Izzy Bird, sourdough
Izzy Bird, shutterbug

Izzy Bird, labor

Isabella is still in the Estes Park cabin with the two young men. She’ll be here for a bit so just settle in.

The three are figuring out how to make the workflow easier, especially for Mr Buchan, who is, apparently, delicate.

“You will wonder* how three people here in the wilderness can have much to do. There are the horses which we keep in the corral to feed on sheaf oats and take water twice a day, the fowls and dogs to feed, the cow to milk, the bread to make, and to keep a general knowledge of the whereabouts of the stock in the event of a severe snow storm coming on.”

There is also wood to cut and stack as well as niceties like cooking, washing and mending. The men hunt and fish. Plus, there are two** sick cows to mind.

One died the day before she wrote this letter. “It suffered terribly, and looked at us with the pathetically pleading eyes of a creature ‘made subject to vanity.’” Disposing of the body was the hardest part. The wagon horses are off in Denver and the other horses refuse to pull it. Eventually, the manage to get it outside the shed and call it good enough.

“… a pack of wolves came down, and before daylight nothing was left but the bones. They were so close to the cabin that their noise was most disturbing, and on looking out several times I could see them all in a heap wrangling and tumbling over each other.”***

* Honestly? I don’t wonder that because life on the frontier in the 1870s sounds labor intensive under the best of circumstances.

** soon to be one

*** This reminds me of the old “Dogs in Elk” internet list serve thing.


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