John Muir



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William and Maymie Kimes Annotation

This article is an excerpt from a letter Muir wrote to his sympathetic and understanding friend, Mrs. Jeanne Carr (not in Letters to a Friend ... ). Without Muir's knowledge, Mrs. Carr sent the letter to The Overland Monthly. After learning of its acceptance, Muir wrote to her on March 30,1873, saying: ""I did not intend that Tenaya ramble for publication, but you know what is better"" (no. 331, p. 145). The article is a spontaneous outpouring of Muir's joy and excitement in returning to the Sierra after a considerable absence. Not written for publication, it has a warm, unpolished exuberance that reveals Muir's unrestrained devotion to nature. He writes: ""When I reached the valley, all the rocks seemed talkative, and more lovable than ever. They are dear friends ... and I love them with a love intensified by long and close companionship."" Muir climbed the rugged Tenaya Canyon, where he met with a sudden fall, ending dangerously near the edge of a cliff. Of this he writes: ""There,' said I, addressing my feet, to whose separate skill I had learned to trust night arid day on any mountain, 'that is what you get by intercourse with stupid town stairs, and dead pavements.""' He relates his extensive ramblings with 1873 vivid descriptions, and closes With: ""I ran home in the moonlight. ... All of this big mountain-bread for one day! One of the rich, ripe days that enlarge one's life-so much of sun upon one side of it so much of moon on the other.""


The Overland Monthly, v. 10, no. 4


p. 355-358

A Geologist's Winter Walk.



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