Become an Upstander!

Volunteer Opportunities
in partnership with
Jewish Volunteer Connection

Traveling with Grace: The Cliffs of Yellowstone

Posted on February 4th, 2020 by

In today’s #TravelingWithGrace we explore cliffs and rock formations (and maybe one or two more geysers) in the wonderful Yellowstone National Park! To read more of Grace’s travels, click here.

Canyon Hotel, Yellowstone National Park, c. 1911, from the National Park Service slide collection, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Thursday, July 24, 1947

Weather: good

We started to take a ride this morning, but the battery went dead, so we sat on the porch, or what passes for one, and enjoyed the bright sunshine and watched the people arrive and leave. This afternoon we visited every vantage point along the canyon, lingering lovingly at each. It is a joy to see how the people from every state enjoy to the fullest the many facilities for picnicking, camping, fishing, hiking, and motoring which the park affords. This hotel has a unique room called Main Street decorated with murals by an artist now on Life Magazine.

Mammoth Spring Hotel from Capitol Hill, 1938. From the Haynes Foundation Collection, Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana courtesy of the National Park Service.

Friday, July 25, 1947

Weather: Fine

We left Canyon Hotel after lunch. A Miss Schnerson[?] of Baltimore spoke to us as we were leaving. This is the prettiest day we have had so far in the park. The ride over was beautiful. We stopped at Tower Falls and again to see part of a petrified tree which stands in a little enclosure fenced in. Everything is marked with explanation of origin. Here and there are piles of dried antlers. The Mammoth Springs Hotel is different from the other 2. We have lovely rooms here. Dining room is next door.

Saturday, July 26, 1947

Weather: Perfect

Today being Tisha B’Av I remained quietly in the hotel and fasted and prayed. Later we say on the porch and watched the buses come and go. In the evening we went over to the recreation hall, look[ed] at the pretty things in the gift shop: leather goods, jewelry, Indian crafts, copper things, pictures, silverware, etc. Then we watched the dancing and the band leader, a nice young chap from Minneapolis came over and talked to us. Helene met Mrs. Mysen[?] from Baltimore, formerly of Frederick Md. Whose family she knows.

Jupiter Terrace, Yellowstone Park, c. 1902 from the Detroit Photographic Co., courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Sunday, July 27, 1947

Weather: Perfect

We started out after lunch and went up on Jupiter Terrace, a huge limestone formation which takes on various hues from the algae which feed upon it. The little hot springs emanating from its crevices trickle down the sides in a golden path, stained by the sulphur, and this glistens in the sun like molten gold. The mammoth hot springs are another series of rounded terraces carved and fluted in curious fashion by the erosion in the limestone or travertine composition.

Liberty Cap, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone Park, c. 1902 from the Detroit Photographic Co. courtesy of the Library of Congress.

 Liberty Cap, a dormant geyser crater 40 feet high is another conspicuous feature of the landscape. We went up past Silver Gate, an opening thru giant grey crags, to Golden Gate, so named from the yellow and orange hue of the rocks near which tumble the beautiful Rustic Falls, which pour into Glen Creek. This is the approach to beautiful Kingman Pass. The coloring of the rhyolite escarpment is caused by golden lichens adhering to the rock. We next stopped for a drink (delicious) from Apollinaris Spring.

Vintage postcard, Obsidian Cliff, Yellowstone Park. Via.

Then we saw Obsidian Cliff, gleaming like jet in the bright sunlight, and Beaver Dam lakes, Sheepeater Cliff, another basalt formation of queer design, past ponds covered with butter yellow lilies and down to Norris Geyser basin which looked more beautiful than ever beneath the clear blue sky. Here are geysers little and big, some erupting sporadically, others shooting off regularly every few minutes, colors ranging thru the entire gamut of blues, greens, grays and one which at times looks like orange-ade.

Vintage postcard, Sheepeater Cliff, Yellowstone National Park. Via.

On our return to Mammoth we looked into the swimming pool fed from the hot springs, which is open to the sky and remains un use until 11 o’clock on Sunday nights. Then we went to the museum. They have one in each park area, but this is the Headquarters and really the most interesting one. Here are specimens of all the flowers, birds, and wild creatures indigenous to the park as well as examples of Indian arts and crafts, ancient firearms, and some of the old pioneer vehicles which made history hereabouts. The ranger on duty is very obliging about answering questions. The reason we have seen no buffalo is that it is too warm for their heavy coats at this season, so they remain very high up on the mountains near the snow line. We looked in the Haynes Studio where they have lovely photographs, hand paintings, etchings and woodcuts. Tonight, we heard a concert of semi-classic music by a student band of piano, bass viol, violin, saxophone, drum and cymbals.

Thanks for reading “Traveling with Grace,” a series where we’re sharing (and annotating) posts from the travel diaries of Grace Amelia Hecht, native Baltimorean, b. 1897 and d. 1955. As mentioned in my introductory post transcription errors sometimes occur and I’ve made my best guesses where possible, denoted by [brackets]. – Rachel Kassman, marketing manager


Posted in jewish museum of maryland

Travels with Grace: The Wonders of Yellowstone National Park

Posted on January 28th, 2020 by

In today’s #TravelingWithGrace we explore more geysers, enjoy the landscapes of Wyoming, and even eat some fish. To read more of Grace’s travels, click here.

