This book contains the record of a few of the many happy days and novel experiences which I have had in the wilds. For more than twenty years it has been my good fortune to live most of the time with nature, on the mountains of the West. I have made scores of long exploring rambles over the mountains in every season of the year, a nature-lover charmed with the birds and the trees. On my later excursions I have gone alone and without firearms. During three succeeding winters, in which I was a Government Experiment Officer and called the "State Snow Observer," I scaled many of the higher peaks of the Rockies and made many studies on the upper slopes of these mountains.
shoe journey from Estes Park to Grand Lake, the most thrilling and adventurous that has ever entertained me on the trail.
One February morning I set off alone on snowshoes to cross the "range," for the purpose of making some snow-measurements. The nature of my work for the State required the closest observation of the character and extent of the snow in the mountains. I hoped to get to Grand Lake for the night, but I was on the east side of the range, and Grand Lake was on the west. Along the twenty-five miles of trail there was only wilderness, without a single house. The trail was steep and the snow very soft. Five hours were spent in gaining timber-line, which was only six miles from my starting-place, but four thousand feet above it. Rising in bold grandeur above me was the summit of Long's Peak, and this, with the great hills of drifted snow, out of which here and there a dwarfed and distorted tree thrust its top, made timber-line seem weird and lonely.
From this point the trail wound for s
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