August 17, 1996

Yellowstone Day 3- ? to Fort Harrison

Distance travelled: 44 miles
Winds: Against us nearly all forenoon
Grades: Nearly all up except from Summit to Fort Harrison
Weather: Fair
Condition of roads: Poor, except from Summit to Fort Harrison
Actual travel time: 7h
Rate per hour: 6.3- mph
- Lt. J.A. Moss Report to the Adjutant Synopsis of the Trip

The next morning bright and early we were on the road again. The roads were very bad and we were delayed considerably by punctures. At 11:30 A.M., we made a stop of one hour and a half at Elliston for lunch.
That afternoon we encountered such bad roads and the sun was so hot that we were compelled to stop several times in the shade. At 3 P.M. Blossburg was reached and with the summit of the Main Divide of the Rocky Mountains plainly in view, we rested one hour, concentrating our energies and admiring this summit we were soon to climb and to whose charms we all thought, distance would lend enchantment.
About 4 o'clock we began rolling our wheels up the mountain side, reaching the summit at 4:20 and for the first time in history, a body of armed cyclists had crossed the Main Divide of the Rockies.
Going down the grade was so steep that we were compelled to roll our wheels the whole way, struggling hard to prevent them from getting away, we pulled back and used our brakes until our fingers were benumbed. Resting fifteen minutes at the foot of the mountain we then started for Helena on a good down grade road. At 7 o'clock we beheld the red brick buildings of Fort Harrison in the distance, and at half past seven I was reporting our arrival to the commanding officer.
After seven hours of actual traveling the cyclometer registered forty-four miles more than it did when we started that morning. We stopped over a day to rest and draw rations

note: Moss mentions being close to the Mullan Tunnel when going over in this ad.
- L.A.W. Bulletin and Good Roads, pg. 121, January 22, 1897

Aug. 17th Left camp 6:18 A.M., Struck a mountain 3/4 mi. from camp. Grade quite steep. At 7 o'clock delayed 30 mins. fixing Sgt Green's gun and knapsack. Reached Avon 9 A.M. At 10 A.M delayed 5 mins. fixing puncture. 10:10 Forman broke his seat spring. Delayed 10 mins. 10:55 A.M., delayed 25 mins. fixing puncture. Reached Elliston 11:30 A.M. Stopped here until 1 o'clock, when we left for Helena. Sun very hot. Had to stop in the shade several times. Delayed about 45 mins. by these stops. Road very stony and nearly all up grade. Reached Blossburg 3 P.M. Left for Helena 4 P.M. Reached summit of Main Divide of the Rocky Mountains at 4:20, Reached foot of summit 4:45. Stopped here about 15 mins. The grade was so steep that we could not ride down -- had to roll our wheels the whole way down-- had to use brakes until we had cramps in our fingers, to prevent wheels from getting away from us--was, without doubt, hardest work so far on the trip. At 5:15 stopped 10 mins to fix puncture. A few minutes later, delayed from 6:30 to 7 P.M. fixing three punctures. Reached Ft. Harrison, 7:30 P.M. . Distanced travelled, 44 miles. Time of actual travelling, 7 hours. From camp to Avon roads were very bad: from Avon to Elliston, a little better; from Elliston to Blossburg, very bad. After crossing the Main Divide, had a good down grade road to Fort Harrison. During the entire day had to dismount again and again on account of stones, grades, mud, water, etc. . Had to ride against a wind the greater part of the day. Remained at Fort Harrison a day, getting rations, having some work done by the Q.M.D., and attending to business in Helena.
- Report from Lt. Moss to Adjutant General, Oct. 10, 1896 [National Archives, R.G. 94 Box 346 46363-46575]

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