A book report on a lady’s life in the Rocky Mountains,
A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains
Bird L. Isabella. A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1960. Bib., Illus., index , map. 256 P.
Isabella L. Bird is the author of A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains the book is composed of letters from Isabella Bird written to her sister. Isabella dedicates her book to her sister.
Bird was a sophisticated woman from England. In her twenties she began to travel the world in search of good health. At the age of 41 Bird began her travels through the Rocky Mountains. Always living a comfortable lifestyle herding horses and sleeping in cabins in below freezing weather was a lifestyle Bird could never imagine logitech wireless touch keyboard k400 newegg. Not being use to these situations and being a visitor Bird does a great job explaining the Rocky Mountains in a way that a native ever could.
A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains contains letters written to her sister back in England, during Bird’s six-month journey through the Colorado Rockies in 1873. Traveling alone, usually on horseback, choosing her route by preference of scenery. She covers hundreds of miles, most of it during the winter months. Bird’s letters consist of details of beautiful scenery, history, and people she encounter throughout her travels.
Bird starts in San Francisco and travels to the Rocky Mountains by train. Her first stop is an adventure in it’s self. She stops at a Lawless station, Truckee. She shares a bed in shifts with saloon patrons, while being wakened by gun shoots. The next morning the adventure continues as she encounters local cannibals.
Soon her scenery changes into what I believe to be her favorite scenery, snow-capped mountains. From the beginning of the book Bird states that making it to Estes Park is a goal of hers. She spends many pages of the book explaining the hidden beauties of Estes Park. She also traveled through Denver, Golden, Fort Collin and many more Colorado cities.
Another important part of her book is Rocky Mountain Jim (Jim Nugent). Nugent is a one eyed outlaw who helps her up Long’s peak. She explains their relationship to be a close one maybe even confused as romantic. “A man any woman might love but no sane woman would marry” Bird used to explain him in a letter to his sister. Nugent is explained as a poetry reading, tempered man.
Bird gives a detailed description of places she traveled and people she encountered that made me fell as though I was travelling with her. She speaks of the true beauty she found in Estes Parks during her first visit. She later returns to Estes Park to find that everything changed.
The chapters are arranged chronologically of Bird’s travels and letters. I believe the book is very informative using letters, which would be considered journal or narrative.
I think that Bird’s writing started off slow but once I hit page 73 I couldn’t put the book down. Her descriptions made me felt guilty for sitting inside reading when Estes in just a few miles away. Her book was easy to read and very enjoyable. I felt as though I was traveling along with her. I also found Bird to have a great sense of humor making the read even more entertaining.
“ I wish I could let those three notes of admiration go to you instead of a letter. They mean everything that is rapturous and delightful-grandeur, cheerfulness, health, enjoyment, novelty, freedom, etc., etc. I have just dropped into the very place I have been seeking, but in everything it exceeds my dreams” (Page 73). This is the part of the book that opened my eyes to what she was experiencing. Being a backpacker, myself, while in the wilderness I have felt that exact felling of content.
Bird is incredibly detailed in her loving descriptions of the Rocky Mountains. She is not only brave, but I think, a bit crazy. After all she did travel across the continental divide in November. She also crosses the plains in pitch-black night, blinding sun, freezing snowstorms. She is pretty lucky she made it through alive, and doesn’t seem to recognize thedanger.
Although today a women traveling alone across the Rocky Mountains might be a common story, in 1873 shows the bravery of Bird. I appreciated Bird’s beautiful descriptions; they made me personally proud of the state I live in. Her description shows her appreciation of nature, which many Coloradans may share. You also get to travel back in time and see what Golden, Greeley, and other Colorado cities were like when they first started out. I declare this as a must read for any Coloradan but especially all Colorado natives like myself.