The poet and writer Vachel Lindsay was a friend of the great Stephen Graham (see Graham’s entry in my ‘In Praise of Wild Camping’ series) and went tramping with him across the US Rockies back in 1921.
Lindsay would often roll-up at farm houses during his tramps and recite poetry in return for supper and permission to camp out on the farmer’s land (or better still a bed in the farmhouse).
The quote below comes from his book ‘A Handy Guide for Beggars – Especially Those of the Poetic Fraternity’ written in 1916.
About four o’clock I had made good my escape. I had begun to mount rolling, uninhabited hills. At twilight I entered a plain, and felt a new kind of civilization round me.
It would have been shabby in Indiana. Here it was glorious. They had whitewashed fences, and white-painted cottages, glimmering kindly through the dusk. Some farm machinery was rusting In the open. I climbed a last year’s straw-stack, and slept, with acres of stars pouring down peace.
- You can download a free copy of A Handy Guide for Beggars from Archive.org
- See also my post ‘The ‘Rules of the Road’ as set out by Vachel Lindsay‘
- See the complete list of quotes in praise of wild camping
Have YOU ever camped out the night on a haystack?
If so, what was it like? Answers below please : )