John Muir


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to write about Weeds and blossoms and trees. I warrant you he had many a long ramble in the mountains of Judaea, and had he been a Yankee he would likely have visited every weed in the land.” 11th. Long stretch of level sandstone plateau lightly furrowed and dimpled by a network of shallow, groovelike, fairly well watered valleys among hillocks. The tree are mostly oaks planted wide apart like those of the Wisconsin openings, - a good many small pines here and there 40 to 80 feet high. Polygalas, Asters, Solidagoes abundant. Met a cool happy brook every half mile or so. Their banks and shallows planted with Osmunda regalis, O. cin., and handsome sedges. The few larger streams were fringed by glossy laurels and azaleas. Large areas beneath the trees are covered with impenetrable formidable greenbriers and brambled armed with hooked claws. Houses are far apart and uninhabited, orchards and fences in ruins, sad marks of war. About noon my road became dim and at last vanished among desolate fields. Lost and hungry. Knew my direction, but could not keep it on account of the brambles. My path was indeed strewn with flowers, but as thorny, alas, as moral ever trod. In trying to force way through these cat plants one is not simply clawed and pricked through all your clothing, but caught and held fast. Toothed arching branches come down over and about you like cruel living arms. The more you struggle the more desperately you are entangled and your wounds deepened and multiplied. With Indian fortitude one may escape. Blind struggling will only make these plant teeth to be anchored in his shoulder blades. (Tell story of guerrillas). After a great deal of defensive fighting, escaped to a road and a house, but could not procure food or shelter - found another house about dark inhabited by negroes where I succeeded in obtaining string-beans, buttermilk, and corn-bread. I was seated very unstylishly upon or in a bottomless chair. As I became sore and heavy I sank deeper and deeper until at length my knees were folded against my breast under my chin and my mouth settled to the level of my plate, but wild hunger cares for none of these

Date Original

July 1867


Original journal dimensions: 10 x 16.5 cm.

Resource Identifier



Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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