John Muir



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Kimes Entry Number


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William and Maymie Kimes Annotation

Muir's descriptions and impressions of Mono Lake and the surrounding area appeared only as the last portion of ""The Passes of the High Sierra"" in Picturesque California. . . , no. 175, v. 1, pp. 32-34. ""Fire and Ice. . . "" in the Mono Lake Newsletter is a reprint in an abridged version. Muir writes: ""I found the so-called Mono Desert in a high state of natural cultivation. . . not only along stream banks, but out in the hot sand and ashes in openings among the sagebrush, and even in the craters of the highest volcanoes, cheering the gray wilderness with their rosy bloom, and literally giving beauty for ashes. . . . A sail on the lake develops many a fine picture-the natives along the curving shores seen against so grand a mountain background; water birds stirring the glassy surface into white dancing spangles; the island, black, pink and gray, rising into a cloud of white wings of gulls; volcanoes dotting the hazy plain; and grandest of all and overshadowing all, the mighty barrier wall of the Sierra, heaving into the sky from the water's edge, and stretching away to north and south with its marvelous wealth of peaks, crests and deep-cutting notches keenly defined. . . . Nowhere within the bounds of our wonder-filled land are the antagonistic forces of fire and ice brought more closely and contrastingly together."" Accompanying the article is a rare photograph of John Muir with Paiute Indians. The caption indicates it was taken by C. Hart Merriam, anthropologist, circa 1900.


Mono Lake Newsletter [Lee Vining, California]


pp. 10-11



Fire and Ice: John Muir's Impressions of Mono Lake.



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