John Muir


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determine to visit him next morning. Two of the Auks came to our camp after 8 o’clock and enquired further into our aims that they might tell their chief. Next morning. Nov. 11th. I wanted to examine the gl[acier] but concluded to be satisfied with a gen[eral] view in sailing past and along its grand snout. It comes into the channel about two miles from its NW extremity. It is about ¾ of a mile wide 4 or 5 ms. back from the end of the fun-shaped snout, which is perhaps 5 ms. around it. The channel is filled with gl[acier] mud and sand on top, no doubt with large material further down. When the tide is low the Channel is dry opp[opsite] the snout, so that not a passage may be found for ever small canoes. One of the finest gl[acier]s on the coast. We reached the house of the chief at daybreak while he was yet in bed, but he goodnaturedly and without the slightest appearance of being disturbed got up, put on a calico shirt, and drew a blanket about his legs. A small fire was already made which gave some light, enough to show his features and those of the children and three women. They circled around and listened attentively to Mr. Y[oung]’s message of good will, etc. He is serious, dark and rather sharp-featured man, but sensible and well-mannered. He was sorry that his people had been drinking in his absence and had used us so ill. That he would like to hear us talk and would call his people together if we would go back which we did not. We gave him good words and a few leaves of tobacco, and left. His house was built on piles and reached by a rough ladder. This evening we camped at the mouth of Tarkoy Bay. The scenery all through the Channel is extremely beautiful, a Yosemite Valley with lofty walls especially on the mainland side. So steep that few trees can hold a footing. Most have been carried off by ava[lanche]s of snow, showing a change of climate. The trees on the island side are heavily draped in lichens, giving the woods a remarkably gray look. Noticed a good many pines in boggy spots. The water was glassy most of the day and the reflections as we floated smoothly on were charmingly distinct. Some fine cascades. {sketch: Dead-house totem. Hoona vil. 15 ft. high} We called at an Indian camp on the mainland about noon to seek fresh meat for the minister. There were three very dirty huts, smelling violently of decomposing flesh. We found a fine lot of trout caught in a stream that falls into the Channel near the middle. They were about 15 inches long and had two rows of vivid red spots down the sides. We bought 5 of the largest for a box of caps, and a couple of salmon for a few leaves of tobacco. These huts were crowded, jammed full of food.

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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