John Muir


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The Columbia is new born and has as yet only commenced to flow. But however long it may flow, it never can excoriate and model a valley in the least like the one it now occupies. So far from eroding this lower section of its valley, it is filling it up with material brought from the higher and more rapid sections. At Astoria we remained a few hours; a kind of Venice built over the water on Douglas spruce piles, which being so readily obtained are found to cost less than foundation excavations in the hillside back of the town. At first sight it would seem surprising that this town so admirably located should not have taken the place of Portland. But the rich agricultural valley of the Willamette ruled the location of the distributing centre. The Columbia bar the day we crossed it was about as gloomy and forbidding as may well be conceived even by seamen. A stiff wind was blowing in and a thick muddy fog, thin and thick in masses ragged and draggled. Coming geologists may find bones in abundance in the formation being deposited here. Our steamer is small and smooth-propelled by a screw which gives her fine rolling capacity, which she had ample opportunities to prove in the rough sea all the way up {[Sketch: Yosemite Channel, below Fort Rupert, North East coast Vancouver Island.}

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 8.5 x 13.5 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