John Muir


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Just before we reached the edge of rocks, in scanning the ruinous crumbling face of the cliffs that here are between 2 and 3000 ft. high, I noticed an outstanding buttress harder and more compact in cleavage than the rest, and very obviously grooved, polished, and scratched by the main vanished glacier that once filled all the fiord. Up to this point we climbed, and found several other spots of the old glacial surface not yet weathered off. This is the first I have seen of this kind of glacial traces. Of others, especially of the most enduring of all – the general form and sculpture and collocation of the mountains and valleys between them, this last included in the sculpture. The men have been busy sawing and blasting a sort of slip in the ice for the ship that she may be secure from drift ice and well situated for loading the coal that is piled on the shore opposite here. The coal belongs to the Russians. In loading the coal, was first stowed well forward in order to lift stern high enough out of water to enable us to make the additional repairs required on the rudder, since we cannot find access to a beach smooth enough to lay her on. The Indians, Chukehis, here are very poor. They have offered nothing to trade. With a group of men and women that came to the ship a few mornings ago there was a half-breed girl about 2 years old, very fair she had – light brown hair, regular European features, and was handsome. Her

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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