On the Road with the Lady of the Rockies

travelers-talesBy Linda Ballou

Destination Story Gold winner of the Twelfth Annual Solas Awards

As I crested the bluff overlooking Estes Park, the summer sun pushed away the gray that had followed me from Denver (an hour’s drive away) to reveal bluebird skies. The sweet mountain town, guarded by 14,000-foot peaks of the Rocky Mountain National Park, rests in a cleft carved by the Big Thompson River. I was drawn here by the vivid descriptions of this magical place by Isabella Lucy Bird who journaled her stay as she rode 800 miles solo on her mare Birdie in 1873. I imagined her sense of relief at having finally arrived at what she dubbed the “Inner World.”