John Muir


Mrs. [Jeanne C. ] Carr


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[4]strange to cast any kind of an anchor All is so equal in glory so ocean like that to choose our place above another is like drawing dividing lines in the sky. I think I answered your last with respect to remaining here in winter. I can do much of this ice work in the quiet, & the whole subject is purely physical so that I can get but little from books, All depends upon the goodness of ones eyes, no scientific book in the world can tell me how this Yosemite granite is put together or how it has been taken down patient observation & constant brooding above the rocks lying upon them for years as the ice did, is the way to arrive at the truths wh are graven so lavishly upon them - Would that I knew what good prayers I could say or good deeds I could do so that [Ravens?] would bring me bread & venison for the next two yrs. then would I get some tough gray clothes the color of granite so no one could see or find me but yourself then would I reproduce the ancient ice- rivers, & watch their workings & dwell with them. I go again to my lessons tomorrow morning. Some snow fell & bye the bye I must tell you about it [1] #55 Yosemite Sep' or Oct 1871Dear friend Mrs Carr. I am again upon the bottom meadow of Yosemite after a most intensly interesting bath among the outer mountains. I have been exploring the upper tritatories of the Cascade & Tamarac streams. And in particular all of the basin of Yosemite Creek The present basins of every stream wh enters the valley on the north side was formerly filled with ice, wh also flowed into the valley although the ancient ice basins did not always correspond with the present water basins, because glaciers can flow uphill. The whole of the north wall of the valley was covered with an unbroken flow of ice with perhaps the single excep- tion of the crest of Eagle Cliff, & though00453 5If poor good Melancholic Cowper had been here yesterday morning here is just what he would have sung The rocks have been washed just washed in a shower Which winds to their faces conveyed The plentiful cloudlets bemuffled their brows or lay on their beautiful headsBut cold sighed the winds in the fir trees above And down in the pine trees below For the rain that came loving & washing in love Was followed Alas by a snow Which being unmetaphored & prosed into sense means that yesterday morning a strong South East wind cooled among the highest snows of the Sierra drove back the warm NW winds from the hot San Joa- quin plains & burning foothill woods, & piled up a jagged cloud addition to our valley walls Soon those white clouds began to darken & to reach out long filmy edges wh uniting over



Date Original

1871 Sep or Oct


Original letter dimensions: 20 x 26 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0553

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

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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