Editors note: Dave Trainer brought in this story, which was written by his uncle, Haldane W. Bean. It is about a father and his three sons who traveled from southern Illinois to Yellowstone driving a 1916 Model T. Dave is the son of Dean Trainer, who started Trainer’s Shell Service Station on the corner of Lower Huntington and Bluffton Roads in 1949.
At Cheyenne we pitched the tent near the lake in the park. A bathhouse on the bank of the lake looked like a good place to take a shower bath. Especially since it had been a long time since we had seen so much water so convenient. We prepared ourselves for a good shower and turned on the water. Cracks in the bathhouse walls let in plenty of cold air. The water that come out of the shower could have been colder, but I don’t know how without it being ice. We vowed that we would never take another bath.
We stopped at Ogallala, Nebraska, for our first civilized meal since leaving home. Mother’s sister was glad to see us and we had a good visit. At Lincoln, Nebraska we slept in our first bed since leaving Blue Mound. This time it was in the home of father’s sister. That day we finally headed for home.
We arrived in Nebraska City after dark. And by dark, I mean dark. We found a place to pitch our tent and then had a discussion as to which direction we were oriented. No one could decide. Just before we retired father went outside and saw one star. He came in and reported that we were located north and south. He had seen a star that he called the North Star, just over the rear of our tent. We had long since learned not to argue with father about stars. He knew everyone by name. We accepted his decision and went to sleep.
The next morning I was the first one outside of the tent. I immediately recalled the discussion of the night before about directions. I asked what direction we were facing and got an immediate reply of north and south. That morning the sun came up due north. We also pitched our tent within fifty foot of a sheer drop-off of probably fifty feet. We could have fallen into the Missouri river the night before and never known the difference.
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