Worland, Wyoming to Baker, Oregon

Week Three

Worland, Wyoming to Baker, Oregon

June 13, 1924 – June 19, 1924 – 961 miles

June 13, 1924
Worland, Wyoming to Cody, Wyoming
95 miles

I left Worland early and got in to Cody about 10 a.m. where I found out that I could not get into Yellowstone Park until the June 15th [opening], so I took my motorcycle to a blacksmith and had him straighten the front fork. Cody is a town of about 1,200 people. They are going to unveil the monument of Buffalo Bill (William F. Cody) here July 4 and also have a real Western Stampede. I saw a little rough riding and roping today on their tryouts. I covered 95 miles today and I bought my supplies for my trip into the Park.

June 14, 1924
Cody, Wyoming to Yellowstone Park, Wyoming
Camp Yellowstone Lake altitude 7,800 feet
90 miles

I left Cody early and arrived in Yellowstone Park about 9:30 a.m. and went right in. The road from Cody is through Shoshone Canyon which rises from 1,200 to 1500 feet above the river in the bottom. The road runs along the river in some places and on top of the canyon in some places. There is a dam in the canyon that dams up the Shoshone River in the middle of the canyon. The dam is 328 feet high and 200 feet wide and cost $1,354,000 to build. The dam irrigates 300,000 square miles. The water is backed up for about 15 miles. From the entrance to the Park to Yellowstone Lake (the camping ground [where] I am staying in tonight) is all uphill. The road is just wide enough in most places for one car to pass with turnouts to pass cars going in the opposite direction. I passed through a mountain pass with snow on each side about 5 feet [deep]. It is a beautiful drive up here.

June 15, 1924
Yellowstone Park
201 miles

I left my camp at the north end of Yellowstone Lake early and started out to see the Park. The road followed the Yellowstone River all the way to Canyon Junction. At Canyon Junction the Yellowstone Falls and canyon are located. The falls are 109 feet. There are several small falls before the big one. From Canton Junction I went to Norris Junction. At Norris Junction the Norris Geyser and Norris Basin are located. From Norris Junction to Madison Junction the road follows the Gibson River. There is very pretty scenery on this road and also the Gibson River Falls which are 80 feet high. From Madison Junction I went on the road to Old Faithful. The road follows the Firehole River through the Lower Geyser Basin, The Mammoth Paint Pots, Firehole Lake and the Upper Geyser Basin. The Old Faithful Geyser has an altitude of 7,337 feet and throws water to a height of 165 feet every 55 minutes. I took 3 pictures of it. The water stayed up about 2 minutes. Leaving Old Faithful I went back to the road to Madison Junction. I took pictures of the Grant Geyser, the Grotto Geyser, and the Morning Glory. From Madison Junction I went to the road to the West entrance to the Park. The road follows the Madison River. As a whole Yellowstone Park is a wonderful place. From the Park I started on the road toward Pocatello, Idaho. I camped on the Warm River at Warm River. The tourists of 12 states camped there gathered around a large campfire and told stories and sang songs until 1:00 a.m. It was some day.

A tourist feeding a bear at Yelowstone Park

June 16, 1924
Warm River, Idaho to Black Foot, Idaho
94 miles

I left camp at Warm River about 10 a.m. and had rough going over loose gravel and sand. I took two spills in ruts but did not hurt me much. I am about over the Rockies and on the Plains. I am staying at a Hotel here in Black Foot, Idaho. Arrived here 2 p.m. They had a Western rodeo and horse racing celebrating Pioneer’s Day.

 

