August 25, 1996

Day 11 - Fort Yellowstone to Captain Scott's camp [Lower Geyser Basin]

Places Visited: Fort Yellowstone [departed 10 A.M], Liberty Cap, Golden Gate, Obsidian Cliff, Roaring Mountain, Twin Lakes, Norris Basin [lunch break 1:30 P.M- 4 P.M], Gibbon Meadows, Gibbon Canyon, Gibbon River, Captain Scott's camp [7 P.M]



Trip through the Park.
"AUG. 25: Left the Post 10 A.M.. Reached the Golden Gate 10:55. Difference of elevation of 1000 feet between the Fort and the Golden Gate, a distance of about 4 miles. In some places the grade was very steep and dusty--hard work rolling wheels. Reached Norris Basin 1:30 P.M., 20 miles from the Mammoth Hot Springs. Cooked our lunch at the soldiers' shack. Sgt. John Larson, 6th Cav. in charge of station. Left Norris Basin 4 P.M. Reached Capt. Scott's Camp 7:15 P.M. Remained here until 8:45 o'clock Thursday morning; Aug. 27, when we left for the Upper Basin, which we reached about 10 o'clock. Remained here for lunch and took in the geyser formations. Very fortunate in seeing the Giantess, the Castle and Old Faithful all playing at the same time. At 3:30 P.M. left for the Thumb. Road very sandy. Crossed Continental Divide second time about 7:25 . Reached soldiers' shack at the Thumb 8:30. Soldiers slept in an old barn near by. I slept in station tent, one of the soldiers having given up his bunk to me."
- Report from Lt. Moss to Adjutant General, Oct. 10, 1896 [National Archives, R.G. 94 Box 346 46363-46575]

"After resting a day and a half at Fort Yellowstone and drawing a fresh supply of rations, we started out about 10 A.M., August 25th, on a trip through the Yellowstone Park, this land of wonders--this region of beauty and grandeur!
Within a stone's cast of the barracks we passed Liberty Cap, standing like a silent sentinel at the foot of Minerva Terrace, and soon began rolling our wheels up hill. The road all the way from the fort to the Golden Gate is nearly a continuous up grade and in summer very dusty. The difference of elevation between these two points, a distance of only four miles, is a little over one thousand feet. We did a deal of puffing while rolling our bicycles up these dusty grades, and when at last the highest point was reached, there went up from the corps one grateful sigh of relief.
With its immense perpendicular walls of solid rock, rising from the very road on one side to three hundred feet or more above our heads and with its picturesque ravine far below on the other side, the Golden Gate is a sight that will ever cling in our memories.
Soon after leaving the Golden Gate we struck a good level stretch of country and for several miles made excellent time. As we rapidly rode along, the Obsidian Cliff, the Roaring Mountain, the Twin Lakes, and other points of interest were passed. At 1:30 P.M. we reached the soldiers' station at Norris Basin, twenty miles from the fort. Cooking our dinner in the Government shack and resting until 4 P.M., we then left for Captain Scott's camp.
Again and again would we stop along the road to look at paint pots, pools, springs, geysers, etc. Riding through the Gibbon Meadows we then turned off into Gibbon Canyon, deep, sinuous and picturesque. For miles we fared along the windings of the road, with the ever beautiful waters of Gibbon River at our side, now admiring this, then admiring that. Indeed, this was the very poetry of cycling. About 7 o'clock we beheld on a plateau in the distance a city of tents -- Captain Scott's camp. Although we had ridden forty miles since 10 o'clock that morning, carrying our rations, tents, blankets, arms and ammunition, none of us were very tired, as was shown by the full presence of the corps, as spectators, until 1 o'clock A.M., at a ball given by the soldiers of the camp."
- Lt. James A. Moss, Military Cycling in the Rocky Mountains, pg.30-31

[Captain Scott had a camp in the Lower Basin according to a report to the Secretary of the Interior, written by the Superintendant Yellowstone Park, published 1887 (pg. 3). An annual report to the War Department (1895) pg. 133 states, "Troop D, Sixth Cavalry under command of Captain Scott, left Fort Yellowstone, Wyo., on May 31, 1895, en route to Lower Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, to go into camp there during the summer-tourist season, marching a distance of 38 miles.]

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