Ellen G. White: The Progressive Years: 1862-1876 (vol. 2)


Enjoying the Mountains

Walling's Mills, near Black Hawk, was not in the steep ravine but in an expansive area above. Here there was a cottage that he made available to the White party, and here they lived, read, wrote, and took their walks. The first two days, Thursday and Friday, July 25 and 26, Ellen suffered severe headaches, as is often the case in the higher altitudes. But it was quite different on Sabbath, which she described in her diary: 2BIO 345.3

We arose this beautiful morning with some sense of the goodness and mercy of God to us. This is our first Sabbath among the mountains. James, Sister Hall, and myself took a blanket and walked out to the shelter of the fragrant evergreens, rolled up stones for seats, and I read a portion of my manuscript to my husband. 2BIO 345.4

In the afternoon our niece, Mary Clough, Willie, and myself walked out and sat beneath poplar trees. We read about sixty pages of Great Controversy, or Spiritual Gifts [volume 1]. Mary was deeply interested. We were happily disappointed [A term employed to indicate “happy surprise.”] in the earnest manner in which she listened. We see no prejudice with her. We hope she will yet see and receive the truth. She is a pure, simple-hearted, yet intellectual girl. We closed the Sabbath of the Lord with prayer. Mary united with us in prayer. Wrote letters upon religious subjects to Louise Walling and Elder Loughborough.—Manuscript 4, 1872. 2BIO 345.5

The next day she spent part of the day writing, then she sat under the spruce trees and read some of her manuscript to James, correcting it for the printer. Afterward the four of them walked out to see a “gigantic rock towering up hundreds of feet.” Willie climbed to the top of it; others were not so ambitious. The activities of the next day are described in her diary: 2BIO 346.1

Monday, July 29, 1872:

We arose feeling quite bright. We enjoy the mountain air very much. My husband and myself walked out in the grove and had a good and very precious season of prayer. We felt that the Lord was very near. I had some conversation with Mary. 2BIO 346.2

Mr. Walling returned from Central with letters and papers. We were thankful to hear from friends and children again. Spent considerable of the day in writing. 2BIO 346.3

In the evening we talked with Mr. Walling in reference to our anticipated trip over the mountains [to Middle Park on the west slope]. We hardly knew what to do. James, Lucinda, and I made our way up, up, up into a high mountain, where we could have a good view of the surrounding mountains. We knelt among the trees and prayed for heavenly guidance. The Lord met with us and we had the assurance He would answer our prayer.—Ibid. 2BIO 346.4

But a little more than a month passed before the trip materialized. 2BIO 346.5

Mr. Walling was eager that his wife's Uncle James and Aunt Ellen should see all they could while they were in the mountains. On Tuesday, July 30, he took them sightseeing. Of this she wrote: 2BIO 346.6

Mr. Walling took us up, up, up the mountains. We feared sometimes we should never reach the top. We had a commanding view of the country. We could look down upon Black Hawk and Central, and see all there was of both cities. It looked fearful so high, and below was a fearful precipice of rocks. If the horses had stepped over to one side we should have fallen hundreds of feet. 2BIO 346.7

We had a commanding view of the mountains. They were on every side of us. We could distinctly see the high mountains covered with large patches of snow. These banks of snow are estimated to be from fifteen to fifty feet deep. Some of them are perpetual. Frequently the air coming from these snowbanks was so chilly that although the sun was shining very warm in the valley, we were obliged to put on extra garments in the mountains. 2BIO 347.1

Black Hawk and Central are a rough, seamed, scarred country. Heaps of rocks and dirt that have been cast out from the mining mills and from which the precious ore has been taken were lying everywhere.... 2BIO 347.2

The view upon the top of the mountain was most interesting, but words cannot present the picture before your mind in its reality. The mountain scenery of Colorado can never be described so that the imagination can gather distinct and correct ideas of this country. It is wonderful! It is marvelous! 2BIO 347.3

The scenery of the grand old mountains, some bald and others covered with trees! Instinctively the mind is awed and deep feelings of reverence bow the soul in humiliation as the imagination gathers a sense of the power of the Infinite. I would not be deprived of the privilege of seeing what I have of the mountain scenery of Colorado for considerable.—Letter 12, 1872. 2BIO 347.4

Writing to Edson and Emma of their activities of that day, she reported: 2BIO 347.5

I walked miles yesterday up the steep mountains and I did not get to rest until past eleven o'clock. But this morning I am up at five, bright and active. This trip among the mountains is doing much for my health. None of you were aware of my miserable state of health. I knew it would not make home better to complain when I left Battle Creek. 2BIO 347.6

Father is better, we are sure; but he has times of shortness of breath and faintness and giddiness. He is careful of his diet. One drawback here in Colorado is that there is no fruit in this country, only that which is imported. This is seldom fresh, and sells at very high prices. The pure air and freedom from care are advantages we gain.—Ibid. 2BIO 347.7