John Muir


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By virtue of its geographical position it is likely to remain for a long time the business centre of western Alaska. The town is situated on a washed and outspread terminal moraine at the mouth of one of the main glaciers that united here to excavate the harbor. Just above the village there is a glacial lake only a few feet above tide, and a considerable area of level ground about it where the cattle belonging to the town find abundance of fine grass. During an excursion to the summit of one of the peaks back of the town I was surprised to find so grassy a flora - five or six species growing in close meadow luxuriance up to the nearly 1000 ft. above the sea. The hills look brown at this season - no bare ground visible - close plushy brown graduation into the gray thin edges of the lower snow, and this into the close solid white of the deep alpine snow, and this again, in the most gentle and indefinite way, into the loose grayish white of the snow-cloud that covered all the heights. So fine-grained and nearly white was the bottom of this cloud-mantle, I scarce could trace the outlines of the ridge I was on to a distance from my feet of a single rod, though a bare rock projecting out of the snow was visible a hundred yards of more at the same time. When no outcropping rock was within sight, the sensation of standing in the storm, wholly cut

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 11 x 18.5 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