August 22, 1996

Yellowstone Day 8 - Summit near Livingston to Yankee Jim's, MT

Distance travelled: 41 1/5 miles
Winds: slightly with us
Grades: Up and down
Weather: fair
Condition of roads: Good
Actual travel time: 6 hours
Rate per hour: 6.9- mph
- Lt. J.A. Moss Report to the Adjutant Synopsis of the Trip

We were now about two miles from the summit, which was reached the next morning at 7:30 o'clock. We, then had a down shoot for nearly eight miles, when the valley of the Yellowstone was reached.
This valley with its large fields, fine ranches, low log houses, rocky cliffs and grap palisades, is a picture beautiful to behold.
Riding along the blue waters of the Yellowstone, we stopped for lunch about half past twelve at a place thirty-seven miles from Fort Yellowstone. Yankee Jim's Canyon was reached early in the evening, and shortly thereafter the moon rose.
One side of the canyon was in the shadow of immense cliffs that seemed to overhang the road, while on our left, a hundred or more feet below, ran the Yellowstone River. Traveling in the dark over such a road, which was rough; withal we were compelled to roll our wheels most of the time. At 8:30 Yankee Jim's place was reached and, cooking supper in his kitchen, we spent the night in an old barn on his premises, provided with a limited amount of straw.

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

"On the day before the soldiers arrived at Fort Yellowstone, Moss reported that the fiber in all of the tires was rotting, and that seven hours were spent repairing tires and six hours traveling. About thirty miles from Fort Yellowstone, two of the bicycles had tires that were disintegrated beyond repair and made riding impossible. Rather than everyone walk the rest of the way to the park, Moss left Private Haynes and Proctor behind with their disabled bicycles, food, and a dollar. He instructed them to walk the rest of the way, while he and the other soldiers rode their bicycles. Moss did not expect to see Haynes and Proctor until they arrived at Fort Yellowstone late the next afternoon. Some of the enlisted men were less optimistic than their lieutenant, who reported they called back, "You had better look out: de coyotes are going ter eat you up ter night. If we don't see you at Fort Yellowstone, we hope ter see you when we gets back to Fort Missoula."
- Linda C. Bailey, Fort Missoula's Military Cyclists:
The Story of the 25th U.S. Infantry Bicycle Corps
, pg. 10

Aug. 22nd. Left for Park 7:30 A.. Reached summit of Gallatin Range 7:50. Delayed 10 mins. at 8 o'clock to pump tire. At 8:40 delayed 20 mins. fixing Corpl. William's tire and seat: also Findley's seat. At 9:40 delayed 20 mins. fixing tire, and at 10:15, 1 hr. repairing bursted tire. Reached Fridley 12 M.. [sic] Stopped here 20 mins. to get can goods, inquire about roads, etc.. At 12:35 reached a point 1 1/2 miles from Fridley, where we got fresh milk and butter, and stopped until 3:00 for dinner. At 3:45 P.M. delayed 1 hr. and 45 mins. fixing bursted tires. About 5:30 Haynes and Proctor's tires were in such a defective condition that we could not repair them. I had already delayed about two hours during the day fixing their tires, and now concluded there was but one thing to be done, viz: Have them walk and roll their wheels the rest of the way to Fort Yellowstone. We were then about 30 miles from the Fort, and giving them a can of corned beef, some bread and $1, I instructed them to walk about 10 or 15 miles that evening and the rest of the distance the next day, meeting us at Fort Yellowstone some time the following afternoon. As we mounted our wheels and swiftly glided away, Haynes and Proctor, stood gazing at each other amid the loneliness of the surrounding mountains. The rest of the soldiers "jollied" them with such expressions as, "You had better look out: de coyotes are going to eat you up ter night;" "If we dont see you at Fort Yellowstone we hope ter see you when we gets back to Ft. Missoula." Within a few minutes mountains were between us, and thus the two unfortunate cyclists had disappeared from view. At 6:10 delayed 15 mins. fixing puncture. Delayed 10 mins. at 6:35 fixing tires. At 7:15 delayed 5 mins. to fix puncture. At 7:45 delayed 10 mins. pumping tires. At 7:30 reached Yankee Jim's Canyon. Moon rose 7:50 P.M.. Had to walk nearly whole way through Canyon. Were on side of Canyon in shadow and got no benefit of moonlight. Road very rough, hilly, and sandy. Had an awfully hard time rolling our wheels down steep grades through deep sand and large ruts. On our right the mountains went straight up from the road itself, like immense walls, while on our left, a hundred or more feet below were the river and rail road. From our shady side the river and mountains in the moonlight on opposite side looked grand. At 8:30 reached Yankee Jim's place. Pretty well tired out. Slept in barn on limited amount of straw. Swapped flour for bread and biscuits. Distance travelled 41: 1/5 miles: time of actual travelling 6 hours. Delayed 7 hours during day repairing defective tires--fibre all rotten--easily bursted.
- Report from Lt. Moss to Adjutant General, Oct. 10, 1896 [National Archives, R.G. 94 Box 346 46363-46575]

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