boat Club. At Sioux City Transco II had reached the head of navigation on the Missouri. There the buoy-marked navigation channel comes an end. The commercial barges discharge their cargo and are reloaded for the return voyage downstream. From Sioux City all the rest of the way up the Missouri, past another 150 miles of to Nebraska shore line, across the two vast Dakotas, and for another 300 miles into Montana, we d have to find our own way through an unmarked and uncharted river. In short, we d have to go up this part of the river very much as Frank Wilton and I had come down. knew we were going to hang up on many a sand bar. The landscapes would become enormous, the river distances majestic. The marinas in this area, if any, are few, small, and scattered. We d I be traveling through country that is very thinly populated, where it is often 100 miles or more between villages, and where a town of less than 10,000 people, such as Pierre, South Dakota, looks like It a metropolis. would have been folly to start up this part of the Missouri River late in the afternoon, so John and I decided to stay over night in Sioux City. We d get an early-morning start and, with any kind of luck, we would get to the Gavin s Point Flood-Control Dam, about 5 miles above Yankton, South Dakota, before evening. At the dam we were to meet Vernon Cecil, of The Inland Marine We had arranged with him by telephone Corporation, Minneapolis. and trailer would take us around the that he and a tractor truck Gavin s Point Dam from the Missouri River into Lewis and dark Lake. Above Sioux City we didn t have to go very far before John the trickiness of navigation of about a lot things began learning the half of Missouri. For a long time on the unimproved upper I d been telling him about form one day and currents that bounce snags, sand bars that vanish the next, falling cut banks, and swift TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 172 around curves, usually keeping the deepest water on the longest route around any one curve. No doubt he sometimes thought I was exaggerating the hazards that a boatman on the upper Mis souri has to fight. Perhaps when we actually came face to face with the problems he thought I had been too conservative. In any event, I was pleased to see how quickly he began to learn these things had had to learn years before he was born. He did an excellent job of it, with the assistance of one advantage I d never that I had, Transco IPs sonic depthfinder! What a tremendous ment made! By watching difference that marvelous it carefully we little instru nearly always had a warn ing of a sand bar ahead. Of course, it only tells the depth of the water directly under the boat. If we were running in a deep-water channel and the depthfinder suddenly began to show shallowing water, however, we could usually change course and find the deep- water channel again without going aground on a bar. Thus, we managed to run up the river from Sioux City to Vermillion, South Dakota, between breakfast and lunchtime. We bumped only three sand bars; that is, we bumped, reversed the motors, and got going again without the inconveniences and delays of going hard aground. The depthfinder and learning how to use it made this possible. At Vermillion we found a small fleet of pleasure boats and a They operate out of a marina that group of enthusiastic boatmen. being improved. They insisted upon showing us their town and having lunch in an air-conditioned restaurant, a welcome res pite from the withering heat. is fast On the first at Vermillion. Transco cruise Frank Wilton and I had not stopped We saw it only from the river as we shot past on the crest of a roaring 30-foot flood stage in the river that took us from Pierre, South Dakota, to Sioux City in a single day. It was a run of nearly 350 miles, the longest we made in any one day in the whole 137 days it took us to get across the continent. On that day of the big June flood we traveled at a speed that would have made one of Henry Ford s old T Model Fords look like an entry in a snail race. Our one big problem then was trying to stay CHAMBERLAIN OMAHA 173 was difficult to find it among hundreds of square miles of inundated bottom lands. The flood-control dams have put an end to that sort of a Missouri River flood. Vermillion proved itself to be one of the most attractive little in the river, because cities in it the vastness of thinly populated South Dakota. Its show- campus of the University of South Dakota, whose landscaped grounds and modern buildings are surely a credit to place is the the state. Going up the Missouri from Vermillion to Yankton and the Gavin s Point Dam, it soon became apparent that we were face to face with a condition we had not anticipated. The flow of the river was at a low stage, and the overflow at the dam was regu lated to the minimum required for the maintenance of the navi gation channel below Sioux City, Iowa. Transco II was simply running short of water. Our problem was one of finding enough water to keep afloat and keep going over the sand bars and miles immediately below the five widely separated Missouri River floodcontrol dams. Once above each dam we would have lakelike con and easy going over majestic distances. Conditions became steadily worse as we moved up the river, bumping on and off sand bars from Vermillion to Yankton. Above ditions Yankton it looked for a time as if we d be forced to lengthen our portage to about 10 miles to get around the Gavin s Point Dam. I was reluctant to make such a move. I decided to stay in the river to the foot of the dam, if possible. By dint of persistence we got through a mystic maze of sand bars by bumping on and off numer ous bars, sidling through narrow, shallow channels, and literally with the depthfinder. It took us two hours to "feeling our way" make the last 5 miles! As we came within about with field glasses waiting for us. I half a mile of the dam I took a look and sighted Vernon Cecil with his tractor-trailer, couldn t be sure at that distance, but it looked as he had already selected a favorable pull-out point. Unfortunately, he soon found out that his site was not adequate. When he tried to drag Transco II out of the water his tractor dug if TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 174 the earth. We found a telephone and called a heavyout from Yankton. Eventually we got the boat out tow truck duty of the water, drove around the dam, found a paved launching ramp, and floated ourselves again on the waters of Lewis and Clark itself into Lake. A few years ago, South Dakota, essentially a prairie state, had only a few small, natural lakes. Today it has three magnificent lakes that almost bisect the state amidships from north to south. The lakes are as man-made as a wig, but they have every appear Noah built the first houseboat of ance of having been there since record. Lewis and Clark Lake is the only one of these three water to be dignified with a name. The huge tremendous bodies of lake a few miles north of Pierre is "The Reservoir above Oahe Thus Dam," far, and the other lake, stretching northward over South kota for 100 miles from a point near the Nebraska state remains "The Reservoir above the Fort Randall Dam." Da line, Nothing could be more appropriate than the name, Lewis and Clark Lake. The others could, with equal propriety, be given names linked with the dramatic story of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Why not such names as Coulter Lake for one and Lake Sacajawea for the other? John Coulter was a sergeant with the Lewis and Clark expedition. He was the first white man to set eyes upon the upper reaches of the Yellowstone River; he also known for many years as Coulter s National Park. Sacajawea was the Nez kidnaped into the Mandan tribe of the Dakotahs, discovered the fantastic area Hell, now Yellowstone Perce Indian who became girl, interpreter for the Lewis and Clark expedition and from extermination. repeatedly saved the entire party On Lewis and Clark Lake Transco 11, Dahl and I could easily Lake Champlain. can also be rough They visualize ourselves cruising the southern half of Both lakes are equally big and beautiful. and dangerous for small boats in stormy weather. Fortunately for us, Lewis and Clark Lake on the August day when we saw it from the Gavin s Point Dam was like a vast pane of glass for a distance CHAMBERLAIN OMAHA 175 40 miles, to the mouth became the Missouri River of about lake to keep us afloat over the of the Choteau River. There the again, with barely enough water remaining 30 miles to the Fort