The Cottage Hotel
Half Block East of Depot
Blackfoot, Idaho
June 16, 1924
Dear Pop and Ma:
Arrived here safe at 2 p.m. this afternoon and am going to stay. They are having a celebration in honor of Pioneer’s Day and are having a rodeo and Boxing and wrestling tonight. This is a town of about 4,000 people.
I got to the Park about 9 a.m. June 14 and toured around all day and then the 15th until 4:30 p.m. and I think I saw everything worth seeing. The highest peak, Mt. Washburn, I did not see because they had not blasted the snow out yet. Will not be open before July 10. In some of the passes in the Park I drove my motor between walls of snow 10 to 12 feet high. They say there is snow there all year around. I stayed at Cody, Wyoming the night of the 12th and left at 4:30 a.m. the 14th for the Park. It is 55 miles. The road runs right up the Shoshone Canyon thru which flows the Shoshone River. I think the trip up that Canyon is as pretty as any in the Park. The road is just wide enough for 1 car in most places with places to stop to allow a car to go in the opposite direction. In some places the wall of the canyon rises 400 to 500 ft. above the road and on the other side has a drop of 200 ft straight down. In the middle of the canyon they have the dam that holds the water that irrigates all the land around here about 300,000 acres. The Dam is 328 ft. high and 210 ft. wide across the Canyon. The depth of the water is from 294 to 100 ft. and backs up for 15 miles up the Canyon.
I entered the Yellowstone Park at the Cody East Entrance and drove up over Sylvan Pass which has an altitude of 8,500 ft. The grades were so steep that my motor could hardly pull in low gears. A Ford car has to have 6 1/2 gallons of gas as it won’t run to the carburetor. I payed as high as $.63 a gallon for gasoline near the park. I took my time in going through and made camp at the Fishing Bridge on the North end of the Lake and at the mouth of the Yellowstone River. They catch trout there as fast as they can pull their line in almost. They only allow 10 fish to each man. The fish have skin instead of scales. I had a nice camping place but it got too cold in the middle of the night for much comfort. When I went down to the Lake to wash in the morning I had to break a little ice to get to the water. I camped with 4 fellows from Tyler, Texas, and we built a huge camp fire. At 8 p.m. we had a representative from VA., WA., Montana, California, NM, Texas, N Dakota, Maine, Ky, Vermont, Indiana, Ill, Mich and me from Md. There were 33 men in all and we sure had a good time until 11 p.m. telling stories, adventures, and singing.
I got up early in the morning the 13th and left camp at 5 a.m. with the Texas fellows. We went right up the Yellowstone River past the Mud Geysers, and Ghittenbridge to the Yellowstone Falls. The Yellowstone River here is a good big river running about 35 miles per hour. The Falls are twice the height of Niagara being 109 feet. I climbed down a path to the bottom of the Canyon and took some pictures, and then went North to Inspiration Point which is as far as I could go on account of the snow. I then went the West road through the Park to Norris Junction which has the Norris Geyser and Basin near. This whole section is made up of steaming Geysers. The holes [are] about 12 inches in diameter [and] already throwing out stream. I could not go the Northern road because of snow so I took the road to Madison Junction. In the way are numerous springs and the Griffen Falls which fall 80 feet. I then went the Southern road toward Old Faithful. On the way I passed the Tower Geyser Basin, the Mammoth Paint Pots which is a place about 50 ft. square where the ground throws out steam and makes great Pots of earth that look like different colors of paint. I then went to Old Faithful. I got there about 2 minutes before it shot a stream of boiling water into the air 165 feet. It keep it up [for] about 3 minutes. I took 3 pictures of it. I then went down as far as I could over the Continental Divide and then got back just in time to see Old Faithful go up again. It shoots every 55 minutes. I then went back to Madison Junction and then out the West Yellowstone, Montana entrance to the Park.
I then took the road south thru Montana to Idaho and then south to a large U.S. Public Camp Grounds at Warm River, Idaho. There was a large crowd of tourists there and we had a real good time until after midnight. I am not going by way of Salt Lake City because the roads are too bad on the desert of Nevada. Am going by way of Pocatello, Twin Falls and Boise, Idaho to the Oregon Line and then take the Columbia Highway to Portland, Oregon and then down the coast to Los Angeles. I wrote to General Delivery Salt Lake City and told them to send all mail to Los Angeles. My motor is running fine and I am OK having the time of my life.
Your son,
Phil

 

June 17, 1924
Black Foot, Idaho to Filer, Idaho
164 miles

I left Black Foot about 11 a.m. The roads were hard but had loose gravel and stone on them, making it hard to ride in places. I took the State Highway by way of Pocatello, American Falls, Delco, Burley, and Twin Falls. I went across the suspension bridge across the Snake River which they say is the highest suspension bridge in the world. It is 10 miles east of Twin Falls. I covered 164 miles across the Desert of Idaho today. It is the northern end of the Great American Desert. In places there was stretches of 40 to 50 miles with not even a house. I’ll get the rest of the desert tomorrow on my way to Boise, Idaho. I camped in a barn.

June 18, 1924
Filer, Idaho to Boise, Idaho
158 miles

I left Filer, Idaho about 10 a.m. on fairly good roads. It has been cloudy all day and several times I got caught in little showers. They say it is the first time it has rained here in two months. All the road today was over dirt except where they irrigate the land. I am now in the Blue Mountains. They have a suitable name because they have a bluish look for miles around. I am staying at the Y.M.C.A. here tonight. They have a fine place here. I am going to wrestle in the Gym tonight. I covered 158 miles today.

June 19, 1924
Boise, Idaho to Baker, Oregon
150 miles

I left the Y.M.C.A. at Boise about 1:30 p.m. and started west on the Old Oregon Trail. The road was gravel and very good. I covered the last 51 miles in 1 hour and 12 minutes over gravel mountain roads. Motor runs better than ever. Everything O.K. so far and staying at the Y. here. I am now traveling on Pacific time.

Week Four