The very first park day!
I woke up before 5 o’clock this morning and saw the most wonderful sight. We were away up in the tops of the mountains, and there were enormous snow capped peaks just across a valley filled with pines and other evergreens. It looked as though we could easily have walked over to them. Everywhere under the trees the snow was piled in huge drifts, and in the cleared space beside the track where the sun had warmed the earth, thousands of yellow adder tongue lilies were in blossom. It was perfectly wonderful. McCartney said something about snow last night, but I didn’t grasp it at all. Think of being in the midst of snow fields in June!
We arrived at Yellowstone Station at about 6 o’clock and such a rush to get off the car. We all hated to tip the porter because he had been a grouch, and he grinned because he was glad to see the last of us. He stood in the door and took up a regular collection.
Miss McCartney was there to meet us and to tell us what to do. Some of the girls from Beaver Falls of course knew her, as did Miss Johnston.
A loud voiced man began bawling orders to us, telling us to leave our bags in a certain spot and to give him all the baggage checks if we had any hope of seeing our trunks again. He talked as though he were addressing a bunch of idiots. Probably we seemed like it to him, but he needn’t have been so cross.
We were loaded into coaches like cattle and hustled off to the Riverside entrance camp, which is about a mile and a half or two miles from the station. It consists of a big log office, dining hall, a few tents, and stables and is located beside the Madison River. We registered in the office, where there was a roaring fire that felt mighty good.
I rode up on the same coach with Miss McCartney or “Lady Mac” as she is called, but none of the other girls I had met appeared for quite a while. I went on to the dining room where Lady Mac had already pressed a couple of girls into service as waitresses, and there made the acquaintance of May Stanley from Anderson, Indiana. We had breakfast together and scouted around afterward, picking a few wild flowers and climbing the hill for the view of the snow capped mountains which surround this part of the Park entirely, making it look like a cup. Miss Stanley is going to Lake.
Saw Mart after breakfast but didn’t have much time to talk to anyone, as our trunks arrived, and I was busy getting mine dug out from under the pile and getting out the things I wanted. I got out heavy clothes but really didn’t need them as the sun got warmer every minute.
Introduced Miss Stanley to Miss Hall who is also going to the Lake, but she had met the manager, Mr. Rogers, and had eyes for no one else. She struck us as a man chaser on the train. Miss Stanley also met an English girl who is going there and who is a perfect freak. Glad she doesn’t go to Geysers. Everyone I have seen for our camp so far is splendid. There was one enormously big man who helped load us in the coaches who looked mighty good to me.
They sent out the people for Gibbon first so they’d have a chance to get lunch for us and then the Lake and Canyon people and finally the gang for Geysers. I hadn’t seen any of the girls all morning. They loaded up a coach with boys and I saw Spooks in that. There was room for two in front, so I got in and a sweet looking girl with a checked suit got in too. As we drove away, the loud voiced man gave us each a slip which was our transportation slip around the park. There was some time in finding the one for the little checked-suit girl, whose name is Rachael Wylie. Her home is Los Angeles and she is to have charge of the news stand. She had met Mart who is to be her assistant.
|“The swiftly running Madison River”|
Dressing tents were prepared at Gibbon and I shared cold cream with Rae and several others, because I knew our faces were burned by the dust and sun. The dust is really frightful. The government sprinkles the roads later in the season. We had a good lunch. I saw one big black bear and some of the others saw more than that around the kitchen door. Rae knows Edna Parkinson, for it seems she attended Beaver College one year. She introduced me to a boy named Litchfield who had come up from California with her and who seemed much taken up with the daughter of the manager of Thumb camp. She is one of the pretty girls who served breakfast this morning.
|The black bear in the woods|
This afternoon we made Spooks and Red Cap sit in the front with the driver and we sat in the middle seat. After driving over a steep hill above Gibbon, we followed the Firehole River, which is not quite as pretty as the Madison, and presently we came to the Fountain Hotel and the Lower Geyser Basin.
We all got out and explored the formation, which is a white chalky limestone deposit left by the hot water from the springs and geysers in the centuries they have been flowing. The principal thing of interest was the Mammoth Paint Pots where gray and pink mud is constantly boiling like a great pot of fudge. I took some pictures of the bunch which I hope will be good.
|The boiling mud pots|
For the next stage of the trip Red Cap, who reminds me of Paul Reynolds, sat with us and shared some candy from his grip. His name is Virgil Evans and he comes from Denver. The other two are from Sherman, Texas. One whose lips were horribly chapped nearly set me wild all morning by coughing and spitting. His name is Erwin Johnson, but he is called Pinkey, he said. The other one’s name is Raymond Stevens, called Steve. I gave Pinkey some camphor ice for his lips.
