Tues. July 1
Moved on as we didn't like O.F. camp. M.H. flunked out on the trail hiking proposition completely, when it came time to actually start. After finding he couldn't actually drive clear to our objective on the Bechler River, he proposed hiking to Shoshone lake from a point on the highway only 3 mi. distant. So I agreed, but when we got there he wouldn't start without going down first, empty handed, to see whether there was a good place to camp! "We might find nothing but rocks," he said. Of course, that meant camping overnight at the road camp, and we had already hung up our grub, two big lard cans full, in trees.
I told him to never mind, I'd go alone, and in order not to keep him waiting, I left the pack outfit and taking only belt axe, compass, matchbox and emergency ration, I took the trail to West Thumb where he was going to camp that night.
It made a nice hike, 8 miles by airline but a good many more by trail, I found. I had a little trouble locating a point where my trail was to branch. I soon learned how these were marked, however, and had no further trouble. The trail crossed the road once, and there M.H. left me a note to cheer me up. I reached camp at 6:30, after starting at 1:30, pretty tired and footsore but otherwise OK.
Weds. July 2
Did a washing, bigger than any I've had yet. Rightly or wrongly I have got the feeling that M.H. isn't keeping up his end of the camp work, and I'm trying to fix it so he'll either do a little more or benefit a little less from what I do. I hardly have time to write home or do anything for myself. He pitches tent & sets up the bed, about 30 min. work. I spend about six hours a day working, and after camp is set, he seems to figure if he washes the dishes and lets me wipe them and put everything away, that he's done his share.
In the evening I went up to Duck Lake, where he had gone fishing unsuccessfully earlier in the day, and got 2 nice brown trout, 14 1/2 & 17 1/2 inches respectively.
Thurs. July 3
Went fishing in the channel from Shoshone to Lewis lake. M.H. went down from where we struck the channel and I up, as I wanted to see Shoshone Lake. As it developed, he got the part of the channel with the pools, and I the swift water. I hooked two big fish on my Dowagiac plug, and they both twisted off. I couldn't & can't understand it for they seemed completely hooked. M.H. got three of the same big fish, Mackinaw trout, 22 inches long. I helped him pack them four miles out to the road, and when we got to the car, took his picture holding them.
They were delicious meat, the best we've had as well as the biggest, I think. Had one for supper. While we were gone, the bears tore up the bobbinet mosquito net over the door, and a small hole in the further corner of the tent, pawed our dishes apart and over the ground, walked on our table oilcloth and just raised the devil generally though there wasn't a particle of food in the place. Our bacon and lard were outside in a tree 30 feet from the tent.
Fri. July 4
2 weeks in the park and 3 from home today. Took a bath in the AM and wrote a long letter home, took till 2 PM. Cooked some dried fruit, mixed peaches, apricots & prunes which turned out delicious. Set them aside for dinner.
Dinner was the biggest success yet. I invented out of sheer imagination a pot roast of Mackinaw trout and it was delicious, with bacon, vinegar, salt, pepper & sugar in it, and steamed. Another big feature was the successful initiation of my reflector baker. I baked a batch of biscuits and they were perfect, browned to a turn, done through & through in only 12 min. cooking. M.H. made shortcake of them with the fruit, and ate his full quota of the trout beside.
Later walked around the pools & geysers, which we agree are better here than anywhere else, though the geyser is smaller.
In evening a couple from Salt Lake City and another from San Fran. with their little son came and sat with us by our campfire till about ten. We chatted the evening along most pleasantly & learned considerable from the California man who is quite intelligent. The other man reminded me of Jack Jarman. Almost nothing to remind one it was the Fourth.
Sat. July 5
Fished in Shoshone channel again and came home with 3 big Mackinaw trout and two Lock Levens, bigger yet. M.H. caught 3 of the 5 fish. His yellow plug seems to make them crazy. I got one on my white plug after much work, but they strike his yellow one continually. I got my 2nd fish with it. We were the heroes of the camp & M.H. gave three of the fish away.
