John Muir



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William and Maymie Kimes Annotation

"The joyful, songful streams of the Sierra are among the most famous and interesting in the world .... After long wanderings with them, tracing them to their fountains, learning their history ... we may then view them together in one magnificent show, outspread over all the range like embroidery .... " Muir's discourse on the streams climaxes with the spectacular work of the avalanches. Of his unexpected ride on one, he comments: "This flight in a milky way of snow flowers was the most spiritual of all my travels; and, after many years, the mere thought of it is still an exhilaration." Muir concludes his essay with an account of the earthquake in Yosemite Valley:" ... the strange wild thrilling motion and rumbling could not be mistaken, and I ran out of my cabin ... both glad and frightened, shouting, 'A noble earthquake!' feeling sure I was going to learn something." He philosophizes at the close: "Storms of every sort, torrents, earthquakes, cataclysms . .. however mysterious and lawless at first sight they may seem, are only harmonious notes in the song of creation, varied expressions of God's love."


The Atlantic Monthly, v. 87, no. 522


pp. 556-565

Fountains and Streams of Yosemite National Park.



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