At the Excelsior Basin, Pinkey escorted me to see the great pool which was the crater of the Excelsior Geyser when it was in operation. It hasn’t played since 1888, but when it did, it used to raise the Firehole River six feet, and it played to a height of 400 feet. There is a beautiful Turquoise pool on a part of this formation which is so vast it is called Hell’s Half Acre, and another pool called Rainbow Lake.
Coming back we met Mart McIlvaine, who was having a nose bleed, much to the distress of Helyn Fisher, and they couldn’t find anything but hot water to put on her neck to stop it. Rae was already back in the coach when we reached it, and Steve was sitting with her, so I sat in back with Pink and Evans. Rae has taken a dislike to Red Cap, as we call Evans. Says he is fresh. We had a pretty jolly time, all except Spooks who refused to thaw out. He said Mird kicked him out of bed last night, and he had to get some sleep.
Finally we came to the top of a hill and could see the big tent on the top of the hill with the flag flying. We passed a few more geysers and the Morning Glory Pool and the Grotto Geyser looking just like their pictures. Then we had reached the stile and were “home.” We dropped our luggage in the office tent and were escorted up the street to the wash room, and to the dining room. Maybe we didn’t eat!
|Daisy, our own pet geyser|
Then after supper, we started out to see things. The camp lies partly on a hill, and partly on level ground. To the west is the Daisy Geyser which plays regularly every 90 minutes. Mird and Jimmie Miller, Dorothy, Perla, Cora, and some of the rest were in the crowd, and we saw Daisy. Then we visited a smaller hot pool, and just as Jimmie Miller looked at it, it shot up and nearly burned him. He was so comical. Said he’d made it play. Then we went down the hill, saw the Grotto again and then went across to the Giant, which is the show geyser of the place, erupting to a height of 250 feet. It is directly in front of our camp.
Dorothy, who had met Rae through Edna Parkinson who went to Canyon, came up and asked us if we wouldn’t go in with her and Cora and the two Caughey girls, Vessie and Perla, and have a tent for six. We said we’d be delighted, for we had already arranged to bunk together. When we got back to camp, the manager’s wife showed us to a tent for four, which was the best she had. We told her what we wanted, and she said she would arrange that tomorrow. So we found Dorothy and Cora and got them to sleep with us tonight and let the Caughey girls bunk somewhere else, since it’s only temporary.
We don’t like this tent and are glad we don’t have to stay. A man has just put in a little stove and started a fire, and I am writing by candle light, curled up in the coziest bed with woolen blankets and two big quilts on it.
It seems years since morning and a century since I left home.
Thursday June Fifteenth
We were up early, for the rising bell rings before six o’clock. Gee, but it was cold. However, I soon had a fire started. The fire starter is coal oil and sawdust mixed, and it is called “dope” according to the man who put up the stove.
After breakfast, the different bunches were set at their work, and Miss Johnston summoned all the tent girls and the boys together to start the tent work. Dorothy and Cora were planning to work together, and they drew Jimmie Miller for their helper. I was rather surprised to see Bill Litchfield report for this work, as he seemed so much older than the boys we had come up with. I got in bad by referring to them as the “small” boys. They won’t forgive that very soon and it classified me, I’m afraid.
Two girls who had been here last year, Clara and Tillie Sample, and the nurse, Maude Ferguson, came out on the Northern Pacific. Clara and Tillie work together and have Ed Klingensmith, who is from Newcastle. He's the boy who was traveling as Billie Wilson’s brother. Mart McIlvain and Helyn Fisher, whom they call “Fish,” are a team, and Steve is their “pack rat.” The nurse, Fergie, works with a Mrs. Kennedy, and Bobby McCartney is their boy.
Miss McKelvy was the only one left so she fell to me, and I chose Bill Litchfield, since he looked like he’d be good fun to work with and had seemed so pleasant the day before. Miss McKelvy’s name is Mary. She's about 40, I guess, and has snow white hair. Mrs. Greer, the wife of the manager, and Myra McBride, the assistant matron, are in charge of the tent work. They have Daisy Park all ready for guests, “dudes” as they are called, and we were set to work fixing the washstands and getting the beds and furniture in the tents on Pine Street.
We certainly were ready for lunch when the bell rang.
I’m going to like Bill immensely, I think. He goes to Occidental College at Pasadena and is about 20, I think. A good looking boy who wears glasses came with him, whose name is Lloyd Strong. Both of them rather hoped to land the job of office boy, and Lady Mac had picked Lloyd for that. Bill admits that Lloyd is probably best fitted for it.
