John Muir


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view of the High Sierra after climbing from height to height through the veiling woods, - These may be attempted, and some kind of description, some picture more or less telling, made of them; for in them there is definite aim, something with a beginning and end to enable one to make an effort with hope of getting done. But here it is so nearly endless and so varied and at the same time so similar, the lines of one seem graduating so delicately into the next while the whole is so tender, so fine, so ethereal, any pen work seems coarse and utterly unavailing. This enchanted land of lake and fiord, forest and waterfall, mountain and island, begins to appear in full force just below Departure Bay and ends far North if it ends at all. It seems as if surely following this shining way we should finally reach heaven. What can the heart of man conceive more divine? I suppose, however, now I come to think of it, that this sheet of scenery rock, of embroidery coast lace, fine spun to grace the rugged, mountain-laden continent, ends beneath the ice at the North uniting there no doubt with another extending down the East coast. Some would say that it is all one grand monotone of beauty, but it is not. The general type is the same, but no two landscapes are alike. Here you behold a long stretch like a river, lofty, beveled walls on both sides, the view open back and ahead but rigidly closed on either hand, stretching on and on for a hundred miles or more. Then you may come to a lot of islands sown broadcast in some wide sound, big and little in endless combinations, sprinkled or clustered, {Sketch, no title}

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