National Geographic : 1964 Apr
he has "done" the West until he has seen the marvels that inspired the world's first national park: the geyser basins, hot springs, water falls, and lakes; the great canyon, the alpine meadows abounding with wildlife. With thousands of others we toured them all. With hundreds we gathered to watch Old Faithful perform. ("What time does the old-fashioned go off?" I heard a lady ask her companion as they rushed to the scene.) Actually, Old Faithful now erupts just as regularly as before an earthquake in 1959 minded us of suburban shopping plazas at home. We wanted to get off the beaten track. At Lewis Lake, seasonal ranger Galen S. Tid rick told me about the Shoshone wilderness. "It includes the entire southwest corner of the park," he said. "You get there by foot, horseback, or motorless boat. I have to go up to Shoshone Lake tomorrow on a survey trip. Want to come along?" While we made arrangements outside his trailer office-home, I complimented him on the size of the mosquitoes that were silently Lunging madly, a wild horse evades an Indian's lariat during a roundup on the Blackfeet knocked many of Yellowstone's geysers off schedule.* About every 65 minutes it shoots a plume of steam 130 feet or more into the air. Yellowstone is so big that you call long distance from point to point. Driving the Grand Loop may take longer than you think because of the bear jams. Bruin comes pan handling along the highway, and the first motorist stops to photograph him. Soon all traffic both ways is stopped. We took part in elk jams and moose jams, too, and claim credit for a Yellowstone first: a wild-flower jam, caused when we stopped to gambol on a meadow ablaze with color near Mount Washburn's 10,000-foot heights. Yellowstone's crowded tourist centers re 578 making a sieve of me. "Yes, they're the only wildlife in the park you're allowed to feed," Galen said. Next day we filled two boats with people and gear, sped across Lewis Lake, and en tered Lewis channel. A sign said "No Motors Beyond This Point." Galen and Kenneth Lindfors, a year-round ranger, began rowing upstream between narrowing banks lined with lodgepole pine. The current quickened; soon nearly all of us were wading and pushing. The entire outflow of Shoshone Lake, a source of the mighty Snake River, pushed against our legs, sometimes sweeping our *See "The Night the Mountains Moved," by Samuel W. Matthews, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, March, 1960.