A couple from Los Angeles, one from Grand Rapids, Mich. and the same couple from San Fran. were with us at our fireside at night.
I learned that the wife of the man from Los Angeles is a German Swiss. I chatted with her a bit in German - really chatted, for I had no trouble at all to understand every word she said, the first person I ever have talked to what one might call successfully.
Sun. July 6
Spent most of the forenoon preparing wood for the last campfire in the camp. Made biscuits again, 3rd batch I've made, as we had no bread and the store was out. Entirely successful every time. Same crowd as last night at our fire.
Mon. July 7
Moved on to Tower Falls. In Lake bought some supplies and got 3 letters from Ruby & Jane. Another time there should be no reliance whatever on purchasing supplies in the Park. I got green tea in Tower after failing at Lake & Canyon. I left meat till Canyon & couldn't get it there or at Tower. The latter place doesn't sell flour of any kind. None of these stores carry salt pork and prices are of course very high, varying from place to place. 15 cents seems to be the standard price for a 1 lb. loaf of bread, milk 15 cents a qt., weenies 40 cents a lb., steak 45, (hardly any other fresh meat is to be had) corn meal is only sold, even in Cody, in 1 lb. pkgs. at 15 cents, buckwheat was not available except in pancake flour, graham in 9 lb. bags, sugar 12 1/2 cents a lb., etc. All bread sold in the Park comes from Livingston, Montana and is stale enough to toast when the stores get it. The stores have no ice & milk sours quickly. Diluted Carnation milk seems to taste about as good as fresh. We brought 3# of milk powder, and if we'd done most of our baking we'd have used 10# or more.
After reaching Tower, drove out on road to Cooke City, looking for place to camp & fish Lamar & Slough Creek, said to be good. But everything out there is sagebrush desert, no trees, flies terrible, so we came back to Tower. M.H. wants to start home next day. I suggested Madison or Thumb again but he wouldn't go to either place. I said, O.K., go home, but to be understood I hadn't tired of it & wanted to stay. Suggested a camp in one of the groves along Yellowstone river, but didn't suit him, but he wouldn't go home till I was ready.
A ranger lecture in evening, Another ranger says good campsites farther up Lamar & Slough. Neglected to say we drove over top of Mt. Washburn one way, worth the time, but so hazy not mucch to be seen. I hiked from Sunset to Lamar nine miles, making 42 miles I have hiked since entering the park, mostly over trails, some of them the natural forest by compass & sun. Saw herd of 5 deer.
Tues. July 8
Got so dirty walking yesterday I had a bath and did a wash afterward. As I had to be in camp anyhow I set a batch of bread sponge to try out my oven on.
In evening, as we sat alone by the campfire, before which the bread had been baked shortly before, I remarked to M.H. that since Ruby was now in mood to go camping I'd just as soon go back to Michigan. He said OK, so it's decided we start tomorrow AM. The bread (which I made all graham since we were nearly out of white flour and would get none at the absurd stores here) turned out very good indeed. It was moist and yet done through. We ate a whole loaf while it was hot yet, with honey & butter.
June 1 Sun.
Returned to Lansing by country roads to avoid the traffic. Stopt in Grand Rapids for dinner and to let "Grandpa" Chase see the boy. 11:30PM and not in bed yet!
June 2 Mon.
Sacked up all the dry materials now ready for the trails food pack. Put some beans to soak at noon, cooked them in pressure cooker tonight and dried them out enough to let them finish up air drying. Set about 5 lb. of rhubarb to dry.
Put up tea & coffee in backs, a pebble in each bag for a sinker except the bags which go in the trails outfit. Listed foods bought to date with cost.
Finished everything I could see to do on the tent and set it up in the back yard. A few details then became visible that needed revision. Packed the packing nut on the fan shaft of the car that has been leaking; painted the lawn swing, second coat; raked the corner of the back yard by the garage that has been neglected, pulled out onions, asparagus, hollyhocks, weeds, etc. which have grown up there, removed the posts & fence the grapes were tied up on and moved the bird bath to the back yard.
