John Muir


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42 appearance – [Eriogonai] spirae. [Rubus] [arternesia] [purshii] [solidago] [linosyris] phlox gilia sedum [ ] lupine etc. No trees – fine pasture for horses sheep & cattle – height 8500 ft. the [immense] denudation wh [which] it has evidently suffered seems possible only by means of ice yet there are no well marked glacial forms or trends so far as I have yet observed in the range. Floods of tremendous power have descended every valley but these are all of the past. Excepting the [undermining] action on the underlying sediments the power of water on such a mtn [mountain] would be nearly nothing. Lizards climb telegraph poles to gaze head downwards at us as we ride past. Many species none more than foot long They all seem repulsive at first but kindly & innocent by acquaintance like many other of Natures children

43 The Augusta Range has two main summits to wh [which] all its complicated topography is more or less subordinated. They are about 10,000 & 10500 ft high composed of metamorphic slates. The entire range measures only about 20 mils [miles] long but years of work would be required to map its features in detail. Never have I seen so great an exuberance & freedom in the topography of any other mtns [mountains]. Every feature is composed of innumerable smaller features – nothing simple Nature seems to have lavished sculpture upon it as if she had no other outlet for her energies in this line & what wealth of color too painted is every spur & valley & peak in richest combinations of all the hues of the rainbow. A very remarkable canon cuts the range in two, trending from E [East] to W [West]. The sides are from 1000 to 2000 ft high – the bottom about from 50 to 100 yds [yards] wide – the walls

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Original journal dimensions: 9.5 x 16 cm.

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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