Frederick E Shearer.

The Pacific tourist : J.R. Bowman's illustrated trans-continental guide of travel, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean ... : acomplete traveler's guide of the Union and Central Pacific Railroads ... online

. (page 28 of 61)
Online LibraryFrederick E ShearerThe Pacific tourist : J.R. Bowman's illustrated trans-continental guide of travel, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean ... : acomplete traveler's guide of the Union and Central Pacific Railroads ... → online text (page 28 of 61)
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which is literally honeycombed with springs, pools
and geysers, that are constantly gurgling, spit-
ting, steaming, roaring, and exploding. To de-
scribe all the geysers would require more space
than can be spared, and I will therefore refer
only to the principal ones, hoping the reader will
take the trip and see the wonders of the Yellow-
stone for himself, which is really the only way
in which they can be appreciated, for any de-
scription must always fall short of the reality.
Entering the Upper Basin from the north, we
pass a series of rapids at the upper end of which
we enter the gateway, as it were, guarded b^ two
sentinel geysers, one on either side of the river ;
that on the left being the most active.

Following the river for about two hundred and
fifty yards, we reach the " Fan Geyser," where
there are several orifices from which the water
radiates, the streams crossing each other and
producing a fan-shaped eruption. A short dis-
tance above, on the opposite side of the river, is
the " Grotto Geyser " which is easily recognized
by the peculiar form of its crater, from which it
takes its name. There are two orifices, the
principal one being in the larger and more irreg-
ular mound, which is eight feet high, while the
smaller one is only four feet high. The inter-
val between its eruptions is unknown. It throws
a column of water and steam from 40 to 60 feet
above its crater. Several hundred yards farther
back from the river, south-west from the " Grotto,"
are the " Pyramid," " Punch Bowl," " Bath Tub,"
and " Black Sand " Geysers.

The " Giant " is about 400 feet south-east of
the "Grotto." It has a rough, cone-like crater,
ten feet high, with one side broken down. The
orifice from which the water is expelled is about
five feet in diameter. This curious crater is near
the river's edge, on a platform of deposit measur-
ing 342 yards in circumference. It has seldom
been seen in eruption. Langford gives the


height as 140 feet in 1870. It was also seen in
action in 1874, but the height was not measured.
Following up the river on the south-west side,
we next stop at the " Castle." It is a cone, ris-
ing a little over 11 feet above an irregular plat-
form of sinter, that measures 75 by 100 feet, and
is three feet high. The orifice of the geyser
tube is three feet in diameter, and circular, and
its throat is lined with large orange-colored
globular masses. In 1870, its eruption threw a
column of water 140 feet above its crater, con-
tinuing three hours. In 1872, the maximum
height observed was 93 feet and the duration
fifteen minutes, after which steam escaped with
a pulsating movement, the whole display lasting
about an hour and twenty minutes. In 1874,
the same succession of water and steam was
noticed, the former lasting twenty minutes, and
attaining an estimated height of 250 feet, and
the latter lasting about forty minutes longer.
The noise of the eruption is indescribable. Im-
agine a gigantic pot with a thunder-storm in its
stomach, and to the noises of elemental war, add
the shrieking of steam pipes and you will have
a faint idea of it. After the eruption, the ex-
hausted geyser sinks into complete repose.

Near the " Castle " is a beautiful blue hot
spring, which has been given the fanciful name of
" Circes Voudoir." The water is perfectly trans-
parent, and so intensely blue that you involun-
tarily plunge your hand in to see if it is water.
The basin is of pure white silica, looking like
marble. It is about 20 feet in diameter, and has
a beautiful and regular scalloped margin. The
white basin slopes to a funnel-shaped opening
which is 40 feet deep, and here the water is in-
tensely blue, its temperature 180 Fahrenheit.

