Isabella is in Colorado Springs and attempting to describe the last seven days to her sister.
“I have been riding for a whole week, seeing wonders and greatly enjoying the singular adventurousness and novelty of my tour, but ten hours or more daily spent in the saddle in this rarefied, intoxicating air, disposes one to sleep rather than to write in the evening, and is far from conducive to mental brilliancy.* The observing faculties are developed, and the reflexive lie dormant.”
The weather has been snowy, which makes travel hard. Balls of ice and snow keep getting caught up in Birdie’s hooves and it makes for slow going.
One night, as giant snowflakes fell, Isabella opts to stop riding early and turned onto an untrodden path. She knows the Perry Ranch is at the end of it. She has a letter of introduction from the governor, which all but insures a night’s hospitality.
Mr Perry was away, but his daughter welcomed her in for dinner and a bed.
“They had stewed venison and various luxuries on the table, which was tasteful and refined, and an adroit colored table-maid waited, one of five attached Negro servants who had been slaves before the war,” she writes. After dinner, a “gentleman cousin” took her on a ride to show her Pleasant Park, which lives up to its name.
“It did look very grand as we entered it by a narrow pass guarded by two buttes, or isolated upright masses of rock, bright red, and about 300 feet in height.” Unfortunately, the weather is “too threatening for a long ride” and they returned to the ranch.
* this is also true of a pandemic.