Journal of Dr GFW
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Morning rather cloudy. Changed one of our horses and started before breakfast. During the morning I saw some beautiful situation which indicated good soil and industrious inhabitants. We now crossed the Susquehannah and are in Pennsylvania. Drove over some tremendous bad roads in consequence of a part of the main road which runs very close to the margin of the River and a high mountain on the right. The road has been made by digging perpendicular down the hill. Here we had to go around and in many places the elevation seemed so steep that it appeared impossible to ascend it. Yet by slow and cautious management we surmounted the difficulty and at twelve o'clock arrived at a little place called Towanda, having traveled the distance of twenty miles. Here we took dinner, making many inquiries in relation to roads and distances, so much so that a stranger, Captain and proprietor of a large Raft of Plank, finding that we wished to go to Harrisburgh made us the offer of the raft if we would accept it, declaring it would be as expeditious as by land and save us expenses, two considerations that completely coincided with our wants and as people generally do when suited we very willingly accepted the generous offer and at two o'clock made the necessary arrangements and drove on the floating raft. - In a very short time we unmoored and were carried pleasantly down the stream by the current. Our captain appeared to be quite agreeable, a gentleman, sociable, kind, and accommodating. The sky had been cleared of clouds and the day was fine and pleasant. Then a good shelter was erected in the middle of the raft for shelter from rain or a shade from the sun. Our horses stood in the open air fastened to the carriage. Everything seemed to wear a favorable aspect, which gave us leisure to think of home and friends from whom we were fast increasing the distance which now intervened, and to anticipate the future, at the same time affording us a fine view of the adjacent country bordering immediately on the River on either side. Our velocity, as may be supposed, was now very irregular. Sometimes our motion was so slow that you could scarcely discern it, and then again we would glide along at a rapid rate, keeping in perfect unison with the surrounding country and obstructions created thereby to even and straight course of the water.