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Allen English's Trip To Yellowstone in 1926

Allen A. English 
RR #1  
Dayton, Ohio

A trip to the Yellowstone.  June and July 1926.                                   

The Yellowstone Park is 1878 miles from Dayton, Ohio.  Back, 1966 miles to Dayton.  3844 miles.

We (Allen, age 24 years old, and Ralph) leave Dayton, Wednesday, June 2, 1926 at 11:30 a.m.
Everything running in fine shape.  The old 1917 fliver (?) sounds like a (Packard).  We encountered very strong winds out of the west making sailing rather slow.   But we made good time arriving in Indianapolis at 4:30 p.m.  One tire got tired and thought it would retire on us so it blew out in Richmond.  Putting on a new one we started out again.  We spent a
few hours in Indianapolis and saw the main points of interest.  One, the S and S Monument a wonderful work of art.  Standing 314 feet up from the street.  We left Indianapolis about 6:30 p.m. going some 8 or 10 miles from town.  On finding a good place to camp for the night, we pulled up and stopped.  It was a woods with no farm houses near so we could camp unmolested.  When we stopped I heard a very familiar sound like steam escaping from a boiler.  But was happy to find it was only a tack in the rear tire.  We thought more of our stomachs than we did of the tire so we ate and went to bed.  --- Good night.

Thursday, June 3, 1926

Had a fine nights sleep, it would have been much better if we had had a few hot bricks in bed with us.  It was very cool, to cool for the amount of bedding we had.  Got up at 5:30 a.m. so we could get warm.  After breakfast of bacon and – with coffee we felt fine.  After fixing tire here to for mentioned we got under way for Chicago.  The sun never came out to see us once all day and it started to rain about the middle of the fore-noon, but we ran away from the storm and about 1:30p.m. we had gotten into dry country, so we ate some dinner.  We had no trouble at all and arrived at a T. C. 10 miles from Chicago where we will spend the night and see the town tomorrow.  One of the front tires needs some attention to night, but it can wait till morning.  So we will have a little music in place of it before we turn in.  

Friday, June 4, 1926
Last night it was not quite so cold and we had a fair nights sleep.  Got up at 5:30 a.m. and built a fire which felt very good.  Then we had our coffee and bacon and eggs only the bacon was not burned this morning.  After breakfast we set up our shaving parlor and changed our rags and slicked up for an inspection tour of the city.  Our dressing room was only big enough for one at a time, but at last we stepped forth with our Sunday go to meeting duds on.  Taking a car at 111th St. we road and road for about 15 miles to about the center of town for .7 cents and a transfer.  After getting on and off  the cars we finely came to the Chicago Tribune Bld.  Taking the elevator we  went up 34 stories to the tower.  There through powerful glasses we had a wonderful view of the city.  It was very smokey so we could not see all parts of the town very will.   Then we walked around for a while on Mich. Blvd.  (Speed limit is what ever your car can do.)  Also went out to White City but it was not open as yet.  Boarding the right cars we finely got back to our own (car) about 4 P.M.   Fixing tire here-to-for-mentioned, we started though Chicago at the rush hour 5 P.M.  It was not as much of a job as one would think.  As we knew the route and could see the signs all we had to do was to watch the traffic signals and step on the gas.  And  believe me I had it open most of the time in order to keep up with the rest of the traffic.  There were three columns of cars one after another for about 20 miles.  After we got through the business section it was the same in the residential section on Mich. Blvd.  We only saw one accident in all this time in Chicago.  Mich. Blvd. is a wonderful drive north of Chi. As far as we are which is Ft. Sheridan.  This is some 25 miles out and there is good pavement and side walks all the way.  With wonderful homes on both sides.  About 2 or 3 houses in every block.  We are going to camp here in Fort  S. for the night with a wonderful view of the lake.

