Bio: Ferguson, Feutz, & Qualley Motorcycle West
Surnames: FERGUSON, FEUTZ, QUALLEY, DAY,
Our country was developed by adventurous people. Len Ferguson and two friends, Lynn Feutz and Richard Qualley, former residents of the Cannonville area, young men with little money, rode west on motorcycles. Taken from a book of Len's memoirs, is this humorous account of their trip west.
"In the spring of 1935, Roy (Ferguson) and I worked for an old boy named Fred Day. He came from Chicago and bought a section of land. He had big plans of farming it. He was quite a character. I don't know if he had a lot of money, but he pretended he did. That was all right. We did get some of his money. I believe Richard helped us make a thousand fence posts, which we sold to him, that's probably what financed our trip West.
In July of 1935, Lynn Feutz, Richard and I planned a trip to Yellowstone Park. Richard and Lynn rode together on Rich's 1927 Harley. I rode my 1931 H. D. They would go as far as Yellowstone Park. There we would separate and I would go on to the state of Washington. Richard had ground up some parched corn, and had a good supply of venison jerky. When you were hungry you took a piece of jerky, a few spoons of powdered parched corn, mix it with some water and that quick meal was ready. I don't believe Lynn was too fond of it, but it served us well. When we parted company at Yellowstone Park, I took my share of corn with me. My bed roll was a canvas bag with a wool quilt inside. We didn't have a tent ~ just the open sky to sleep under.
In South Dakota, one evening, we were enjoying riding in the moonlight. We came to a place where hay was being made. It had been raked into bunches. Richard and I thought the hay would be a good place to spend the night. Lynn had other thoughts, he didn't want a rattler for a bed partner. Reluctantly he crawled in the hay pile, and sat on a big cactus. With rattlers on his mind, as he struck that cactus in his behind, he went into high orbit thinking for sure a rattler had bit him. No way could we get him back in the bag. When morning came and he was still alive, only then would he believe maybe it was a cactus he had met up with.
In the Black Hills of South Dakota we saw the man as he was carving the Mt. Rushmore memorial. Mr. Gutson Borglum, a Norwegian, was the designer of the masterpiece.
The motorcycle club at Rapid City (South Dakota) showed us an out of the way place we could ride our bikes and make camp. A nice little creek ran by the spot. We were thirsty for milk. We had bought a quart of milk to be divided three ways. Lynn saved part of his milk, putting it in the creek to keep cool, planning to have a bit of milk with his parched corn breakfast. I couldn't resist getting up in the night and drank his milk leaving just enough milk to color the water, making it to appear it had just kind of spilled. The next morning, when Lynn saw his watered milk he really cried, something happened to his milk. Listening to all his wailing I knew he wouldn't take too kindly to my little prank. I waited for forty-five years before I told him what really happened to his can of milk.
Not having a wind shield on the bikes, the wind really burned our faces. It didn't help when I ran into a swarm of bees. We really enjoyed the park. Everything was new and exciting to us, especially the bear and the large elk. After seeing their horns I knew I had to hunt elk. Then the time came for us to part."
This account was printed in the "Good Old Days" feature of the Clark County Press, Neillsville, Oct. 16, 1996.
In the top photo below, Richard Qualley, Lynn Feutz, & Leonard Ferguson pose in their traveling gear with the packed and ready to go Harley Davidsons, 1935.
In the lower photo: The fellas recreated the scene with the same Harleys about 50 years later but this time, their wives join them.
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