and back of that a range of pure white mountains, with only here and there one with spots of dark color where the rock is too steep for snow to lie upon, some of them – most of them – absolutely immaculate close white. Sharp peaks, curving fluted crests, fluted by avalanche, glacial wombs delicate in curve and outline as shells laid against one another, separated by sharp cols rounded over swept brows and domes and long withdrawing valleys leading back into the highest clusters of peaks, whence flowed noble glaciers pouring at intervals into what is now Behring Sea. We had hoped that the N. gale would drive away the ice far S. of Plover Bay, but while yet 30 miles from its mouth we were stopped by an immense pack that curved far as the eye could reach to the S.E. from the shore. Into the edge of this pack we pushed for a few miles where the bergs were smaller and floating separately, in hopes we would find some opening, but the man in the crow’s nest reported the pack ahead solid far as he could see, and we were compelled to turn and steered for St. Lawrence Island where we could have safe anchorage until a S. wind should open the bay. While sailing amid the loose ice blocks that form the edge of the pack, we saw a walrus, and soon afterward a second one with its young. The captain shot and killed the mother from the pilot-house, and the dingy was lowered to tow it alongside. The eyes of our Indian passengers
Original journal dimensions: 11.5 x 21 cm.
Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist