John Muir


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to health. There is no mildew in the houses as far as I have seen, nor any tendency to eternal mouldiness in any nook, however hidden from the sun. Neither the people nor the plants have a flabby dropsical appearance; the very land of health for man and beast. Ordinary noon temperature from 65 to 70 in the warmest months – never beyond 9- as maximum observed. In September clear days are rare; most of them are all cloudy and rainy throughout the twenty-four hours. The rain is now often driven slant by winds moderately strong and the clouds during the intervals between showers, crawl and droop in a ragged, unsettled way without manifesting any tendency to violence such as one so often sees in the storm gestures of the California mountain clouds. While the rain is falling the general color of the clouds is dull, leaden gray with darker masses ill-defined; the whole settling down on the islands, giving them a weird, ghostly look, their outlines melting in the gray gloom while on account of their dark forests they are yet impressively visible in the foreground, while fading to fainter and fainter cloudlike masses in the distance where sky, land and water are all beheld as one. { Sketch: Mountains of the mainland a little to the North of Wrangell. } The lightest portions of these storm days, or rather, rain-days, are found between the showers when there is usually an upper cloud system that admits the sunlight in a finely sifted, reduced state as if coming through ground glass, while darker clouds float beneath and gray, downy islands of mist drift about over the woods, sometimes slipping back of an islet throwing it forward in bold relief with its treetops charmingly distinct. In winter, from what I can learn, the storms are mostly rain at a temperature of thirty five or forty degrees but driven by strong winds which, when sweeping the channels, lash them into waves torn into scud that is carried far into the woods. The long nights are then gloomy as may well be conceived, and raise the value of a snug home with blazing, crackling yellow-cedar fire, and the lights of shaded lamps on book-covered tables, to their highest terms. { Sketch: Mouth of Fiord opening into Prince Frederic’s Sound. }

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