Randall Dam. Vernon Cecil took us around the Fort Randall Dam as he had taken us from the Missouri River into Lewis and Clark Lake. From there we had 100 miles of easy cruising, again in near-perfect weather, to Chamberlain, South Dakota. At Chamberlain we found no small-boat service facility greater than a mooring float and a launching ramp, which were under the one and only highway bridge spanning the Missouri River in a distance of more than 200 miles. As previously noted, the river bisects the state amidships from north to south. Pierre, the state in almost the geographic center of the state, and the capital, is the only one between Pierre and Yankat Chamberlain bridge than 300 miles. However, there is distance of more in a ton, is scheduled ferryboat service at two points, and the Fort Randall a highway on top of it to provide a land route across the huge lakes and the river. Dam has Arriving at Chamberlain late in the afternoon, we saw that Transco IPs fuel tanks were down to the last 5 gallons our emer gency reserve supply. "What are we going to do now?" asked John. Having no plan we had to contrive one. In the torrid climate I preferred to remain with the boat; I d sleep better there because it was cooler on the river. John would get into town, a distance of several miles, as best he could. He would contact Joe King, the local outboard-motor dealer, and arrange to have Transco II serviced in the morning. I walked to the highway with John, discussing our plans as we went. John soon had a ride into Chamberlain his benefactor was a farmer with a trucldoad of pigs. 18 ACROSS SOUTH DAKOTA fROM fORT RANDA U TO WE KEHEL DOGS The tremendous unnamed lake in South Dakota created by the Fort Randall Dam comes to an end a few miles above Chamberlain. From there to Pierre, with its population of 7,000, John and I would be entirely on our own for a distance of more than 100 miles. Here we would be entering the so-called Big Bend country, where the Missouri River makes a 38-mile S-loop between two gigantic Indian reservations. The Lower Brule Indian Reservation is on the west side of the river, and the Crow Creek Reservation is on the east. The two reservations are roughly the size of the state of Connecticut and appear on the map as if dovetailed together by a river as crooked as a basket of snakes. The river is between the reservations for approximately 80 miles of the most desolate piece of country imaginable. There is very little of anything in it except rocks and unhappy Indians. It is one of those God-forsaken pieces of real estate our ancestors so gen erously gave back to the Indians. I was familiar with the Big Bend Country from the first cruise. It is exactly the same today, with the same wild, swift, cantanker- 176 KENEL FORT RANDALL ous, 177 and treacherous through river; river tumbling through it. In 1925 we got wilderness at a flood stage of water in the jumbled couldn t have hit a snag or a sand bar because there was this we about 30 feet of water over With Transco II, all however, such obstacles. we were going upstream against the on a river that was very low. I knew what that would be almost essential to keep out of trouble here, swift current meant. It because any kind of trouble could be little short of disaster. There was no telling how far we might have to walk even to find m a telephone. For John Dahl I sure the Big Bend Country was something utterly beyond imagination, until he saw it from the viewpoint of a seaman marooned on a desert island! From Chamberlain we up the river as far as the little Indian town of Lower Brule, about 20 miles within the reservations, with little difficulty. Beyond the Indian village, however, the river was so low and so spread out among a maze of sand bars that it be came difficult to find any channel where we had even a foot of water under the keel. We would go up what looked like a promis ing channel for a mile or more only to go aground; then we had to got we found one that let us through. We from one side of the river to the other and going around in circles that we probably traveled 4 miles for every mile of progress we actually made. A paddle became better than try another channel until did so much cruising the depthfinder for taking soundings. Our progress was so slow that we spent the greater part of the day getting up to about the middle of the 38-mile S-shaped loop. About 2 miles above Willow and trees in the middle of the Island, a tremendous pile of rocks river, we struck some unseen, sub merged thing, probably a snag or a rock. Transco IPs hull passed over the obstruction without touching, but our motor on the starboard side struck it and took the entire impact. There was a noise we had broken a like a blast, and the motor raced as if sheer pin. With one motor we nosed Transco spected the underwater parts of the II onto a sand bar damaged motor. We and in found a TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 178 broken drive We shaft. could get a new one from Milwaukee, if we could find a telephone within 100 miles. We were in trouble up and we could not have picked a worse place to to our necks into get it! was then about 4 o clock in the afternoon. What to do? We were a little closer to Pierre than we were to Chamberlain. We d never get to Pierre pushing against the current with one motor. It It we could even get back, downstream, to Chamber Transco II was practically dead in the water, surrounded on was doubtful lain. all sides if by hundreds of square miles of a wilderness full of rocks and Indians. Scanning the shores with field glasses, I saw nothing but pieces of river, sand bars, rocks, and trees. I was seeing essentially what the members and Clark expedition must have seen in amazement, I sighted a man standing on a rock of the Lewis 1804. Then, to my He was fishing! If we could speak with him, there was no telling what valuable information he might be able to give us. on the south side of the river. and we limped across the river. I stepped ashore and was soon in conversation with the fisherman, who had John took the every mark controls of being an educated, highly intelligent, and cultured gentleman. For reasons that will be revealed soon, I am pledged never to name of this gentleman. Suffice it to say that he is a and surgeon in a large Midwestern city. I ll keep my physician tell the pledge by calling him "Dr. Smith." Fortunately, I needed no introduction to Dr. Smith. He had me on television and had read about the voyage of Transco II in the newspapers. He spoke to me by name as I approached him. He listened sympathetically as I told him what a mess of trouble seen John and I had fallen into. it would help you, Having heard my story, Dr. Smith said, I can offer you a ride into Chamberlain. I was about to leave for "If home when I saw your boat." KENEL FORT RANDALL didn "I I replied. auto," was possible it "What come here by a marvelous piece of luck for us!" said Dr. Smith, might be possible to come here by wouldn t want to try it over such roads as these Indians I car," have out here on "But "My how this peninsula." did you get here, Dr. airplane up on top is see it from here, but there and it makes a very good s do not hesitate to take, I is mesa," a large but fly if I asked. flat he "You replied. piece of prairie can t up there Piper Cub. I have no you are willing to take a risk I my you to Chamberlain under one con have to ask that you never reveal my name." would never want to injure any man I replied, me to by doing me a favor I can never hope willing help dition. I "Dr. ll Smith?" of the airport for license to carry passengers, who for any one to it "Well, "but know t 179 ll "I Smith," to repay. If there is perfectly willing to The top of the any risk to me in flying with you, it is one I m take." mesa was about 100 feet above the level of the As Dr. Smith, John Dahl and I walked through the short, dry grass toward Dr. Smith s airplane, John jumped about a yard in the air as a waving serpentine head came up out of the grass river. with a castanetlike sound with which I have long been familiar. John had almost stepped on a coiled, 5-foot prairie rattlesnake! I picked up a rock about the size of my head, intending to kill the snake as I ve killed dozens of rattlesnakes in California and other western states. On "Just let John kill handed him he asked. do you do the rock. the snake. I "How second thought I decided to it?" up you re step that far, so safe. Then you dash the rock He can t strike down and crush there within about 6 feet of him. him." John swung the rock, and that was