Spent noon hour getting dinner. In evening partly erected the beam from which the lawn swing is to be hung and made eight muslin food bags. Then R. and I went for a ride to Pine Lake.
Packed up groceries in two lard cans, partly in bags and partly in cans and packages.
June 7 Sat.
Completed hanging the lawn swing in the back yard. Hauled an express wagon load of dirt from a pile up the street and filled several small holes about the lot.
June 8 Sun.
Worked all day, packing clothing, equipment, food, etc. In the afternoon the family went to Okemos for eggs. I looked for mushrooms and found a small mess. Prepared a new dish this morning, Pork en casserole. It is quite successful, a little like a beef stew, but quite unique and not at all the same. Nutmeg & clove seasoning gave it distinction.
June 16 Mon. (possibly written while riding in the car; handwriting uneven)
Went thru Bad Lands. Saw prairie dogs, lava, picked up fossils, hunted for rattlesnakes & found only little cacti with pretty blossoms. Camped in a beautiful camp in the Black Hills, pines, rushing streams, big rocky hills, deer and a fairly equipped state park.
June 17th Tues.
Went thru Wind Cave, 5 mi. trip. Very hot outside, the blast of wind from the cave, strong enough to blow my hat off, felt icy cold, but disappeared 50 ft. from entrance. 390 ft. down, all cool & dry, becoming almost dusty at lower levels.
June 18 Wed.
My 39th birthday. Drove through Needles Hway and past Sylvan Lake. Nice camp there. MH thinks it's free. Water too cool for me but women might enjoy it. Saw a 2 lb. trout dead in a cranny of rock. Took a few pictures. Big pin trees along highway for miles. At four PM reached Devil's Tower, Wyoming. Climbed to bottom of the sheer fluted column, a stiff climb at the last. Walked around in about 20 minutes. A beautiful camp site at top of the [???] on which it stands, by pines, good spring and shelter house. We had it all to ourselves.
June 19 Thurs.
Drove to Big Horn Mountains, stopping for pictures and a run around at Big Muddy Pass. Elev. there 9660 or practically 10,000. Plenty of big snow drifts.
Made camp on Ten Sleep Creek, a roaring torrent which has cut a tremendous gash through the hills.
June 20 Fri.
Gave up stopping a day in Big Horns as we couldn't fish there without a $4 license. Got up at 4:00 AM & started final drive to Yellowstone. Ten Sleep Canyon is a tremendous thing, several miles in length and I drove this time. Stopped to catch and snap a small woodchuck-like animal which we guessed was a marmot. Numbers of them crossed the road ahead, always from left to right.
On desert again, stopped to chase a small snake which ran down a hole.
Caught some grasshoppers. Remember to catch hoppers in the desert when crossing again. None in Yellowstone yet. (No good for bait. Spinners better)
Later tried to run over a big snake stretched out across road but he snatched in his head. We went back and watched him crawl away into the sage. He was too big to argue with but had no rattles.
Bought supplies in Cody, best place to trade we have found in the West. A chain [claim?] store there is quite reasonable. Prices in Hot Springs, Wyoming were very high.
M.H. drove up Shoshone Canyon, a greater sight than Ten Sleep, but only 1 1/2 miles long, very steep road. I drove from park entrance to Lake Camp some 25 mi. $3 to enter car, closed after 6 PM. Many places to camp along road both in Shoshone Forest outside the park, and after entering the latter.
June 21 Sat.
Cooked a batch of food - beans, steamed brown bread, and tapioca-fruit pudding in the pressure cooker and at 4:00 went fishing up Pelican Creek. M.H. got 1 big cut-throat and 3 rainbows, and I got two cut-throats. My fish were 15 & 16 inches long, his 8, 10, 12 and 17. We were delighted with our luck, tho everybody has been bringing in fish. I steaked the cut-throats, and we ate the rainbows for supper.