Saturday, July 19, 1947

Yellowstone Park, Wyoming

Weather: Fine

The governor of West Virginia is also staying here but plays second fiddle to Dewey who held a reception for all the guests last night as they queued up to shake hands with him and his wife (Charles among others). Today I took quite a long walk with Helene and then we sat on the porch, read and watched the ever-changing throngs milling around Old Faithful. From the porch we can see the whole upper geyser basin. Every now and then another fountain gushes up in the air and the plumes of white steam wave constantly. There is a geyser swimming pool too.

Vintage WPA poster for Yellowstone National Park, c. 1930-940, designed by C. Don Powell. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Sunday, July 20, 1947

Weather: Fine

Sat on the porch at Old Faithful this morning, our last day here, watching the geyser and writing letters. Left the hotel after lunch and rode to Canyon. Scenery along the way magnificent. First to Madison Junction, then the Gibbon river and Gibbon Falls, then the Norris Geyser Basin where we saw a [puddy?] geyser and one which was old rose in color. There is a plateau called white porcelain and it looks just like that. Some of the geysers in this area look and sound like steam locomotives. Our first view of the canyon and falls of the Yellowstone was breath-taking.

Norris Geyser Basin, c. 1940. Courtesy of the National Park Service.

Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River, c. 1892. Photo by William Henry Jackson, courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Monday, July 21, 1947

Weather: Fair

Last night we listened to a nice organ concert and several members of the Lyons Club sang solos very well. Today we went to Artist’s Point where we had a marvelous view of the lower Yellowstone Falls and part of the canyon. The colors are soft and lovely with yellow predominating. Hence the name. The water in the gorge is jade green where it is not flecked with foam and the walls shade from yellow to orange to brown with a but of red and gray for added interest. We saw an eagle’s nest high up in the crags. Lots of ospreys here.

Basalt columns in Yellowstone National Park, June 23, 2008. Photo by Brocken Inaglory.

Tuesday, July 22, 1947

Weather: Sunny to rainy

Left the hotel at 10 this morning going to the Northeast Gate. On the way we stopped to look at the Basalt Flow, a strange rock formation which looks like a double row of paling fences fused together and at one side of the road, overhanging it by several feet is a black basalt rock which looks like a curtain to a giant stage. Near here is Camp Roosevelt where we stopped for gasoline and notices the cabins which are very tiny and poorly furnished. We followed the Yellowstone River and later it joins the La Mar. In this section we saw several fawns and good-sized moose in addition to the ubiquitous bears, mostly brown. We passed a strange rock form like a sugar loaf which is called Salt Butte. Here we met some people who told us to go some 40 miles beyond the fate in Montana for more beautiful scenery. At this side of the park the mountains loom higher and rockier with seams of snow in their sides.

Cooke City Montana the North East entrance to Yellowstone Park, c. 1940s. Courtesy of the Montana Memory Project.

Outside the park we went thru Cooke City which looks just like a camp town. We stopped in a little clearing in the pines near a mountain stream with a background of high peaks and ate our picnic lunch which we brought from the hotel. As we went further the country took on a wilder appearance, the road mounting constantly and the mountains looming higher and blacker/ There are some beautiful groves of silver birches and the wild flowers are simply gorgeous: Indian paintbrush (bright scarlet), yellow buttercup, pink daisies, tiny white ones, blue bells, purple fire weed, wild roses, lavender thistle, poppies, sky blue forget-me-nots, Queen Anne’s lace and many more. Helene picked a large bunch as we are not allowed to gather any in the park.

We rode into Shoshone National Forest and went up a high mountain to the observation tower where a government watcher is stationed to look out for fires and make meteorological studies. He lives like a lighthouse keeper and is almost as isolated. He seemed genuinely glad to see us and invited us in saying that occasionally a motorcyclist visits him but rarely an automobile party. We are now at an elevation of 11,000 feet and there is a sea of shimmering snowy peaks around and seemingly on a level with us. While here a severe thunderstorm broke and the lightening display is quite formidable. For a little while it hailed and coming down the clay road was very slippery, so we all held our breath as the car once or twice skidded toward the edge. We went on a little further and saw some beautiful falls descending in speedy torrents throwing out volumes of spray and making a thundering noise as they plunged headlong from the upper precipices. We went up a zigzagging road called the switchback which went to the top of a 12,000-foot mountain and looked down on a countless number of little lakes, one of the most charming panoramas we have seen to date. Altogether it has been well worth the ride. We returned to the hotel about 6 and after dinner watched the dancing in the lounge which continues every night until 11. It is quite dignified.

Mud volcano, Yellowstone National Park, c. 1912. Created for the Northern Pacific Railway, courtesy of the Library of Congress.