the end of the snake, except became John s souvenir. He waved his for the string of rattles that prize in salute as Dr. Smith and I took off in the plane. Airborne after a surprisingly short run through the dry grass of TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 180 the mesa, Dr. Smith sent the little plane into a climb that soon had us up to an altitude of 3,000 feet. The visibility was perfect and we had a fine, birds-eye view of the Missouri River in the Big Bend Country and all those hundreds of square miles of worthless land we gave back to the Indians. I never saw so many rocks in one place! About half an hour after leaving Indians Dr. Smith set his airplane which port, is Dahl marooned among down on about 2 miles east of the the Chamberlain little city. I called a the air taxi, and soon located Joe King by telephone. Joe came to the hotel and we had a conference. The nearest long-shaft for our damaged motor was apparently in Milwaukee. went into town, d have to ruin a night s sleep for someone. I made call to Ed Hanson, President of the Evinrude Motor Company. He assured me that the wanted motor shaft would be air-expressed to Chamberlain as fast as possible. It looked as if I a long-distance Now, how could Joe King and I ever find our way back to pinpointed the spot with questionable accuracy on a state map. Joe, who was thoroughly familiar with all the local Transco 111 I geography, thought he could get to it with a pickup truck. Next morning Joe had an idea that seemed thoroughly We went to the state tax offices logical. and asked to have a look at the From those maps, each as big as the top of a large table and showing an area of about 10 square miles, we soon found the tip of the Lower Brule Upper Peninsula. maps of the state tax assessor. I located the spot where Dr. Smith had parked his airplane. Joe thought he could get to it with his pickup truck over 100 miles of Indian horse-and-wagon roads that are little said that he more than still cattle trails. Of course, I that until all these plans could was not unmindful of the fact be coordinated and carried out John Dahl would be marooned with Transco II and the Indians. He knew what to expect, however, and he had ample food for a week. If he ran short of drinking water, he could make the river water safe by boiling it. FORT RANDALL KENEL 181 Late that evening Joe King phoned me at the hotel to tell me he had received the package of motor parts. Joe, his mechanic, and I would be on our way to the Lower Brule Peninsula at 6:30 in the morning. out there was like some kind of a nightmare. We had a few miles of good road out to a little village called Reliance, where The trip we headed north is the Lower Brule had a trail of sorts that ended a little beyond the Indian village of Lower Brule. From there we prac tically took off across lots, up hill and down dale, up and down dry river beds, and around the hundreds of skyscraper rock piles into the jumble of rocks that Indian Reservation. We playground. Don t ask me how Joe King ever out onto the Lower Brule Peninsula, because I got of a veritable devil s found his way seasick in an inferno of 110-degree heat and the jouncing that threatened to loosen my teeth. I d seen this rock pile from Dr. Smith s airplane, but the view from the ground was worse. I was too busy trying to keep myself in the truck with both hands and a seat belt to pay much attention to anything until Joe rolled the on the very spot where John Dahl had killed the truck to a stop rattlesnake. We found Transco II, anchored bow and stern a few feet off shore, but John was not aboard. Joe King, his mechanic, and I went to work on the damaged motor; an hour later the motor was running again like a Swiss watch. John suddenly appeared on the mesa. By his own account, he had fallen in with some friendly Indians who could speak English. He had made quite a jolly time of being a We marooned boatman! Above started off again. the Lower Brule, South Peninsula, the river began to narrow between shores of solid rock. The speed of the current increased to 10 and 12 miles an hour. The sand bars and the forests of snags were gone, however, so we had fairly good going all the rest of the way into Pierre. We arrived there in the evening, with a couple of hours of daylight to spare. There, waiting for us at the Pierre Marina, was faithful Vernon Cecil. He TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 182 was on hand to pull Transco 11 out of the water and set us afloat lake above the Oahe Dam, again on the tremendous, still unnamed about 5 miles north of Pierre. Oahe Dam began in 1956 and was being completion when we passed through. Eventually, it will Construction of the pushed to control the flow of the Missouri River to raise the water level approximately 200 feet. When the reservoir above it is completely filled, South Dakota will have another magnificent lake, extending from near Pierre far into the vast Cheyenne River Indian Reserva tion. It will store nearly 20 million acre-feet of water for flood and the development of hydroelectric power. going to be a boom in central South Dakota, agriculture, real estate, and recreation. The state s control, irrigation, Obviously, there in industry, is scanty population, which has been steadily shrinking for many years, is probably due for expansion by as many families as can can take the harsh climate, there find an economic foothold. will be ample living room for people far into the foreseeable If they future. from the mouth of the Big Sioux River, through the vast Dakotas, and into western Montana, wherever Transco 11 stopped, Dahl and I had heard people talking about light rainfall. The whole gigantic area was obviously in the throes of a disastrous drought; the evidence of it was before our All the way up eyes wherever From we the Missouri River, looked. we saw millions of acres of corn and other crops, and withered for the want of water. Iron ically, the ruined crop fields came right down to the river banks. With water literally by the cubic mile flowing past them, I never saw a single acre of irrigated land. To me, a Californian used to seeing every available drop of precious water utilized, this was the river stunted, sun-scorched, astounding. If Southern California could find a new source of usable water equal to the average flow of the Missouri River at would be able to its lowest, it irrigate millions of acres of now-useless land. Up the Missouri from a point near the mouth of Okobojo Creek, FORT RANDALL KENEL 183 got back into the water after the pull-out at Pierre. On that Transco II had better going than part of the river, to Mobridge, we I had expected to find. The reason was obvious. Because the river has to stay in its channel between hills and rocks, the current is speeded considerably. The sand bars are thus less numerous and to keep moving. We ended the day s run at nearer miles Fort Benton. 150 Mobridge, Northward from Mobridge, however, the river became some what of a nightmare. The channels were all broken up among sand we had enough water bars and were littered with a veritable forest of dead trees brought down off the cut batiks. managed to get through, but the going We was slow. We didn t get to Fort Yates, North Dakota, that day as we had hoped. Late afternoon found us running up the river at a point where not sure whether we were still in South Dakota or had we were gone into North Dakota. We had not seen any kind of a "road sign" since Sioux City, Iowa. Looking toward the west bank of the river river with field glasses, I sighted a small building that looked like a small water-pumping I could see the roofs of plant. Back of it, nestled among low hills, and a church spire with a cross at the top. Our it must be Fort Yates. little the pumping plant where a gas engine without Alongside a muffler pounded our eardrums, we found a small-boat bay that had apparently been dug into the river bank by men working with shovels. The bay was too shallow for Transco II, so we tied up to a couple of willow trees below the mouth of the bay. Ashore, John and I started to walk toward the village along what several houses conclusion was that of appeared to be a wagon trail. The land around us was a jungle black of swarms biting willows, and we were kept busy fighting off gnats. the road a few hundred yards we encountered four Indians coming toward us on a wobbly wagon drawn by a team of scrawny horses that would have made very good crow bait. The Indians Up could speak enough English to tell us that Fort Yates was up the TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 184 20 miles. The village we had seen was Kenel, South Dakota, whose population consisted of about 200 Sioux Indians. As John and I topped the hill at the edge of the village, a big black dog with only one fore leg came bounding out and set up a furious barking. That was the signal for all the rest of the Indian dogs to come out and join the rare sport of threatening a couple of strange men of an alien race. In seconds we had about twenty of the mongrels milling about us, barking, growling, and baring river about their teeth. "I don t don t like the looks of this!" exclaimed Dahl. Don t move! I ve been Indian before and I don t want to take any chances among dogs with them. They could have hydrophobia! If we show fear or try to run, they ll chew us into ribbons!" As John and I stood there like a couple of statues, a man in "I either!" I replied. "Stand still! clerical garb came walking rapidly down the path toward us. He hurled several rocks at the dogs. He hit one and the dog howled. Then the man of God rattled off a barrage of words in the Sioux language. It sounded like Chinese to me, but the dogs seemed to understand it. They quit barking and ran back into the village. "Thank you, Father!" I said, as the priest extended his hand. m saw your happy to meet you, Captain Hogg," he replied. boat coming up the river. Your companion, Mr. Dahl, I presume. I Father Alfred, Pastor of the Mission Church here." This was by no means the first time I ve been befriended by a Catholic priest in some remote outpost of civilization. They re "I "I m mighty handy fellows to have around in time of trouble. I hate to think what could have happened to John Dahl and me if Father Alfred hadn t been there to chase the brutes away. The timing seemed like an act of God! 19 fROM KENEL TO fORT BENTON, MONTANA In several more years the Sioux Indian village of Kenel will be little more than a place name on old maps of South Dakota. The Army Engineers are going to drown it in another Missouri River lake that will put 30 feet of water over the land where Father Alfred s church now stands. The Indians will be to some new location by the Federal Government just as thousands of families, Indians and whites alike, were relocated when their homes and farms went under the present chain of manmade Missouri River lakes. Having arrived at Kenel late on a Saturday afternoon Dahl and I decided that our best place to eat and sleep was aboard Transco II. I planned to get out early on Sunday morning, go to Mass with the Indians in Father Alfred s church, and then return to the boat and have breakfast with John. We would then go on up the river moved to Bismarck, North Dakota, we hoped. Slipping ashore quietly on Sunday morning, without awakening John, I walked toward the village along a wagon trail that wound through the jungle of river-bottom-land willows. But I didn t go a 185 TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 186 quarter of a mile before I narrowly escaped a calamity that would have made me a social outcast for at least a week! There was a heavy fog as I came around a bend in the trail where my range of vision was reduced to a few feet. Suddenly, I there were five skunks almost at my feet. froze in my tracks There could be no argument about who had the right of way. The and I knew it! As I sighted the skunks and they sighted me, up came those plumelike tails. They were starting to do a hand-stand, and I needed no interpreter for their language. It s the skunk s way of skunks always have saying, "I m not to be molested by And you ve had toward the it river. I man or beast, or else. . . . ducked and ran as fast as I could back stopped only when I was sure I was safely out it!" I of range of any skunk s chemical warfare. To avoid the skunks and get to Father Alfred s church I clawed through the jungle of willows and came back onto the only when I was sure I was safely beyond them. Many years my way trail ago I had an argument with a skunk while quail hunting in Mis souri. The skunk won, not "hands down" but tail up! One such experience in a lifetime A is far too many! much the same anywhere in the pretty world. Nevertheless, I wouldn t have missed tiie one in Father Catholic is church for anything. The little church was packed from rail to doors with about 200 Indians, all of them in clean Alfred altar Mass s overalls or work clothes. Many of them had come into Kenel in battered old jalopies from points as much as 30 miles in the back country. Some had come on horseback. Instead of hearing Mass in m used to hearing Latin and English, or in Latin and Spanish, as I it at home, I heard it in Latin, Sioux, and English. I heard familiar hymns sung who have in the Sioux language talented and by the Indian men and women gifted singing voices. Returning to Transco II, I was on the alert for another possible meeting with the skunks. Fortunately, I neither saw nor smelled them. John and I had a breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, and coffee. Just as we were about ready to shove off upstream, a FORT BENTON KENEL 187 men came down the river from Bismarck, and stopped to cheer us on. They assured us that we sighted us, would have nothing but a lot of easily navigable river from Kenel boatload of young to Bismarck. Apparently a greater volume of water was being re and Fort Peck Flood-Control Dams. The leased at the Garrison water had risen about a foot in the last two days and still appeared to be rising very slowly. That extra foot of water meant a much better river for After all the Transco II. bad going we had had above Sioux City it was a great pleasure to get into a fine, long stretch of river where Transco 11 could push along against the current at cruising speed up on a sand bar every hour or two. We only went hard aground on one bar in nearly 100 miles of cruising from without getting hung Kenel to Bismarck. John was at the wheel at for lunch, so I asked him, about 12:30 P.M. "Are you We had not stopped hungry?" more so by the minute." some lunch." The words were little more than spoken when Transco II bumped and skidded ahead for about 50 feet, shuddering to a stop. We were as hard aground as we had ever been on any sand "Yes, "AH I am," right," he replied, I said, s "let "and getting stop and have bar in the Missouri River. John and we wanted I both had a good laugh over to stop, didn t we? This is as my comment, "Well, good a place as any. Let s eat!" prepared the lunch. We sat down and ate, taking our time about it and enjoying the food. There was no reason for hurry. We were so hard aground that it After setting up the deck table, I would take at least an hour for the swift river current to cut the sand out from under us and set us afloat again. We finished the lunch. I cleaned the mess gear and put it away. By that time Transco 11 was beginning to inch her way off the bar. I took the wheel, started the motors, found a channel with about 10 feet of water by using the depthfinder, and we resumed our cruise to Bismarck. TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 188 When I visited Bismarck as skipper of the first Transco, North Capitol was a modest, Dakota s colonial-style, brick structure that had rendered many years of service. In the 1930s a new building was constructed that is a model for spending the taxpayers money for pride it is a and vanity. It is state capitol both a skyscraper and a baronial designed and built to make all castle; other state capitols look like tenements! There are good reasons for building skyscrapers on Manhattan s Loop, but in Bismarck, surrounded by end Island or in Chicago wide-open, empty prairie, a skyscraper is about me as a funny paper hung in the Metropolitan of Art. The people of the Flickertail State wanted a build less miles of flat, as incongruous to Museum ing that is would be seen, and they certainly have it the skyscraper from a distance of about 30 miles. easily visible in all directions Far down the river with Transco II John Dahl and I sighted the We thought it looked like a gigantic twenty-five-story structure. gravestone protruding from the prairie landscape. Transco II had three hours of uninterrupted, full-speed cruis ing to get to Bismarck after we sighted the state capitol. About 10 miles from Bismarck we sighted several small boats coming toward us another welcoming convoy. The boats were led by Ed and operator of a big from Bismarck. Ricker, live-wire outboard-motor dealer marina at Mandan, Mandan is made friends across the river the place where the Lewis and Clark