June 22 Sun.
Last night a commotion about 2 AM. I got up with my long-range flashlight & went out. A grizzly bear as tall as a horse and several times as big was clawing and tearing at the grub box of a neighbor's tent. He looked up at the light 2 or 3 times, didn't seem to like it, and finally lumbered away until he got out of the spotlight. We were worried for our fish, but most of them are safe now as we ate all but 2 pieces for breakfast.
Drove to Tower Falls, stopping for 2 or 3 hours at the Canyon. Ate dinner near Tower and intended to camp there but a pouring rain came up while we were eating. M.H. stretched a canvas under which we finished our meal. Then drove on to Mammoth, intending to rent a cottage if the rain continued. It stopped, and we camped there.
June 24 Tues.
Walked around Terrace Trail, visiting various hot springs and the Devils Kitchen, an old crater some 20 ft deep & 40 long. Returned to camp and made a half broth stew, ate dinner and went for a walk down to the river. A pouring rain came up and we reached camp drenched.
June 25 Wed.
Climbed Mt. Evarts, opposite our camp, not by the horse trail, but by one of our own, scrambling up a gulch which broke back thru the sheer precipice at the top, and down thru another we found on either side. We came down a long way from camp & got here pretty tired. I picked up 3 antlers in a stream valley. At the top a pool of rainwater had collected in a hollow rock from which I drank and was greatly refreshed. M.H. declined it. Drank again from Lava Creek at bottom. Upon returning to camp warmed up stew & hominy & got supper, made a steamed pudding & steamed brown bread which are cooking as I write. Cleaned up and shaved, did some preliminary packing up, and M.H. did the dishes.
June 26 Thur.
Broke camp and moved on to Madison Jct. stopping at Norris to see the geyser field there. 2 geysers played during our stay, one quite a beauty. Saw the Obsidian Cliffs and drank apoblinaris (?) water.
Madison is a beautiful camping place. I am delighted with it.
June 27 Fri.
Worked about camp all day. A noisy bunch camped alongside us about midnight last night, yelling, tooting their horn to scare off bears, etc. This AM we woke them and called them to get up by their 1st names all round, Doc and Laura, Frank & Marie & even the dogs. We made them get up under threat of taking cores from their valve-stems. They were pretty good-natured about it, and aren't even quite sure who did it, I think.
Bathed, did a washing, wrote a long letter home & got bean soup for supper. Had to use pressure to cook the beans, then boiled them for hours to make the soup good. M.H. likes the beans, I the soup.
June 28 Sat.
A man from the noisy camp proved to be an old fisherman in Yellowstone & gave us some tips on getting to the little known places. With the aid of the info thus obtained we drove an abandoned road far up Nez Perce Creek & fished down getting 6 trout, none very large. I got 4 about 10-12 inc & M.H. 2 smaller. The hike up the raod, now a trail, above the ford, was beautiful and gave us both much pleasure. Upon returning to the highway, we went to Old Faithful (which went off just as we entered the village) got our mail, 3 letters apiece, and replaced spinners which we had lost during the days fishing.
Neglected to add that last night after dinner, I went for a hike to the foot of Purple Mountain, nearby. It only took five min. to get there, as I thought I'd climbed up a ways. Of course, I went to the top, and from there to the tops of two other peaks nearby which are really all peaks of the same hill. Got back about eight and just at nightfall.
June 29 Sun.
Spent most of the day cooking & working around camp. M.H. went fishing in the Gibbon but got nothing.
June 30 Mon.
Went to Old Faithful, siteseeing along the way. The camp is very unattractive there. I found it a most unpleasant place to stay. Prices are unendurably high. Bananas were 20c a pound, milk 20c a quart. Saw a geyser play four times, heard 2 good lectures, one the bear lecture, the other geology. Saw the grizzlies feed and fight.
Maurice H. Pancost camping trip, 1930