John Muir


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it up. We found no snow & in many places upon sunny stream banks some late flowers were lingering [about] like flies after frost. The magnificent conifer and king of pines P. Lambertiana warmed us with their extreme beauty all the way from Coulterville. The [Lord of spruces] lovely fir Abies Magnifica, Picea amabilis, towered in exact & measured grandeur in its unchangeable green. Cornus Florida, & the maples & the black oaks were casting their brown & yellow leaves, & in [their] crumbling & rustling beneath our feet touched many a memory of the sweet indian summer days of the old west. As we ascended the mtn, the sky became thinner & bluer, & though filled with free sunshine, lost gradually the richness & balmy purple cream of the smooth plains. In one week we reached our goal, the [great] mtn through Yosemite Valley


We thought of a visit to Hetch Hetchy & to the grand valley upon the southfork of Kings river; also the settlements of [Sequoia] in Fresno etc but after a week of resting, sketching, & general climbing we sold ourselves to J.M.H. to feed turkeys, build hen roosts, laying boxes, etc; Also to take charge of the ladies, & the cows, & to build a saw mill. I had long lived in bright flowery summer & I wished to see the snow & ice, the divine jewelry of [nature] winter once more: & to hear the storm winds among the trees & rocks [too], & the thin azure of the mtns, & their clouds. I expected to find all of these pleasures in their grandest moods & [unions] as soon as I should reach the altitude of the firs [spruces], but week after week passed upon sunshine & blue sky, winds spoke not or so feebly that they could not be understood but by ears better than ours. A few droppings of rain would come from changing clouds but

Date Original

November 1869


Original journal dimensions: 10 x 16.5 cm.

Resource Identifier



Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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