things and my curiously compressed position prevented too free indulgence of boisterous appetite. Compelled to sleep with the trees in the one great bedroom of the open night. 12. Awoke drenched with mountain mist which showed grandly as it moved away before the hot sun. Passed Montgomery, a shabby village at the head of the east slope of the Cumberland Mountains. Breakfast in a clean house. Began the descent of the mountains, obtained fine views of a wide open country and distant flanking ridges and spurs. Crossed a wide cool stream, a branch of the Clinch. There is nothing more eloquent in Nature than a mountain stream and this is the first I ever saw. Its banks are luxuriantly peopled with rare and lovely flowers, and tall arching shadowy trees, making one of Nature’s most sacred places. Every tree, every flower, every ripple and eddy of this lovely stream seemed solemnly to feel the presence of the Great Creator. Lingered in this sanctuary a long time, thanking the Lord with all my heart for his goodness in allowing me to enter and enjoy it. Discovered two ferns, Disckonia and a small matted polypod common on trees farther south. Also a species of magnolia with very large leaves and scarlet conical fruit. Near this stream spent some joyous time in a grand rock dwelling full of mosses, birds, and flowers. Most heavenly place I ever entered. The long narrow valleys of the mountain side, all well watered and nobly adorned with oaks, magnolias, laurels, azaleas, asters, ferns, Hypnea, Madotheca, etc. Also towering clumps of beautiful hemlocks. The hemlock, judging from the common species of Canada, I regarded as the least noble of the conifers, but those of the eastern valleys of the Cumberland Mountains are as perfect in form and regal in port as the pines themselves. Pine abundant. Obtained fine glimpses from open places as I descended to the great valley between these mountains and the Unicoli Mountains, on the state line. Forded the Clinch, a beautiful clear stream that knows many of the dearest mountain retreats that ever heard the music of running water. Reached Kingston before dark. Sent back my plant collections by express to my brother in Wisconsin. 13th. Walked all day across small parallel valleys that flute the surface of the one wide valley. These flutings appear to have been formed by lateral pressure, are fertile, and
Original journal dimensions: 10 x 16.5 cm.
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist