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By Isabella L. Bird

In 1872, Isabella chicken, daughter of a priest, trigger by myself to the Antipodes 'in seek of health and wellbeing' and located she had launched into a lifetime of adventurous commute. In 1873, donning Hawaiian driving gown, she rode her horse throughout the American Wild West, a terrain simply newly opened to pioneer cost. The letters that make up this quantity have been first released in 1879. They inform of outstanding, unspoiled landscapes and plentiful natural world, of encounters with rattlesnakes, wolves, pumas and grizzly bears, and her reactions to the risky passions of the miners and pioneer settlers. A vintage account of a really striking trip.

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Additional resources for A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains (The Western Frontier Library, 14)

Sample text

Being encumbered with many cattle, he let the company pass on, and, with his own party of sixteen souls, which included his wife and four children, encamped by the lake. In the morning they found themselves surrounded by an expanse of snow, and after some consultation it was agreed that the whole party except Mr. Donner who was unwell, his wife, and a German friend, should take the horses and attempt to cross the mountain, which, after much peril, they succeeded in doing; but, as the storm continued for several weeks, it was impossible for any rescue party to succor the three who had been left behind.

But the few thousand each year who leave their automobiles and walk back on the trails can still have a notion of what she found on her trip up Longs Peak only five years after it had been first climbed. This remarkable book can help us all recapture that peculiar mountain changelessness which has always fascinated men. Having covered our plains and valleys with highways, factories, and cities, having subdivided our hillsides into suburbs, having deepened and dammed up and rerouted our rivers to make seaways or sources of electric power, we have left only the ocean and the mountains to remind us of what we cannot do to the landscape.

Once on horseback my embarrassment disappeared, and I rode through Truckee, whose irregular, steep-roofed houses and shanties, set down in a clearing and surrounded closely by mountain and forest, looked like a temporary encampment; passed under the Pacific Railroad; and then for twelve miles followed the windings of the Truckee River, a clear, rushing, mountain stream, in which immense pine logs had gone aground not to be floated off till the next freshet, a loud-tongued, rollicking stream of ice-cold water, on whose banks no ferns or trailers hang, and which leaves no greenness along its turbulent progress.

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