John Muir


[Annie Kennedy] Bidwell


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and several species of grass spread their handsome [illegible]iles in the openings – Immense areas however are perfectly smooth hard white & plantless. Here is what the early emigrants called the 40 mile-desert well marked even now by bones & wagon wrecks. Anyhow it is beautiful however unfit for juicy fruits & wheat. From the mountains we had a glorious view of this rare old lake. Towards sunset it was one mass of color beautiful & delicate as tints rose petals or the lips of shells. One of the most ineffably beautifully of all Natures paintings. The gray forbidding mountains too are rich in gardens watered by streams to small to sing audibly. Wish I had space to tell you about them, but Alack! a letter tells nothing. We next ascended the Augusta Range. Then crossed more hot valleys & passed over the Desetoya & Shoshone ranges – crossed Reese River Valley & climbed one of the highest of the Toyabe summits – (11,000 feet). From here we will proceed in a general easterly direction to the Wasatch Mountains – will probably be out until November. I was thinking of your leafy home the other day. Will the changed state of affairs of the Sierra lumber Co. allow the waters of Chico Creek to flow once more in natural purity? We are all baking & browning finely, some roses blooming & shedding scale-like petals. Mine is not yet so far advanced & the heat has but little effect. Had a letter from your sister & Prof Gray just before leaving San Fran. My next address good for two weeks from this date will be [underlined: Eureka, Nevada]. Care A.F. Rodgers, U.S. Coast Survey I see that the irrepre[illegible] Gunning has been in Yosemite. He is mistaken about the moraines he mentions.[in margin: With cordial regards to the General. I am ever your friend John Muir.]


In Camp near Austin Nevada

Date Original

1878 Aug 6


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 03, Image 0870

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The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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

Owning Institution

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 2


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