John Muir


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along the shores and up the steep mountain sides for the first time in five days. The high mountains, glacier laden and spread deep and warm with great snow, slowly came to view in all their grandeur, the bluish-gray clouds crawling and lingering and dissolving until every vestige of drapery was removed. The sunlight made the upper snow pale creamy yellow like that I saw on the Chilcat mountains in looking back northward on our first day of return trip from a dist[ance] of 30 or 40 ms., only much thinner and paler. I had a fine general view of the glaciers S of the Cape, those I had already seen the deck of the Cassiar. Shortly after the sky cleared the wind abated and changed to the N. so that we hoisted sail and the weary Indians had an hour of rest. It was interesting to note how speedily the heavy swell which had been rolling for the last two days was subdued by this comparatively light breeze from the opp[osite] direction. In a few minutes the Sound was smooth and no trace of the storm left save the discoloration of the water. The whole of the water of the Sound as far as I noticed was of a brown coffee color like that of the streams from the woods. How much of this color was due to the inflow of the streams many times increased in size and number by the heavy rain and how much to the ebating of the waves along shore and the stirring up of veg[etable] matter in shallow bays I cannot determine. The fact, however, is very marked. About 4 o’clock we saw a smoke on shore and ran in to seek news from Wrangel. We found a company of Tarkow Indians who were on their way to Port Wrangel, some 6 men and about the same number of women. The men were sitting in a bark hut handsomely and warmly embossed and reinforced with green spruce boughs. The women were out at a stream washing their many thin duds and a little girl 6 or 7 yrs. old was sitting among the pebbles of the beach building a playhouse of the white quartz pebbles and cobbles that she had selected from the washed shore, scarcely caring to stop her work to gaze at us. {sketch: No. 1, Sitideka. Main branch of middle glacier. 1st flows NW, 2d N 20 W, 3d N. This must have other outlets}

Date Original



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