John Muir


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which, should they prove large enough and continuous, will be more valuable than those of the East coast on account of their accessibility from the ocean without passing through the tedious inland channels. I noticed five or six large ships loading here or waiting to load. They seemed strangely out of place in so quiet an inland wilderness, lying alongside glacial rock bosses as if in some glacial lake on the high Sierra. The scenery of the bay is fine, a handsome curving shore well planted with spruce and fir and over-leaning fringe-brush; the ground rising into quite lofty mountain-like hills; densely timbered island, some of them only rocks circled around but not so well forested, even the finest of them, as those farther North. Weather constant rain all day, - a tepid, drizzling, leaf-making day; the foggy clouds trailing slowly through the treetops and at times descending among the bushes and mosses, fondling and nursing every leaf. Leaving the bay, our trip to Alaska fairly began. Day after day we seemed to sail in true fairyland; every view of islands and mountains seeming ever more and more beautiful; the one we chanced to have before us seeming the loveliest, the most surpassingly beautiful of all. I never before had scenery before me so hopelessly over abundantly beautiful for description. One grand master view of mountains beheld from some definite point, some vantage ground gained after passing through what is common and generally known, or some lovely bonnie bit of picture definitely bounded, as for example, a lake in the woods, - one of those glacier meads walled in by trees or rocky moraines, or even one’s first grand {Sketch: North end of Vancover 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