Compared to the university town, Baden-Baden was a disappointment. Still engrossed in furnishing the Hartford house, Livy spent much of her time in the shops. But in his travelogue Sam depicted the city ambivalently, noting that the town “sits in the lap of the hills; and the natural and artificial beauties of the surroundings are combined effectively and charmingly,” but he also observed “sham, and petty fraud, and snobbery.” Still, “the baths are good,” He took the waters there in a nod to his mother's hydrotherapy and claimed that after “a fortnight’s bathing” his “twinges of rheumatism” had disappeared. In a play on the words of the popular German song “Ich hab’ mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren” (I left my heart in Heidelberg), Sam insisted that “I left my rheumatism in Baden-Baden.” Privately, however, he groused that the weather there was “dismally cold & rainy” with occasional spells of “hellish heat.” Even the Black Forest was “too close to B[aden-Baden] to be endurable. Still, by going to it one gets out of B.” The family was eager indeed to leave the town on excursions. As soon as they settled in the town, they embarked on a carriage trip through the Black Forest villages of Forbach, Schoenmuenzach, and Allerheilgen. Sam contrived a new civic motto: "See Naples & then die.—but endeavor to die before you see B.B.” He joked that in the Hétel de France he had “sent for soap & the waiter brought soup. Twichell rendezvoused with the family in Baden-Baden on August 1 and the next day Sam and Joe walked to Schloss-Favorite, about six miles north. Two days later, on Sunday, August 4, they hiked to Ebersteinburg, Zum Neuhaus, and Gernsbach, a round-trip of about twelve miles. They drank beer along the way, attended a village church, and dined before returning. As Sam observed in his journal, “It is pleasant to be in a country where you break the Sabbath without sin.” On these treks they “became very familiar with the fertilizer in the Forest” and soon ventured to judge “a mans station in life by this outward and eloquent sign.” When they “saw a stately accumulation” of manure, they concluded that a banker lived nearby. “When we encountered a country-seat surrounded by an Alpine pomp of manure, we said, ‘Doubtless a duke lives here.” Manure was “evidently the Black Forester’s main treasure,” and they learned to appreciate its worth as a measure of wealth. On August 5 they tramped to Achern and took a carriage to Ottenhéfen, “a very pretty village” where they lunched on fried trout and beer at the Hotel Pflug, then hiked to Allerheiligen by 6:00 p.m. and Oppenau by 8:30.
The next day Sam returned to Heidelberg by train with Twichell specifically to witness “one of the sights of Europe,” the “illumination of Heidelberg Castle.”