Saturday, June 5, 1926

After breakfast of bacon, we went down and broke the ice on the lake and went in, wading.  The road from this point on, is the most wonderful drive that one can think of.  It winds along the lake shore from Chicago through the forest for 50 miles all good pavement going through a number of small towns.  There are deep ravines that are bridged over and you can look down upon the tops of the trees.  The next minute there is an immense cliff towering above you.  We passed through Lake Forest, there is found the Lake Forest Academy.  We also went through Zion City.  It looked like any other small town to us.  The next town was Kenosha where I ran into an old friend of mine from Dayton.  He is with the Kusge Co. in training for a managers job.  The next town was Racine, then to Milwaukee.  Here we leave the lake shore and travel North West.  Thank goodness   it gets a little warmer as we leave the lake shore.  We are camping at a tourist camp at Slinger, Wisc.  We had a good supper.  I opened a can of peas for a change and with much sampling I got it to suit our taste almost.  With all the rest of the side dishes we had a big feed.  Then we sleep??

Sunday, June 6, 1926
It started to rain early this morning so when we got up there was no dry wood and it was still raining a little.  Although it rained off and on all day and the wind was very strong we made good time.  We find very good roads so far most of them are paved.  We are stopping at Unity Park, Unity.  The country is very beautiful here.  It is very hilly.  At some time or other there has been forest fires through part of the state (central Wis.) for theirs a vast fields of charred stumps and the woods are all young.  This must have been a glacier region at one time for there are enormous rocks all through the fields that the farmers can not remove.  At a little town of Spencer this afternoon we saw a bad wreck.  A man had to turn into the ditch to avoid hitting another machine.  When we got there they were removing the occupancy to the hospital.  Tonight we got supper in regular home style as there is an old range here in this building.  I opened a can of vegetable soup for a change.  

Monday, June 7, 1926
Another cold and windy day ahead.  We had one tire to fix this morning.  In the town of  Eau Claire we got off the rout.  We were to take another rout there.  We took it all right and went 25 miles when we discovered we were going the wrong way.  Well we lost about 50 miles that time.  We are about 60 miles from St. Paul.  The country is very beautiful here.  The road goes up and down over the hills and through the valleys.  With a wonderful view at all times.  

Tuesday, June 8, 1926
Last night we camped in Elmwood Park, Elmwood, Wis.  When we stopped we discovered that the front spring was broken.  We thought we would try to make St. Paul with it.  After supper and chicken soup, mainly soup, we had some music.  There were a group of young folks coming to the park and we got acquainted.  They were the members of the Epworth League of the Methodist Church of Elmwood.  We met the pastor of the church Mr. Beers and the rest of the League.   Ralph gave them a little music and we had a marshmallow roast and a very nice time in all.  This morning we decided to put a new spring on as there was a lot of blocks and boards to use in the park.  We got started about noon today.  The road from Elmwood was not very good, with no pavement at all.  We crossed a toll bridge today, the second one on the trip.  It was over the St. Croix River, the state line.  Wisc. And Minn.  Tonight we are camped by the side of a deep ravine just out of St. Paul.  

Wednesday, June 9, 1926
After writing a few letters, we got started about 8:30.  They have some wonderful highways in this state Minn. No pavement but improved dirt road, we made very good time, camping at Appleton.  It was very hot today and nothing to see as the country is very flat with no woods.  Field after field of corn and wheat.  We are in a tourist camp by the side of a little creek.  It is a creek that runs through the town and is very dirty.  We saw a lot of carp in it and Ralph got out his pole and tried to get some of them, but they would not bit.  180 miles today.

Thursday, June 10, 1926
Today we went through some of the real open spaces.  Mile after mile of flat land with not a tree as far as the eye can see.  Just fields after fields of grain and stock.  This is in northern S. Dakota.  It looks as if one was in a great basin.  On all sides you can see in the distance the hills meet the sky line.  And when you come to them, you go down into another basin.  One looks for miles and sees nothing save a farm house and barns here and there.  The soil is very good and the crops are coming along fine.  Tonight we camp on the Missouri River near Mobridge S.D.  We are on the west side of the river in the Black Rock Hills.  These hills are on either side of the Missouri river and are very beautiful.  There are very little woods in these hills.  We made 256 miles today.

