Burton Holmes, the man who brought the world home

Excerpt from the book "Burton Holmes Travelogues"

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United States: Land of hopes

Seeing America is strenuous work. To see it all is out of the question. The acme of sublimity in natural scenery is reached in Arizona. The world is not aware that this is true, nor do I hope to prove that it is true except to those who, with an interest aroused by words that are inadequate and pictures that fall far short of the reality, shall someday undertake the marvelous journey that glorified for me the summer of 1898.

When I first visited the Grand Cañon in Arizona, it was inaccessible to the multitude, known to very few and had been viewed only by the Indian, the explorer, the prospector and an occasional enterprising traveler. The traveler usually enters the Grand Cañon by a firstclass wagon road from Flagstaff, seventy-five miles to the Grand Cañon at Grand View. The road is open for travel in spring, summer and fall, and the trip takes two days each way by wagon. Supplies, camp outfits and teams are procurable in Flagstaff. Camping trips with pack and saddle animals, or with wagon and saddle animals, are organized, completely equipped and placed in charge of experienced guides. Horse trips over any of the Cañon trails into the Cañon are permitted only in the company of a guide. This rule is merely a matter of precaution.

The arrival of our party at Flagstaff, Arizona, the startingpoint for the stage ride (to the Cañon), with cameras and chronomatographs, almost a mile of film, and rather more than two hundred weight of plates, causes the citizens to smile and murmur to themselves,"Here come another group of sanguine photographers, doomed to disaster and defeat."

Flagstaff has been very aptly described as a nice little town with nothing Puritanical about it; nor is it hypocritical. For barefaced honest badness, all on the surface, commend me to this frank and open town of Flagstaff. We first pass three saloons, then a restaurant, a newsstand, and a barber-shop, and then another group of drinking-halls, and there are no screen doors to hide the bars. No; gambling is not winked at by the municipality, it is boldly smiled upon, and flourishes like a green bay-tree upon a score of green baize tables. Even the smoking-room of our hotel nightly resounds to the click of the ivory chips along with the chink of silver dollars; but in the glorious, healthful atmosphere of Arizona much of the abjectness of these pitiable pursuits is lost.
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Wilshire Links Miniature Golf Course, Beverly Hills, California, 1931
The Normandie pulls into port, New York Harbor, 1935