As one of the few people around who first visited Yellowstone Park in 1925, I feel heartsick at what has happened there. However, I will never forget the thrill of my first visit there as a 10-year-old child with my grandparents.
We left the Glendale train station on July 4, 1925, for a two-night journey up the Pacific Coast on the Southern Pacific to Seattle, where we changed trains to the Northern Pacific. After overnight on the train we were met in Gardner, Mont., by the Yellowstone Park Co. with its open-air buses for a four-day journey through the park.
What excitement for a 10-year-old! The first night at Mammoth Lodge we could view the bears feeding on the garbage from the lodge and hotel. This was a common practice in those days. First to feed were the brown bears and their cubs. As soon as the grizzly bears appeared, however, the brown bears would scurry up a tree and wait until the grizzlies had their fill, only descending when they were sure the danger was over.
Our second night was spent at Old Faithful Lodge after spending the day viewing the many geysers and wildlife along the route. We did eat a lot of dust because, while good, the roads were not paved. Around many bends in the road bears would be waiting for their handouts of food. The ultimate sight of that day and night was Old Faithful itself.