“He’s long on the woman stuff,” he says. Bill doesn’t know much about hard work, that’s plain, and he can’t drive a nail as well as I can. However, we were instructed to make the boys do the hard work, so I kept him at it, digging stuff out at the bath house.
At noon we found Mary crying in her tent from homesickness, and we had an awful time getting her to come to lunch. She doesn’t fit in, for we are all so much younger, but it’s too bad if she’s going to feel like that about it. She’s in a tent with the head dining room woman who is rather a pill, too.
This afternoon we got Bill and Jim and Ed and some more of the kids to help us, and we fixed up a big tent which is right across from the one Mird and Spooks and Ed and Jimmie occupy.
Mary and I made up all the Savage boys’ tents this morning, by the way, and I had time to wash my hair before lunch, I forgot that. As usual my hair attracted much attention, especially from Bill.
[Note from Editor: Bea had naturally curly red hair that had never been cut in her life.]
After we had the tent fixed as much as possible until our trunks arrive, we held a reception for the boys who had helped us. Spooks is Fred Stroeter’s nickname. He even has it painted on his traveling bag. Bill and Frank Vetter have the tent just north of “Lone Dog,” as the home of Mird and Spooks is known.
Rae and I have one side of the tent, with a wash room at the foot of our bed where we have put the three wash stands. The other four girls have the beds in the other bed section, which leaves the center for a living room. We have a table and plenty of rugs, although we understand that they “ain’t for Savages.” We also have a coal oil lamp that I found in the bath house. The bath house has real tubs in it, and by and by they will hitch it onto a geyser or hot pool so we can have hot water, they say. Meanwhile we will have to carry hot water from the Daisy indicator pool.
While the boys were still at the tent this afternoon, Mird proposed that we all go to Old Faithful Inn tonight. As Mary was feeling so lonesome, I felt it my duty to ask her to go, and she was quite tickled until she got the idea that we were pairing off. I assured her that it was too early in the season for anything like that.
Well, as a result of Mary’s spell I nearly lost my bunkie at supper time. Rae came up from California with Mary, and they got quite chummy on the train, so Mary thought Rae would bunk with her, and Rae’s Puritan conscience told her that it was her duty to leave me and go in with Mary. Mary refused to let her, but Rae went ahead and moved, and then Mrs. Houghton, the head dining room woman who is with Mary, put in her kick and Rae moved back again.
Well, as it turned out, Mary didn’t go with us to the Inn, for we had four tourists today, and one of them who is wealthy and eccentric decided to drive over. She asked Miss Johnston, and Miss J., remembering that Mary was homesick, sent for her to drive over with them. Then, having seen Mary disposed of, I ran to the tent to get a sweater and met Bill, and we started on the hike together. He is so big and strong, and it was heaps of fun to race across the formation with him after the rest.
There are two ways to go to the Inn, which lies south of the camp about a mile and a half. The first way is by the trail across the formation, and the second by the road. As it was still light, although nearly 8 o’clock, we went by the formation. The path goes diagonally across the soft ground in the Giant formation, past the Oblong Geyser with its knobby tub like crater, across a foot bridge and up a hill to the Grand formation. The Grand Geyser, Turban Geyser, Economic Geyser, and several hot pools located at the foot of the cliff have formed this immense white deposit in draining into the Firehole River.
Beyond these is the Sawmill, and several smaller pools and unimportant geysers, which drain in a regular hot river into the Firehole near a foot bridge which leads to the formation known as Castle Well and the formation known as Castle Hill. After visiting that we went on to the Swaddie station and then crossed another bridge to the far formation where the Lion, Lioness and Cubs, the Giantess, the Beehive and several other important geysers are found.
Bill and I had taken so much time thoroughly inspecting things and talking about them that we had quite lost the rest of the crowd. We crossed the last foot bridge and then inspected the Plunge, which provides a hot swimming pool, the water furnished from a spring away up the side of the hills known as Lonesome Geyser.
The bath house itself is all of natural logs. They only charge Savages half price, so we are coming over. I shall send home at once for a suit. From the Plunge we went up to the Inn, and Bill couldn’t believe that it was a real snow bank out in front until he felt of it.
|The Plunge bath house|
The interior of the Inn is wonderful, and we rubbered to our hearts’ content. It is built inside and out of natural logs, and the central court with its huge stone fireplace and chimney extends clear to the roof. The electric lights look like big candles.
On the way home we visited the Curio store, which is also built partly of logs, and then we strolled home. We were about half way when we saw that the big golden moon was coming up and turned around to watch it. It rose directly behind the roof of the Inn, and the steam from the thousands of hot pools large and small looked like the smoke from a thousand camp fires, only it was all pure silver. We let the picture sink into our souls so we should never forget it, and we knew that we were going to be the best of friends from that minute.
