Thursday, October 8, 2009

Vintage Thingy Thursday-Oct. 7

Happy Vintage Thingy Thursday! Please visit Coloradolady and see who else is playing along.

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?

They considered:
1. Walking.
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.

Well, I haven’t read any more so we can just imagine the adventures. They appear to have gone down to Santa Fe, and later, on to Salt Lake City, where the book ends.

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. - it goes down this very canyon.


Kathi Fly said...

Very interesting! I can just imagine what they thought when they first saw the Rocky Mountains. We used t live in Denver and I would awake every morning to see what color they were that day! I now know where "purple mountain majesty" came from.

Maureen said...

What a great find! Old books offer a real glimpse into times gone by.

Postcardy said...

The cover is beautiful and the contents sound interesting too.

PlantSomeRoots@Lakewood said...

Well that was a fun trip. Thanks for sharing!
Living it up at Lakewood,

~~Carol~~ said...

They sure did write poetically back then, didn't they? And it looks like the illustrations are wonderful! What a great find!
Happy VTT!

Coloradolady said...

What a wonderful book...You are right, I love it and find it fascinating....I have been on the train at Silverton, it is a pretty ride...Thanks for sharing this wonderful book, I would love to find one like it!

Have a great weekend and a wonderful VTT!

Debbie said...

The cover is so pretty and ornate, I would be tempted to display it with that showing!

Anonymous said...

oh i love it!..what a gripping tale..i want to read more!!..memories of my US visit [May09] including the magnificent Rockies came rushing back :)

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Oh wow, this looks so great! Love old books and old stories. I'm just getting around to visiting the VTT blogs. It's always so fun to see what everyone is showing.


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful book. Oh..... to live a life (for a few days) such a that.... can you imagine?

vanessa said...

I love the cover and have no idea what the difference is between burros and pack mules! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Diann said...

What a wonderful find! I can't even imagine being able to see that scenery on your own rented train! How amazing. I am going to have to look for this book!
Thanks for sharing it with us.

Lisa said...

I love old books...this is great!

Jingle said...

This is really a beautiful book!


That book cover is stunning! cool

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