Isabella gives us a glimpse into her day.
“The routine is breakfast at 7, then I go back and ‘do’ my cabin and draw water from the lake, read a little, loaf a little, and return to the cabin and sweep it alternately with Mrs. Dewy, after which she reads aloud till dinner at twelve.”
Then Isabella goes for a ride with Mr Dewy or, sometimes, with Mrs Dewy, who is learning how to ride in the “cavalier” fashion* so that she can go exploring. After supper at six, which must have been a fairly light meal, she settles into the main cabin living room to write letters or mend her clothes, which, she says, are “dropping to pieces.”
The other guests have their own habits. “Some sit round the table playing at eucre, the strange hunters and prospectors lie on the floor smoking, and rifles are cleaned, bullets cast, fishing flies made, fishing tackle repaired, boots are waterproofed, par-songs are sung.” At about 8:30, she heads back to her cabin to wash up for bed.
Unlike her previous lodging across the west, this is not a rough place to be. “Politeness and propriety always prevail in our mixed company, and though various grades of society are represented, true democratic equality prevails, not its counterfeit, and there is neither forwardness on one side nor condescension on the other.”
The biggest challenge is remaining connected to the outside world. Every couple of weeks, Mr Evans rides to Denver to pick up mail, newspapers, and packages. Isabella has heard nothing from her sister in five weeks and is getting impatient. “Wait for the wagon,” she says, “has become a maddening joke.”**
** let this be another reminder that the postal service is amazing.