"Mr. Walling is very earnest that we should go with him across the Snowy Mountain Range to what is called the Park, on the other side of the Snowy Range" (letter 12, 1872). She saw in the proposed trip over the Snowy Range the needed incentive and opportunity for James to "be at liberty to enjoy the scenery, get tired, camp and rest, and become hardened for California" (letter 13a, 1872).
In a letter to Edson and Emma, Ellen wrote on August 22:
Last night Father and I rode six miles [nine kilometers] on the Indian ponies, that we might get accustomed to riding. We have decided it would be better for Father to go up the mountains over the Snowy Range and be benefited with the exercise he would obtain in so doing than to go to California just now. . . . We feel much encouraged in regard to Father, but we dare not yet go to California (ibid.).