Maria and Walter’s Outing to Hermosa

March 10th 1887

We are having very warm weather. I have to work so hard, and work I am unaccustomed to, washing, ironing, scrubbing, etc, that I am overheated most of the time. I hope it will not make baby sick. Walter and I took an outing the other day. Tuesday the 8th. He wanted me to see a little cottage he had seen on one of his trips, and I think, he thought we might move to. We left in the morning and did not get back until evening. We went to Ontario on the cars. A very interesting ride. At Ontario we took a carriage and went to Cucamunga, driving several miles up Euclid Avenue. A very fine avenue seven miles long with four rows of trees. The pepper trees in the center, and eucalyptus, and grevillea on the two outer edges. The pepper tree is beautiful. The prettiest and most graceful foliage, and either fine white blossoms, or green, or crimson berries hanging in graceful clusters all the time. At Cucamunga we went to the Park Hotel, near to the cottage we think we will take. We dined in the hotel and then rode to Hermosa. Hermosa the beautiful. Where four years ago Walter bought twenty acres of unimproved land but since then the other owners of Hermosa have improved their land and and now it is pretty. I always feel a sort of disappointment over everything I see in California. I have seen very little however. There is so much sameness. All the trees have been planted and are in stiff rows. And all the avenues are straight and I long for nature. I liked the surroundings of Park Hotel much. There they have great, crooked, natural sycamores and we passed several brooks where the vegetation was natural. But in Hermosa, again, I find nothing but cultivated beauty. Mr. Petsche’s place is beautiful of that kind. He has shown the greatest taste in the arrangement of his ornamental trees and shrubbery but all is in rows convenient for irrigating. I suppose this must be so.  The outlook from Hermosa is, however, grand. Nature alone has reared the lofty mountain peaks and covered them with dazzling snow. To walk under the Petsche’s vine covered piazza, and while surrounded by beautiful flowers, look up at the snow covered mountains, is a most delightful experience. We have every variety of mountain. To the north they are near. Only about four miles away, and the rugged sides and the foothills, with their coloring of grey, and green, are plainly visible. To the east are some more distant mountains and they are extremely beautiful and picturesque, while to the south are still more distant ranges, where are the soft blue and grey tints , so lovely in that far away mountain mist. It is most  remarkable to look at Mr, Petsche’s  place when you think of it’s age. Four years ago it was a desert of  cactus and greasewood. The seeds of the eucalyptus, then in his pocket, have grown into tall trees of thirty to forty feet high. His house is covered with vines only two years old. Indeed in two years time one can have a lovely home. Mr. Petsche is very German and his English quite broken but he is an educated gentleman, cordial, and friendly, and he has a hobby, and that hobby is Hermosa. He really thinks it is the loveliest and most desirable spot on earth and his enthusiasm is very entertaining. Mr. Petsche is sweet, natural, and very charming in his manners. They are very anxious that we shall build in Hermosa and I think Walter fully intends doing so. They have an abundance of the finest water and the air is fresh and invigorating. We called once more at the cottage and then back to Ontario and home. Found the family alright and they had been extra good as usual, but May does look miserably. I must mention Millie’s little excursion. She went to Santa Monica with the ward girls and saw the ocean and beach and the surf bathers for the first time in her life and she enjoyed it immensely. I do wish she could go more.

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