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Wild Life on the Rockies

Enos Abijah Mills

Book Overview: 

“This book contains the record of a few of the many happy days and novel experiences which I have had in the wilds. For more than twenty years it has been my good fortune to live most of the time with nature, on the mountains of the West. I have made scores of long exploring rambles over the mountains in every season of the year, a nature-lover charmed with the birds and the trees. On my later excursions I have gone alone and without firearms. During three succeeding winters, in which I was a Government Experiment Officer and called the “State Snow Observer,” I scaled many of the higher peaks of the Rockies and made many studies on the upper slopes of these mountains.” (Summary from the Preface of Wild Life on the Rockies)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .This year brought the first horses and bearded men into the drama which was played around him. This year, for the first time, he felt the edge of steel and the tortures of fire. The old chronicles say that the Spanish explorers found the cliff-houses in the year 1540. I believe that during this year a Spanish exploring party may have camped beneath Old Pine and built a fire against his instep, and that some of the 44 explorers hacked him with an axe. The old pine had distinct records of axe and fire markings during the year 1540. It was not common for the Indians of the West to burn or mutilate trees, and as it was common for the Spaniards to do so, and as these hackings in the tree seemed to have been made with some edged tool sharper than any possessed by the Indians, it at least seems probable that they were done by the Spaniards. At any rate, from the year 1540 until the day of his death, Old Pine carried these scars on his instep.

As the average year. . . Read More

Community Reviews

At some point Mills fell out of literary favor, and it's a mystery why. The quality of his writing is high enough that he ought to be right up there with naturalists like John Muir, Edward Abbey, and John Burroughs. I think this collection is a little uneven, but the best parts are simply outstan...more

An absolute delight from a true lover of creation. Beautiful and fun stories!

I've read several of his books, this was my favorite.

A nice compilation of his best reflections. Many of these tales I had read in other books of his. Delightful!

While this wasn't exactly a page-turner, Enos Mills is such an amazing naturalist in American history. Reading his collection of adventures was inspiring.

The book begins:
"Where are you going?" was the question asked me one snowy winter day. After hearing that I was off on a camping-trip, to be gone several days, and that the place where I intended to camp was in deep snow on the upper slopes of the Rockies, the questioners laughed heartily.

The fir...more

I didn't expect to love this book as much as I did but now I want to read all his books. Great for any nature lover and conservationist. Written in 1909.

Why hasn't anyone ever recommended Enos Mills to me? Beautifully written.

I loved reading this book. One day I think it would be funny to take an Outside magazine article and rewrite it in the style of Enos Mills. To him, nothing was a big deal. In one story, he'll talk about everything from below-zero weather, a bear encounter, getting stuck in an avalanche, falling i...more

What a charming little book. I searched for this book as a bit of inspiration for my trip to Rocky Mountain National Park this summer, on its 100th anniversary. Enos Mills is seen my many as the father of the park. This is a sweet little book. The author shares the true beauty of the park and mou...more