With the 'Ophir' Round the Empire, an Account of the Tour of the Prince and Princess of Wales

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General Books LLC, 2009 - Literary Collections - 230 pages
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1902. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER XXXIX. ACROSS THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS. The Charm of the Rockies--A Ride on a Cow-catcher--Banff and its Beauties. The charm of the Rocky Mountains is the charm of contrast and colour. To solitary people the prairie may be very attractive, but to cheerful souls a solitude of wheat and yellow grass is not inspiring. The eye searches vainly for relief, and sees only the " mocking fugitive horizon," into which the sun sinks with dusky splendour. Mile after mile, and not a tree or a river--hardly a sign of life--only the clouds by day and the stars by night to give the variety that keeps the mind alive. Thought and fancy go back to the men who in olden days braved the terrors of this green desert, toiling at the footpace of oxen toward the setting sun. They had at least the inspiration of the unknown to bring the thrill of mystery and adventure--the herds of buffalo, whose remnant we have seen preserved as natural curiosities behind a fence--the savage Indian in war paint and feathers, with whose degenerate sons, tricked out in borrowed plumes, we smoked the calumet of peace--a common briarwood--at Calgary. The spacious vacancy of the prairie was beginning to weigh on our spirits with its huge sameness when, from the blue sky, there fell an immense black curtain, crowned and ribbed with snow. A cool breath scattered the heat and weariness of the plains, and filled our hearts with the strength and the mystery of the mountains. We beheld a vision of majestic hills, clothed in the eternal glory of the snow and the awful silence of infinite space--a vision of roaring torrents, of cool groves, and deep, woody ravines, over whose rugged chaos the dark pine casts a darker shadow. "Come and see Banff," said Mr. Richardson, who had us in charge since we committed o...

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