" Old Faithful," standing at the head of the
valley, is so named from the regularity of its
spouting. Its mouth is six feet by two, in a
siliceous mound that rises 11 feet above the gen-
eral level. On this mound are small basins
whose edges are ornamented with bead-like silica.
The eruptions commence with a few abortive
attempts, followed by a rapid succession of jets
which soon reach the maximum, and then sub-
side, only steam escaping from the orifice. The
average interval between the eruptions observed
in 1872, was one hour, two and three-quarter
minutes, and the average duration four minutes,
fifty-three seconds. As observed by Captain
Jones' party in 1873, the interval was fifty-
six minutes and forty seconds, and the dura-
tion four minutes and thirty-three and one-half
seconds. The height of the column was esti-
mated at nearly 150 feet. The greatest height
measured in 1872, out of seventeen eruptions,
was 130 feet. The " Bee Hive " is on the op-
posite side of the river, nearly due north of " Old
Faithful," and about 300 yards distant. It is
near the river and readily recognized by its
cone three feet high, and about three feet in

diameter. From this cone the water is pro-
jected with great force in a steady stream. The
column is fan shaped. No water falls back, but
it seems to be all resolved into vapor. The
length of the eruptions is from four to fifteen
minutes, and the interval unknown. The col-
umn rises from 100 to 250 feet.

Two hundred yards back of the Bee Hive, is
the " Giantess," which has a large basin 23 by 32
feet. It is on the summit of a gently sloping
siliceous mound. Its eruptions are very irregu-
lar. They last from 8 to 18 minutes. The only
eruption measured in 1872, was 69 feet. An
immense mass of water was thrown up. Other
estimates have given the height as 60, 200,
and 250 feet.

Far the" down the river and opposite the
castle, frcnr wnich it is distant 460 yards, is the
" Grand Geyser." One would scarcely take it
for an important geyser, unless he witnessed one
of its spoutings ; for, unlike the others, it has no
raised crater. Its basin which is 52 feet in
diameter, is depressed a foot below the general
level. The mouth of the geyser tube in the cen-
ter, measures four feet by two feet, and from this,
about once in 24 hours, a column is thrown to the
height of from 175 feet to 250 feet. The eruption
generally consists of three periods, after each of
which the water sinks completely out of sight.
Near the " Grand " are the " Saw Mill " and the
" Turban." The latter is only a few feet from
the " Grand," and will be known by the globular
masses that look like huge squashes, and are
easily seen lining the sides and bottom of the
crater when the water has disappeared from the
basin. The eruptions are unimportant. Still
farther down the river, and nearly opposite the
"Grotto," is the "Riverside" which brings us
back nearly to the place we started. A visit to
Iron Spring Creek, is well worth taking. Near
its mouth, on the north side, is the " Soda
Geysers " group.

Fair camps are easily found in the " Lower
Geyser Basin."

In the " Upper Basin," a good camp for a
small party is in a grove near the " Castle." An-
other is found about a quarter of a mile
higher up.

The trail to the " Shoshone Geyser Basin " leads
up the Fire Hole River, and a short distance
above the " Upper Basin," we pass a fall 60 feet
high, that is worthy a visit from all who would
see the beauties as well as the wonders of the
region. It somewhat resembles the Middle Fall
at Trenton, New York. Above the falls, the
trail crosses the river to avoid swampy ground,
and keeps on the bounding ridge of hills on the
west. The narrow valley expands, and we soon
enter a third geyser basin with several groups of
springs, and one geyser called the " Solitary."
It has a dome-shaped mound, 15 feet in diam-
eter and 11 to 14 feet high, covered with elegant

l.-Jupltor* 8 Bath 8 and Soda Monntein. 2.-Valley of the Yellowstone.


, arly b e a d-work, and
striped vertically with
bands of white, dark* green,
brownish black, and vari-
ous shades of orange and
yellow, the white being ordinary geyserite, while
the other colors are purely vegetable.

In the top of the mound are several openings,
the larger about three inches in diameter, from
which a stream of water is thrown 20 to 50 feet
and even to 70 feet, mostly in drops, with much
steam. The amount of water is small, yet is
erupted with great force, reminding one of the
eruptions of the " Castle." The spouting is at

intervals of about two
hours. The elevation of
this "Upper Basin," is

7,770 feet, while that of the Upper Geyser Basin,
proper, is from 7,300 to 7,400. On a small
stream coming into the basin from the west,
about a quarter of a mile from the river, is
a fine cascade 130 feet high. The river rises
in a small lake to which the name Madison
Lake is given. From here the trail runs
due east to Shoshone Lake, which is one of
the sources of Snake River, giving origin to the
main stream. From the " Upper Geyser Basin "
to Madison Lake, is about ten miles, and from
this lake to. the Shoshone Geysers, the distance
is about four miles. The trail is not very good,
there being considerable fallen timber through
the region to be traversed.

Mount, Blackmore. This mountain, pre-
vious to 1872, was practically unnamed and un-
known. It is situated in the heart of the Rocky
Mountains, in Montana Territory, and at its
base are the sources of the Gallatin River, which,


with the Jefferson and Madison Rivers, help
form the mighty Missouri.

It was discovered by the Hayden Exploration
Party of 1872, and received its name under the


following circumstances : While camped at
Fort Ellis, and making preparations for the ex-
plorations of the famous Yellowstone Expedition,
the party was joined by Mr. William Blackmore,
of London, one of Eng-
land's scientific men. With
him came his wife, who was
anxious to see some of the
beauties and wonders of
our famous Yellowstone
National Park. The
fatigue and hardships of
the journey from Corinne
to Bozeman, 600 miles of
staging, proved too much.
On arrival at Bozeman, she
was taken ill, and after a
sickness of but two days,
she died. Her grave lies at
the foot of a mountain
range, from which there
rises a grand peak, stand-
ing up like a huge monu-
ment to her memory. To
this peak the party gave the
name of Mt. Blackmore.
The height above the sea is
10,134 feet. The ascent is
exceedingly difficult, and
required over four days
by the party who succee'd-
ed, and the scene from
the summit is inexpress-
ibly grand, and the field
of vision is immense.
Here a bird's-eye view is
.gained of the Gallatin
River for over 40 miles of
its course ; in the distance
is the Missouri. Next are
the Jefferson and Madison
Rivers, and southward
is a country whose ap-
pearance is rough be-
yond imagination. Peak
upon peak looms up against
the horizon the Snowy
Range of the Yellowstone,
with its high points, and
the Madison Range with
its numerous peak-capped
summits. Nearly at the
summit of Mt. Blackmore
is the crater of an extinct
volcano, and the peak itself
is composed of black basalt
and a brick-red lava. On
the western and northern
sides there is an almost
perpendicular wall, too
steep to hold any snow in


Palace Butte. In ascending Mt. Black-
more, the Hayden Party passed through a lovely
little park about a quarter of a mile in length,
and almost oval in shape, bordered on all sides
by a line of grand old trees, whose symmetry
would have graced the finest artificial park in
the world. Back of these trees, on the east, ris-
ing to the height of over 3,000 feet above us,
stood an almost blank wall of volcanic rock, the
prevailing tint of which was a somber black, re-
lieved here and there with streaks of red and
green, as though it had been painted. This wall
was surmounted by dome and spire-like points of
rock, in whose crevices lay deep banks of snow.
On the western side of the park, across the creek,
was a second wall similar in character to the
first. The effects of the weather had given curi-
ous architectural resemblances. It did not re-
quire a very vivid imagination to trace castles
and fortress walls on the face of the wall. At
the head of the park stands a monument-like
pile of rocks, to which we gave the name of
Palace Butte, and the park we call Palace Park.
The butte rises in an almost dome-shaped mass
from a blank wall, on whose sides we can distin-
guish narrow, silver-like lines, reaching from the
top down, until they are hidden behind the trees.
These, we afterward discovered, are waterfalls
fed by the snows above. Without any visible
means of support, they seem to cling to the rock
for protection. The scene as we came into the
park was so strikingly grand, that we could not
restrain our exclamations, and it was some time
before we became composed enough to arrange
our camp

Shoshone LaJce Geysers. In beauty the
springs of the Shoshone Basin, are probably un-
surpassed although the geysers are less active
than those of the Fire Hole.

