AUGUST 10, 1955
MEEKER, Colo.—You will be tired of reading about the beautiful views in the White River Valley, but this morning we rode high up in the Hills and saw the upland meadows which are, I think, only equalled by the meadows as you approach the sea when you are well above it and can look across the green fields and see the sea beyond.
Here you look across the growing grass and wild flowers to the forests of pines and aspens. High above the blue sky is bespecked with fleecy white clouds that cast such lovely shadows on the green mountains.
We happened to have with us as our guide, Mr. Al White, a man who knows the forests well. His father drove in here from Arkansas in a wagon, looking for a place where he could get away and have real seclusion. He built a cabin right on the banks of the White River where he could hear its murmur over the stones. He had to go back to his cotton business for several months of every year, but this was a refuge and his way of getting away from the world.
Mr. White, who led us this morning, was five years old when his father first came here. There are many heads in his house to attest to his hunting ability, and he showed me three deer which I would not have seen at all unless he had pointed them out.
He showed me a big tree with the marks of bears' claws on it and told me that it was the habit of bears to pick out certain trees in the forest and stand up and claw them. One tree may be a mile or more from another, but they claw only at the trees of their choice. No one knows the reason but you recognize the marks on the trees and know the bears have been there.
Mr. White also pointed out to me the flower that is poison to the cattle if they eat it in great quantities, which explained to me the fact that my son had said last night that sometimes they lose a number of calves because they eat poisoned plants in the forest. I have always thought animals had an instinct about what they should and should not eat, but apparently this plant has a great attraction for them.
Senator and Mrs. Fulbright arrived this afternoon to stay with Mr. and Mrs. Al White, and we were all asked over to meet them in the late afternoon. This was a party just for neighbors and it turned out to be a very pleasant one, with everybody finding some congenial people with whom to talk.
I saw for the first time six or seven hummingbirds all at once, one with the most beautiful ruby throat, and we got a good glimpse of a hummingbird's nest beside it.
I was told that these exquisite little creatures fly all the way to Central America and back each year, and the day they get back they are so exhausted that Mr. White says they will sometimes just rest on his hand. Of course, there are feeding stations here, and the birds are most interesting to watch while using them.