16 days after James's death, Ellen left for Colorado on August 22, 1881, where she expected to spend a few weeks in retirement and rest and rejuvenation.
Several days were spent in Boulder, where lived the McDearmons, Emma's parents. Ellen spent most of one day writing out the circumstances connected with her husband's death (MS 6, 1881) for use in the In Memoriam pamphlet being prepared at Battle Creek.
Then with Mary she was off to "Whites' Ranch" and the little cottage they owned on a few acres in the mountains near Rollinsville, Colorado. For her, Colorado with its beautiful mountains had lost its lure. She did some sewing to while away the time, but not much writing.
The California Camp meeting would be held in October and she decided to attend and spend the winter in California.