John Muir


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17th Oct. Calm, slight rain, slight snow 10 A.M. half sunshine. Had a call from 8 Kakes on their way to Wrangel. Rather good-looking people. Large canoe painted white with black stripe around rim. The rock lava basaltic in a few places, mostly trachytic for 30 ms. At least, beginning 15 ms. Below Deer Bay. The many islands and rocks fragments of unequal gl[acial] denudation. The ice-action plain. Rose bushes and a fine potentilla at Deer Bay. Many of smaller islets covered with apple – also common along coast margin with birch. A hemlock cut for bark where we lunched 120 ft. long, 20 in. dia. About 540 years old, first hundred years was only 4 in. dia. Old prostrate trunk here was densely overgrown with young spruces. Counter 700 on a length of 8 ft. Whole length about 100 ft. Where the seedlings were tallest the smaller ones were already dead. Length, average, about 1- inches, largest 3 ft. Saw a fine body of cypress on sloping shores of Kou Island. Konugh Indian name channel between Kou and Kupreanof, quite narrow up to noon – 1 mile or so, in some places less than ¼ m. The break of swells on volcanic rocks just outside of narrow portion of channel near Deer B[ay] very impsing when the water is smooth. The scenery very fine, most so in afternoon. Islands with beveled edges, black lava base. An hour after leaving lunch ground came to a bay fenced off from the main channel by a moraine-like dam of lava and granite bowlders on the S. side. Here John went slyly ashore to seek a shot at ducks. Creeping up behind the dam he killed a mallard which lay in deep water 50 or 60 feet from shore. Not wishing to go out of our way by doubling the dam cape to get the duck John attempted to get it by throwing stones behind it and thus raising waves that would work in shore. It was slow work, however, and Charley and Kadachan went to his help, enjoying the sport of stone throwing, especially enjoying their own blunders in throwing in front of it and waving if farther out. To expedite the business John tried to throw a rope across the duck, but failed after repeated trials. Then the others in turn failed, laughing loudly at their failure. Then they tied a stone to the end of the {Sketch: “Garnet Glen Cascade”}

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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