Rita's Reviews > A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains

A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains by Isabella L. Bird
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's review
Oct 24, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: memoir-autobiography
Read in October, 2011

In fall 1873 Bird travelled by train, apparently alone, from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe, where she rented horses and looked around up in the mountains. Then the train through Wyoming to Ft. Collins, Colorado. Then rented a horse again, staying with various settlers living in remote parts of the foothills of the Rockies., mostly struggling for a miserable existence. Then she gets lucky and finds a Welsh couple's farm in Estes Park, 'park' being a local term to refer to a large mountain valley where grass grows, rather than trees. Such 'parks' were the only places to try to do some farming.

Anyway, the two Welsh couples who run the farm with several hired hands are quite successful, partly because of doing a lot of hunting on the side, and renting out cabins to tourists looking for adventure. Here Bird feels she's in paradise. The highlight of her stay is when a local trapper takes her up to the TOP of Longs Peak, the last 2000+ feet being mostly loose rock. In sub-freezing temperatures. She admits she wouldn't have done it if she had known what was ahead, but found the scenery all glorious up there and was endlessly thrilled to have done it.

The book, published in 1878, is based on letters she wrote to her sister [in England], which she later turned into this book. I like learning what all she got up to, and how the settlers she came across lived. Her passion is describing the scenery she rides through, but I mostly can't keep my mind focused on her descriptions, don't know why.

What a lot of spunk she had! And what hardships she was willing to undergo!
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05/23/2016 marked as: read

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