John Muir


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Most of the so called Geyser basins in wh [which] this rare vegetation is growing are not basins at all they are simply valleys on the slopes of Mtns [mountains] thru wh [which] the ancient gls [glaciers] [grind] their way The floods of ice flowing slowly over & thru the midst the old volcano fires just as the cool [runs] of water are flowing now Approaching the geyser valley of the Firehole River a branch of the Missouri from the high ground to the S [south] & looking N ward [northward] over the [dark pine woods] forest one sees a multitude of white columns of steam ascending from the wide smooth bottom of the valley & up on the sides among the dense timber suggesting [both/to the] the fires of some some great manufacturing town or the camp fires of an army. The columns mark the locations of a [multitude] of hot springs & geysers or gushers as the word means in Icelandic. So numerous they are & so crowded together in all sorts of places on the [level] bottom of the val [valley] & up along the bank of the river & in the river on the sides among the rocks & trees. They seem to have been collected here specimens of every color & form from

& when in the fullness of time

In after ages of this ever old ever young world what interesting sections of scenery will be displayed here when what is now [being] mark down in the hot darkness will be unfolded to the height of the sun & stars to delight coming geologists [chemists] & seekers after marvels. [Caves] [bound] with shining crystals sifting the sunbeams into rainbow colored light

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 10 x 17 cm.

Resource Identifier



Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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