Saturday, November 15, 2014

Yellowstone Ghosts, Part ll

In the years between 1869 and 1871 three different expeditions explored Yellowstone. Of these three the Washburn-Langford-Doane exploration known as The Yellowstone Expedition is the most famous.

Lower Falls in Yellowstone's
Grand Canyon
It was during this expedition in 1870 that these explorers came up with the idea that this incredible landscape should be preserved as a national park so future generations could enjoy it.

Their idea was taken to heart and in March of 1872 Yellowstone became the world’s first national park.

The founding of this park spurred a worldwide movement which resulted in more than 100 nations establishing 1,200 national parks or equivalent preserves.

My family has a connection to this event for my paternal grandfather and grandmother who lived in Utah visited Yellowstone shortly after it opened with my father, who was an infant at the time.

Their picture was taken for several newspapers for my father was the first baby brought into Yellowstone after it was made a park.

Here is my favorite ghost story from Shellie Larios' book, Yellowstone Ghost Stories.

An Unlikely Participant

The Yellowstone Expedition set off in August of 1870 with 18 men.

One member of this the expedition was an ex-U.S. Assessor from Montana by the name of Truman C. Evers.

He was extremely nearsighted, 54 years old and many thought he was an unlikely candidate for this trip.

Evers was between jobs and had heard marvelous tales about Yellowstone, so he viewed the trip as a vacation.

Truman C. Evers

It seems his participation was doomed from the start. Within a week of the group's departure, Evers became ill and stayed behind at a ranch while the rest of the group went on.

Evers managed to catch up with them two days later. Soon after, Evers became separated from the party, and then he lost his horse, which contained all of his provisions--a weapon, bedroll, and food.

Evers decided to set out in a direction that he felt would allow the rest of the group to find him. But his inexperience led him the wrong way.

After days of walking through the wilderness he feared he would not be found.

Evers on the brink of starvation came to a small lake, but he had no way to catch the fish. One night he had to climb into a tree as a mountain lion pursued him.

After the first week, Evers started to have hallucinations. He described them as “companions” that would visit him.

He did not know if he was having nightmares of if he was going insane. These beings started to talk to him.

One companion that appeared to him was a deceased old friend. Evers had been struggling with whether he should remain in the mountains or return to the river.

Various views of Lower Falls
This entity admonished him stating that there was no food in the mountains and that scaling rocks was crazy and that he should immediately go back to the Yellowstone River.

Evers felt this river was too far away but with this entities encouragement he set out.

Evers had now lost all sense of time. Days and nights passed, he remembered being conscious of the fact he was starving, but he felt no hunger.

At night he dreamed about eating in his favorite restaurants in New York and Washington. He awoke, feeling like he had spent the whole night eating.

He kept on with this journey became his companion stayed close by his side. This friend was always ready with words of encouragement.

When he finally reached the river in the canyon he was wet and cold. Yellowstone Jack Baronett found himHe was unable to speak and was irrational. He was 50 miles north of where he had first lost his way.

He had been lost for 37 days.

Whenever Truman C. Evers would tell this story he always mentioned that the ghost of a friend saved him.

In Yellowstone Ghosts Part l, I share more stories from Shellie Larios’ book Yellowstone Ghost Stories.

No comments: