Monday, August 28, 2006

climbing Mount Holyoke: Emerson's journal, 8/28/1823

From the Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Here's more from Emerson's travel diary about his walk to western Massachusetts. He's writing a week or so later about the end of his stay in the Amherst area.
After spending three days very pleasantly at Mrs. Shepard's, among orators. botonists, minerologists, and above all, ministers, I set off on Friday morning [August 28] with Thomas Greenough and another little cousin in a chaise to visit Mount Holyoke. How high the hill may be I know not; for different accounts make it eight, twelve, and sixteen hundred feet from the river. The prospect repays the ascent, and although the day was hot and hazy, so as to preclude a distant prospect, yet all the broad meadows in the immediate vicinity of the mountain through which the Connecticutt winds make a beautiful picture, seldom rivalled. After adding our names in the books to the long list of strangers whom curiosity has attracted to this hill, we descended in safety without encountering rattlesnake or viper that have given so much bad fame to the place. We were informed that about forty people ascended the mountain every fair day during the summer. After passing throught Hadley meadows, I took I took leave of my companions at Northampton bridge and crossed for the first time the far-famed Yankee river.

{caption and credit: This is a hazy-day August view from atop Mount Holyoke showing the Connecticut River. The photographer says "on a clear day you can see Amherst, Northampton, even Greylock, Monadnock, and Mount Snow." credit: Jimmy Squid}

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