I have done a fair bit of reading during the summer so far, but the most inspiring by far has been this little Penguin travel book, part of their Great Journeys series. Adventures in the Rocky Mountains by Isabella Bird is a collection of letters by the adventurous traveller to her sister. But this is letter writing which I am convinced is no longer practised. Her letters read like prose, and her descriptions are beautifully evocative.
In 1873 Isabella Bird travelled alone to Colorado, encountering rough and wild characters, grizzly bears and stunning, but often inhospitable landscapes.
She is told, "There's nothing Western folk admire so much as pluck in a woman..." and she is shown respect by the most lawless of settlers. Plus, she knitted! "- my usual resource under discouraging circumstances."