Camping With the Sioux: Fieldwork Diary of Alice Cunningham Fletcher

A scene in Blair, Neb., Sept. 17, 1881

September 17, 1881

We started at 7.30 or 8 and made our way northward. The long banks of leaden clouds grew less dense, and by 10 A.M., the sunlight struck across the hills. It was delightful overhead, but muddy and sticky under foot. We walked a mile or two to get warm. About 10 1/2 we entered Blair, bought feed and our dinner and created a sensation.

Blair is a thrifty little town. Two principal streets cross each other at right angles, one going over the R.R. track and branching off on either side stretching into the farms beyond. The well built street lying parallel to the R.R.. Mostly two storied and one story houses with flaming signs.

The country on to our camping ground was wonderfully fine. Miles of miles of cornfields, hundreds of acres. The air was clear and I could count cattle over 1 1/2 miles off. Bluffs, 30 miles off looked as tho. they were 10 miles distant.

About five miles out we camped by the road and kindled our first fire. Had purchased steak, watermelon and oats at Blair, so all were content - ate heartily. The farmer gave us tomatoes. It was nearly two when we started on. Passed through Herman, over mud, deep and black. About 7 we reached Tekama and put up at the Astor House. Tel. from Miss Bowles, ill and not coming, so we paid hotel prices, ate middling fare and slept in dirty sheets.

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