John Muir


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Falls of Wilamette [Willamette] by means of great rise of river below in flood only a few feet high. Wilamette sluggish & deep up to Portland—above swift & bright & lively. SW winds in winter meeting the current of Col [Columbia] make broad belt of breakers. Awful in [grounding] ships [oftentimes] [ ] Tree near Astoria cut down wh [which] measured 46 in cir [circumference] 10 ft from the ground. Oak ab in Wil & [Umpqua] Vals Crabapple In the middle region lol [between] Blue & Cascades timber v [very] scarce The continuous woods of O are not continuous beyond the cascades. Indeed want of timber is one of the greatest drawbacks in the settlement of the [mid] country. More than 2/3 of O [Oregon] either treeless or sparsely planted—with Yel P [Yellow Pine]. Climate. Rains with little [intermission] for 3 or 4 ms [miles] along coast. Less in Wil Val. Snow there seldom more than 3 or 4 inches. Temp [temperature] seldom much below

freezing pt [point] the cold snaps once in many yrs [years] [pinches] of zero may be had. Once the [Col] frozen to mouth of Wil [Willamette] when at Dalles the temp [temperature] was -15. The winters of 1844-5 began in Oct. 12th with fine storm that lasted with sustained power & violence thru Nov Dec Jan & Feb [November December January February]. Then 3 wks fair in March & another storm lasting thru Apr. But this is by no means a fair avg. Cattle feed yr [year] round in plain & val [valley]. In March & Apr vegetation is called by bland balmy sunshine & soft W winds. The gray skies & howling winds vanish & die & all is glorious as by enchantment. O [Oregon] is taken as a whole one of the healthiest countries in the world tho [though] malarial fevers are by no means unknown. Many settlers are afflicted for the [few] first yrs [years] especially on the lower Wilamette below Portland. But this is not beyond [cure] either the cause or effect. Drain the marshes, cultivate the soil

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 8.5 x 14.5 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