They are at the extreme western end of the
western arm of the lake, on Shoshone Creek, up
which they extend for about half a mile on both

The most important geyser is the " Union
Geyser," so called because it combines the vari-
ous forms of geyseric action. It has three
vents, each of which has built up a small cone.
Its eruptions are irregular, the height being from
70 to 92 feet. Its location is on the east side of
the creek, opposite Quick Run. One hundred
yards up the stream on the same side, at the
point of a hill, are the " Minute Man " and the
" Shield Geyser." The former has a beautifully
beaded crater four feet high, and its jets reach
an altitude of from 30 to 40 feet. The shield
has an ornamented mound with a shield-shaped
opening. _ Between these geysers is the " Rosette
Spring " in whose shallow waters are thin leaved
rosette-shaped masses. A rocky knoll intervenes
between this and the " Bulging Spring." From
the latter, large bubbles of steam escape with a
sound like that of liquid pouring from the bung

of an overturned barrel. Forty feet beyond, is
the " Soap Kettle " in which dirty colored water
is boiling, covered with foam, looking like dirty
soapsuds. Still farther on are the " Black Sul-
phur Geyser," "The Twins," "The Little
Giant," "The Iron Conch," " The Coral Pool,"
and a host of smaller springs, the description of
which would be but a repetition of those already

Hot springs are found also on Lewis Lake
and Heart Lake, south-east of Shoshone Lake,
and also doubtless in many localities yet un-

From the region just described, we can retrace
our steps to the Lower Fire Hole Geyser Basin
from whence we can either follow down the
Madison on the Virginia City Route, or return
to Bozeman ; or, we can follow the Snake River
passing Jackson's Lake, and the grand scenery
of the Teton Mountains, and take the trail to
Fort Hall, or crossing through Teton Pass,
go to the same place via Pierres River and
Snake River.



Fountain, in Lower Basin, JHayden, 1871,

Architectural, in Lower Basin, Hayden, 1871,

Old Faithfnl, Upper Basin Hayden, 1871,

Old Faithful, Upper Basin

Old Faithful, Upper Basin

Old Faithful, Upper Basin

Old Faithful, Uprjer Basin

Giantess, Upper Basin,

Giantess, Upper Basin,

Giantess, Upper Basin,

Bee Hive, Upper Basin,

Bee Hjve, Upper Basin,

Bee Hive, Upper Basin,

Castle, Upper Basin,

Castle, Upper Basin,

Castle, Upper Basin,

Castle, Upper Basin,

Castle, Upper Basin,

Grand, Upper Basin,

Grand, Upper Basin,

Grand, Upper Basin.

Turban, Upper Basin,

Turban, Upper Basin,

Giant, Upper Basin,

Grotto, Upper Basin,

Grotto, Upper Basin,

Grotto, Upper Basin,


30 to 60
60 to 80
100 to 150

100 to 150

100 to 150

10 to 15

Hayden, 1872,
Norton, 1872,
Comstock, 1873,
Dunraven, 1874,
Langford, 1870,
Hayden, 1872,
Norton, 1872,
Langford, 1870,
Hayden, 1872,
Norton, 1872.
Langford, 1870,
Hayden, 1871,
Hayden, 1872,
Comstock, 1873,
Dunraven, 1874,
Havden, 1871,
Hayden, 1872,
Comstock, 1873,
Hayden, 1872,
Comstock, 1873,
Langford, 1870,
Langford, 1870,
Hayden, 1872,
Comstock, 1873,

Measured by triangulatlon, the others are estimated.