Bill probably thinks I’m 18, but that doesn’t matter. Me for a good time, and pretending I’m 18 will help a lot. I have left my brain in cold storage at Yellowstone Station, likewise my conscience, and here’s for a time of absolute carefree bliss.
We had about a half hour at the dance, and Bill is quite a dancer. I was wearing my rubber soled shoes, and my feet felt clumsy. Hope the trunk gets here tomorrow so I can have something better to wear, and that Bill won’t judge my dancing by tonight.
Friday June Sixteenth
This morning Bill came in and built our fire, as the pack rats are supposed to do. After breakfast we had a hard morning’s work fixing some of the last tents and putting in the beds, mattresses, etc. Mary mashed her thumb between two of the springs as we were getting them out of the bunk house, so Bill and I had most of the work to do. The work is pretty hard for him, and they kept him at it all day, as they did the rest of the boys.
We girls had a rest this afternoon. The kids have the store all fixed, and the office is also beginning to look like something. Perla asked me this afternoon if I had any music that Vessie could sing tonight, and later someone asked if I could lend Gula Frew some. Vessie’s voice is very high, and she didn’t know the things I brought, and Gula couldn’t sing the one low song in the Japanese collection.
The trunks arrived just at supper time, following the first real consignment of dudes, and the boys rushed them off to the tent. We decided to place them in the living room and use them for seats. It was heaps of fun to see the boys meet the coaches tonight and hustle baggage for the dudes.
I practiced what I had with Mart and opened the program tonight. Had rather bad luck, however, as Mr. Greer didn’t make an effort to call the dudes together, and I had only half an audience. Vessie and Gula both sang on the program and both their voices are mighty good.
The guide, Roy Stoddard, a nephew of the lecturer, arrived tonight. He is from Grinnell, Iowa, and was office boy last year. Clara and Tillie greeted him effusively, having known him before. Clara played for the dance tonight.
Bill and I stayed for part of the dance and then walked down the road. He tried to teach me what he calls the “Charlie Chaplin” out in the road, and we had a great deal of fun. Then we climbed the hill to the platform of the big tent, which is known as the overflow, and sat and talked until the moon rose. Had a great argument as to whether we had to go in when curfew rang. As Miss Johnston hasn’t said anything about rules, he said we didn’t. However, I was cold, and didn’t care for the strong arm heater particularly, so we went in. In spite of being supposedly 18, it’s just as well to keep these boys in their places, especially on two days’ acquaintance. It simply doesn’t seem possible. I can’t believe that we’ve only been here two days.
Rae and I turned in as soon as I came home and consequently lost out on a feed which Vess and Perla had brought from the dining room. Lloyd Strong, Evans, and Steve came down, and declared they were going to haul us out for going to bed so early.
Saturday, June Seventeenth.
Bill was inclined to be cross last night but had recovered this morning and sweetly came for orders at breakfast time. We didn’t have much work. Finished the tents we were on yesterday and went over Geyser Hill, which is to be our assignment, the lower half, that is. Someone else made up the beds for us there. So aside from the Savage tents, we didn’t have much to do.
This afternoon we finished fixing up Deaux Drop Inn, and I found some shoe blacking in the bath house to make a sign. We had to discipline Vessie as she insists on saying the most impossible things in a loud tone of voice, forgetting that there are boys across the street and that the walls are not of brick. She’s a goodhearted kid and took the scolding in good part.
We saw the Riverside Geyser play this afternoon, and people from the hotel drove over to see it too.
Stoddard is a peach. He has had a big box of candy in the store all day for the Savages with his compliments, and cigars for the drivers.
The pack rats have been divided into squads and have to work on the stile in pairs and also tend bonfire and pass the popcorn in pairs. Bill and Bobby had to do the latter stunt tonight and I was sorry, for we had the best dance music we have had yet. I danced with Little Eva and some of the other drivers. Little Eva is a big fat fellow with the jolliest face.
A Cuban family with two adorable children came in, and the little girl did a solo dance on the program and also in the dance hall. Then she danced with her brother, and when he wouldn’t dance to suit her she shook him.
I recited for the program and was well received, but I forgot part of my encore which bored me most to death.
The music tonight was by the girl who was pianist at Swan Lake last year and who is going to Canyon this year.
Two new Savages who are going to Canyon were also here tonight, Helen McCutcheon, a Chicago University girl, and Bud Bliss from St. Louis University.
