John Muir


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Returning to Sitka the lovely scenery was enjoyed over again, but it all, while calling me, seemed beyond reach. There are no settlements, no base of supplies or communication in the wilderness, while I have been everywhere assured that the life of an adventurer away from the towns of Sitka and Wrangell would surely be short; but I must see something of the interior. Will therefore remain over a month or two and watch opportunity; may at least go up the Stickeen. Were the attractions of this north coast but half known, thousands of lovers of nature’s beauties would come hither every year. I know of no excursion in any part of our vast country where so much is unfolded in so short a time and at so little cost. Without leaving the steamer from Victoria one is moving silently and almost without wave motion through the finest and freshest landscape poetry (on the face of the globe). The discomforts of a sea voyage are not felt; nearly all the long way is on still inland water. It is as if a hundred Lake Tahoes were united end to end with banks and backgrounds multiplied in the same ratio as to sculpture and extent of range and refinement of water lines. While we sail on and on through the infinite beauty enchanted, hard money-gaining material thoughts loosen and sink off and out without sight and one is free from one’s self and made captive to fresh wildness and beauty, obeying it as necessarily as unconscious sun-bathed plants. When, as often happens in still warm days, the islands are swung in the air with edges dissolved and outlines barred in fairy features, then the enchantment is complete. { Sketch }

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