John Muir


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through the ring of foam. The curling combers roared grandly in nerve-shaking style and energy, but with an encouraging shout every oar and paddle was strained to shoot through the small gap in the foam ring where a deeper spot in the wall was in some measure protected from the deafening rollers outside and on either side. I feared an upset, but felt sure of ability to swim ashore if not stunned among the rocks. While riding over a massive swell that pitched us aloft like a drift chip just as it passed on it let our frail canoe down between two huge granite bowlders. Had it been a foot farther to other side it must have been stove in or capsized, but we slid through and soon were safe. This adventure, as we sit around the campfire is the burden of conversation. Captain T[oyatte] is telling of two similar ones while he was a young man and skookum. The canoe on both occasions was smashed. He tells how he swam ashore out of the surge with a gun in his mouth. He says that if we had struck the rocks mentioned above he and Mr. Y[oung] would have been drowned, all the rest of us saved. Asked me whether I could have made a fire in such a case without matches, and how I could live and return to Wrangel. From this point we had great difficulty in gaining this harbor, the crew exerting themselves with admirable coolness and energy, using poles in passing over the shoal. {sketch: 1st mer de glace from 1000 ft. h[igh] near camp in highest NW arm of Gl[acier] Bay. Sitideka. Landscape beginning to be born. Beautiful sky, dark blue at zenith 4 P.M., then pale blue, then greenish yellow}

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 11.5 x 18 cm.

Resource Identifier



Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist