They passed through big towns—Albany, Buffalo, Erie, Toledo and Chicago—and received the now accustomed publicity. In Toledo, Temple remembers, owners of a department store put up a big table in front of their store (so they wouldn't break the rule about eating inside) and laid out a big feed. "Dad used to say we had 'sawmill appetites.' Well, we didn't let him down on that one."
Wylie Haynes, unused to the hard-surfaced Ohio roads, developed sore feet. They changed his shoes and soaked his hooves in neat's-foot oil, taking it slowly. "Each night," Temple says, "Wylie Haynes would just lie down on his side. We'd put feed and water up by his head and next morning he'd be ready to go."
Nothing seemed to bother the indestructible Sam Bass. An iron-gray gelding of 16� hands, he had stoically traversed mountains and deserts; the clatter and smell of the automobiles they occasionally met didn't concern him. But he was getting old. He was 16 and was on his second cross-country trip after a lifetime of hard range work and wolf chasing. "Until he died," Temple says, "the only trouble we ever had with Sam Bass was on that first trip to Santa Fe when he'd want to chase every wolf we saw. He could smell them, you know."
Camping outside of Chicago they ran into a storm and almost froze to death. They had to pack up in the middle of the night and ride through sleet and snow to find shelter. Louie later recalled that it was the coldest he'd ever been. Within a month they would be crossing deserts where the temperature sometimes would reach 120� during the day.
The boys passed through Iowa and Nebraska and then into Wyoming, making good time. Before they had left, their daddy had plotted out checkpoints for them. By the time they quit Nebraska they were running two days ahead. But near Cheyenne, Sam Bass, the old campaigner who ought to have known better, got into a field of new alfalfa and foundered. He died the next day.
Temple says, "We felt pretty bad about that. I guess old Sam was about the best horse there ever was. But we had to keep going. Louie bought another horse, a black, but he wasn't a good traveler. Old Sam and Wylie could go along just like they were in tandem. They had a nice way of going. But this black just couldn't cover any ground."
Crossing the desert fiats of Utah, Temple got sick. He loved canned tomatoes and they had bought some at a little store. In the afternoon, with the sun blazing down and the temperature 100�, they had stopped to eat. "I ate that can of tomatoes and I think there must have been something wrong with it," Temple says. "Of course, the tomatoes were hot. Everything was hot, but I remember the can looked kind of swelled out. Right after that I got so sick I thought I was going to die. There wasn't any place to rest. Wasn't even a telegraph pole for shade. Louie got me on my horse and we started riding. I think he got a little scared. Sometime that night we got into a little town that had a store and they put me to bed in a back room. When I woke up they asked what I wanted and I said corn flakes and milk. Right after that I started feeling better. I think it was the milk absorbed the poison. But I was pretty weak for several days after that."
Temple doesn't remember how they navigated. "It wasn't anything exact. We always had a pretty good sense of direction and sometimes we'd find a railroad or a line of telegraph poles that we knew had to be going toward some little town where we could maybe get water and fresh supplies. We only got in a bind once and that was in Nevada. We'd been without water all one day. We weren't worried about ourselves but about the horses. All of a sudden we topped a rise and there was a house. Just a house, nothing else for miles around. It was deserted, but they had a well and it still had water. We were mighty glad to see that place."
But it was all for nothing. Sixty-two days after they'd started they rode their horses into the Pacific at San Francisco. No one was there to meet them except their father and a few of the curious. They were two days late. They got nothing, not even a consolation prize.
And that was the end of their traveling. Or nearly so. A few months later the Indian Motorcycle Company sent a machine to Oklahoma with an offer that they ride it to New York City. Of course, they did. What else could they do? After you've crossed the country by horse and by car and a chance comes along to ride a motorcycle, why, you've got to take it. It was a tandem affair with two seats and two sets of handlebars. Louie drove all the way because the cumbersome cycle was too heavy for Temple to control.