Friday, June 11, 1926
Last night I heard a great noise and when I awoke I had my foot through the wind shield.  Lucky it did not cut my foot.  So the bottom half of the wind shield is missing.  Today was the same kind of country.  Though as one gets to the west of the Dakotas it is more prairie and hills, not so much farm land and more stock farms.  One tire in front went bad so we put on a new one.  Today at five o’clock we came to the “Bad Lands”  in N. Dak. About 20 miles from the Mont. line.  This is a wonderful formation of land.  Looking as if there was a lake there at one time.  The land is broken up very much.  There are pyramids rising up everywhere, some very tall and some not so tall.  In all shapes and forms.  One can not know the beauty of it until they see it.  We are in the town of Marmarth in the heart of the “Bad Lands”.  We made 229 miles today.
Saturday, June 12, 1926

Today at 8 a.m. we crossed the line into Montana.  It started to rain at that point.  Rain all day.  Roads were very bad.  In the hills the road was so slippery one could hardly get up.  Had very many  narrow escapes.  We helped a number of people out of the mud and when we got to Forsyth we were covered with mud and were very wet.  Had one tire to fix when it was raining and we were up in the hills.  Have been following up the Yellowstone (River) since noon.  194 miles.  

Sunday, June 13. 1926
Rain all night.  Woke up in the night half frozen.  Top started to leak.  Very bad driving today on account of rain.  Lots of mud.  Bad driving with the wind shield broken.  Made Billings at 3:30.  107 miles.  It is a great life, everything damp or wet.  They had not had rain for 2 months and everything is dried up.  The crops in Mont. are just about gone.  Stock raisers are shipping their stock out of the state for want of grass.  They are getting much rain now for it rained most of the day.  There are hills and cliffs all along the Yellowstone River which are very beautiful.  But bad to drive through in wet weather.  We are in the tourist camp in Billings.  Have gas, light, hot and cold water with shower baths.  

Monday, June 14, 1926
Last night we had a big time in this camp.  Ralph got out his uke (Ukulele) and there was a girl from Idaho, who had a guitar. There were about 20 other people in the club room and we had a great time and lots of songs and music.  Some people had a church song book and we had a lot of church songs.  There were people from about every state and each one sang their own state song.  It was about 11:30 when we went to bed.  We slept on the floor in the club house.  It rained all night last night.  We decided to stay in this camp all day and give the roads a chance to dry up.  Went to the Y (YMCA) and got acquainted with Mr. Evens there.  Had a fine shower and swim.  It rained off and on today, but I managed to do a little washing in between showers.  A few women got a big kick out of that.  I’m some washer-man.

Tuesday, June 15, 1926
Last night we had more music and songs.  The tourists there we meet seem to be very easy to get aquatinted with and will talk as though they had known you all there lives.  Got to bed some what later last night.  Did not get much sleep as it was very cold in the night.  The day was very promising so we left for Cody, Wy. About 7:30 a.m.  Today I saw my first snow capped mountain.  As we near Cody we gradually reach a higher altitude.  And it gradually gets cooler.  The mountains are very beautiful to one who has never seen them before.  We are going to find a place in the hills to sleep where the wind will not hit us.

Wednesday June 16, 1926
Today got up rather late.  Went fishing in the Shoshone river.  But did not get anything.  Went to town about noon and got a stock of groceries.  Nine dollars worth.  Hope to make it last two weeks.  Got started for the Yellowstone about 2:30 p.m.  It started to rain just about that time as per usual.  Well we just could not get along with out rain so it was just xxx fine.  We went up the Shoshone Canyon through some real mountains.  Gradually going up all the while.  A most wonderful drive.  On the left there was the river almost straight down several hundred feet at some points.  And on the right there was the mountain tops twice as high.  About half way through we came to the Shoshone dam, about the highest in the country.  The dam is 328 ft. from top to bottom  10 ft. thick at the top and 108 ft. thick at the base.  The length at the top is 200 feet and 40 ft. at  the bottom, the same width as the canyon.  There is 240 feet of water in front of the dam and 80 ft. in back.  The road through this canyon is cut out of the mountain side and there are some tunnels to go through.  It was raining all the time so we could not stop long and could take no pictures.  We are camping in a very nice tourist camp in the mountains that is run by the government.  It has all accommodations except light and gas.  We are about half way to the park from Cody.                                                                                        

