Here is something Colorado Lady will love.
Here is a quaint book I purchased in a small vintage bookstore, so crowded with books there was scarcely space to move about. This was Nancy L Dole, Books and Ephemera, 32 Bridge Street, 2 nd floor, Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts.
The Crest of the Continent: a Record of a Summer’s Ramble in the Rocky Mountains and Beyond. By Ernest Ingersoll. Published, by R.R. Donnelley and Sons, Chicago, in 1885. 344 pages, with map.
This is the story of Mr. Ingersoll and his wife, going all over Colorado and exclaiming over the sights.
For example, on the first view of the Rockies, after traveling over the Great Plains:
“There are the Rocky Mountains!” I strained my eyes in the direction of his finger, but for a minute I could see nothing. Out against a bright sky dawned slowly the undefined shimmering trace of something a little bluer. … It is impossible to imagine them built of earth, rock, anything terrestrial; to fancy them cloven by horrible chasms, or shaggy with giant woods. They are made out of the air and the sunshine which show them. Nature has dipped her pencil in the faintest solution of ultramarine, and drawn it once across the Western sky with a hand tender as Love’s.”
Whew! I shall take a rest on my fainting couch. There’s more, on the everlasting snow, etc. but that is enough.
They took a Pullman train to Pueblo, and then north to Denver. At Denver, on the spur of the moment, they decided to take their ramble. But how?
2. Tramping, with burros to carry their things, and maybe a few others to carry themselves. (number of burros not specified).
3. Same, with pack mules. ('Is there a difference?' asks this modern girl)
4. Hire a “ambulance kind of wagon with bedroom and kitchen and all the other attachments.” Boy, this sound just like a mobile home/recreational vehicle! The roads were a lot worse back then though, and there were much less of them.
However, the Ingersolls did what any wealthy Victorian couple would do – they chartered a train! And since they wanted to tour the mountains, they arranged to go on the Denver and Rio Grande narrow gauge lines.
The Animas River Canyon - Click on it, enlarge, and note the train engine at the bottom.
A few narrow gauge lines are left and you too can go on a trip like this, though not in a private train. Check out the Durango and Silverton Railroad.
http://www.durangotrain.com/ - it goes down this very canyon.