by: Bobby McDonald
Day four of our 1985 trip to Yellowstone: June 25, 1985. Spent last night in Saratoga, Wyoming, 1280 miles from home. North Platte River running smooth and fast through downtown. A few miles out at 7:30 we saw pronghorns close to the road. Got on Interstate 80 to Rawlings where it was fifty degrees. Started raining at 9:00 as we traveled along Highway 287. Wide open spaces. Lots of Angus cattle. Why don’t they have barns up here? Many little fences made to catch blowing snow and keep it off highway. Cars hit quite a few deer and pronghorns along here. Dead pronghorn at 9:14 and a mule deer at 9:17. Mosquitoes bad any time we get out of the car. Passed through Lamont, population 100. At Muddy Gap it was six trailer houses and one gas station. Pronghorns are coming closer to the road as we get near Landers, even between highway and fence. We stopped beside some of them and one couldn’t get through the fence because his horns kept hanging. I gave chase on foot and almost got close enough to touch it. The kids were cheering me on. (Now in 2012 as I write this it sure reminds me of some of those Chevy Chase vacation movies.)
Jeffrey City at 10:10 and mailed post cards. Ice Slough historical marker told of water freezing under peat moss and didn’t melt until early summer. Everyone had free ice for several months. At 11:00 we saw our first barn in hours. They usually just stack square bales of hay out in the rain and snow. We are close enough to see the Tetons but low clouds have the tops hidden. Snake River very nice. On to Yellowstone where we saw buffalo, deer, elk, geese, and moose. A buffalo was feeding near road and we stopped. Foolishly got out of car and buffalo charged. We jumped in car and closed the doors before Bret could get in. Luckily he got on the opposite side of the car from the critter and we let him in. Spent night near north gate at Mammoth Hotel built in 1886. Bathroom down the hall. No television. Meant to camp in tent but raining, sleet, and snow.
Day 5, June 26, 1985. Gets daylight early here. Up at 5:30. Big frost and ice on car windows. Two huge bull elk near hotel as we left. Yellowstone Lake. Old Faithful. The unbelievable Old Faithful Inn. Lobby is six stories high. Made in early 1900’s. Another lodge nearby is Lake Yellowstone Lodge made in 1885 and is the second largest wooden structure in North America. Left park about 2:00 cutting across a corner of Montana and in to Idaho. As you drop out of the mountains the highway is almost straight down for five miles. Lots of farmland with little square bales of hay. No one hauling. Why do they not care for their hay getting wet? Spent night in shabby motel in Salt Lake City.
June 27, 1985. Day 6. On south to Provo where the fog was very thick. East on Interstate 70 to Thompson then south on 191 to Monticello. To Cortez then Arches National Park. High red sandstone cliffs. Climbed a big hill just outside of Moab and it made all of our throats hurt. Lots of alfalfa bales in meadows. Durango, Pagosa Springs, and into Santa Fe about 11:00 p.m. June 28, 1985. Before leaving motel we watched television about the hostages in Beirut. Drove without stopping much and got home at 11:30 pm, five hours short of being gone exactly one week.
Now back to the present in 2012. Maybe we now have proof as to the real reason for dots on old brown snuff bottles. Richard Goolsby came to the rescue with new information. He and his dad worked at Piggly Wiggly in Cooper where lots of snuff was sold and the customers did think that the dots referred to the potency. Later, in the early Eighties, Richard worked for a lubrication company and one of his clients was the Kerr Glass Company in Waxahachie who made the brown snuff bottles. The maintenance supervisor was positive they were mold marks that showed which mold made the bottle. In case some bottles were not up to par they would know which molds to repair or replace. Richard also said his grandmother used snuff and had to have a sweetgum “toothbrush” which made the best brush. They would make special trips to Winnsboro to replenish her supply. Thanks, Richard.
Summer arrives at 6:09 p.m. on June 20. This is when the Sun reaches its most northern point of the year and will gradually turn back south. June 21 the planet Mercury lines up with Pollux and Castor, the two brightest stars of Gemini the Twins. Find all three to the upper right of the Moon shortly after sunset. Mercury is the brightest of the three.
Frank borrowed his neighbor’s trumpet and carried it home. His wife told him she didn’t know he could play a trumpet. He said he couldn’t, and now his neighbor couldn’t either.
A CIA employee resigned to become a priest. Now his files are labeled “Sacred” and “Top Sacred.”