expedition Mandan Indians during the late summer of of the 1804. It was there also that Captain Lewis met the Indian girl, Sacajawea, and employed her to accompany the expedition as an interpreter despite the fact that she was visibly pregnant. Some weeks later she disappeared for several hours and reappeared with her papoose on her back. The diaries of both Lewis and Clark make it clear that Sacajawea repeatedly saved every member of the Lewis and Indians. In dark expedition from being massacred by the is a large bronze statue as a memorial Bismarck there to this Indian girl who made an enormous history of the United States. contribution to the FORT BENTON KENEL 189 As one who has traveled down and up the entire navigable the of Missouri River in motorboats, I marvel at what length Lewis and Clark did. They were the first men to go up and down the river in any kind of a boat. Their boats were rather crude and hard to handle compared to those I used. I had con tact with civilization all along the route; Lewis and dark were on their own for completely nearly three years in a wilderness inhabited by unpredictable Indians. What gluttons for punishment those fellows must have been! Northward from Bismarck, for the 100 miles to Riverdale and the Garrison have to fight Dam, I anticipated a river where Transco her way up every foot of the way. I was to find this assumption to abled us to go up be wrong. A II would delighted slightly rising river en that part of the river without even bumping a and nosed the morning boat onto a packed-gravel pull-out and launching ramp below the Garrison Dam in the late afternoon. Vernon Cecil, always sand bar. We left Bismarck at 8 in the dependable, was there with his tractor-trafler to take Transco II around the dam. There had been no Midvale when I came down the Missouri with the original Transco. It is a town almost a small city that was originally built to order as construction headquarters for the builders of the Garrison Dam. Today it is a spacious, low-rent town for the small army of government employees needed for the care and maintenance of the dam, control of the flood gates, and operation of the hydroelectric plant now putting residential 400,000 kilowatts of electric power into a spreading network of high-tension lines. Tired and hungry after putting Transco II into the water above the dam, Verne, John, and I ate in a restaurant and checked our selves into the hotel. Next day we planned to run the length of a lake almost as big and beautiful as Lake Champlain. With favor able weather and any kind of luck we would easily get to Willis- ton, North Dakota, by evening. The still-nameless lake that spans most of the western half of TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 190 the huge state of North Garrison Dakota is known as the "Reservoir of the a lake 160 miles in length and 60 miles across at the widest point. It has hundreds of miles of shore line because its boundaries are about as in dented as those of Missouri s Lake of the Ozarks, which, by the Dam," or "Garrison Reservoir." way, has a respectable name. that it is waterfall man-made; 230 feet high It is It is a reservoir only in the sense much a lake as if Nature had where men built the Garrison Dam. it is as put a Transco II, Dahl, and I were fortunate in getting through North Dakota s great lake (or reservoir) on a day of near-perfect weather. High wind could easily have delayed us for days; this huge "reservoir" with its 20 million acre-feet of water can kick seas as dangerous to small boats as up any ocean. About 4 o clock in the afternoon we went ashore which is practically at in Williston, the western end of the Garrison Reservoir. We stopped there only to load gasoline and pick up mail. With several hours of daylight left we wanted to push on into tana. In another hour we sped past the mouth of the Yellowstone Mon River and checked ourselves into Montana by recognizing Fort Union on the north bank of the river. By cruising until 7 in the evening we got to Culbertson, Montana, where night a short distance below the highway we bridge. of the exact spot where to camp ashore in 1925. Frank Wilton and I tied up for the We were in front had set up our tent Another day dawned, and we went up the Missouri past Wolf Point and a pull-out ramp below the Fort Peck Dam. We had then reached the fifth and last of the Missouri River flood-control We were within 300 miles of Fort Benton, which was the end of the long Transco II voyage east of the Continental Divide. As usual, Verne Cecil was on hand to meet us at the Fort Peck Dam. He took Transco II around the dam, and we found an excellent marina where we left the boat for the night. Fort Peck, like Midvale at the Garrison exists to dams. Dam, serve the only dam. Verne Cecil thought there would be better hotels KENEL FORT BENTON 191 and restaurants in Glasgow, 16 miles away. Verne was right; we found Glasgow a very attractive little city. When I came down the Missouri from Fort Benton to the present site of the Fort Peck Dam with the first Transco, the river was a wild, treacherous thing tumbling through 300 miles of Montana s infamous badlands. For much of that distance on both sides of the river there wasn t a vestige of human life. The as they were, but numerous badlands today are still just as changes have taken place. "bad" There are area. One river. Many now quite a bridge and two number of secondary roads into this ferry lines get motorists across the small flood-control dams have been built far above Fort Benton and on Gatlin rivers. These its tributaries, the dams catch the Madison, Jefferson, and and let the water down floods in a fairly constant year-round flow. The biggest change, of course, was brought about by construction of the Fort Peck Dam. That gigantic task began in 1932; my father, incidentally, had a part in its construction as the architect of some of the build ings in Fort Peck. Dam created a lake in Montana that is very much Garrison Reservoir in North Dakota. This magnificent body of water, Montana s largest lake, has hundreds of miles of ragged shore line. It is 150 miles long and 45 miles across at the The Fort Peck like the widest point. It normally holds 20 million acre-feet of water. Now, where are all those terrifying rapids of the upper Missouri that gave Lewis and Clark such a dreadful struggle and the 1925 Transco such a hair-raising ride? Drownman s Rapid, Lewis and Clark Rapids, 17-Mile Rapids, and many lesser ones are all in the bottom of the magnificent lake called "The Fort Peck Reser voir"! Transco II could not go from the Fort Peck Dam to Fort Benton without at least one refueling. Vernon Cecil was to establish a fuel cache for us a few miles below the mouth of Judith Creek, which would be about midway for us along this 300-mile run that TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 192 two days. In Glasgow, however, a telephone be available to call brought the information that supplies would us at the ferries. That permitted cancellation of the fuel-cache we hoped plan; to make in Verne would meet us next in Fort Benton. II came up the river to days later, as planned, Transco Fort Benton. There the pull-out situation was exactly what I it thirty-four years earlier. thought it would be from having seen Two Fort Benton is is on the west side of the river, and the bank there a near perpendicular, 20-foot jump-off into the river. In 1925, with the assistance of ten strong men, I had juggled Transco down that embankment to launch her in the river. But Transco II could not be dragged up. Some hours ahead of John and me, Verne Cecil had taken a look at the same river bank and decided to try to find a better place to pull out. He found a good down the river. We pulled spot at Virgelle, about 30 miles back out there. Transco II was securely tied to the and John Dahl started off on trailer, and Verne the drive to Lewiston, Idaho, and on the other side of the Continental Divide. I went back to Fort Benton in a bus. Fort Benton got started as a town shortly after the Civil War and grew primarily because of its strategic location at the head of the Snake River, on the Missouri River in the days of stern-wheeler steamboats. When the stern-wheelers vanished, the town almost navigation It was down to fewer than 1,000 people when I in 1925. there over stopped In 1959 I found Fort Benton to be a thriving, modern, little went with them. some 2,000 people, rapidly coming to life again. The streets there are many new homes and buildings. The old Fort Benton Hotel, with its outside walls made from red bricks dragged up the river from St. Louis in 1870, is still in operation. In recent years an ever-increasing number of boats have been trailered into Fort Benton for junkets down the Miscity of are now paved and sourLThe town now also has quite a colony of retired cattle and sheep ranchers who find Fort Benton a pleasant, picturesque town, KENEL FORT BENTON 193 steeped in American history and a good place to live during thendeclining years. As the sole survivor of the first Transco cruise, returning to Fort Benton was for me a delightful experience. This was the point where Transco had started the eastbound cruise to New York City from the east side of the Continental Divide in 1925. Now, with Transco Ht I had come to the end of the westbound cruise in waters flowing to the Atlantic Ocean. John Dahl and I were the first men to arrive by boat in Fort Benton from New York City all the way by water except for those hauls around the Missouri River dams. I believe we were also the first to make it into Fort Benton with an outboard boat after climbing the Missouri for 2,286 miles and nearly 2,500 perpendicular feet from the Missis sippi. Any claimants? 