Estes Park Archives Program At YMCA Sunday, January 2, 2022

Isabella Bird visited Hawaii and Colorado in 1873, and both stops rebooted her career as a travel writer. Photo courtesy Estes Park Archives

When Isabella Bird arrived in Honolulu in January 1873, she was nearing the end of her rope.

A trip for health to Australia and New Zealand had almost killed her en route, and shorter-than-planned stays on both islands made it impossible for her to collect enough material to even consider writing a travel book.

Hawaii, or the Sandwich Islands as they were known at the time, was an unscheduled stop on the way to the Rocky Mountains, where Miss Bird hoped to finally find an atmosphere conducive to healing her numerous real and imagined ills.

But a decrepit steamship and a fellow passenger requesting help with her ailing son led Miss Bird to disembark in Honolulu, where she suddenly found herself immersed in unexpected adventure, even gaining an audience with the newly-elected king.

The Estes Park Archives kicks off the 2022 lecture schedule with a special appearance at the YMCA Maude Jellison Library on Sunday, January 2. "A Lady's Life near the Kilauea Fountains" puts Miss Bird's eventual Estes Park stay in context by looking at what came just before, including analysis of previously unpublished letters sent from Colorado to Hawaiian acquaintances.

The free program starts at 3:00 p.m., and lasts for 45 minutes. It will be repeated at 4:00 p.m., to allow for flexibility in enhancing social distancing. All Larimer County guidelines related to masks and air circulation in indoor settings will be adhered to. No reservations are required, and all community members and visitors are invited. Please call 586-4889 for directions or more information.

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