Marcella's Secret Dreams and Stories book

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Yellowstone National Park in 1959

THIS PARK SITS ATOP one of the world's largest super-volcanoes. Thousands of earthquakes take place every year and their accompanying seismic waves along with climate changes have altered the landscape of the park so that it doesn't look now the way it looked decades ago. These photos, taken by Barbara in 1959, show how the park looked when she and her sisters went on a camping vacation west with their folks. That trip took us through the Badlands and the Black Hills, with many stops in between before we reached Yellowstone. From there we went to Jackson's Hole for a ski lift ride, into Rocky Mountain National Park for a horseback ride, saw a double rainbow as we entered Kansas, and camped one more night by a small lake in Missouri before finally heading home.

MARCELLA HAD A PASSION for seeing the country, and in her memoir she included highlights of this and several other camping vacations after we all left home. In the process, she documented a lot of history about the United States and especially the West, which was brought alive to her in books long before she got to see all the places she could only imagine as a reader. Daddy once told Mollie, "Your mother is just a damned gypsy, always wanting to go somewhere." My sisters and I are grateful that she instilled in each of us a love of traveling, and we've all been fortunate to see not only most of our own country but many other countries and capital cities of the world.

Bear Tooth Pass. We came through this on our way to the North Gate of Yellowstone.

This camping trip, the first one taken by the family, started a tradition. Long after my sisters and I left home, our folks continued to travel all over the country in a camper.

A glorious sight to behold—the Upper Yellowstone falls go into a stream that later continues down to the Lower Falls pictured below.

He looks so friendly, it's hard to imagine just how dangerous bears really are.

I dubbed this bear "Old Crooked Nose." He was very aggressive and very close to the car window when I snapped this picture.

This bear looks tired; perhaps he wasn't sure what he wanted to do about getting in on the action.

Mollie and Mary test the temperature of Emerald Pool. Yes, hot!

Grotto Geyser has changed somewhat through the years. Eruptions occur every eight hours or so and last between one hour and one day.

Here, my family poses for me beside this large and impressive reflecting pool, the name of which I failed to note.

I had the camera on this trip, so everyone posed for me. Here Mollie and Mary are standing in front of Minerva Springs.

Old Faithful's eruption was much bigger than the one Harry and I saw on a trip sometime in the sixties. This geyser currently erupts every 35 to 120 minutes for somewhere between 1-1/2 to 5 minutes. Height can range from 90 to 184 feet, so sometimes visitors go away feeling let down.


I noted that Tower Falls was reportedly 310 feet in 1959; now it's 308 feet (still twice as high as Niagara Falls). Height aside, this was a majestic sight to behold and exciting to see and hear up close when we approached it at the bottom.


BARBARA REMEMBERS: "I treasure the bear photos on this page because of the memories attached to them. Today's Yellowstone visitors no longer have this kind of welcoming committee. It was common in the fifties and sixties for bears to meander out into the road, causing traffic jams and exciting kids and adults alike. Tourists fed the bears through cracks in the windows, and my Daddy was having more fun than any of us. We saw many bears, and our various "close encounters" with them made our stay in Yellowstone very memorable." (These amusing stories will be found in the memoir.)

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