John Muir


[Catharine Merrill]


image preview


[1]on sitting out to walk with Nature we at once find a beautiful piece of prairie, or stream bank, or retired lakelet, which on examination we find to contain a thousand times more of beauty then heart could wish, & we are full gladly willing to be fenced in upon it for all eternity. We go forth & find still greater beauty, still grander scenery increasing in intensity by countless gradations, the very lowest of which is ten thousand fold too great for our comprehension, & we are at length lost, bewildered, overwhelmed in the immortal sh[illegible]less , fathomless ocean of Gods beauty - We have had our last communion with Muir's lake, It was glassy & calm & full of shadow in the twilight - The most of Wis' is not more than 250 or 300 feet above Lake Mich' or 1000 above the sea. The Blue Mounds west of Madison, the highest land in Wis' is only about 1670 above the sea 1000 above the Wis river at Helena The observatory is perhaps about 150 or 170 ft above the surrounding country. It is a broad hill with sloping long sides, & with a great pile of whinstone blocks cast upon the top. It is not quite bare in any part for its sides are well clothed with white & black oaks & its rocky summit has gray cedars & rock ferns. A great many ravines run up against the rocks on every side - these have Desmodiums & Hare bells, & many precious ferns, &


[Portage, Wisc.]

Date Original

1867 Aug 12


Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 12.5 cm

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 01, Image 1114

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The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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 2


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