Yellowstone Notebook Booklist
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FOUR BOYS IN THE YELLOWSTONE by E. T. Tomlinson (Grosset & Dunlap, New York, 1906).
Of the old, forgotten out-of-print books on Yellowstone, this one might be a good candidate for a reprint edition, though perhaps
under a different title. The "Four Boys" in the title were actually young men--students at the eastern Wendell Academy. These four
friends were from different parts of the country--north, south, east, and west, with different regional perspectives on life. The young
man from the west was the son of a railroad man, who offered the four a train coach and all expenses paid trip by rail to
Yellowstone in honor of their graduation. Starting at Buffalo, they took a steamer up the Great Lakes, where they reached Duluth to
board the train for a journey across the prairie and on to Montana. The main focus of this book is a coaching tour of Yellowstone
National Park. This section begins roughly halfway into the book, and takes the reader to the depot at Livingston, MT and down to
the Gardiner Depot, where the four young men meet up with a married couple, their two daughters, and a precocious female
companion, Miss Margaret, all of whom decided to travel together through the park. Arrangements were quickly made for them to be
together on the coaches and at all stops. The rest of the book is a detailed and accurate description of the standard grand tour
beginning with six-horse coaches with tourists piled high on top, wearing protective dusters. There are interesting descriptions of
many stops along the way, including the Norris Lunch Station, Fountain Hotel (where that evening "cots in the parlor" were required
to accommodate all of the overnight guests), the Old Faithful Inn (only 2 years old at the time this book was published), a steamer
across Lake Yellowstone to reach Lake Hotel, stopping at Dot Island where buffalo and elk were kept in pens, and an evening bear
feeding that got a little out of control. Four Boys in the Yellowstone is fairly well written, has a believable story line, and I never found
the book dull or dry. The Yellowstone described is authentic turn of the century, exactly as it was when the book was written, and not
the second-hand account of an author from another era: for instance, the description of crowds of people at various points in the
park, overtaxing dining and overnight accommodations. As described in the book, those whose coaches arrived at various points
first had no problems, but the stragglers could not be certain of the conditions they would encounter at their next stop. It is insights
such as this that give this book value for our time beyond its rather naive storyline. Four Boys in the Yellowstone is 399 pages long,
with four beautifully done black and white illustrations depicting scenes from the book.
THE GEYSERS OF YELLOWSTONE by T. Scott Bryan (University Press of Colorado, Niwot, CO, 2009 [4th edition]). [Reference]
This is a definitive work on the hundreds of geysers of Yellowstone. Now in its third edition, The Geysers of Yellowstone includes
new geysers and information on more recent thermal activity. The author draws on his association with Yellowstone, including
service as a ranger naturalist and volunteer member of GOSA, the Geyser Observation Society of America. To ensure accuracy, the
manuscript for this book was reviewed by a number of other authorities on Yellowstone's geysers, their geology and history. The
result is a book that provides many interesting pages of information, arranged in an organized format that is easy to use for the
uninitiated, and a valuable resource for experienced geyser watchers.
The Geysers of Yellowstone begins with a chapter of general information on geysers and how they work. Throughout the rest of the
book, geysers are grouped according to geyser basins, each basin having its own chapter. The major geysers of each basin are
then described in detail that includes such information as historical background as well as height, duration, and frequency of
eruption. These descriptions are enhanced with occasional black and white photographs, diagrams of the geyser basins, and
tables showing interval/duration/height of major geysers in each basin. At the end of the book is an appendix of geyser fields of the
world, a comprehensive bibliography, and a four-page glossary of terms.
At 463 pages, The Geysers of Yellowstone is a little bulky (though not impossible) to carry around on your hikes through the geyser
basins. There are smaller, pocket-size field guides [such as A Field Guide to Yellowstone's Geysers, Hot Springs and Fumaroles by
Carl Schreier (Homestead Publishing, Moose, WY)], and park brochures are available at each major geyser basin, but their
information is necessarily limited. The Geysers of Yellowstone deserves a place on your next trip to Yellowstone for end-of-the-day
reading at the campground, cabin, or hotel. Between trips, it's a great resource for planning your next Yellowstone vacation, or just
learning more about the geysers of our first national park.
MY YELLOWSTONE YEARS by Donald C. Stewart (Wilderness Adventure Books, Fowlerville, Michigan, 1989).
