John Muir


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Eagerly waited to get off and to climb high enough to make sure of the trends of the ridges and grooves, and to seek scratches, bossed surfaces, etc. July 1. Wind abated and this morning about 9:30 I went ashore accompanied by Mr. Nelson. We passed through the village, looking into a few of the houses by the way. They are built on a small terminal mor[aine] of the stones which abound, rough granite forming the base and whale ribs and jaw-bones the frame for the upper half of the wall and rounded bee-hive roof, which is covered with walrus hide or with dirt, - some of them with a tunnel entrance for greater warmth during winter. The floor the natural dirt mixed into black hairy paste with much that is unnatural. In all, however, there is a luxurious bedroom – walls, ceiling, and floor soft reindeer skins, and with a trough of oil burning for light and heat. After hunting on the ice, making journeys on dog-sledges, cold and muffled and perhaps wet, and certainly hungry, he comes in, eats his fill of oil and seal-meat or walrus, then strips himself naked and lies down in his closed polog in glorious untrammeled ease, snug as a marmot in its mossy nest beneath a stone. I was anxious to reach the top of the Cape peninsula to learn surely whether it had been oversept by an ice-sheet, and if so, from

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