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.
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.
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.