For those who just can't seem to get Yellowstone out of their systems, this book was written by a kindred spirit. Written almost thirty
years after the author's working years in Yellowstone, he recalls anecdotes, people, and places as fondly as if he had just returned
home at the close of the season. Stewart began as a Yellowstone cafeteria worker in the Old Faithful area in the early 1950s, and
the next year after graduating from college, he began his career as an interpretive ranger at the park. He met his wife while working
at the East Entrance, and she returned with him in the years that followed. His fondest recollections seem to be of his rangering at
the old Madison Museum, the people he met, the bears, and evenings at Madison Campground spent around the "Jacobi campfire,"
a kind of social event hosted by the Jacobis, returning season campers. While at Madison, Stewart experienced the Yellowstone
earthquake of 1959. He gives vivid descriptions of the sound of crumbling mountainsides on that August night, and the feeling of
ground moving below the feet like ocean waves as well as the destruction of roads in the park, up to and including West
Yellowstone. Stewart is also frank about some disappointments as a ranger and his reasons for ultimately leaving the park.
My Yellowstone Years is 308 pages long with several black-and-white photos taken by Stewart and his wife. It is well written and
reads quickly (Stewart later became an English professor at Kansas State University). Donald Stewart passed away about the time
of publication of this book, leaving the reader thankful he took the time to leave us his memories of Yellowstone in another time.
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|OUT OF THE NIGHT: A Story of Tragedy and Hope from a Survivor of the 1959 Montana-Yellowstone Earthquake by Irene Bennett
Dunn (Plaudit Press, Sandpoint, ID, 1998).
One of the most dramatic stories of the 1959 Montana-Yellowstone earthquake is that of the Bennett family. This is their story, as told
by Irene Bennett in what must have been a difficult look back on that ordeal. The first half of the 120-page book briefly tells of the
family's life together before August 1959, of their planned trip to Yellowstone, and ultimately their tragic experience on that
late-summer night of August 17. Although they survived the devastating earthquake that evening, uncertainty and horror followed for
Mrs. Irene Bennett and her teenage son Phil, the only two survivors of their original family of 6. In the days that followed the bodies of
Irene's husband, youngest son, and two daughters were recovered one by one while Irene and Phil struggled to recover both
physically and mentally.
The second half of the book deals with the impact of this tragedy on their lives immediately following and up to the time of the writing
of the book. The author tells how she and her son began the difficult process of pulling their lives together, starting new families, and
ultimately living productive lives of hope. The past would of course always be with them, but they learned to embrace the fond
memories of their family together before that tragic night.
In the epilogue, Irene and son Phil make their first return visit in 1995 to the Madison Valley, scene of their family's tragedy.
One is left with the impression that both of these individuals made a determined effort to overcome what could have been an
emotionally crippling experience. They seem to be at peace with their past. It is an uplifting story of the resiliance of the human spirit.
Those interested in Yellowstone's past are fortunate that Irene Bennett Dunn has shared her memories of this event.
Out of the Night is accompanied by several black and white photos from 1952 up to the time of the book's publication, including
some taken immediately after the disaster. This book is available through the author or amazon.com. (Paperback, 120 pages, large
ONCE AROUND THE SUN IN YELLOWSTONE by Doug Dance (Doug Dance Nature Photography, Winnipeg, Canada, 2005).
Doug Dance is a gifted photographer whose artistic instincts and patient timing result in images that are often startlingly beautiful
and always a step above the norm. This, his first published collection of Yellowstone photos, will not disappoint. Although at first
glance this book with its large dimensions of approximately 11-1/2 by 11-1/2 appears to be primarily a beautifully presented
collection of mostly wildlife photos, it is a pleasant surprise to find interesting and relevant accompanying text.
As its title suggests, the book is divided into sections by seasons from winter to spring, spring to summer, summer to autumn, and
from autumn back to winter. In the foreword, the author describes the intent of the book as "...a patchwork of stories and images
from the fabric of the living story of Yellowstone," and "accounts of events in the lives of the wild creatures that live in the park over
the course of a calendar year ." The photos and text reveal an insight that comes from one who has taken the time to observe
wildlife on their terms, not hurried by demands of schedules and deadlines. The author takes the reader beyond the surface to see
a glimpse of the day-to-day life of Yellowstone's animal world. Memorable are the photo of the breath of a meadowlark and the
description of howling wolves breaking a strange stillness during an all-night photo shoot at Old Faithful. We see the lives of
wolves, bears, elk, bison, and other Yellowstone wildlife throughout the seasons, with often surprising interactions among
themselves and other wildlife. The is the buffalo that remains with her dying calf late into the afternoon as the herd slowly moves
away, then returns in recognition of the situation. The interaction that occurs as the hours unfold has an almost human quality.
Throughout the book we see photos and descriptions of outsider black wolf 302 beginning with the first day he made his presence
known to the Druid pack. The drama of his life during this year could almost be a topic for a book of its own.
Once Around the Sun in Yellowstone is 190 pages long, illustrated throughout with color photographs.
Look back with joy to your wanderings in the blessed old Yellowstone Wonderland.