EAGLE POST - The newsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Wilderness Areas.
Our topic this month: Colorado: A Summer Trip
Saturday, July 2 9AM - The event was POSTPONED due to inclement weather, but the dedicated folks who missed the postponement notice and showed up on Ute Pass reassembled indoors, where a spontaneous ceremony was held - see www.fenw.org/img/fb/160702/ for pictures. Please check the FENW website (www.fenw.org).
July 2 is the 150th anniversary of the first written description of the magnificent panoramic view of Eagles Nest Wilderness from Ute Pass. Join us at 9AM for a sesquicentennial celebration of wilderness!
The view from Ute Pass, first described July 2, 1866. Click here for high res image. Photo by Paul Winters.
INTRODUCTION: It's not often in Summit County that we have an opportunity to celebrate a 150th anniversary, but that's what's going to happen on Ute Pass, Saturday morning, July 2. It will be an exhilarating, inspiring way to start your July Fourth Holiday Weekend. (MAP)
PROGRAM: hosted by Currie Craven (left) & Sam Kirk (right)
In the early summer of 1866, William Byers (founder of the Rocky Mountain News) led a hearty group on a loop trip through the Colorado high country (MAP). The group included Bayard Taylor, a popular travel writer, who sent letters back to the New York Tribune, later collected in the splendid book, Colorado: A Summer Trip.
Over Berthoud Pass and down the Colorado River through the heart of Middle Park they rode, and then up the Williams Fork River, following an old Ute Indian trail, crossing on July 2, 1866 the Williams Fork Mountains at what was then and is now Ute Pass- exactly 150 years to the day before our July 2 celebration on Ute Pass (see notice to the right).
"This landscape is unlike anything I have ever seen," Taylor gushed. "How inadequate are my words...." He was looking straight west, into the heart of what would become, more than a century later, Eagles Nest Wilderness, and his was the first written description of that view. Read more below, and join us on Saturday, July 2 at 9 AM on Ute Pass for a fun sesquicentennial celebration, and an exhilarating way to start your Fourth of July Weekend in Summit County.
an excerpt from
Colorado: A Summer Trip
[The party descended part way down from Ute Pass into the Blue River Valley before the full panoramic view appeared.]
"From the top [of Ute Pass] we looked down a narrow, winding glen, between lofty parapets of rock, and beheld mountains in the distance, dark with shadow, and vanishing in clouds. The descent was steep, but not very toilsome. After reaching the bed of the glen, we followed it downward, through beds of grass and flowers, under the shade of castellated rocks, and round the feet of natural ramparts, until it opened upon wide plains of sage-brush, which formed the shelving side of an immense valley. The usual line of cotton-wood betrayed a stream, and when we caught a glimpse of the water, its muddy tint - the sure sign of gold-washing [in Breckenridge]- showed that we had found the Blue River. We had crossed the Ute Pass, as it is called by the trappers, and are among the first white men who have ever traversed it. We now looked on Park [Ute] Peak from the west side.
"Instead of descending to the river, our trail turned southward, running nearly parallel with its course, near the top of the sloping plane which connects the mountains with the valley. The sun came out, the clouds lifted, and rolled away, and one of the most remarkable mountain landscapes of the earth was revealed to our view. The Valley of the Blue, which, for a length of thirty miles, with a breadth varying from five to ten, lay under our eyes, wore a tint of pearly silver-gray, upon which the ripe green of the timber along the river, and the scattered gleams of the water seemed to be enameled. Opposite to us, above this sage color, rose huge mountain foundations, where the grassy openings were pale, the forests dark, the glens and gorges filled with shadow, the rocks touched with lines of light - making a chequered effect that suggested cultivation and old settlement. Beyond these were wilder ridges, all forest; then bare masses of rock, streaked with snow, and, highest of all, bleak snow-pyramids, piercing the sky.
"From south to north stretched the sublime wall - the western boundary of the Middle Park; and where it fell away to the canon by which Grand [Colorado] River goes forth to seek the Colorado, there was a vision of dim, rosy peaks, a hundred miles distant [Flat Tops]. In breadth of effect - in airy depth and expansion - in simple yet most majestic outline, and in originality yet exquisite harmony of color, this landscape is unlike anything I have ever seen. I feel how inadequate are my words to suggest such new combinations of tints and forms."
Pretty potent words from a man who had traveled - and described - much of the world, including the Alps. The party moved on upstream along the Blue River to what is now submerged under Lake Dillon, then on to Breckenridge, and over Hoosier Pass to South Park, over to the Arkansas River Valley, and back (via South Park) to Denver.
About Bayard Taylor: Bayard Taylor was a prolific travel writer, and also lecturer, novelist, and a poet. Born in Pennsylvania in 1825, at 19 he set sail for a two year grand tour of Europe, which shaped his subsequent career as a travel writer. His true passion, however, was poetry, but it didn't pay as well as travel prose.
In 1850, Taylor married a childhood friend, Mary Agnew. She died only two months after their marriage, leaving Taylor bereaved and anxious to travel again to cope with his grief. He went on a two year trip to Arabia.
During the Civil War, Taylor served as Washington correspondent for the NY Tribune until 1862, when he was appointed secretary to the U.S. Minister at St. Petersburg, Russia.
In 1866, Taylor traveled to Colorado and took a strenuous loop trip through the northern mountains on horseback with a group that included William Byers, founder of Denver's Rocky Mountain News. His letters describing this adventure were later published as Colorado: A Summer Trip. During this decade, Taylor published 11 works and delivered more than 600 lectures (including one in nearly every town visited on the Colorado trip).
Taylor's deep interest in German life and literature (especially Goethe) culminated in his appointment as Minister to Prussia in 1878. Sadly, he suffered repeated illnesses, and died in December, 1878.
JOIN US! 150 years to the day - July 2, 1866 - for a sesquicentenniel celebration on Ute Pass of Eagles Nest Wilderness.
SATURDAY JULY 2
A refreshing start to your July fourth weekend! We will have brief readings (bring your favorite wilderness quote), and a special offering by Colorado poet Erin Robertson, created especially for today.
Make a difference!
Interested in becoming a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger? Details
Trail projects - no experience necessary!
Day Projects Saturdays: June 4, June 18,
Pack-in weekends (Fri-Sun): July 15-17 and August 12-14. Details
We also need volunteers
Your skills and experience are needed to assist with this important work. Please CONTACT US and join in!
Friends, Friends, Friends! Check out our sister 'FRIENDS'
Visit the FENW website for in-depth information at www.fenw.org/
CITY MARKET COMMUNITY REWARDS PROGRAM
Please register your City Market Value Card in 2016. This year, City Market will once again make a contribution to area non-profit organizations. The program allocates funds (rebates) to the organizations based on purchases made using the City Market Value Card. Organization members must go online at www.citymarket.com to register their Value Card, and link their card to FENW's organization name and/or registration number - 46910. Individual purchases will be counted towards FENW's rewards allocation without compromising your earned fuel points. Please note that each card holder may only sign up for one tax exempt organization. THANKS!