15 apple pear cherry growing in old pastures – little pruning much attention given to mere gorges. Signs many places along the road “gorges mysterious”. A mere overhanging rock is photographed & gazed & talked at while sublime mtns forests thousand picturesque farms etc are unnoticed. Near here is the celebrated St. Bernard Pass. The view of Mt. Blanc Range as we approached on gentle downgrade sun evening shining was most impressive. Had good view of the Mer de Glace, a small gl [glacier] [but] lying in grand mtns. Also of the two Mt. B. gls. Wh [which] descend in very jagged cascades to about 3,500 ft or about same as the 2 Grindelwald gls. Mt. B is not so fine looking a mtn. as Rosa from Chamonix. The [Arve] a good [ ] noisy stream. Guide charges to summit of Mt. B with porters provisions etc from 200 to 300 francs. Would have ascended but for blistered feet. Priests went up & celebrated high mass. 16 Next day spent in strolling at moderate heights for general views. A fine hot flowery walk saw a very large picturesque stump wh [which] puzzled me. Asked a man who was cutting alder for hay why so fine a tree had been cut He said “artificial” & sure enough it was cleverly made of plaster & wire netting knots bark scars burned hollow & all. A pretty ftn [fountain] also & ruined church, also artificial Next day grand ride to Cluses on six horse [diligence] on fine road made at great expense costlier in many places than mtn railroads. Vast field of rather desolate looking mtns & rocks. a yo val [ Yosemite valley] a few miles from Cluses The ride hence to Geneva in broad open valley & [low] overswept mtns & hills. A grand fertile plain of moraine with villages & vineyards many O. The Rhone a noble stream issuing from lake pure blue just tinged with green [almost]
Original journal dimensions: 8.5 x 14.5 cm.
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist