John Muir


[Clinton L.] Merriam


image preview


3.and of course its written pages have been longer exposed to blurring rains and frosts, but notwithstanding the many crumbling blotting storms which have fallen upon the lithographs of this small ice-stream, the great truth of its former existence in this home, written in characters of moraine, and meadow, and fluted slope, is just as clear as when all of its shining new-born rocks gleamed forth the fall shadowless poetry of its whole life.There are a few castle-shaped piles, and crumbling domes upon its east bank, excepting which the basin is now plain and lake-like. But it contains most lovely meadows, interesting in their present flora, and in their glacial history, and noble forests made up mostly of the two silver firs (Picea amabilis and P. grandis) planted upon moraines which have been spread and leveled by the agency of water. --These rambling researches in the Ribbon basin recalled some observations made by me a year ago in the lower portion of the can~ons of the Cascade and Tamarack streams, and I now guessed that careful search would discover abundant glacial manuscript in those basins also. Accordingly on reaching the highest point on the rim of the Ribbon ice, I obtained broad map views of both the Cascade and Tamarack basins, and singled out from their countless adornments, many forms of lake, and rock, which seemed to be genuine glacier workmanship, unmarred in any way by the various powers which have come upon them since they were abandoned by their parent ice.This highest ridge of the Ribbon glacier basin, bounded its ice on the north, and upon its opposite side I saw shining


Yosemite Valley

Date Original

1871 Sep 24


Original letter dimensions: 26.5 x 20.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0545

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The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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 3


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