John Muir


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& the woods wild ring with the clang of saws & axes & shouts of loggers

Same [lig] days ago I came drifting through the gorges & woods from the Mariposa trees [groves] [arriving] here [early in the afternoon] When the grove was full of noon sun shine & on saunterin[g] from tree to tree making my way through hazels & dogwood & over huge fallen trunks marking their [forms] and condition I came suddenly upon a handsome cottage with quaint old fashioned chimney & gables & so new fresh smelled of the fir & pine still smelling of [rosin] balsam & gum like a new felled tree. At the door I found a gray hermit wholly unlike the ordinary Cal Mtneer [California Mountaineer], sad looking & unspeculative living a true hermit existence in the woods. Bit by bit he gave his history romantic but in the main only an example of the eventful history of the Cal [California] pioneers life full of intense experiences during the gold period now up in exciting success now down in profound reverses day of life [bearing] on finally into the afternoon & long shadows stretching before health & gold [money] gone some played & lost & now creeping into the solitudes to await the coming on of night. How full of such ex is the early history of Cal [California] pioneers. How sad the undercurrent of many a life now the clang & excitement of the gold battles is over. What wrecks of hopes & health, & how interesting some of the wrecks. No country is so full interesting & rare men. A man of fine breeding & intentions gazes back at the home he hoped

Some [son] 10 yrs ago a landslip occurred at the head of the ravine just on the upper limits of the Sequoia line. Thousands of yrs ago this same [ ] slipped in a greater avalanche wh [which] was brought to rest by strong unflinching dome-like projections of the bed rock but this bed rock barrier was at length decomposed became aged weak & at length gave way producing a 2nd [slope] down [curve] a huge section of the steep mtnside with all its [load] of trees accompanied by a flood wh [which] swept the whole mass down the river in magnificent disorder Many a seq [Sequoia] fell in simultaneous [uproar] floated down [ ] the boulders piled across one another like saplings. Huge brown [20] ft thick trunks may now be seen lodged some stretching across the ravine from bank to bank like huge [darn]

The [ ] crop of conifera is ripe & will no doubt be speedily [harvested]. New Lumber Cos [Companies] are being created almost every year & mills were erected within 2 miles of here & a [ ] is being rapidly pushed to extend to the R R [Railroad] to completion. When the firs & pines mag [magnificence] of the Fresno Valley not excepting these Sequoias be lumbered [ ] [sawed] & floated to Market

Roads cut through chap [chaparral] , maple & dogwood, bridges built, Roads [graded]

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 20 x 15 cm.

Resource Identifier



Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist