like a hedge – what masses of light & shade in the ferns four to eight feet high beneath, with Trintalis s[illegible] [ Erythrea?] & geranium. Here & there a Mad[illegible] & the most lavish masses of rose & speraea in full bloom. The rose ten feet high – flrs 3 inches diameter & deliciously fragrant fairly filling the air. The Mad[illegible] is in flr’ too & so are all three of the Spiraens one purple, two white. One of the white is a bush ten or 15 ft hight & the most gloriously lavish in its bloom of all I ever beheld. A branch half an inch in dia would have 40 or 50 p[illegible] six inches long upon it. bloom on bloom over leaning & over lying in a perfect storm of extra[illegible]. These roses, these sp[illegible] these glorious Enifers & will have with me for- =ever. The glacial phenomena too are interesting beyond measure. The whole region hear abouts was overswept by an ice sheet from the north. This is [underlined: Certain]. The direction of the flow at Victoria was a little to the east of [illegible]. The [ harbo?] is full of rock islets – [illegible] [illegible] not at all changed by the action of the waves they are new born & have but just begun to feel the swash & swell & ripple of the sea How strange it seems to see vessels & large towns or indeed man homes of any sort on so glacial a ground. It is as if one should come upon a town on the glacial [illegible] above Yosemite All the scenery of Pugets Sound is suggestion of that of Lake Tahoe & it is hard indeed to feel that one is really on an arm of the sea & not rather on an Alpine lake. I could this moment throw a stone into the woods so closely are we passing a lovely pro[illegible] Oh dear! I can tell you so little – We had head winds a heavy sea the first two days. Most everyone but me were seasick, The hope & the joy & the eager excitement all vanished from the faces of the afflicted company as if they had been born in the most somber state of mind & had so re== =mained. No company of mourners at the grave that I ever observed were half so deeply gloom crushed. Yet the sea grand & inspiring – the fresh brim heaving in noble masses & the brave gulls tracing there curves on steady wing, warm while we shivered in the [illegible] of the cabins, [ & ever & arrow a company of whales spout?] -ing lustily & rolling in grand enjoyment while their
On board the Zephyr between Steilicoom & Olympia
1879 Jun 25
Original letter dimensions: 25 x 39 cm.
Reel 03, Image 1090
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