on the steep hillside several hundred feet above the village and to the westward of it. In some of the rough rocks not a bone is left, carried off by wolves, foxes, dogs. Or perhaps a single bone, a skull, lying here and there, rolled away and wedged by chance like any other bowlder – bars, paddles, dishes, spears, lying about in all states of decay like the bones of their former owners, dust to dust; the mountain that they are lying on crumbling also. Some of the corpses have had stones piled on them, and their goods on top of all; others were laid on the rough rocks with a row of big stones on the lower side to keep them from rolling down. I saw an arctic owl, a big snow fellow, fitting his place; also snow buntings and linnets. When the natives saw Mr. Nelson returning without me they said that he had killed me, not being aware of the fact that he understood their language. Most of the rock is granite with cleavage planes that cause it to weather rapidly into flat blocks. One conical black hill, 1500 ft. high, is volcanic rock close-grained and dense like some kinds of iron ore. The norther that has been blowing 24 hrs. or so with fog has built a beautiful covering of crystals like feathers on the windward faces
Original journal dimensions: 11.5 x 21 cm.
Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist