Isabella describes her current lodgings to Henrietta. Remember, her host is Griffin Evans, a Welshman from the slate quarries near Llanberis.
After meeting Mountain Jim, Isabella and her guides descended into Estes Park. She was hungry and cold and wondering if they would be finding rough shelter for the night before continuing on. Then they “came suddenly upon a small lake, close to which was a very trim-looking log cabin, with a flat mud roof, with four smaller ones;* picturesquely dotted about near it, two corrals,** a long, shed, in front of which a steer was being killed, a log dairy*** with a water wheel, some hay piles, and various evidences of comfort.****”
Evans runs up to Isabella to greet her, not because he expected her but because, in her riding costume from afar, he thought she was Mountain Jim. Which I offer again as a demonstration of how crazy the idea of a woman riding astride was.
Isabella entered the main cabin to see a “rough fireplace, in which pine logs, half as large as I am, were burning; a boarded floor, a round table, two rocking chairs, a carpet-covered backwoods couch; and skins, Indian bows and arrows, wampum belts, and antlers, fitly decorated the rough walls, and equally fitly, rifles were stuck up in the corners.”
She wonders how Evans will find room for her because there are seven men, smoking, lying about on the floor, a sick man on the couch, and a middle-aged lady writing at the table. Evans, however, has a plan. There is a small cabin not two minutes walk from the main one that is empty. “So in this glorious upper world, sigh god mountain pines behind and the clear lake in front, in the ‘blue hollow at the foot of Long’s Peak,’ at a height of 7,500 feet, where the hoar frost crisps the grass every night of the year, I have found more than I dared hope for.”
* cabins, that is. Not roofs.
** In a footnote, she explains that the word “corral” is lifted from Spanish like the words bronco and ranch. I find it interesting that this wasn’t a thing someone back in Britain would know.
*** no idea what that is.
**** should I ever travel again, I shall refer to every hotel as having “various evidences of comfort,” even if they fail to kill a steer for me.