20 fROM FORT BENTON TO ASTORIA, ORECON, AND THE PACIflC Knowing the great scenic beauty of the country be tween Fort Benton and Lewiston, Idaho, I wanted to see it from the air. John Dahl thought he could see more of it from the roads, so he made the trip over the mountains hi the truck with Verne Cecil, Transco II on the trailer behind. Transco had made that part of the eastbound journey in 1925 in a railway box car. Frank Wilton and I came over in four slow freights that got us to Fort Benton by way of Spokane, Washington, and Shelby and Great Falls, Montana. Making the trip by air also gave me a weekend res pite from traveling, which I spent in Great Falls, Montana s largest city and one of the most attractive hi the state. I planned to be in Lewiston about the time John and Verne would have Transco 11 afloat on the Snake River. On Monday morning at the Great Falls Airport I went aboard a four-motored airliner for the two-hour flight to Spokane. What a magnificent experience that flight was! In perfect weather I was looking down from 16,000 feet, over the backbone of the continent into the most spectacular mountains to be found south of Alaska. 194 FORT BENTON ASTORIA 195 Some of the snow-capped peaks rise to altitudes of 2 miles or more. In that seemingly endless tangle of mountains and forest hun dreds of big and little lakes sparkle like blue gems set in a breath brown and green. The lakes range from such giants as Flathead Lake, Montana, and Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho, to small, taking field of rocky bowls of melted snow perched on mountaintops, mountain sides, or in the valleys. To describe the scenic beauty of this area from the air words are weak and near-useless. Then, too, as seen a photograph, because of its limited scope, cannot depict a vastness human mind. that staggers the From Spokane took another flight to Lewiston, arriving in an Coeur de Alene, Idaho, and Pullman, Washing ton. At Lewiston s Valley Boat Club I found John Dahl and Vernon Cecil. They had just- completed the chore of setting Transco II afloat on the Snake River. For the first Transco there had been too much water in the Snake River. For Transco II9 the river was so low that trouble for us was easily predictable. If we could get down the Snake and into the Columbia without scraping bottom a few times, I knew it would be a miracle. At Lewiston, when I saw how low and fast-running the Snake hour I after stops at River was, I decided to try to find a local man thoroughly familiar with the river to help Dahl and me take Transco II into the Colum bia. I also decided not to let Verne Cecil return to his family in Minneapolis; we might have to be pulled out of the Snake if we could not find enough water to get down. He went on to Pasco, Washington, where he was to wait for a possible call for help. If he received no we would meet him in Pasco. I made a live broadcast, telling call, That afternoon the story of the two Transco voyages, from a Lewiston radio station. It produced precisely the result I hoped it might. I had little more than finished when a young man by the name of Chuck Miller an experienced boatman he had made several trips As telephoned. up and down the Snake between Lewiston and the Columbia. Knowing that we might be in danger he called to volunteer his the broadcast TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 196 Dahl and services to me as guide. We promptly accepted his offer. to the Lewis and Clark Hotel Twenty-five-year-old Chuck came studied the charts, discussed the projected run that evening. to be under way early in the morning. down the Snake, and We planned The Snake is anything but a slow river at Lewiston, and farther flows much faster. In many places we found the downstream it current to be about 20 miles an hour. To maintain good steering at least 10 or 15 control, Transco II needed a still-water speed of miles an hour. If we could keep off the rocks, the run of 150 miles into the mighty how realized knew all Columbia wasn t going to last very long. We soon we were in having Chuck Miller along. He fortunate the snaky tricks of the Snake. rock-strewn, tight spot where chutes. Often where a He got us past Transco II slid down many a steep water past huge rocks, missing them by inches, would have shattered our boat. We wore life we sped direct hit jackets. We went down tom. At each at least riffle, Chuck went over in a dozen long riffles, swim trunks and the side to walk the boat life often scraping bot jackets, down, its John and motors tilted point we scraped bottom, heard water discovered a small geyser shooting up and the into cabin, gushing had one if some as inside put a garden hose through the hull. out of the water. At one We were holed-through! If we could not stop that leak, Transco II was doomed. Dahl ducked into the cabin and stopped the leak temporarily with the palm of his hand. Then he called out, "Chuck! Hand me pulled a spark plug out of the tool box and In another minute John had stopped the leak by over. a spark plug." handed it Chuck screwing the spark plug into the neat, round hole that was left when the transducer of our radio depthfinder had been scraped off the hull. On both sides of the Snake River from Lewiston on down to the Columbia many farms made highly productive by irrigation began to appear. Not so many years ago there was not a single irrigated acre in this area. Now a vast irrigation system is being developed FORT BENTON ASTORIA 197 by the simple expedient of taking the water out of the river and letting it flow by gravity to the lands farther downstream. This irrigated land development undoubtedly accounts for the low by Transco II. We just didn t have all was going onto the flourishing, irrigated stage of water encountered that water because it farmlands! Contrary to what seems to be prevailing opinion, Washington and Oregon have adequate rainfall over only about one-third of their area, that west of the Cascade Mountains. These high extending north and south across the two huge tains, moun states, force the rain-bearing winds from the Pacific Ocean to altitudes that chill the clouds and bring down the rain. Thus, we have the drippy climate usually associated with the coastal areas, where popula tion is most heavily concentrated, as in Seattle and Portland. East of the Cascade Mountains, about two-thirds of each state is very thinly populated. It is a semiarid land where no intensive is possible without irrigation. Ice Harbor, in Washington, about agriculture At River from the Columbia, a huge Dam is now under 20 miles dam known construction. It will soon up the Snake Harbor as the Ice drown all the Snake River rapids, store a vast quantity of water for flood control and produce hydroelectric power, and practically make an of Lewiston. Commercial barges are now operat "seaport" irrigation, Idaho ing on the Columbia from the mouth of near the mouth of the Snake River. will lift the boats 100 feet to the Columbia to Pasco, A lock in the Ice Harbor Dam an unobstructed waterway to Lewiston. For Transco II construction of the Ice Harbor Dam, then roughly 50 per cent complete, posed quite a problem. The uncompleted dam closed about nine-tenths of the river. The remaining tenth was a narrow opening left by the Army Engineers for the use of boats until the locks can be put in operation. Temporarily, almost the entire river was