John Muir


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First Camp Oct. 14, 1879 Kanah-tana shrough, the island of the standing stone, west side in shallow bay 10 miles from Wrangel. Left Wrangel at 2:30 P.M. in fine canoe belonging to Toyatte, and Kadachan, chiefs of Stickeen and two other Indians, intending to visit the villages of the Chilcats. Had a pleasant sail. Fine clear eve. Mountains of the mainland unclouded, all save one with dull slate color, horizontal ruff with the summit above it. Pale alpenglow on the freshly snowed gl[acier] fields. Waves loomed up ahead, seemed rough, when it was in reality clear and calm. Glaciation heavy on the isles to the S.E. The oversweeping action of the ice sheet was seen to fine advantage on Wrangel Island and clearly distinguished from that of the current that filled the channel to the south of Wrangel. Rock here slate as at Mt. Eagle [diagram]. Jays, diver duck, gray and bald. 15th—Rained little during the night and snowed down to 100 feet above sea. Gray lowering morning.

Start at 7 A.M. Timber, Menzies spruce, 175 ft. high, 5 dia. Common. Some trees pitchy. Well hacked. An old camp. Just before setting out Kadachan’s mother came down the steps at the wharf where we were waiting Kadachan’s arrivial to set out, and gave Mr. Young a piece of her mind. She blamed him for taking away her son to Chilcat where their enemy dwelt, prophesied much evil in the way of storms, and finished by impressively declaring, “If my poor son is killed I will require his blood at your hands.” Mr. Young told her that in case we had fighting and Kadachan was killed he would die also in seeking to save him. “We will see whether or not you die,” she said. I feared our chief would be talked of frightened out of going. But he at length made his appearance and set out with us looking rather more serious than usual. {Sketch—“N.W. from Wrangel”} Camped in a lovely picturesque bay on Kach-ka island. Many small rock islets in front of it. Some of them glaci[ated] distinctly. 2 about 5 or 6 ft. long, tide-covered, yet distinctly glaciated, scarcely

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Original journal dimensions: 11.5 x 18 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