John Muir


[Annie Kennedy] Bidwell


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In Camp near Austin Nevada, Aug’ 6th, 1878 —Dear Mr Bidwell What magnificent floods of sunshine we have here; open, shadeless, unmitiagated sunglow & [Boo?] how hot it is riding all day on the gray plains. We set out from Sacrament on horseback & though but fairly begun have already ridden 700 miles across plains & mountains [ Mary O.?] We spent the 4th of July at glorious Tahoe sailed once more around the lake enjoying the ravishing beauty of the water. Thence we pushed eastward to the Wassuck mountains near Walker Lake Thence North to old Fort Churchill on the Carson – was delighted to find the ancient outlet of the Walker River basin. It flowed from the North end of Mason Valley into the Carson opposite the old fort. It appears therefore that the great Carson & Humboldt Sink also received the waters of Walker River towards the close of the Glacier Period. From the fort we pushed off in a North Easterly direction across the Sink & ascended the gray ashy looking range that bounds it on the East. How the sun shone, & how the burning air wavered & ripped – strange that even the very sunlight may become dreary The gray alkaline levels have a weird mysterious influence. Yet there is no real cause to make one lose his senses. The delicate pink Abronia is in full bloom, & one sunflower & a leguminous bush with purple flowers, & even the Sage is beautiful if one only takes the times to look at it deliberately.


In Camp near Austin Nevada

Date Original

1878 Aug 6


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 03, Image 0868

Copyright Statement

The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust. To purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish or exhibit them, see

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The Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.

Copyright Holder

Muir-Hanna Trust

Copyright Date


Page Number

Page 1


John Muir, correspondence, letters, author, writing, naturalist, California, correspondent, mail, message, post, exchange of letters, missive, notes, epistle