Yellowstone National Park 1931-32 – Continued!

Continuing with my Dad’s west coast adventures, I have more old postcards from Yellowstone. He was good at buying postcards and actually writing messages on them, addressing them, and then not sending them! All of the postcards in my possession contain no stamp or postal cancellation. So, I must assume that he just brought the cards back to Kentucky when he returned. I do hope he did manage to send other cards to all these people. After all, he was asking them to write! If you’re just joining us here, please feel free to visit the three posts leading up to this one. For the beginning of the story, click here to open Riding the Rails During the Great Depression, click here  to open Dad’s Tour of the West Coast During the Great Depression, and click here to open Yellowstone National Park 1931-32. Each link will open in a new tab.

It seems he stayed out West a lot longer than I ever thought. He and his friends arrived in Oregon in April 1931 during the Depression. I now believe they went West seeking better employment opportunities. After some touring and spending time with friends in Santa Barbara, he got employment that summer at Yellowstone National Park. He indicated on some of the cards that he would be in Yellowstone until September/October and then would return to Santa Barbara (or the California coast) for the winter. He never talked much about it to me when I was growing up. Oh, the opportunities we miss to learn about our family and heritage. Anyway, about the only thing I ever remember him saying is that one should never want to cross the path of the grizzly bear.

The cards were made by Haynes Picture Shops, Inc., 341 Selby Ave., St. Paul, Minn. and Yellowstone Park, Wyoming.

Click on each Today for additional information. Please enjoy the cards!


Punch Bowl Spring, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Park is a good example of the built-up-rim type of hot springs. The Punch Bowl is always turbulent but never erupts, and its water is very hot.

Today: This boiling, intermittent spring has produced a sinter lip that raises it above the basin floor. That “punch bowl” appearance gave this feature its name.


Colter Peak, Yellowstone Lake, was named for John Colter, the first white man ever to visit the region. In his wanderings of 1807, he discovered the park after leaving the famous Lewis and Clark expedition on its return trip.

Today: Elevation 10,640 feet (3,240 m) is a mountain peak in the Absaroka Range in the southeastern section of Yellowstone National Park. The peak is named for mountain man John Colter, reputedly the first white man to visit the Yellowstone region. Colter Peak was first ascended in 1870 by Lt. Gustavus Cheyney Doane and Nathaniel P. Langford during the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition. Henry D. Washburn, the expedition leader named the peak for Langford and Doane.


Angel Terrace, Mammoth, Yellowstone Park, is near the road and is generally admired. It was first called Haynes Spring, for F. J. Haynes, but at his request the name was changed in the late 1880’s to Angel Terrace.

Today: Known both for the pure white formations and colorful microorganisms of its active periods, Angel Terrace is one of the area’s most unpredictable features. For decades it was dry and crumbling. More recently, hot springs have been intermittently active in parts of the formation.


The travertine (calcium carbonate) terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs are formed by the overflowing limeladen hot water. Four factors are held responsible for this:  the cooling of the water, evaporation, the giving off of the carbonic acid gas dissolved in it, and the absorption of lime by the algae — a low form of plant life.

Today: Jupiter Terrace displays cycles of activity. In the 1980s Jupiter Terrace flowed so heavily that it overtook boardwalks several times.  It has been dry since 1992, but when active, its color and intricate terraces make Jupiter an appealing spring.


Dunraven Pass, 8859 Ft., Yellowstone Park, was named for the late Earl of Dunraven, who made some memorable trips in the region in the early days, and published an interesting book about the park. It is on the side of Mt. Washburn between that mountain and Dunraven Peak.

Today: Dunraven Pass is the highest road pass in Yellowstone National Park, and because of this, it can get snow at any time of year– even summer.  It’s always the first to close during a regional snow storm, and it is always the first road to close in the fall as Yellowstone Park winds down for the winter. 


The beautiful Dragons Mouth Spring of hot, clear water contrasts with its near neighbor the Mud Volcano which belches boiling mud. These are two contrasting types of thermal springs of which Yellowstone has many.

Today: Temperature 170.2°F Dimensions 18×30 feet. Depth 16 feet. Dragon’s Mouth is a turbulent hot spring with a cavernous mouth. Water sloshes rhythmically in and out of the cavern giving the impression of a large overflow; however, the actual discharge is quite small. Much of the activity and energy is located within the cavern. As hot water rises to the surface, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, and water vapor gases expand creating a pressure explosion in the cavern. The resulting activity is sloshing, belching, and steaming.


Shoshone Canyon and Tunnel. Several tunnels through solid volcanic rock were drilled in building the scenic highway from Cody, Wyoming to the Eastern boundary of the park, which is one of the most popular routes to the Yellowstone.

Today: The (Buffalo Bill) dam was part of the Shoshone Project, which comprised a system of tunnels, canals, diversion dams, and Buffalo Bill Reservoir. Today, the project irrigates more than 93,000 acres, where principal crops are beans, alfalfa, oats, barley, and sugar beets. Although the number of irrigated acres never reached the 150,000 acres originally projected by project proponents, the figure has increased steadily over the years: from 25,753 acres in 1915 to 41,331 acres in 1928 to 77,560 acres in 1953.


Cleopatra Terrace, Yellowstone Park, is one o the large group of travertine, (calcium carbonate), formations at Mammoth Hot Springs over which the hot water trickles, building beautiful successions of ledges colored with delicate shades of brown and yellow by low forms of plant life called algae.

Today: Due to confusion related to the intermittent nature of many of the springs in the Mammoth Area, the name Cleopatra Spring has been given to at least three different springs over the years. As the confusion developed the original Cleopatra Spring came to be called Minerva Spring.


Apollinaris Spring, Yellowstone Park, became so popular with the greatly increasing patronage of the park that the paths and the natural well were replaced in 1925 by a stone structure, areaway and fountains for the added conveniences of the thousands who come to be refreshed.

TodayApollinaris Spring, located on Yellowstone National Park’s Grand Loop Road about five miles south of Indian Creek campground and 2½ miles north of Obsidian Cliff, is a cold, mineral water spring that was a stopping place for thirsty Yellowstone travelers for about 100 years.


Mt. Washburn, 10,346 ft., Yellowstone Park, was named for H. D. Washburn, leader of the exploring party of 1870 and Surveyor General of Montana. The trip to the summit of the promontory is well worth taking.

Today: If you can accomplish only one hike in Yellowstone, this is the hike. No other single trail provides as much in the way of scenery, wildflowers and wildlife as the Mount Washburn Trail. This also is one of the best evening or sunset hikes, but the drawback is that the return is in the dark.


Oops! I missed this one. It should have been on the last post with the picture of the Hotel! Anyway —

Lake Hotel Dining Room, Yellowstone Park, is an indication of the facilities provided for patrons of the Yellowstone Park hotels which are comparable to the large city hostelries, although many miles from the nearest city of railroad. From this room a splendid view of Yellowstone Lake is to be had.

Today: The Lake Yellowstone Hotel Dining Room offers tempting preparations for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Our new fresh fish dinner entrées include wild Alaska Halibut and Salmon.  Unique specialty sandwiches and entrée salads are offered at lunch. Treat yourself to the Portabella Melt for breakfast!