August 29, 1996

Day 15- Upper Falls to Ft. Yellowstone


The next morning, after breakfast, we rode around the Grand Canyon, taking in the Lower Falls, Lookout Point, Inspiration Point, Grand View and other objects of interest. One can stand an hour or more watching the Lower Falls, so great is the fascination. While leaning over the railing, listening to its loud, continuous roar and watching that tremendous mass of water wildly plunging over the precipice and striking the bottom of a chasm some 300 feet below, there will come to most natures a wild desire to jump into its foaming waters.
The Grand Canyon, surveyed in its ensemble, is grand beyond description. Standing on Inspiration Point, the Yellowstone River, 1,500 feet below looks like a mere streamlet. The Lower Falls in the distance appear in all their grandeur, the eagle's nests far below look only one-half their real size -- the blending of the myriad-colored rocks and sands make a picture whose brilliancy is matchless, a view that touches the soul of the beholder, and appeals to his higher, his nobler instincts.
At 10:40 A.M. we left for Norris Basin. Immediately upon starting we struck a long, steep and dusty grade. Beyond this, however, the road was fairly good. The Basin was reached at 12:50 P.M. We stopped for lunch, and at 2:30 left for Fort Yellowstone, reaching the post at 4:30.
Our poorest time in the Park was made between Upper Basin and the Thumb, 19 miles, in almost four hours of actual traveling. We made our best time between Norris Basin and the fort, 20 miles in two hours, riding the first ten in fifty-five minutes. Although the grade was in our favor the roads were very dusty and we were compelled to roll our wheels up several small hills. We received many falls from our wheels turning in deep dust and when Fort Yellowstone was reached we were a sight to behold--we were literally covered with dust from the crowns of our hats to the soles of our shoes.
The entire trip through the Park, 132 miles, was made in nineteen hours of actual traveling, averaging about 7 miles per hour. The soldiers were delighted with the trip and seemed to be in the best of spirits the whole time. I think the moral effect of the seething water, the roaring of the geysers and the sulphuric fumes was more conducive to good order and military discipline than a dozen general courts.
It was my intention to take a good rest after our trip through the Park and then make the trip from Fort Yellowstone to Fort Harrison, 191 miles, in three days.

- Lt. James A. Moss, Military Cycling in the Rocky Mountains, pg. 37 -38

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