[John Muir]


[Louie Strentzel Muir]


image preview


[1] 54St Michaels, Alaska, June 21, 1881. 2.15.P.M.Sunshine dear Louie, sunshine all the day, ripe & mellow sunshine, like that which feeds the fruits & vines. it came to us just [illegible] days ago when we were approaching this little old fashioned trading post at the mouth of the Yukon River. How sweet & kindly & reviving it is after so long & deep a burial beneath dark sleety storm clouds. For a whole month it snowed everyday some days only for an hour or two, some days all day but never one in all the month in which more or less snow did not fall either in wet sleety blasts in thick gloom or in dry crystals blowing off the deck as fast as it fell or sticking on the rigging & making sloppy sludge on the deck & then freezing fast. I never before have seen so dark a month, so steadily cloudy a sky. And when we came here we seemed to have come out of a cave into the living exhilarating light. And yet strange to say in all this gloomy month there has been no night. All the thirty one days has been one cloudy day [in margin: in circle 18]01014 [3] 2manners like village parsons, They held us in long interesting talks & gave us some valuable information concerning the broad wilds of the Yukon. Yesterday I took a long walk of 12 or 14 miles over the tundra to a volcanic cone & back leaving the ship about 10 in the forenoon & getting back at half past 8. I found a great number of flowers in full bloom & birds of many species building their nests & a capital view of the surrounding country from the rim of an old crater altogether making a delightful day though a very wearisome one on account of the difficult walking. The grand back of St Michael stretches away in broad brown levels of baggy tundra promising fine walking but proving about as tedious & exhausting as possible the spongy covering roughened with tussocks of grass & sedges & creeping heath[illegible] & willows among which the foot staggers about & sinks & squints seeking rest & finding none [in margin: The steamer is again in perfect condition & now goodbye again, & love to all, wife, darling baby Anna, Grandmother & Grandfather]


St. Michaels, Alaska

Date Original

1881 Jun 21


Original letter dimensions: 14.5 x 19.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 04, Image 0622

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The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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

University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. 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