|Trip to Yellowstone National Park - 1934
by Miss Alma Hernas
This four-day diary of a trip to Yellowstone must speak for itself. Nothing is known of the
author, Miss Alma Hernas, other than what is told in this brief account. We can only
speculate on how old she was at the time of the writing or exactly where she called home,
though it appears to be somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.
It is unfortunate that this trip report is incomplete. Alma appears to have had a skill for
describing the details of travel--both good and bad. We can only hope that the fortunes of
her family improved for the rest of their stay in Yellowstone and on their trip back home.
Although grammar and spelling errors were relatively few, no corrections were made
while typing this diary and you see it here exactly as it was originally written
You can see enlargements of the handwritten pages by clicking on the smaller versions
to the left.
Trip to Yellowstone National Park
We got up at 4:00 Thurs. morn and started packing. We
left at 15 after 7. Just as we got into Spokane the bolts
holding the trailer to the car broke and we had to stay in
Spokane 2 hrs. before it could be fixed.
We got along fine to Coeur d'Alene and there we left the
tire cover at the Chev. garage. We ate dinner at the Park
in Coeur d'Alene. As we turned off on the Wallace road
we came across road that was being oiled. Between
Wallace & Missoula we had a flat tire in the hottest place
that the darn tire could find to blow out. By the time we
got the tire fixed it was late. Outside of Missoula we had
to eat supper alongside of the road, between Missoula
and Drumond. We got to Drumond at 9:00. At Saltese,
which was just beyond Wallace, we had to set our time
ahead one hour to correspond with Mountain time. We
traveled 305 miles the first day.
We left Drumond at 7. We crossed the Continental
Divide. The elevation was over 6500 feet. We made
good time between Drumond and Helena. While driving
thro' Montana we had to make many detours as the
roads were being oiled.
Helena was an interesting city to go thro' as so many
buildings were the old style. As we traveled from Helena
to Bozeman we crossed some of the Montana Planes. All
along the road and far out into the planes we could see
cattle. Montana is a regular cattle country. At Bozeman
we ate dinner. As we left Bozeman we went thro' Gallatin
valley which had an elevation of about 4600 ft. We saw
the Bozeman tunnel, the road went on top of the tunnel.
At one end of the tunnel there was a station by the name
of West End and at the other end of the tunnel was a
station called East End.
It didn't take long to get to Livingston.
Just after entering the Park we saw elk and some bears
across a lake. When we came to Norris Junction an elk
was feeding right along the road. He wasn't a bit scared
of us. All along the road were hot springs.
We camped at Canyon Camp. After making camp we
went to the store and along the road we saw a bear
dumping over all the rubbish barrels. About midnight it
started raining, boy how it did rain. It kept up until about
6:00 in the morning. We traveled about 296 miles on
Right after the sun came out 2 black bears began
exploring the camp ground. The biggest one jumped
upon a table of a nearby camp and grabbed a hold of
the tent. Later as we were having breakfast the same
bears came over to our table. One of them came close to
the table and Mother and Maynard got up to take a
picture of it. It came so close it almost touched the table.
The table was between the bear and me but if it had
come any closer I wouldn't have been there. While we
were cleaning up camp a brown bear came there and
bumped some peoples cooking outfit over. The owners
of the outfit were not there so some of the campers
picked up the things. We fixed our tent so that no bears
could get in, I hope, and we took the car and drove to
artist point. The canyon that the point looks out on is
about a mile across and thousands of ft down. At the
bottom of the canyon winds the Yellowstone river. We
drove over to the lower falls. Here Dad, Maynard and I
walked down and up 494 steps there were 16 landings.
Dad didn't go down because we were starting up when
he was about a hundred steps from the bottom. Mother
didn't go down them because she had done it once
before and knew the affects of walking up so many
steps. As we came back from Artist point there were 4
bears that sat in the middle of the road and stopped
traffic. 2 of them came over to my window but I had the
window up. We left there and started for Yellowstone
Lake. Along the road we saw the Dragon's mouth Spring
and the Mud Volcano. Dad went fishing in Yellowstone
Lake and afterwords we ate dinner at Lake Junction.
On Fri night when we reached Canyon Camp we couldn't
find part of the gas pump and all the wood was wet. It
was about 9:00 before we ate supper and Mother was
out of sorts with everything.
As we drove up along Y. Lake shore we ran into rain, hail
and snow, we couldn't hardly see the lake so we turned
back to camp. When we got back to camp I fixed up the
beds while Mother got supper and Maynard tried to get
the fire started and Dad tried to find dry wood.
Alma saved the day and Mother's temper by finding the
lost part of the gas pump in the trailer. We finally got the
fire built so we could get some heat from it. When we got
to looking at the beds we discovered that part of the
bedding on Mother and Dad's bed was wet so we had a
time getting the bedding straightened out. Then we went
We broke camp at Canyon lodge and headed for Old Faithful. On the way we saw many geysers. We went thro' the
lower geyser basin. About this time it was getting towards dinner time so we went by the middle and upper geyser
fields. We went to the camp ground at Old Faithful. After picking our table and camp spot we ate and then went back
to look at the geyser fields that we had missed.
The castle geyser was close to Old Faithful and Giant was next. We didn't get to see either of these erupt. We saw
the Morning Glory Pool. By the time we got back to camp it was 7:15 and time to see bears feed. When we got to the
Bear feeding grounds there were no bears. A Ranger came and lectured to the groupe of people there about habits
and the way the bear lives. While he was talking a Mother bear and 3 cubs came out. The ranger said that that was
the first time that the bears had been fed in the park this year. He also said that this Bear had been around camp for
[end of diary]