Austin Nevada, Aug’ 5th, 1878.Dear Doctor Your kind note of the 22th was received the other day & your discussion of [fruits?] & the f[illegible]ness in general of civilized things takes me at some little disadvantage. From “the Switch” we rode to the old f[illegible] Churchhill on the Carson & at the “Upper” lower end of Mason Valley was delighted to find the [illegible] Outlet of Walker lake down through a very picturesque Canon to its Confluence with the Carson. it appears therefore that not only the Humboldt & Carson but the Walker River also poured its waters into the Great Sink towards the end of the Glacial Period. From Fort Churchhill we pushed Eastward between Carson Lake & The Sink, Boo! how hot it was riding in the solemn silent glare, shadeless – waterless, Here is what the early emigrants called the 40 mile desert well marked with bones & broken wagons. Strange how the very sunshine may become dreary. How strange a spell this region custs over poor mortals accustomed to shade & coolness & green fertility. yet there is no real cause that I could see for reasonable beings losing their wits & becoming frightened. There are the lonely tender Abronias blooming in the ferrid sand & sun & a species of sun flower & a curious legume[illegible]bush crowded with purple blossoms, & a green Saltwart & four or five sp[illegible] of Art[illegible] really beautiful, & three or four handsome grasses, Lizard reveled in the [in margin: Im sure I showed my appreciation of good things. That’s a fine suggestion about the grapes Try me doctor on [illegible] [illegible] Tokings. Cordially Yrs John Muir] 00804
1878 Aug 5
Original letter dimensions: 31.5 x 20.5 cm.
Reel 03, Image 0864
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