In Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park, a Healthy Fall Getaway

BRITISH travel writer Isabella L. Bird, the first woman elected a fellow at the Royal Geographical Society, hopscotched Colorado alone on horseback in 1873. Like Victorian armchair travelers before me, I was rabid for Ms. Bird. I’d read her book on the Colorado journey she took at age 42, “A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains,” which she’d culled from her letters to her sister Henrietta in Scotland. She described scrambling up 14,259-foot Longs Peak—the tallest in what’s now Rocky Mountain National Park—and had a secret romance with an Irish squatter, “Rocky Mountain Jim” Nugent, who’d lost an eye to a grizzly bear….

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