John Muir


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Toyatte found a tillicum among the men and wished to stop here for the night, assuring us that this was the only safe harbor to be found for a great distance. But we resolved to push on a little farther and make use of the smooth weather after our long storm detention, much to To[yatte]’s and his comp[anion]s’ disgust. We rowed about a couple of ms. and ran into a cosy cove where wood and water were as conveniently placed as in a modern house. How beautiful and picturesque a home it is. Rough mosses for mattresses decked with red cornel berries, and how strong and noble the spruces about us! How tellingly they spread their protecting arms above us. A few ferns, aspidium and polypodium, dewberry vines, coptis, pyrola and a leafless brush-wood of huckleberry bushes and Ledum. Noticed abundance of yel[low] ced[ar] along the hill-slopes today up to a height of at least a thousand feet. A few were close to the shore. When killed by removing the bark, of which the Indians use a great deal, the foliage becomes a bright red and the trees are then as conspicuous in the green woods as a scarlet maple with leaves ripe before its full Indian summer time. Rock, slate, lave and limestone. After doubling Cape Fanshaw we met a canoe under full sail sweeping on before the S wind with a smaller one in tow. We learned by a few hurried questions as he flew past that he was from Wrangel direct and that one of his tribe, Tarkow, and a Sitka Indian had been fighting, a sample of the news our party so eagerly seek. We retired at 8 o’clock and just then T[oyatte] who had been looking attentively at the sky presaged rain and more hard skookum head-wind next day. We all regard the fine calm and clearing up of the weather as indicative of a fine tomorrow. No. 19th. In camp on a promontory 7 ms. S of Point Vanderpeut. Left camp about 2 hrs. before daybreak. The sky was a little cloudy, but the air was still and the water smooth. {Sketch: No. 2 Sitideka. Peak to the right the highest 12,000 at least? Bears in the dir[ection] of Mt. Fairweather}

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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