Thursday, June 17,1926
This morning a winding mountain trail along a mountain stream brought us to the East entrance at 12:30 p.m.  It is called Sylvan Pass.  The fee was $3.  They sealed our fire arms.  About two miles inside the trail started to go up.  We took a 4 ½ mile grade in low, but had no trouble.  Arrived at Lake Camp at 2 P.M. and had dinner.  While we ate dinner it rained then it sleeted and snowed a little while.  After dinner we went down to the “fishing bridge” and tried our luck.  I got one salmon trout about a foot long but that was all we got.  There are a great many fish in the lake outlet.  One has to have a boat to get them though.  Ten is the limit and they were getting them.  Tomorrow we get a boat.  It is very cold and everybody in the camp is about frozen.  There is lots of wood in the forest so we had a big fire.  We met some people from Hamilton who gave us three more fish.  We will have them for breakfast.  

Friday, June 18, 1926
Had a fair nights sleep, not quite so cold this morning.  We went fishing in a boat this morning and was out two hours but got only 1 fish.  A rather costly fish at  .50 cents per hour for boat.  Our luck was bad for others were getting a lot of them.  We gave up and went to camp where we were sure of getting something to eat.  When we got there we found that a can that we had left on the bench was gone.  After a search we found it some 50 feet away on the ground.  It contained some eggs, butter, sugar and salt.  The contents of the can was in an awful condition when we opened it.  We had a real can of hash.  We thought some mischievous boys had done the trick.  I happened to think that perhaps a bear was in camp while we were not.  And sure enough, we could see bear tracks around.  A man in another tent said he saw the bear rolling it around on the ground and that the bear had it between his paws pounding on it but could not get it open.  We learned a good moral that time.  The bears come into camp very often more so at meal time.   After dinner we thought we would cut through the woods and find a stream where there was no one else fishing.  We walked for about an hour in the forest and finally came out on the road about half a mile from the camp.   We had been walking in a circle all the time.  So we went down to the river near the camp again.  Ralph was standing on a log out from the bank a little ways casting out into the stream when a wind came up and blew him off into the water up to his knees.  So we went back to camp and build a fire.

Saturday, June 19, 1926
Broke camp this morning. Went to “Canyon Camp”. Saw the “Mud Volcanos”. Also saw the Canyon of the Yellowstone from Artists Point a wonderful sight that can not be described. Saw the Falls 109 Ft. It started to rain about noon, turning to snow. Snow all afternoon. There is about one inch of snow on the ground now.

Sunday, June 20, 1926
Snow all night.  About three inches of it this morning.  We started for the North Entrance this morning.  After going about ten miles mostly down grade it became warmer.  Also it had not snowed so much.  We got within 11 miles of Mammoth the North Entrance and we were having fine weather.  We camped there all night.

Monday, June 21, 1926
Fine warm weather this morning.  Went fishing this A.M. and got six small trout in a stream near by.   Got more mosquito bits than fish.  Started for the P.O. (post office) at Mammoth about four o’clock.  There I received three letters.  Saw the Mammoth Hot Springs at this place.  Camped there all night.

Tuesday, June 22, 1926
This morning we met an orchestra that was traveling from Neb. To Cal. They had engagements in various towns along the way.  Ralph got a job with them playing the banjo.  They were going to stay tonight at Three Forks, Mon.  I thought we could go with then for a while till it got warmer in the park.  Well we started about 10:30.  We fallowed them for about 10 miles when I discovered that my bank roll was gone.  It was 75 or 80 dollars.  I had one silver dollar in my pocket.  We came back to the park, but could not find any trace of it.  Ralph has about 40 dollars left.

