In honor of the birthday of a legendary woman of Rocky Mountain National Park, the Rocky Mountain Conservancy shares a bit of history on Isabella Bird and her influence throughout Estes Park and the mountain tops in the area:
As some or many of you may know, Isabella Bird is most famous for her 1873 ascent to Long's Peak with Rocky Mountain Jim. But her story is more profound than traveling alone and adventuring. Through her writing, she reached the eastern United States and Britain communities, adding to the budding wilderness enthusiasm epidemic which led some of her readers to influence and participate in the conservation movement in the later 19th century.
Ms. Bird rightfully earned the title "Mother" of Rocky Mountain National Park through her exploration and creative account of it.
It's no secret that Isabella was ahead of her time as a woman let alone a person. She is the first known tourist account of the Rocky Mountain National Park area. She was taken aback by the mountains. Isabella praised them for their healing power, the breathtaking sunsets, cool temperatures, and dark evergreens.
With Rocky Mountain National Park embracing over 3 million visitors every year, I'm sure you amongst all visitors identify with Isabella's interpretation of the mountain's healing powers and all their wonders. Let us celebrate Isabella Bird's birthday, October 15th, by visiting Rocky Mountain National Park this month.
And as you visit Rocky, imagine yourself as the first person to ever venture here as a tourist, as an adventurer, and as a woman in the 1870s. You just might find that you are more of an adventurer than you realized. Visiting Rocky with the knowledge that a brave woman and writer came here with no fear, just a sense of wonder, will give you the courage to go places you never dreamed of.
So take a page from one of Isabella's letters, and explore!