Joseph Pickard


John Muir


image preview


[4]he wills to go, daunted by no danger, turned back by no obstacle - man or beast or glacier. Putting his note-book and pocket lens in his pocket, and in his sack bread and tea - the chief of the diet of this man who never is quiet - he starts out, alone, on the wildest of journeys that are [pathless?] often, - and he returns to civilization only when, after weeks days of arduous travel, his stock of bread & tea is exhausted. Meantime he has slept wherever night has overtaken him, now in tent, [rarely?] in house of friends, now on bed & pillows of freshly plucked branches of spicy spruce; now in the lee of some protecting rock on the side of a windswept mountain; now, wrapped in a blanket, lying on smooth cobble stones; and now on the brown needles of the forest where The giant nightwind marches Through the pines' acthedral arches - where he can hold rapt conversation with the star-filled sky. There are no fancy pictures of the man, but [dal?] vero,3. [5]Let us try to follow him once - to "camp on his trail." He is going, say, to explore the bee pastures of California. After roughing it for hours - days perhaps - he comes to dense chapparal - miles in extent, through which no man can walk. What does he do? What we do not. Down he goes & on all fours he traverses the whole distance, undisturbed by tufts of hair which bears have left in passing. We lose him - and try, another day, another journey, following: till we find fronting us a sharp incline, so steep and so smooth that only a mountain sheep can climb it - ordinarily. We stop, he goes up, first removing shoes & stockings which he ties to his belt, because his bare feet can hug the slippery steep better than sole leather. A wind storm delights. He hearing one begin to sound early in the day leaves the house of a friend in which he had lodged, and "through the midst of the passionate music & motion he pushes across glens, from ridge to ridge till near midday he reaches the highest summit of the neighborhood." Then [selecting?] from a clump of spruce02841


Maywood, I11.

Date Original

1901 Feb 15


Original letter dimensions: 22.5 x 14.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 11, Image 0605

Copyright Statement

Some letters written to John Muir may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

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.

Page Number

Page 3


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