concentrated to go through the opening, thus creating a water chute only slightly flatter than a 10-foot waterfall. I hesitated to go down this slide without seeking the advice of TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 198 the Army Engineers. They said, "You should be able to make it without any real danger. Just give your motors full throttle and go right down the middle. You may take a little spray aboard, but you We won t hit anything!" and went down the chute in one big swoop; it was like riding a boat down a roller coaster in an amusement park. It was quite a thrill while it lasted. We took a few gallons of spray tried it aboard in the breakers below. Still afloat after that wild dash that was over in a few seconds, we were, for all purposes, practically out of the mouth of the Snake. The long voyage of Transco II was nearing its end in the mighty Columbia, where in 1925 the trip across the continent had just begun. than an hour after getting safely past Ice Harbor Dam out of the mouth of the Snake and speeding up the broad Columbia to Pasco. There, at the fine marina and boat shop owned In less we were and operated by Ken Dyer, Transco II was hoisted out of the water and taken into the shop. An out-of-the-water hull inspection and possible repairs were advisable after the beating she had taken in the Snake River. To get Transco II into the best possible shape for the trip down the Columbia Mr. Dyer assigned two of his most skilled men to work almost around the clock to get us going again. With the boat on a cradle the first thing they did was to drain off about 50 gallons of bilge by removing the spark plug John Dahl had used to stop up the hole where our depthfinder transducer had been torn off. careful hull inspection revealed several gouges below the waterline A that were serious enough to make repairs to the fiber glass advisable. I watched these repairs with the greatest of interest. It was my opportunity to see how it is done. It also made clear to me one of the advantages of fiber-glass construction for small boats. first After drying the hull with a hot-air blower especially made for the purpose, the men applied liquid fiber glass and waited for it to dry. Then they smoothed off the patches with an electric sander. The finished job was so perfect that it was almost impossible to find FORT BENTON ASTORIA 199 the spots where the patches had been made. Similar repairs to a steel or wooden hull would have been far more complicated. At Pasco we reluctantly said goodbye to Verne Cecil and Chuck them profusely for the invaluable aid they had Miller, thanking given us. Without them and the many other people who helped us along the way, Transco IFs voyage would probably not have been a success. The Columbia River today bears little resemblance to the wild, stream that the original Transco had to fight her way rapid-strewn up. The rapids and the fierce current are now gone; the river is practically a series of big and beautiful lakes from Pasco to Port land. The lakes drowned the rapids, and the dams that created them ended the floods by giving current and the lake water levels. man complete From Pasco to control of the the Pacific we cruised through a buoy-marked navigation channel through some waters that are still recognizable as a river and the still-nameless, man-made lakes. In Washington and Oregon, as in Montana and the Dakotas, a body of water of any size remains a "reservoir" if building a dam. Simultaneously, any natural duck recognized as a lake and is dignified by having a name. men made it by pond is The "reservoir" above McNary Dam near Umatilla, Oregon, is the boundary between Oregon and Washington for approximately 20 miles. It then extends northward into Washington for another 30 miles. It is about 6 miles across at the widest point and 1 mile at the narrowest, the so-called Strait, near Hat Rock, Washington. As every boatman knows, a lake of that size, whatever it is called, can get about as rough as any ocean. gentle wind was blowing when Transco II left Pasco at 6 o clock in the morning. From Pasco to the Walla Walla Boat dub I rode with Mr. Dyer in his boat so that I could make pictures of Transco II in action. I soon had the The wind steadily increased and the reservoir went wild. Both boats were slamming A "action." and jumping off the tops of 10-foot waves. I soon found it impossible to hang on and operate a camera simultaneously. Mr. Dyer, knowing these waters thoroughly, admonished us into TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 200 wind continued to blow, no small boat could expect to an hour having break get through The Strait safely. While we spent fast at the Walla Walla Boat Club, however, the wind began to that, if the lull. John and I decided to try to run The ful beating for about 10 miles. and were greeted by McNary Dam. The single lock float lift fairly flat at the lock in the world. We Strait. We took a dread through The Strait water for about 20 miles to the finally got McNary Dam No wonder is said to took a it 97 the Columbia River! It raises or lowers boats be the highest lot of rapids out of feet. Moreover, so perfectly engineered and efficiently operated that locking through takes only fifteen minutes. It barely gave me time enough to go over the top of the lock, make a few pictures of the lock is Transco II going through, and get aboard again by going down a 100-foot ladder near the lower end of the lock sill. With three cameras slung around my neck, it was like going down a ladder on the side of a ten-story building. "Look out for the spiders!" a lock employee called out to me as I started this dizzy descent. deep feet slot in the face of the down I The steel ladder concrete wall. had never seen so many was By spiders set into the time I and such a a foot- was ten tangle of webs in any one place before. The ladder and the slot were simply festooned with webs and crawling with a dozen species of spider big and little made some spiders. Thank God had was not a for the study of spiders I years ago! I recognized all of them; there had to hang onto that ladder. They were crawling all over me, and my hands were literally wrapped in bandages of spider webs when I got far enough dangerous one in the down the As my lot. Spiders or no spiders, I ladder to drop off onto the open deck of Transco feet hit the deck, I ered off in all II. shed a shower of spiders that scamp little beasts with an aerosol directions. I finished the bomb and swept them up as they died. Below the McNary Dam we had about 6 miles of easy river navigation to the marina of the Umatilla Boat Club at Umatilla. FORT BENTON 201 ASTORIA There we stepped ashore onto the soil of the seventeenth and last state we would go through on our trip. We were in Oregon! Transco II had accomplished our objective of cruising from New York to ways for down Oregon on the waters slightly of North American inland water more than 5,000 miles! The remainder of the the Columbia to Portland, Astoria, and the Pacific could be contemplated as little more than a pleasure cruise trip, Ocean on one of the nation s most scenic rivers! Now, from Pasco I had telephoned my wife in Barflesville. I told her we would arrive in Portland about 4 o clock in the after noon on Saturday, August 31. "You better fly to Portland to morrow." From the McNary Dam to the mouth of the river at Astoria, miles, the mighty Columbia flows through a land of scenic beauty that beggars description. Coming up the Columbia with the original Transco, I had been so busy fighting the rapids more than 250 that there was Transco II little was an time for enjoying the scenery. Going down with Where the rapids entirely different experience. used to be we now have the Dalles Dam, the Bonneville Dam, and the John Day Dam. The locks and lakes made a pleasure cruise out of this route for Transco II. Just thirty-four years earlier it had been a nightmare. The tremendous river breaks right through the towering Cascade Mountains to form the famous Columbia River gorges. Geo this situation is similar to the famous Iron Gate of graphically, flows through the crack Europe, where the Danube River a few million years through the Carpathian Alps. it cut in At Hood River, Oregon, the surface of the Columbia is only about 200 feet above sea level. Yet, on both sides, the terrain Up, up, and up it goes through tre mendous forests and into the midsummer snow of such peaks as Mount Hood, rising 11,245 feet on the Oregon side of the river. rises abruptly from the Simultaneously, Mt. river. Adams, on the Washington