Isabella Bird, adventurer from England survives after being lost in the Rocky Mountains.
By Haya Aman
Thursday, 22nd November 2016
How brave are you? Brave enough to combat the harsh weather conditions of the Rocky Mountains? Or brave enough to persevere at nightfall on said mountains looking for some phantom shelter with a questionable reputation? Perhaps it’s stupid, perhaps it’s brave but Isabella Bird was both. Upon assessing the conditions she lived in, Dr. A.Q Khan awes at how Isabella Bird survived against the odds.
To be so fearless, especially in 1873 when nary a comfort or luxury existed, is no joke. As a famous poet once said, “The brave may not live the longest–no–but they are surely the most valiant and remembered.”
The reader might be imagining lush, thick, green forestry on the Rockies. No; instead picture being encumbered in numbing cold, victim to frostbite, teeth-chattering cold.
Roads reaching a solid 11,000 feet high, rough, gloomy and unwelcoming. Pine trees surrounded the narrow winding road shading the dark road further. Along this bottomless pit, lie five houses. The loneliness perhaps threatened to suffocate had it not been for the back and forth of the miners and the luggage trollies.
When the darkness fell it was ominous! The snow had frozen back into icy planes you would not be able to see your own hand in front of your face. In these dire circumstances, Bird made her way through the slit like canyon with a gushing river right besides her. Many sounds sounded, some not easily explainable, others more rationally explained as a tree’s bark breaking.
Now I think everyone can agree that Isabella Bird’s a brave woman after what is mentioned above. Still not convinced? Allow me to proceed then. Bird traveled through the mountains alone with the exception of her trusted steed Birdie.
Bird would travel fifty or more so miles daily. She risked her life and had close to death encounters more than once. She did not allow lack of the human population in the area stop her or scare her off. Isabella Bird was a lady of perseverance. When night fell and Birdie skidded on ice repeatedly Bird’s quick thinking and wit told her to put the men’s socks she had picked up at Perry’s Park on Birdie’s forelegs; a feat she managed to pull off in obscure darkness.
By the time the horse’s hooves ripped through the socks they saw the almost mirage-like flame of a campfire. Two hunters sitting huddled together on the hillside. At the edge of the ravine sat something she assumed were buildings and hence her sanctuary for the night. They made their way through the river partly swimming and partly walking reaching the warm building that promised them comfort, even if only for a night.