Climbing Jobs Peak for the Fourth of July

Jobs Peak stands as it has for millennia.

Jobs Peak stands as it has for millennia.

No doubt a great many of us when we’re born and raised in Carson Valley or have resided there over a long period of look up upon the sight of Jobs Peak as a part of the geographical landscape of the country and have become accustomed to it as something that always has been there and always will be there.

In other words, we look upon it as a permanent fixture in our everyday lives, but this is not the attitude of a stranger. When attention is first attracted to the sight of this high mountain peak, a great majority of them are thrilled and inspired with the grandeur and magnitude o the wonderful sight that met their gaze for the first time.

Situated as it is on the west side of Carson Valley at an elevation of more than five miles above sea level. (Editor's Note: Jobs Peak is 10,638 feet, or around two miles above sea level.)

 it is a sight that defies description by the average layman. It has to be seen to be fully appreciated. In this connection and interesting little incident that took place in the life of a stranger is probably worth relating, for during the early life of this writer, we took advantage of the opportunity on different occasions to observe the attitude of strangers when they first draw sight of this tall mountain peak, and this story is the result of one of those occasions.

The story goes, in the summer of 1871, a stranger by the name of George W. Ferrell visited the writer’s old home, which was not far from the foot of Jobs Peak.

We recall that he came to the farm late at night and when he arose the next morning just as the sun came up, the first thing that attracted his attention was the sight of Jobs Peak. He was thrilled and inspired at the sight which met his gaze and marveled at the grandeur and magnificence of this high mountain peak. He could talk of nothing else and promptly expressed the wish to climb to its top. We had some doubt as to whether he was able to do so or not, as he was “greenhorn” just out of the East and was not used to high mountain climbing. He assured us however that he could do it.

He was a powerful athlete and subsequent events proved he was just that and some thrown in for good measure, as he performed a feat rarely ever accomplished by any other man that the writer knows of. He took with him a small telescope we loaned him. He arrived back at the farm late that same night, tired, but thrilled beyond words. He told us that with the glasses he saw a sight that he would never forget as he could see in all directions from the high peak. He said as he stood on the highest point, “he was so close to heaven as he ever expected to be while still living” He was so thrilled with his first trip to the top , that on July 4, three days later, he again made a trip and took with him a small United States flag, a large sized flour sack, and a bottle in which he wrote his name, address and the date. He made a short flagpole and fastened the flag to it and place a mound of rocks around the base of the flagpole, placing the bottle with his name in it among rocks. Tired and thrilled even more than the first trip, he made his way down the steep mountain.

No doubt in this modern day and age with improved roads and automobiles there is a much easier route to the top of Jobs Peak than at the time this story is based. In those days the only was up through Sheridan Canyon and that was a hard steep climb.

Believe it or not, it took real energy and many men who have attempted the climb. halted and only get part way up before they gave out. The writer recalls as a young man one of many brothers and myself expressed a wish to make the climb for the thrill of it, but my father strongly objected to our doing so. He told us if we were called upon to work and use as much energy on the farm as would be required to climb to the top of Jobs Peak, we would out up a “big holler,” so we took his advice and remained “put.”

For many days after Mr. Ferrell placed the flag on the top of Job’s Peak, that summer and fall we could see it fluttering in the breeze from far down in Valley below, just as the sun came up in early morning.

No doubt Mr. Ferrell has the distinction of being the only man who ever climbed to the top of Jobs peak on Independence Day and hoisted the Stars and Stripes in honor of Father our Country. Also, in the parlance of the street, he is the only man who ever had the “guts” to climb to the top of Jobs Peak twice within four days, only to get a greater thrill out of the second trip than he did the first.


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