John Muir


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and thaws follow each other night and morning, cloudy and sunny days, etc. The depth of tundra, humus, vegetation and earth mineral above the ice varies from 2 feet to 8 or ten, though perhaps the average is not more than 3 or 4, judging from cross-sections, front sections, and holes that I dug. The ice is as hard at top as at bottom of the cliff. A curious result of the shaking up, airing, and draining of the tundra soil is seen on the face of the cliff slopes, where the tundra material being undermined it rolls down and frequently, after being well shaken, comes to rest upside down as if turned by a plow, while there can be no stagnant water held in it, as it flows freely down the ice-slope on which the soil rests. On this soil, so curiously cultivated, there

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