National Geographic : 1978 Oct
"' G / ARVELLOUSLY clear, thrillingly cool," wrote Stevenson of the waters of the Tarn River, where the author makes camp at Le Pont de Montvert. She, too, found refreshment wading in the astringent stream, and now (right) treats Modestine to a sugar lump while heating water for tea. You can't even lead a donkey to water, much less make her drink, the author discovers at a fountain at Florac (below, left). When R.L.S. stopped at Florac, he met "a young man, intelligent and polite"-a Protestant pastor. That pastor's grandson, the Reverend Andre, lives at Florac today and met with author Patterson. Wearing a celebratory crown of carrots (far right), Modestine stops with the author for a visit with well-wishers at the finish, St. Jean du Gard. It had been hard, with some daylong hikes of 15 miles or more. But the land had been a glory and the people met along the way a revelation in friendship. As with Robert Louis Stevenson, the author concludes: "I had the best of luck to the end."