Mammoth White Mountain Hot Springs, 6,278 to 7,035
Mud Volcanoes. 7,756 to 7,800
Crater Hills' Springs, 7,828 to 7,979
Sulphur Springs on divide between Yellow-
stone and East Fork of Fire Hole River, 8,246
Lower Geyser Basin, 7,250 to 7,350
Upper Geyser Basin, T.300 to 7,400
Third Geyser Basin, 7,772
Shoshone Lake, Geyser Basin, 7,900


Yellowstone Lake,
Shoshone Lake,
Lewis Lake.
Madison Lake,
Henry's Lake,





Mount Hayden, 13,833

Mount Washburn, 10,388

Mount Sheridan, 10,343

Mount Blackmore, 10,134

Mount Delano (Yellowstone Valley), 10,200

Mount Doane, 10,118

Electric Peak, 10,9!)2

Emigrant Peak, 10,629

Red Mountain, south of Yellowstone Lake, 9,806

Lookout Hill, north of Shoshone Lake, 8,257

Old Baldy, near Virginia City, 9,711


Teton Pass, 8,464

Tyghee Pass, 7,063

Reynold's Pass, Henry's Lake north to Madison River, 6,911
Divide, Yellowstone and Gallatin, on road from Fort

Ellis to Boteler's Ranche, 5,721

Divide on Mount Washburn where trail crosses, 9,155

Divide between Yellowstone and Madison, on trail

from Mud Volcanoes and Geyser Basins, 8,164

Divide between Madison and Shoshone Lakes, 8,717

Divide between Yellowstone and Lewis Lakes, 8,024

Togwater Pass, (Upper Yellowstone to Wind River,) 9,621


Water and volatile matters,



Ferric Oxide,


Soda and Magnesia, traces.

32.10 per cent.
67.70 per cent.

3.32 per cent.

3.62 per cent.

3.31 per cent.



9.00 per cent.
88.60 per cent.
1.60 per cent.
0.95 per cent.

Water, etc.,


Alumina and Iron,


Magnesia, Soda, Potash and Lithia, traces.



Water, 8.65 per cent.

Silica, 44.61 per cent.

Alumina, 45.09 per cent.

Magnesia, 2.66 per cent.

Iron, 1.86 per cent.
Lime and Soda, traces.



Water, 13.42 per cent.

Silica, 79.56 per cent.

Lime, 1.54 per cent.

Alumina, 0.46 per cent.

Magnesia, 1.78 per cent.

Iron, Chlorine and Soda, traces.







Iron, Magnesia and Soda, traces.

13.00 per cent.
76.80 per cent.

9.46 per cent.

1.80 per cent.


The analyses given above are from the Reports
of the Hayden U. S. Geological Survey of the

Great Soda Mountain and Jupiter's
in the Yellowstone Kef/ion. This
natural curiosity is thus described by an artist
who accompanied the Yellowstone Exploring Ex-
pedition of Doane and Washburn. Jt is one of
the most wonderful institutions the world can
afford :

" On the second day out from Boteler's Ranche
thirty-three miles we diverge from the rocky
trail on the Yellowstone, and after passing a
short way up a creek called ' Gardiner's River,'
we were led by an old mountaineer up quite a
steep mountain.

" Near its summit an immense boiling spring
spouts out, by a number of mouths and pools,
the water of which, as it flows, precipitates its
soda, sulphur and carbonate of lime into a suc-
cession of beautiful terraces and natural bath-
tubs, and like the coral insect, builds perpetually
upon itself, until we have before us a hill of
snowy soda and carbonate of lime, which is from
300 to 500 feet in height, and covers at least 50
acres. The water is of a deep cerulean blue,
and the temperature averages 160 degrees. The
process of precipitation is very rapid, and one
can fairly see it deposited in beautiful strands,
crystals and geodes. The elevation is a little
more than 6,000 feet above the sea. No more
beautiful contrast in the world of light and color
can be found for the artist, than in this spot
which is surrounded by dark, rugged mountains,
and shades oj: yellow, white, amber, pink and
russet on the spring-hill itself."