July 23, 1947

Weather: Morning clear followed by rain

We visited the mud volcano basin this afternoon. The big sputtering gray bubbles fascinate me. On some of the lakes we saw a number of pelicans diving for fish. Another pretty sight are the large rocks near the upper Falls completely covered with sea gulls. A lot of fisherman (male and female) were out in boats or up to their knees in water despite the drenching rain.

At Fisherman’s bridge we met a little tow-headed boy proudly displaying his catch of 2 trout. I asked if he wanted to sell them. He hesitated and said, “If you wait 15 minutes, I will let you know.” In 5 minutes, he ran back nodding agreement and said he would sell them for 20 cents apiece. They were silver beauties fresh from the lake and I paid him willingly. We put them in a candy box which we had just emptied and then he ran back to say his mother wanted to snap his picture holding the fish. So, we took them out and he put them back on the hooks and posed with them help out conspicuously. When he gave them back, he said, “This is a good way to make money for my vacation. The only reason why I’m selling them though is because my mother won’t cook them.” The chef at the hotel however cooked them for me and I thoroughly enjoyed my dinner this cold evening, consisting of: tomato bisque, the broiled trout, peas, baked potato, fruit salad, fresh strawberry sundae and coffee. Today we found a card on our windshield “Hi neighbor, we’re from Balto. Md. too,” engraved Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Muhly. But we didn’t bother to look them up. Watched dancing and exchanged travel talk with others.

Thanks for reading “Traveling with Grace,” a series where we’re sharing (and annotating) posts from the travel diaries of Grace Amelia Hecht, native Baltimorean, b. 1897 and d. 1955. As mentioned in my introductory post transcription errors sometimes occur and I’ve made my best guesses where possible, denoted by [brackets]. – Rachel Kassman, marketing manager


Posted in jewish museum of maryland

Travels with Grace: Continuing in Yellowstone National Park

Posted on January 21st, 2020 by

In today’s #TravelingWithGrace she continues her visit to Yellowstone Park! To read more of Grace’s travels, click here.

Wednesday, July 16, 1947

Yellowstone Park, Wyoming

Weather: Fine

We took a ride to see the geyser basins all sizes and shapes but most of them some shade of blue or green. The one called The Punch Bowl has the most imposing rum curved out in scallops ad there is who whose edge is marked in stripes of gold shading thru orange to yellow (caused by the sulphate deposits). The steam makes waving plumes against the dark pine background and every now and then one of them erupts. We saw small twins go up at the same time, very interesting. Some of the coves are worn and form irregular grottos. They make a curious bubbling sound. The paint pot spits up bits of lava which look like fish jumping out of water.

Fishermen at the base of the Fairy Falls Bridge over the Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park, Teton County, Wyoming, c. 1922. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

We rode along the Firehole River which now and then foams over rocks in falls and cascades of wild beauty. There are many little museums as well as curio shops scattered thru the park and at stated intervals the park rangers give lectures on appropriate subjects and they answer all one’s questions with the greatest courtesy. The Continental Divide runs thru the park. Tonight, after much difficulty I got a phone call thru to Baltimore.

Thursday, July 17, 1947

Yellowstone Park, Wyoming

Weather: Fine

We rode around Yellowstone Lake which is simply beautiful with its crown of mountains – the Grand Teton Range, the sun lighting up its snowy crests. We stopped to look in at the Lake Hotel and the Park Fish Hatchery whence come the rainbows and cutthroat trout which stock the streams. We saw Natural Bridge, almost a replica in miniature of the one in Virginia. It is quite a sight to watch the anglers lined up in 2 solid rows along both sides of Fisherman’s bridge. Then we rode out to the South Gate, along Lewis Lake, saw the beautiful Lewis Falls and along the deep gorge cut by the Lewis River, to Moose Falls. After dinner we went to the little natural amphitheatre back of the hotel, where the seats are halved tree trunks laid in semicircles around the bowl and saw colored slides of the Park’s wild life, accompanied by a running commentary by a ranger, who also led community singing. Later we went to the Lodge and watched the dancing; quite a rough and ready crowd where anything goes and it is fun watching the kids sizing each other up. I never saw so many old women wearing slacks.

Friday, July 18, 1947

Yellowstone Park, Wyoming

Weather: Showers

As I came into the main lobby this morning there was great excitement. People were lined up on either side to form an aisle and a sight-seeing bus brought Governor and Mrs. Thomas Dewey of New York with their entourage and everyone started clapping. They passed very close to us. She is blond and nice looking, and he looks younger than his photographs. This afternoon I had a manicure and then we rode to see another geyser basin. The Fountain Geyser is one of the largest I’ve seen so far. We also saw Grotto Geyser erupt. It keeps up an hour.

Thanks for reading “Traveling with Grace,” a series where we’re sharing (and annotating) posts from the travel diaries of Grace Amelia Hecht, native Baltimorean, b. 1897 and d. 1955. As mentioned in my introductory post transcription errors sometimes occur and I’ve made my best guesses where possible, denoted by [brackets]. – Rachel Kassman, marketing manager


Posted in jewish museum of maryland

Next Page »