Sunday, June Eighteenth
Aside from the Savage tents, we had little to do today. The boys ran a barbershop this morning. I printed cards with the hours on them for the tents this morning, and this afternoon I got Bill to help put them up.
|The boys and their barbershop|
We had a thunder storm and after it was over, I went over to his tent to ask him to help me, and he insisted that I come in and visit. I helped straighten up—boys are certainly helpless—and we were having quite an interesting discussion about Bill’s ambitions when Bobby came down and interrupted. I told Bill about the University of Wisconsin proposition and I could hardly keep from laughing when he wanted me to be sure and let him help me write the letter “because it is so important that it be done right.” Wow! As if he could teach me much about writing—Hahaha! However I accepted the offer most gratefully. He’ll forget about it by tomorrow anyway. Lloyd came in just then, and after jollying a little while about “rotton logging” in a tent, which we were not, I went home.
I asked the girls if they thought it wrong for me to have stayed when Bill asked me, and Vess said she thought maybe we better ask Miss Johnston. I don’t. I think we should decide for ourselves, but I am going to move that one of us act as “Mother” a week at a time and chaperone the rest.
We finished the work on the hill, Bill and I, and also our conversation, since we were storm bound for nearly half an hour. He sure is an interesting kid and I think I’m lucky to have drawn him.
We had a little religious song service tonight in place of the regular program.
Monday, June Nineteenth.
Bill was a dear today and we had heaps of fun. Ed Klingensmith has a case on both Cora and Dorothy and is after me constantly to tell his fortune so he’ll know which one is going to be kind to him. I think it bores Dorothy for she tries not to be alone with him a minute.
Danced with Lloyd Strong tonight. He’s a peach of a dancer, better than Bill, and we had a circus. Also had dances with several drivers. The drivers just come up and ask you to dance without any introduction, and you have to say “Certainly” if you want to be in good standing. Garnet and Elsie have got in bad and so has Gula because they turned several drivers down and then danced with pack rats afterward. The drivers and the pack rats don’t mix.
Didn’t have a dance with Bill which made me rather sore at him.
Met the great big “football hero” looking man, and another driver from Texas known as “Tex” Matthews tonight. The football one’s name is Dallas. Neither of them dance, unfortunately. Tex is good fun, but Dallas is rather bashful. “Johnnie” McIlvain made a dead set for Dallas. She had spotted him the day we came in as I did.
When we got home Spooks came over and invited us to a party at Lone Dog. They had four candles on the table, some gingerbread, and crackers, and a gallon can of pineapple which they had swiped from the store house. Ed, Jimmie, Spooks, Mird, Cora, Rae, and I participated and it certainly was a scream. It began to rain, so we went home. The other girls wouldn’t go to the party and I think were rather sorry when we told them how funny it was.
Tuesday, June Twenty
And today it snowed!
This is certainly a country of contrasts. It was raining when we got up. Guess Vess and Perla realized it, for it had rained in on them in the night, and at 9 o’clock it changed to snow.
Our tents had been filled for the first time and we had sixteen to do. Some initiation. It wasn’t any fun slopping around in the snow. I got two pairs of shoes just soaked and wished desperately for rubber boots. Bill had wished for a snowstorm, since he hadn’t seen one for nine years, but he was soon sick of it. It was the slushy kind of snow and melted almost as soon as it fell.
Thought I’d go to bed after lunch and ward off a cold by resting, but as our tent was cheerful, warm, dry and inviting, it was soon full of kids, and I had to get up and tell fortunes.
As a result of rushing around and getting excited, Bill had a bad time with nose bleed tonight. You simply can’t overwork in this altitude until you get used to it. We brought him supper, tried to take care of him a bit, and sent the nurse to him, which was about all we could do.
Had dances with Little Eva, Lloyd, and some of the other drivers and also with the girls.
After the dance we had a party for Evans, Ed Klingensmith and Mird. They furnished the eats, some of it stuff left from Mird’s lunch basket, and we had cocoa, baked beans, blackberries and cookies. We are going to have a regular party soon. It is still snowing, and we feel so cozy.
Wednesday, June Twenty-first
At 4 o’clock this morning I woke with a start to hear Bill, his voice squeaking with excitement, in a funny way it has, telling how frightfully scared he was.
“Do you s’pose it was a bear?” Rae murmured, half awake.
“I don’t know,” I said, and was too sleepy to find out.
When Lloyd came to call us, we discovered that there was eight inches of snow on the ground outside, and the roof of Bill’s tent had collapsed, coming down til it almost touched the boys’ noses as they lay in bed.
The snow muffled all sound, as it always does, and it seemed as if we were indeed in the heart of the primeval wilderness.
We hugged the stove at breakfast time, but after breakfast, they got no work out of us for an hour or more. Everybody who could manage it was out with a camera getting pictures of Midsummer’s Day with Christmas decorations. I saw Riverside play in the midst of the snow and snapped that, and also got some of Bill and Lloyd in front of the collapsed tent. I saw a bear run across the formation out in front of the camp.
|[Bea in the middle]|
Work in the snow is no fun. We were all just soaked before we got through.
