April 15, 1925.
This year has not passed without bringing new interests to me. Some of you already know that the very greatest joy that I have yet experienced has recently come to me. On March twenty-eighth my engagement to Philip Welsh Drake of Morristown, New Jersey, was announced. Philip served in the World War and he is now the paying teller in the First National Bank at Morristown. He is also a violinist and is a director of the Morristown Orchestral Society. I hope that you are all reading between the lines and realize how hard it is to do justice to such a subject as this. I want you all to meet him, for to know him is to love him, and when we are settled in our little home, remember that the latch-string is always out to a Campbell cousin1.
At the close of college last June I took a ten day trip to the White Mountains with members of the family of a college friend of mine, and I think it might interest you to hear about it. We reached the Appalachian Mountain Club Camp at Pinkham Notch the first night. It was clear and starry and there was a full moon, and right then and there I had my first taste of climbing in the White Mountains, for we went just a little way up Mount Washington to see the Cascades by moonlight. We felt repaid, I assure you, for they were beautiful.
The next day we went to the foot of Mount Madison and climbed up the Valley Way Trail to the Madison Springs A. M. C. Camp which is about eight minutes from the summit. It was before the season officially opened and we helped clean the huts and put them in readiness for the visitors the summer season would bring. We signed on the first pages of the 1924 registers as "Ye Clean-Up Committee".
We left this camp after two or three days and hiked over the range of the Northern Peaks--Adams, Jefferson and Clay--to Mount Washington, where we made our headquarters at the Lakes of the Clouds Camp. The most exciting incident of the trip occurred there, for we saw a real, honest-to-goodness bear. When we made a bit of noise he "turned on his heels", and this was his only appearance. From this camp we could easily climb to the summit of Washington and up Mount Monroe. When we descended we came down the Bootspur Trail and took our departure from Pinkham Notch2.
1. Pioneer cabins did not have door knobs or locks. On the inside, there was a short bar, permanently fastened at one end, so that it could pivot. The other end was free to fall into a slot built to hold it securely and prevent someone outside from opening the door. In order to get back in when one left the house, a string was tied to the pivoting bar, and left hanging outside. To get back in the house, you just lifted the latch string.
2. Hiking New Hampshire's "Presidential Range" (Mts. Washington, Adams, Jefferson & Monroe) is an unforgettable experience. NC's Mt. Mitchell is higher, but because of the latitude, all are the presidential range are above the timber line, but Mt. Mitchell is not. You can hike for hours from one to another without going below the timberline. When you're not above, or in, the clouds, views are spectacular. On a high visibility day, both the ocean and Canada can be seen. I've climbed them all and seen the Madison Hut. But rather than stay there, I camped in a mountain tent I designed and built. Camping up there is no longer permitted because the alpine meadows are fragile. Trails up/down these peaks offer choices between short and steep and longer and gentler. I don't recall hiking the "Bootspur Trail", but the name suggests it's one of the steeper ones -- wbt.
After this splendid vacation I came to New York from Boston via the outside water line through the Cape Cod Canal, traveling on the new "S.S.Boston" which,some of you will recall, was rammed in July.
College and the life we live here grows better all the time, and this year has been just as happy as my freshman year.
I think I have now filled my corner of the book. It will be a real pleasure to read all the letters when they are collected together.
Wishing you all a pleasant summer, I remain,
Very sincerely yours,
Utilizing Sandy Buck Garrett's 2013 transcription.
Copyright © 2013, 2014 William B. Thompson. Commercial use prohibited.