In reflecting on the scene pictured here, Miller recalled that, “The nights on the borders of these Lakes were generally so cold that we were compelled to build a huge fire, wrap ourselves in horse blankets, and place our feet to the fire….” During the day, Miller noted, “the eye commanded with ease the full extent of mountain scenery beyond,” leading them to continual speculation about the peaks before them:
We were eternally debating the question of ascension to the extreme summits—“We never are, but always to be blessed” Were we contented? No! What now?—we wanted to go to the tops of the glittering peaks above us. The truth is the Sirens were singing to us, and very like fools we were listening too. At last a strong practical voice placed a veto on the project, and if Ulysses in Sicily could have possessed himself of the same determined will, he need not have filled his sailors’ ears with wax.
Although the tenderfoot Miller was probably hardened to the trail by this time, he likely was relieved that he did not have to accept this challenge.
According to Sam Drucker, Bureau of Land Management archaeologist who has hiked these mountains extensively, this painting probably depicts Fremont Lake.