John Muir


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seemed to be 3 or 4 miles distant, rough and jagged looking. While we were not sure whether or not the ice extended unbrokenly to the mainland, still the Captain was very anxious to get off the sledge party. Everything was ready aboard, provisions, dogs, interpreter – himself a Tehuchi – and another as driver. Both the Indians were in the pilot-house gazing wistfully at the gloomy snow-covered rock island looming up through the gray stormy sky, its head in snow clouds, and a ragged reach of ice in front of it against which the waves were dashing. Then the air was again filled with driving snowflakes and the land hidden. The Captain asked Joe whether the other Indian, who lived within 70 or 80 miles of here, thought it possible to get over the ice to the mainland with the sledges. His eye beamed eagerly, and Joe returned answer, “He says it’s good, it’s pretty good, he says.” Strange as it may seem, he was eager to leave the vessel and to get on this wild prairie of ice, which to him was native heath. “Then get ready, Mr. Herring, for your journey,” said the Captain. “Here, quartermaster, get the provisions on deck. Lower the boats there. Hoe, harness the dogs.” In a few minutes all was ready. Mr. Herring, 1st Lieut. In charge, Mr. Reynolds, 2d Lieut, 1 seaman, and the two Indians composed the party. They were directed to search the coast as far east as Cape Yakan if possible,

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 11.5 x 21 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