John Muir


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deep indigo, with a few short streaks of orange and red. We have not seen a star since leaving S.F. and have seen the sun perfectly cloudless but only once! We came to anchor near the northwest end of the island about midnight. The next day, the 8th of June, was calm and mild. A canoe with 10 men and women came alongside this morning, just arrived from Plover Bay, on their way home. They made signs of weariness, having pulled hard against this heavy current. The distance is 50 miles. It is not easy to understand how they manage to find their way in thick weather, when it is difficult enough for seamen with charts and compass. In trying to account for the observed similarity between the peoples of the opposite shores of Asia and America, and between their respective faunas and floras, scientists have long been combating a difficulty that does not exist save in their own minds. Canoes and ships from both shores either were wrecked and drifted from one to the other. They have suggested that or that natives crossed on the ice which every year fills Behring Strait. These are superfluous suppositions to-day, so from time immemorial, canoes have crossed for trade or mere pleasure, steering when out of sight of land by the swell of the sea. As to crossing on the ice, the natives tell me that they frequently go with their dogsleds from Siberian side to the Diomedes to the American side, on account of the movements of the ice. But in any case, though both means of communication sufficient,

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