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Your letter was a week old when my brother5 brought it in his pocket up into the Wind River mountains, and there was no pen or ink there. I came by into Wildcat Wyoming6 from New Mexico7 two weeks ago.
The question you put up to me is a hard one. It is awfully hard to advise anyone
about places to go in the west unless they have been
about in this country a good deal. Then one can say of a new place that it is like
such-or-such another place. I think Taos (TAOS) New
Mexico8, is the best place I know to go alone. The adobe hotel is
clean and comfortable, the food poor but passable, the water
questionable—though no one has ever been ill from it—The well is in the
middle of the court with two closets very near by. It is the way of the country. The
court is always attractive; sometimes smelly, often not.
The country is glorious—lots of lovely little towns within easy riding
distance; all Mexican and Indian, no gringoes. You can get good saddle horses for
little money. It’s more comfortable than camping. In the South-west9, at least, you need a cool, shadowy
adobe house after you’ve been out in that blaze of heat and color. Taos is decidedly
the best place I know. The only place I know where the best of the country lies
hand, and where the hardships are very mild. In most of the glorious places, you have to take it
pretty rough. This is wonderful enough country up here, but to me,
the Wyoming and Montana10 are always tame compared with the Southwest.
I know, by the way, an ideal dude ranch about 87 miles from here. This is nearest railway point, auto mobile stage from here, fare $10 each way. The Amoretti Ranch11 Eugenio Amoretti12 Du Bois, Wyoming13NUMBER FIVE BANK STREET
I had three heavenly weeks in Taos last month. There is only one hotel14 there. My name would introduce you to the
proprietor, Mrs. Pooler15, or her executive,
Lucero16, known as “Ruth”. Taos is
miles from the D. &. R. G.17 Good
automobile stage. The railroad trip is hard, but best up the Santa Fé to
Santa Fé18, then by D. &. R. G. to Taos
Junction, then John Dunn19's stage.
I shall be here for two weeks longer, then go to Cheyenne20 & Sheridan21
for short stays, and finally to Red Cloud22
to see my mother23. The heat throughout the
west has been terrible. It has been as high as 95° at noon, even here, but a
mountain storm soon cools the air. It is never hot in Taos, except for three hours
an in the afternoon, when everyone sleeps.
I haven’t done any work, because I’ve been doing more interesting things ever since
I suspect I would feel like writing if I stopped long enough, however. I had been
seeing too much of the wrong kind of people—wrong for me—last winter. Of
marriage25 is still hard
enough—always will be,
afraid—but the rest of the world looks as it used to and is not overcast. I am
here with my older brother and his wife26. They
have such a comfy little house, three
youngsters27, and two rivers flow through the back yard,—one of
them full of trout. We get good saddle horses and take
long rides—fine sand hills to the east of us, the Wind River range to the
I’m so glad you have had a last good spurt on the book28. That ought to put it through in good shape. I almost think you could actually write at Taos. Surely a Provençal story is an exciting possibility. The sun down there might help you. At any rate, it couldn’t hinder.
I shall be in Red Cloud by the end of August. If, in the meantime, I can tell you about western places, address me at Bank Street. I wish you’d thought of coming west earlier.W— Chocorua