Miss Johnston had asked the girls to meet her in the Savage dining room at 3 o’clock, but Vessie effectually settled the meeting and also scared us all to death. She hadn’t been feeling very well, and indeed, since the dudes commenced coming, she and Perla haven’t been eating properly. She just got into the dining room when she felt rather sick and went to the kitchen to get some soda. She was seized with a spasm of the throat and was hysterical into the bargain. Poor child, I never heard such shrieks.
Cora and I were sewing in the office, which was nice and warm, when one of the boys rushed in and told us. We started on a run for the dining room and met Dick, tearing along like mad. Poor Perla had fallen flat in running for Miss Ferguson and was standing in the door of the dining room looking like a ghost. Fergie got aromatic spirits of ammonia to run Vessie’s lips with, and presently she got over the awful choking feeling.
They had the boys carry her to the tent on a bench, and she began to talk about being carried to her funeral. We put her in our bed, as it was dry, and theirs wasn’t, and the boys were perfectly dear, carrying warm blankets, getting hot water bags, etc. Billie Wilson was a big help too, as she has had some hospital training. Vess is still hysterical and feels that she can’t eat. Rae and I will sleep in the Caughey girls’ bed tonight.
After the excitement had subsided, Bill and I fixed up a dude tent that had been overlooked, and then I helped him move from the collapsed tent to the little tent just south of ours.
Frank Vetter has gone in with the Texas boys across the street. They call their joint “Tumble Inn.” So there are only Bill and Bobby in their tent. They each have a bed. Mrs. Greer helped fix it up, much to my disgust, for she wanted to put them into the same damp bedclothes they had had, and I objected. Told her Bill had a weak throat and that we couldn’t afford to risk pneumonia for either him or Bobby with damp bedclothes. So I got them some nice dry dude blankets. She said they could only have them until the others are dry. But leave that to me.
Mary was inclined to be peeved because I didn’t call her, but I explained that Mrs. G. really did all that was necessary.
Gene Eleson arrived last night and is to help in the dining room or kitchen. He knows Mrs. Todd, our new cook, and had assisted her in catering at the University of Indiana as one of the stunts he has done to earn his way through. Miss Johnston introduced him to me just after he had introduced himself as a “Savage,” and Gene said, “I’ve been looking for you all around the loop.” I knew he was coming, but although we only live a block from each other at home, I hadn’t an idea of what he looked like. I'm awfully glad they sent him here.
Thursday, June Twenty-second
Vess was better today, and we had a fudge party this afternoon which was a heap of fun. They had sent down her breakfast and there was a glass of milk left. That gave us the inspiration. So Perla and I hooked some butter at breakfast. Mird furnished the cocoa, and at noon Bill had lunch with us and we put him wise. Emptied two sugar bowls into glasses and he brought them down in the pockets of his rain coat. Saw some cooking utensils in the store house, but they were gone, so we cooked it in a small hand basin which had been boiled out. Ed said he knew Cora had washed her feet in the pan—but Ed is Ed, and in spite of the pan, the fudge was good.
Just before the party, Miss Johnston had the long deferred meeting of girls and told us what we could do in the way of picnics and parties. Advised that we shouldn’t stay out later than 11 o’clock, and said we couldn’t have company in the tents after curfew if there was any noise. We told her the boys had been dropping in at Deaux Drop every evening because it is cozy and warm and home like. That they didn’t stay long, and she said there was no harm as long as they didn’t stay too late, or get noisy so that there are complaints. She rather put us on our honor about swiping supplies from the store house and said we could buy stuff for candy at wholesale prices, and that the cook would give us stuff for picnics when we miss regular meals, and that we could have the leftovers for spreads.
So while the fudge was cooking, we planned a picnic for Saturday with Bobby, Bill, Mird, Ed, and Spooks, who were our guests. Jimmie will also be included if we can get him.
Tonight I played cards in the office with Lloyd, Frank and Mart. Sang on the program.
When I got home, I found Gene Eleson presiding at another candy party. They had had bad luck, and I had to get in and help cook the stuff over. It was a wet evening, and we blamed the poor luck on that and “the altitude.” I'm going to make up a song about blaming things on the altitude. It is a regular joke.
Friday, June Twenty three
It cleared up today, and we simply basked in the sunlight. We can’t see now how it could possibly have snowed on Wednesday. That’s the way the climate changes. “The Altitude” of course is responsible.
About half the camp hiked to Keppler’s Cascades this afternoon.