Wednesday, June 23, 1926
Stayed around camp at Mammoth all day.  Decided we would see the rest of park then go to Denver.  In the afternoon we met three fellows from Dayton.  They gave us 12 small cans of packed sausage.  Went to the P.O.  Ralph got a letter from home.  We had our mailing address changed to Denver. 

Thursday, June 24, 1926
Started for Tower Falls about 8:30.  17 miles from Mammoth.  Saw the falls and the Canyon of the Yellowstone.  Went fishing again but had no luck.  At that point the road becomes a one way road.  So they made us go back to Mammoth.  We are camped 6 miles from Mammoth on a little stream.  Did some fishing again, but had no luck.  Went fishing again about dusk and got two trout.  

Friday, June 25, 1926
Last night we sleeped out on the ground with nothing but the stars above us.  We had plenty of covers that way so had a fine nights sleep.  Started to make the loop and see the rest of Park.  We saw many of the Geysers including the Morning Glory, Giant and Old Faithful Geysers.  Old Faithful we saw eruption.  Its eruption takes place every 65 minutes.  Its crater has been measured down for ½ mile.  But they could go no farther for the rocks that stick out from the sides.  It’s mouth is about 5 ft. by 3 ft.  All these are in the upper and lower Geyser Basins.  Then we crossed the continental divide on our way to the West Thumb and Lake Camp where we camped last week when we came in.

 Saturday, June 26, 1926
Last night a man gave us 6 large fish and we had a fine fish feed.  Tried our luck this morning but had no success.  Started for Cody about 8:30.  On the way to the East Entrance we stopped in the Sylvan Pass and made a few snow balls.  About ten miles out of the park we stopped at a Gov. camp and had a fine shower bath.  Came through the Shoshoni Canyon again and saw the Dam.  As per usual we had a little rain when we got to the Dam.  Took several pictures although the sun was not out.  Arrived at Cody about 4 P.M.   After tanking up we started out over the plains.  Going through Greybull Basin and Worland.  We drove till ten P.M. and camped on a river south of Worland.  Had a good nights sleep and awoke with the sun beating down upon us.  It is very hot on the plains now.  

Sunday, June 27, 1926
Today we went through Thermopolis Shoshoni, Waltman.  Just out of Waltman we stopped at Hell’s Half Acre.  A picturesque formation.  It looks as though it was a lot of Geysers at some time.  From there we went through Casper, an oil town.  We went through a number of small towns along here that were all oil towns.  Saw a branch of the Standard Oil Co., Ohio Oil Co. and Continental Oil Co.  It was dark here so we camped on the Platte River near a little oil town. 


Monday, June 28, 1926
Had a wonderful nights sleep.  The mosquitoes were so thick that we got only half a nights sleep.  The rest of the time we were swatting them.  We went through Douglas and Wheatland and a number of other towns.  Just out of Wheatland the timer broke and we put on a new one.  We were down for about one hour and a half.  We are camped at Chugwater tonight and the mosquitoes are as bad as ever.  

Tuesday, June 29, 1926
The mosquitoes were not as bad as we thought so we had a good nights sleep.  Came south through Cheyenne, Loveland, Longmont and then to Denver.  This is wonderful farmland through here.  It is irrigated and most anything will grow.  The cherries are just getting ripe and they are just making their first hay.  Denver has a population of about 356,000.  We are camped a few miles east of town.  Are going in to look for work in the morning.  This camp is at a little town of Aurora.  The 1st 3 days are free.  After that it is 50 cents per day. 

Wednesday June 30, 1926
We went first to the Y.W. and got acquainted with Mr. Laugkner the Phy. Director.  He said that work was very slack.  We got a paper and found several want ads.  I answered one at the Atlas Sign Co.  But had to have $8 to invest before I could start to work.  Answered another but it had been taken.  Ralph went to a tailor shop to answer an ad and they said to come back tomorrow at 9 A.M.  If the other man did not turn up he would have a good job.  We are camped in the same camping grounds tonight.  Have about $13 between us.  After a visit of 2 weeks and 6 days, we leave Denver, Col. at 6:30 P.M.  

