With the argument for granting the right the city seeks I am not here concerned. The only purpose in view is the casual recital of a good time. It has to do with a delightful sojourn in good company, with songs around the camp-fire, trips up and down the valley, the taking of photographs, the appreciation of brook-trout, the towering mountains, the moon and stars that looked down on eyes facing direct from welcome beds. Mention might be made of the discovery of characters—types of mountain guides who prove to be scholars and philosophers; of mules, like “Flapjack,” of literary fame; of close intercourse with men at their best; of excellent appetites satisfactorily met; of genial sun and of water so alluring as to compel intemperance in its use.
The climbing of the south wall in the early morning, the noonday stop at Hog Ranch, and the touching farewell to mounts and pack-train, the exhilarating ride to Crocker’s, and the varied attractions of that fascinating resort, must be unsung. A night of mingled pleasure and rest with every want luxuriously supplied, a half-day of good coaching, and once more Yosemite—the wonder of the West.
Its charms need no rehearsing. They not only never fade, but they grow with familiarity. The delight of standing on the summit of Sentinel Dome, conscious that your own good muscles have lifted you over four thousand feet from the valley’s floor, with such a world spread before you; the indescribable beauty of a sunrise at Glacier Point, the beauty and majesty of Vernal and Nevada falls, the knightly crest of the Half Dome, and the imposing grandeur of the great Capitan—what words can even hint their varied glory!
All this packed into a week, and one comes back strengthened in body and spirit, with a renewed conviction of the beauty of the world, and a freshened readiness to lend a hand in holding human nature up to a standard that shall not shame the older sister.
There are many lovely spots in New England when June is doing her best. Rolling hills dotted with graceful elms, meadows fresh with the greenest of grass, streams of water winding through the peaceful stretches, robins hopping in friendly confidence, distant hills blue against the horizon, soft clouds floating in the sky, air laden with the odor of lilacs and vibrant with songs of birds. There are many other spots of great historic interest, beautiful or not—it doesn’t matter much—where memorable meetings have been held which set in motion events that changed the course of history, or where battles have been fought that no American can forget. There are still other places rich with human interest where some man of renown has lived and died—some man who has made his undying mark in letters, or has been a source of inspiration through his calm philosophy. But if one would stand upon the particular spot which can claim supremacy in each of these three respects, where can he go but to Concord, Massachusetts!