view, towering 12,307 side, is in full feet into the heavens. In the vastness of TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT 202 the Columbia River lakes, with the snowy, sky-piercing landscapes their shadows into those titanic gorges, I was all too well casting aware of my own small size. Larry Barber, had our impending arrival in Port done a bang-up job of announcing land. "Great Caesar s ghost!" I exclaimed after sighting the water The marine editor of the Portland Oregonian, Oregon Centennial Exposition grounds in Portland. that waterfront! It looks like Hollywood Bowl on a front at the "Look at concert night!" A later we had Transco II alongside the landing the gunwale to sweep a tiny, blue-eyed, blonde over float. I hopped woman into my arms. For the next couple of minutes I was few minutes oblivious to the popping flash bulbs, the television cameras, and the I were together again, roaring cheers of 3,500 people. Ruth and Kansas since after the weeks of separation City. When we us from all calling out, We broke the hold, the cameras were pointing at directions. Larry Barber, acting as a spokesman, was finally "Do that again, please! We need a few more pictures." were happy to comply, and the picture-taking went full half Our on for a hour. visit to Portland turned out to be about forty hours of red- carpet hospitality and entertainment at the exposition grounds, at the Multnomah Hotel, and at Lee McCuddy s beautiful marina on the Columbia. Early on Tuesday morning, September 1, I put Ruth aboard a bus bound for Astoria and then went back to McCuddy s Marina to begin the last day of the Transco II cruise. It was to be a jaunt of 110 miles down the Columbia to Astoria and the end of the mighty river, the starting point of the first Transco cruise from west to east across the continent thirty-four years earlier. At McCuddy s Marina Transco II took aboard the only pas senger carried over any considerable distance George Reynolds, a personable young Louis, wanted to make on the entire journey. man we had met this part of the trip to get in St. a story on our FORT BENTON ASTORIA 203 use of fiber glass his firm manufactures chemicals that go into the making of fiber-glass boats. About 20 miles down the Columbia below the Longview-Kelso Bridge (which had not been there when Transco came up the river in 1925) we sighted a U. S. Coast Guard patrol boat. It had come up from Astoria to meet us, just to be sure that no mishap might befall us in about the last hour of our water journey of 5,286 We were very grateful for that Coast Guard courtesy be miles. cause a strong wind was starting to blow into the river estuary from the Pacific Ocean. There, too, the river widens out to 10 miles and it was getting uncomfortably rough. Guard vessel escorted us into Astoria s busy and crowded East End Boat Basin Transco II came alongside the docks to be greeted by a welcoming throng of Astoria citizens. First with a hearty handshake was Harry Steinbock, the Mayor of As the Coast who said "Captain Hogg, welcome back to Astoria!" shook hands with the mayor, Ruth appeared on the scene, escorted over the dock by Dr. Ed Harvey, a research scientist with Astoria, As I seafoods laboratory. Both of them appeared to be excited and a little short of breath. I soon learned that Dr. Harvey had Astoria just my s plucked her off the Greyhound bus from Portland. I looked at watch. Transco II had come down the river faster than the bus had come down the highway! She had covered 110 miles in exactly four hours, while the bus had taken four and one-half hours to cover a similar distance on land. At the dock we went through the usual half-hour session with the reporters and photographers. We then adjourned for lunch to the John Jacob Astor Hotel, where the welcoming delegation just about We spent two full filled the dining room. days enjoying the rousing celebration the people of Astoria had planned for us. If John Dahl and I had been Lewis and Clark returning to Astoria, the hospitality could hardly sincere. We were made honorary a citizens. We received couple of gold medals. We were wined and dined. We took Transco II to a reconstructed log fort on the site have been greater or more 204 TWICE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BY MOTORBOAT of Fort Clatsop at the mouth of the Lewis and Clark River, where the members of the Lewis and Clark expedition officially ended their history-making journey to the Pacific and spent the winter of starting the long trek back to St. Louis. I also consented to take Transco II out into the salt water of the 1805-06 before Pacific Ocean, with an escorting salmon fisherman as caution hi waters that were dangerously rough. We a safety pre went several miles out into the salt water, then returned and fished for salmon over the Columbia River Bar. Tired, slightly dizzy from the hours of jouncing over ocean waves, and splattered with salt spray, I wobbled into the lobby of the hotel late in the afternoon lugging a 26-pound salmon in one hand and a 28-pounder in the other. "What made you do that?" asked Mr. G. R. Haines, proprietor of the hotel. "Boatman s holiday!" of it." replied John. "We ve only had 102 days John Edwin Hogg spent many months in carefully planning the trip of Transco II. One of the most important tasks he faced was the compiling of a list of equipment that would be essential to the cross-continent voyage. If he took too much gear, the boat would be overloaded, and he and his mate would barely have elbow room aboard the cruiser. If he left out some essential item, the entire success of the venture would be jeopardized. After much exacting planning and revising, his list of gear was complete. Before Transco II left the 79th Street Boat Basin hi New York, she was awarded the safety decal of the U. S. Coast Guard Aux iliary. After inspecting the craft from bow to stern, officers of the most thoroughly equipped" Auxiliary described her as one of men and families who might be For had seen. ever cruising they planning part of the trip for themselves, on the following pages is a rundown of the equipment Hogg finally selected for his historic "the trip. The brand names and manufacturers of the various items are make the shopper s task easier. This hi no way included here to constitutes an endorsement of these products, nor should inferred that these products are "the best" 207 it be in their respective fields. APPENDIX 208 Outboard motor tool kit. One pair American Bosch Anna windshield wipers. One pair manual windshield wipers. Two Two Sinko battery boxes. Plas-Tex rubber buckets. One mop. One deck brush. Two sponges. One Perkins bilge pump. Two hand bailers. Wall Rope Works Fairline 400 feet of "Colorope" line. Twelve spark plugs. Two Electric Autolite Batteries. One Raytheon radio direction finder. One Raytheon DE 122 Fathometer. One Raytheon Ray 19 radiotelephone. One Admiral transistor radio. One Bernz-O-Matic propane stove. One lantern. Three Seatronics tachometers. One Portable Light Co. horn. One Falcon Alarm Co. pressure horn. One set of flares. One net bag. One Ketcham & McDougall compass. One Ketcham & McDougall barometer. One Ketcham & McDougall clock. One Ketcham & McDougall speedometer. One Portable Light Co. spotlight. One Kohler portable flashlight. One Detroit Stamping Co. boarding ladder. Two Freepack "Boat Doc" first aid kits. Four buoyant cushions. Four American Pade & Textile Co. One ring buoy. life jackets. APPENDIX 209 Two Ansul Chemical Co. fire extinguishers. One pair of Bausch & Lomb 7 x 35 binoculars. Two Danforth anchors. One Worthington Marine boat hook. One pair of Smoker Lumber Co. paddles. Full set of charts. One chart case. One chart board. One chart rule. One chart divider. One protractor. Two log books. One set of cooking utensils. One folding knife. One floating knife. One cabin fan. American Chain & Cable Co. Steermaster controls. Sterling Products Co. fenders. One Coleman portable ice chest. One Coleman thermos jug. Convertible top and cockpit canopy by Champion Sailmakers. Telescope Folding Furniture Co. deck chairs. Four utility bags. Two Hettrick sleeping bags. Two pillows. Two pillow covers. Two mattress covers. Two Remington electric shavers. One Bell & Howell 16mm motion picture camera. Two Minolta Autocord reflex still cameras. "L" Leeds Luggage Co. vinyl luggage. sets of clothing, including Sperry Topsiders deck shoes foul weather gear, and McGregor swimming trunks, Complete and sweaters, and both light and heavyweight shirts and slacks.
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