Monday  July 19, 1926
(Nothing entered)

Tuesday  July 20, 1926
We drove most of the night last night.  Started to camp about 11 P.M.   Only stayed about ½ hour.  Mosquito’s  were so bad.  Drove on a few miles and camped again.  Mosquito’s not so bad.  Was on the road at 4 A.M. this morning.  Ralph shot 2 rabbits this A.M. about 6 o’clock.  Stopped about 7 A.M. just out of Timon, Col., and got breakfast.  Also cleaned the rabbits.  Camped at Morland and had fried rabbit for supper.  The wind has been blowing very strong all day.

Wednesday, July 21, 1926
Had a fine nights sleep.  The wind died down in the night.  Was up at 4:15 on the road at 6.  The wind came up about 5:30 only from the other direction.  Tried for more rabbits this morning but got nothing.  The tire we bought in St. Paul on the way out went bad today.  Drove 25 miles on a flat.  Bought a Firestone in Stockton, Kansas.  8$.  Camped tonight on a little stream between Stockton and Osborne.  379 miles from Denver.

Thursday, July 22, 1926
539 miles from Denver.  Camped at the City Park at Wamego, Kansas.  The crops in this part of the state are very good.  Not so good in the West.  We are getting out of the prairies  country and there is more farming land here.

Friday, July 23, 1926
712 miles from Denver.   Came through Topeka, Kansas City and am camped at Concordia, Mo.  Had paved roads all the way from Topeka.  Came through Kansas City at 2:30 today.  Pop. 505,587.   Went over the longest viaduct in the world.  Over the Missouri River.  We have got back into civilization again.  Thank goodness.  Me for the East.

Saturday, July 24, 1926
758 miles from Denver.  Had a wreck at 9 o’clock this morning.  Just on the edge of Boonville  I pulled up to the side of the road and stopped to get some apples along the road.  A man that was behind me ran into me and broke the left wheel, the axel and housing.  Also the finder was taken away.  He said it was my fault and would not give me a cent.  We got the Chief of Police and went into town and found the man, Mr. B. Leasing.  At last I got 5$ out of him.  It will cost him 35 or 40 to get his car fixed.  We got towed to a wrecking yard and got old parts for it.  Have it about ready to put together tonight.

Sunday, July 25, 1926
Well we got it back together at 7 this morning.  The bill was 1$ for towing in and 5$ for parts. It cost us 1$ besides the time we lost.  The left back tier had a large hole put in it and we had a great deal of trouble with it today.  We had it off 10 times and used 3 innertubes on it.  At last we had to  buy a new one at Jonesburg and came to St. Charles, 21 miles from St. Louis.  The road was very bad so did not make good time.  The city has a free campground here where we are camping.

Monday, July 26, 1926
Stayed in camp all day and rested up.  Went out in the woods near by and got a lot of black berries for dinner.  

Tuesday, July 27, 1926
Went into St. Louis this morning.  Crossed the Missouri River toll bridge, 40 cents.  Went out to Geo. Connors, 230 Simmon Ave., Webstor Groves.

Wednesday, July 28, 1926
Went to town and saw a little of St. Louis today.  1 flat tire today.

Thursday,  July 29, 1926
Left Connors at 9 o’clock this morning.  The same tire went flat again today so had to put in another boot.  Camped in a tourist camp at Terre Haute tonight, Ind. 

Friday, July 30, 1926
Got an early start today on the road at 6 o’clock.  Made good time with no tire trouble today.  Stopped at Glen Miller Park, Richmond for dinner today.  Am camped on twin creek, a few miles north of West Alexandria tonight.  Ralph says there is good fishing here.

Saturday, July 31, 1926
Went swimming today.  Tried a little fishing but had no luck.  Have decided to go home to- marrow. 

Sunday August 1, 1926
Home Sweet Home.