Bill, Rae and I decided we would do a family washing, and Bill gently broke the news that he thinks he will go into the kitchen to work as it means $10 a month more, and he is earning part of his college money up here. Bill was so funny about the washing. He had never done anything like it before. I think he imagined that stiff collars grew stiff, and he looked so blank when he saw how limp one looked that he had put into the washing machine.
Mrs. Mueller, the laundress, hadn’t a bit of use for us because we asked her how to do things. She says that Savages are always cluttering up her laundry and asking fool questions. She is German and so funny. Has been coming here for 13 years. She has an awfully sweet daughter who is a student at the University of Utah. Katherine has grown up here in the Park and is a regular spitfire with the drivers. They like her though and have lots of fun teasing her. She has been collecting their tickets in the dining room, but the work is getting heavier now, so the nurse is going to do that.
Bill says I am to have Pinkey Johnson as my pack-rat. He has been a sort of extra boy so far. He is one of the boys who came up on the coach with Rae and me at the beginning of the season.
The heavy snow the other day tore the tent off the dance hall. Tonight the floor was dry and we had an outdoor dance, which was awfully pretty. The pine trees were all around the floor like decorations, and there was a little moon. I started to teach Gene Eleson to dance. He knew a little about the one step and we got along pretty well. I promised to teach him to waltz some afternoon. I had several with Lloyd and sure enjoyed myself. He rags, and we simply tear around. Bill had some friends here from California and had no time for anyone else.
Saturday, June 24
We had only two tents to fix up today, which is probably the last that Bill will work with me. He wants the money very bad, but being a bit of a snob, he confided that he was afraid his social position in Pasadena would be ruined if any of his friends came up here and found him working in a kitchen.
There are a couple, or three to be exact, German girls in camp, and Miss Johnston had asked us to take them with us on our picnic. One of them dances and I danced with her last night, and later got Mr. Green, the kitchen man whose place Bill will take, to dance with her. She’s a good dancer, and hadn’t been having at all a good time. Bill said he’d draw the line at dancing with foreigners. He supposed they’d have to go on the picnic since Miss Johnston wanted them to, but he wouldn’t be nice to them. We couldn’t have the picnic, however, as with the German girls added it took too many from the dining room, and also too many pack rats. We were horribly disappointed.
[Note from editor: World War I had started almost two years before, but the United States was still about 10 months away from formally entering the war. Obviously there was prejudice against Germans here, but there was also a general prejudice against foreign nationals. At this time, many immigrants hurried to become wholly Americans; their children especially did so.]
A platform is built out over the canyon so the tourist can get a good view of the falls, and then we went down over the rocks to see the falls from below. Some of the kids went on up the road, but Vess, Cupid, Bill, and I rested on the platform and sang songs and told stories until they came back. We sang all the way back also. Bill’s favorite ditty is:
He hugged her and he kissed her in the moonlight,
Moon was shining bright as day.
He hugged her and he kissed her in the moonlight,
And the moon gave them away.
Doggone that moon.
Says he learned it in Pasadena where a favorite pastime is to load a car with kids and ukeleles and ride around singing and playing. We wish he had his little old bus up here.
Sunday, June 25
We had a lot of work this morning to make up for yesterday, and right in the middle of it, Greer sent for the pack rats to put up the Savage dining room, and Bill deserted us. I raved and tore around, for we couldn’t finish until he did his work. Finally Mary and I did what we could and went back to our tents. At noon Bill said he had finished the work himself, so I forgave him.
In the evening Dick, Ed, and I went walking and we had just got to the tent, ready for fudge and pie, when the curfew rang a second time, the signal that Giant Geyser was playing at last—first time since we’ve been here. My, but we tore down the hill at double quick speed.
Roy was hopping around saying, “Oh I’m so happy, so happy, so happy. I’ve been telling these fool dudes the Giant would surely play, and I really thought it had quit forever.”
Al, the handy man, rigged up a mirror and lantern under his coat so that he could flash it on the immense column of hot water. The volume of the thing is simply stupendous. We could hardly take it all in. An automobile truck came along the road, and we stopped that and got them to turn their lights on it too. They promise to get a searchlight for the camp and a dynamo to furnish electric lights soon. Then we will be able to show the Giant off properly, if it plays at night again.
When we got back to the tent we found that Bobby and Lovey Evans had eaten up the pie. The fudge was locked in my trunk, and someone had picked the lock and taken out a whole row. We wondered about it, and I think Rae knows how it was done but she won’t tell. Frank Vetter and Mart had been down to see her while we were away, and after they left she had gone calmly to bed and missed the Giant altogether. It was a case of “wolf, wolf.” She heard someone say that the Giant was playing, but they have talked about it so much that she thought it was a joke.
