Notes to the Reader: This piece originally appeared in the November 1904 issue of FOUR-TRACK NEWS. The text and images have been converted for the Web, but the content has not been altered. In particular, keep in mind that peoples' attitudes toward race, religion, ethnic background, and so on, have changed greatly since this piece was originally written. Any questions about the source, reproductions, or our goals? Contact us.



By Kenyon Lee


The man who foregoes a vacation trip because he cannot afford it, has never stopped to estimate the cost of two weeks with a rowboat. It is cheaper than staying at home, therefore, it is extravagance rather than economy to deny oneself such an outing.

A false idea of economy may force you to spend your vacation in town where you will vainly endeavor to deceive yourself into thinking you are having a good time doing nothing, which, to a man with a grain of spunk, is the most difficult and discouraging of all tasks.

While it is true that man pursues most of his pleasures under difficulties, the attempt to find pleasures of the kind that rest and recuperate, in the same paths that we travel every day, is surely the pursuit of such pleasures under impossibilities.

A change is absolutely essential. The man who lives within sound of Niagara seeks his rest among the hills; the man among the hills visits Niagara, glories in the spectacle, and never tires of listening to the voice of the great cataract, which echoes invitingly in his ears forever after, even as the voices of Nature's more quiet moods forever reiterate the sweet story of the woods, and the water-paths that lead to Nature's secrets.

Get away from the idea that an outing is, of necessity, an extravagance.

Take a tent, a box of provisions, a rod and line, and a boat—always a boat, for there is a magical charm in the companionship of a rowboat which no other inanimate thing possesses.

With these seek the quiet of some shady lake, where the ripples, as they break upon the shore, seem to bid you welcome, and whose breezes among the bending tree tops whisper of rest.

An hour will suffice to set up your tent and establish your "base."

If you have a companion so much the better; if not you will find the companionship of your boat and the wild things that haunt the wood and inhabit the water, will preclude loneliness.

You are trying to escape society, to get out and away from everything that savors of the every day and the commonplace, and you will And that you do not need companions-only a companion.

After you have "made camp" launch your boat, take your tackle, skim out upon the water and-have fish for supper, on your return; and such a meal!

You will have some reserve supplies in the box, but the mere thought of them, while you smell the fish frying over the crackling fire, will be

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REMEMBER: Peoples' attitudes toward race, religion, and culture were a lot different when this was written! The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of or of Hidden Knowledge, Publishers.

Update history: This page originally created 2 March 2007. Latest update 2 June 2011