The record of the building of the Central Pa-
cific Bailroad is a description of one of the great-
est trials of courage and faith the -world has ever
seen, and the actual results are one of the great-
est marvels in engineering science ever known in
the United States. The heroic strength of charac-
ter, the magnificent power and endurance, the
financial intrepidity and the bold daring which
defied all obstacles, overcame all difficulties, and
literally shoved the mountains aside to make
room for their pathway, are not equaled by any
other achievement of the century. If ever an
American can feel and express just admiration,
it is to those Samsons of the Pacific Coast, who
have hewn their way with the ponderous strength
of their arms, and with invincible fortitude
opened to the world the treasures of industry in
the mountains and valleys of the Far West and
the Pacific Coast. To one man, more than all
others, is due the credit for the conception, sur-
vey and actual beginning of the great Trans-
Continental Line. Theodore D. Judah yet he
did not live to see the completion of the railroad
up the Sierras and his successor Mr. S. S. Mon-
tague carried it through with great energy and
success, and to them the nation and all Califor-
nia owe a debt of gratitude.

For years this brave and accomplished en-
gineer had the subject of the road in his mind.
It occupied his thoughts by day and was the
subject of his dreams by night. The idea took
a firm hold upon him, and he became completely
absorbed in it. It energized his whole being and
he was persistent and hopeful to the end. Sac-
ramento, then a much smaller place than now,
was the home of C. P. Huntington and Mark
Hopkins, the former now Vice-President and the
latter now Treasurer of the company, then hard-
ware merchants under the firm name of Hunt-
ington & Hopkins. Their store became the
headquarters of the little company that used to
meet Judah there and talk over the enterprise.
Judah's ideas were clear, his plans seemed prac-
ticable and his enthusiasm was contagious. The
men who associated with him were led to make
contributions for the purpose of partial pay-
ment toward a preliminary survey, and, in 1860,
Judah and his assistants wandered over the
gorges and canons of the Sierra Nevadas in
search of a line for a railroad. The results of
his summer's work were in every way encour-
aging so much so that other contributions and

subscriptions were obtained for work the follow-
ing year. The summer of 1861 again found
Judah and his party in the mountains. The
work of the previous year was extended and
further examination renewed the hope of the
engineer and quickened the zeal of his followers.
Success was certain if they could only enlist cap-
ital in the enterprise.

But right here was the difficulty. While the
great majority of the people of California be-
lieved that the road would be built some day it
would not be done in their time. Some genera-
tion in the future might accomplish it, but it
would be after they were all dead. The subject
was broached in Congress, and finally, in 1862, the
bill was passed. Huntington and Judah went to
Washington with maps and charts, and rendered
invaluable assistance to the friends of the meas-
ure in both houses of Congress, and the day of its
passage was the day of their triumph. The news
was sent to California with lightning speed,
and caused great rejoicing among the people.
The beginning of the end could now distinctly
be seen. Though great difficulties had been
surmounted, a comparatively greater one lay in
the way. Capital which is proverbially timid,
must now be enlisted in the enterprise. Forty
miles of road must be built and accepted by the
government, before the aid could be secured.
Finally, with what local help they could get, and
the assistance of New York capitalists and
bankers, the work was begun at Sacramento,
and the first section carried the line high up
toward the summit of the Sierras. Their finan-

Online LibraryFrederick E ShearerThe Pacific tourist : J.R. Bowman's illustrated trans-continental guide of travel, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean ... : acomplete traveler's guide of the Union and Central Pacific Railroads ... → online text (page 28 of 61)