Monday June 26
I asked Mart about the fudge at breakfast this morning, told her we wanted a detective at our tent. She giggled and owned up that Frank had opened the trunk with his key. I told her we did not care but simply wanted to know who had been so clever as to get into a locked trunk.
This afternoon Dick, Vess, and I took a hike to Black Sand Basin, armed with Kodaks, etc. Perla and Cora washed, and we stopped and took a picture of them in the laundry on our way. We crossed Iron Creek on a fallen log and came up to Sunset Lake, and Rainbow Pool from the back and consequently got our feet wet in hot water and decidedly stuck up with formation. Then we went on to the Emerald Pool, which is really the beauty spot of the Black Sand Basin. The world famous handkerchief pool, which sucks the handkerchiefs down and then tosses them out several minutes later, well boiled, is also here for the edification of all the dudes. On the way back we met Mird and Mr. Corson, the plumber, coming for a load of sand, and Vess and I rode home on the tail of the cart. Dick declined with thanks and hiked home by herself. I ruined a clean white skirt by the performance, so I should have followed her example, but it was fun, and hot water is plentiful if you want to spend your time doing laundry work. It’s great sport to take a whole bunch of dust rags to a little hot pool near the Grotto and tie them on a stick and let them boil clean. Nearly got burned one day when one of my wash tubs took a notion to be a geyser and shot up all of a sudden. Some of the water fell on my shoulder and made quite a red spot.
“One of our own little pet geysers. I wash my dust rags in
the indicator for the Grotto—a hot pool a little to the left, not shown.
This Grotto is just beside & below Geyser Hill. B.”
Tonight none of us had dates, so we proceeded to raise the dickens. We sang down by the camp fire and sang at the tent until Lone Dog objected. In fact, Deaux Drop “played.”
Tuesday June 27.
Rae didn’t have to work this afternoon and Perla and Vess got off early, so armed with Kodaks and a couple of boxes of candy, we went for a hike up the trail back of Riverside. We determined to climb clear to the top of the mountain, but I don’t think we made it. It was the first hike that the six of us have been able to take together, and we sure had a good time.
When we got home, I made some more fudge and we invited some of the kids to a party. The girls had some more pie, and again Bobby, Pink and Lovey got there first. They came back for fudge but didn’t get any.
I had a date with Bill, and we chinned a while on the steps of his former residence, til the others came home. He hasn’t danced with me for a week, and I told him I was sore. Tonight he had a dance and then gave it to Lloyd, and I also scolded him about that. So he promised to be good, asked for a date on Thursday, and we patched up the difference. He has to work Wednesday night.
When the girls found the pie was gone, they raided the kitchen and we had a dandy feed.
Wednesday June 28
Slept most of the afternoon and then I went for a walk down back of the laundry and explored the region of the Cyclops Pool. Then I sat on a rock above the river and sang for myself. They won’t let me sing on the program half the time, because they need readers. Thought I was going to tonight, but they made me read instead, without preparation, and I didn’t even get an encore so felt like a goose. I came home and cried. Felt better and went down and taught Rae how to dance. She does beautifully with me and will with the boys when she gets over being self conscious.
Thursday June 29
This afternoon Vess, Rae, Dick, and I walked over to the Inn and explored it clear to the top. It certainly is wonderful, but we all got rather dizzy and sick before we reached the top. The steps are half logs, set in rustic style, and you can see between them as you climb, so it’s like being up a ladder about 800 feet high. The view is perfectly marvelous from the top.
|[A postcard Bea received after she left the park.]|
Had some dances with Bill tonight and a date afterward. Some Bill. He is too funny, the way he patronizes me. Wouldn’t he feel funny if he knew I’m old enough to be his granny. Oh guess not granny, hardly that, but anyway quite a bit older than he thinks.
Friday June 30
Felt punk this morning, and Mary insisted on finishing the work herself, as I let her off a week ago. So I came home and went to bed. Vess wanted to get hot water bottles and dope me, and I nearly took her head off, poor kid. I hate to be fussed over. Dick says I hadn’t been in the tent two days before she knew that. She and I understand each other perfectly.
This afternoon I went down to the pavilion, and Dick and Cora played and I taught Ed to dance. Also hauled Gene around some, and got so tired that ’twas out of the question to go anywhere tonight. Lay in the hammock, which we have swung out in front, and Bill came and tried to cheer me up. Then he went and had a date with Garnet. Fickle man. Now a sure-nuff man would have staid and taken care of me. That’s what Ed tried to do later. Came down and built a fire and wanted to know what he could do. Confided to Dick that he felt terrible because he wore me out dancing with him. Bless his heart. Dick told him not to worry.
[Click here for part 3.]