Submitted by scott on

August 24 Saturday  From Sam’s notebook:“…up, shaved breakfasted, before 8—everybody gone but us…visited Gasternthal—gushing waterspout from rock. Sun shining on green ice & blazing snow…Chased a chunk down stream” [MTNJ 2: 143]. 

The pair set off with an old guide and climbed on foot up through the pass, coming down a precipitous trail to the village of Leuk[erbad]  In his notebook Sam put the time at 3:30, a hike of seven hours. It was a “raw and rainy night”; Sam missed “our library fire” [2: 144].

... they observed the strange but civil display of bathing customs at Leukerbad: bathers sat in baths up to their necks, dressed in full flannel outfits, and bathed for hours. Each bather used a small floating table to read or take coffee. Others were permitted to watch the bathers [MTNJ 2: 144n64].

Sam wrote from Leukerbad, Switzerland to Livy, that he and Joe had “a most noble day,” hiking and climbing seven hours. Coming down the last two hours on a “path as steep as a ladder…taxed” the knees. Sam observed that at each altitude level, the weather was like going back a month into the past season. Joe lost his hat over a precipice but found an opera glass [MTLE 3: 107; MTNJ 2: 145].

Mark Twain , in  "A Tramp Abroad", is unable to distinguish the names of two locations:  The town in the valley is called Leuk or Leukerbad. We pointed our course toward it, down a verdant slope which was adorned with fringed gentians and other flowers, and presently entered the narrow alleys of the outskirts and waded toward the middle of the town through liquid "fertilizer." They ought to either pave that village or organize a ferry.

Twain does mention a village 1/2 hour out of Leukerbad, which is likely Leuk, on their way to Visp, August 26.