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Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Prose Works. 1892.

I. Specimen Days

175. Begin a Long Jaunt West

THE FOLLOWING three or four months (Sept. to Dec. ’79) I made quite a western journey, fetching up at Denver, Colorado, and penetrating the Rocky Mountain region enough to get a good notion of it all. Left West Philadelphia after 9 o’clock one night, middle of September, in a comfortable sleeper. Oblivious of the two or three hundred miles across Pennsylvania; at Pittsburgh in the morning to breakfast. Pretty good view of the city and Birmingham—fog and damp, smoke, coke-furnaces, flames, discolor’d wooden houses, and vast collections of coal-barges. Presently a bit of fine region, West Virginia, the Pan-handle, and crossing the river, the Ohio. By day through the latter State—then Indiana—and so rock’d to slumber for a second night, flying like lightning through Illinois.