August 16, 1996

Yellowstone Day 2 - near Bearmouth to 47 miles from last camp

Distance travelled: 47 miles
Winds: Against us during afternoon
Grades: Nearly all up
Weather: Fair
Condition of roads: Fair
Actual travel time: 7h 40m
Rate per hour: 6.1+ mph
- Lt. J.A. Moss Report to the Adjutant Synopsis of the Trip

Places & times mentioned:
camp, near Bearmouth [8:20 A.M.]; Flint Creek Hills; New Chicago [12:30 P.M - lunch]; Drummond; Gold Creek [4:45 P.M.]; Garrison; valley of the Little Bigfoot; 47 miles from morning camp [7:50 P.M. - stopped for the evening]

We broke camp at 8:20 A.M. and about 10 0'clock reached the Flint Creek Hills, ten miles. Pushing our wheels over these alkali hills, the summit of the last one was reached almost noon, whereupon a soldier who was feeling pretty good made a motion that we hold a jollification meeting. For want of time, however, the meeting did not occur and we continued our journey, reaching New Chicago, a settlement of about fifty inhabitants, at 12:30 P.M., where we stopped for lunch.
Just before reaching the Hills, a member of the corps was taken ill with cramps from eating wild fruit and drinking water. His gun and knapsack were given to other men to carry until we reached New Chicago, where I intended to get a doctor to proscribe for him. Upon inquiry, however, I was told by an "old timer" there was no doctor in the village, although he really thought there was a fine opening for one. It was now a "condition, not a theory, which confronted me," and I arose to the condition, by first giving the patient a dose of ginger and then a dose of Epsom salts, and then going through the usual formality of looking at his tongue and feeling his pulse. This treatment failing to alleviate his cramps, and as time was precious, he was given some money and directed to take the train at Drummond, three miles away, and join us at Fort Harrison the next day, which he did.
The roads for several miles after leaving New Chicago were quite good, and we made fine time. At 4:45 we reached Gold Creek and forded the stream, which is about twenty-five yards wide, in three feet of swift water. About one mile from Garrison we turned off to the left, and rolling our wheels over a small mountain, struck the valley of the Little Bigfoot. The road along this river, like the roads of the greater part of the day, was rough and dusty. At 7:50 P.M. we reached a point forty-seven miles from our last camp and pitched our shelter tents for the night. We had had a hard day's work, riding over mountains, rough roads and against the wind, and were all very tired.
I got some fresh milk and eggs and also some hay to sleep on from the ranchman near whose house we camped.
- Lt. James A. Moss, Military Cycling in the Rocky Mountains, pg. 23-25

[I'm not sure where the Flint Creek Hills that Moss refers to are. Today Flint Creek Hill is a large road cut between Georgetown Lake and the Philipsburg Valley (N 46.22096 W 113.28793) but this would be quite a ways from the line the corps was traveling. Somewhere past Bearmouth would make sense -- go to 1897 Montana map link for a look]


August 16: Cooks were up at 4:15 preparing breakfast. A careful examination of the wheels revealed 5 punctures and two old ones leaking. Left camp at 8:20. Before leaving camp, had to remove broken balls from Corpl. William's pedal. At 10:10 we reached the Flint Rock Hills, 10 miles from camp. By 12:10 we had crossed the last hill, distance over hills, 7 miles. When we reached the Hills, Musician Brown was taken ill with cramps, caused from eating wild fruit and drinking water. Delayed about 1 hr. on his account. Gave his knapsack and gun to other men to carry until we reached New Chicago. Reached New Chicago 12: 40 P.M., where we stopped until 2:15 for lunch. Gave Brown a dose of ginger and afterward some Epsom salts. As he still suffered with violent cramps in his stomach, I gave him $6, with instructions to take the train at Drummond, about 3 miles from New Chicago, and meet us at Fort Harrison, Monday evening. If he were feeling worse at train time he was to return to Fort Missoula.
Proctor's rim became loose where cemented. At 2:45 stopped 15 mins to fix puncture. At 3 stopped 5 mins. to pump tire. At 3:13 stopped 10 mins. to fix puncture. At 4:45 we reached Gold Creek and forded the stream, which is about 25 yds. wide, in 2 1/2 feet of swift water. Time to cross stream 35 mins. About 6:15 P.M. the board on which tin case rests broke. Delayed 10 mins. At 7:25 P.M. broke my cyclometer. Findley's rear tire gave out completely--fibre all rotten--had to stop every ten or fifteen minutes to pump it up. Roads for several miles east of New Chicago very good--made fine time. Struck pretty bad roads later on. Crossed a small mountain about one mile before reaching Garrison. Road along the Little Black Foot very rough. Had more or less of a wind to ride against the entire afternoon. At 7:50 P.M. reached a point 47 miles from last camp. Here we pitched our shelter tents and stopped for the night. All very tired--had a hard day's work, riding over mountains, rough roads and against the wind. Got fresh milk, hay and eggs from the ranchman near whose house we camped. Also swapped flour for baked bread. Time of actual travelling 7: 2/3 hrs.
- Report from Lt. Moss to Adjutant General, Oct. 10, 1896 [R.G. 94 Box 346 46363-46575]

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