Harry wasn't sure what life had in store for him but plowing a straight furrow was not what his future held. Like many boys on the cusp of becoming a teenager, he was starting to feel his wonderlust and it was time for him to sort out what life was all about for him.
He heard there were jobs up on the Columbia River working on The Dalles-Celilo Canal.
It was time for him to set his destiny in motion.
Giving Harry their blessing his folks drove him to town where he found a freighter headed north and traded him dome work for passage. When he got to Shaniko he thanked the driver for the ride; his mother had taught him good manners. He looked in wonderment at how the town had grown since he first arrived a decade earlier. Not yet old enough to shave, he was now on his own.
Shaniko had grown since he first arrived with his mother and brother from Minnesota in the fall of 1902. There were now three hotels, several livery stables, saddle shops and more freight wagons filled the street. Harry wasn't quite sure how he would make it north, but remembered that one of the fishermen at the lodge telling a story about waiting on the edge of town for a sympathetic stage driver or traveler who might give him a free ride. He was just a kid, might work. At the edge of town he ran into some older boys and young men who were waiting for the morning train heading north.
He saw a man with a droopy mustache and the mark of lifelong weathering on his face. He resembeled one of the ranchers who came by the fishing lodge and he guaged him to be safe. "Bindlestiffs they call us," the man said. He could probably see that Harry wa a ternderfoot. "We carry our belongings in a bundle." After some small talk they edged over to a group of older men. They took a cotton to the young boy and were ready to teach him a few tricks. "We wait at the edge of town to keeep from being found out and at a point where the trains gonna'the yard saw him. A boxcar with an open door was picking up speed and the man with the droopy mustache took his hands around the handle and ran into the open car. Harry overcame his reluctance and made the same move. Afer awhile he sat in the open door with his legs draped over the edge and watched the tan of the desert give way to a green countryside and knew his life would never be the same.
to be continued