John Muir


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Shows glacial action finely, it shines and fairly dazzles when you walk toward the sun at 9 or 3. Rounded on east precipitous like a thousand others- Saw two rattle snakes today neither of which threatened me, one was a species new to me, I did not at first take it for a rattler; rather slender, beautifully colored black and white in triangular pattern. The other was the common, dull gray yellow - a thick muscular fellow that I came suddenly on when seeking a camp on the river. A rough place but it was getting late and I was then at the head of the main gorge I had to camp. I decided to camp on top of a large bowlder a snake could not climb except by a log that leaned against it but this I managed to remove. It was about 12 to 15 sloping like house roof but a slight hollow in middle enabled me to keep from falling. Here I cooked and even slept-hard- The gorge shows no sign of water action above 10 or 12 ft, above 15 ft. at bottom in width, the walls sheer, glacial action showing at top and a good way down. Height of walls (immediate) 2.000 ft. The river still runs in ragged zagged gorge below the gorge proper for ½ a mile falling free in one place 20 to 30 t and making a descent of 200ft or more altogether. Below this a mile or two the canyon wall risers to great height 3.000 ft or more I call it 3 domes, alt. of river where best seen 5500 ft above sea. The braide cascade mentioned above comes roaring into the river in wild array a few hundred yards below the lower opening of the main gorge and directly into the sheltered zigzag gorge which is a continuation of the main gorge but which you can approach and scramble along side of not over 50 to 75 ft above the tirling boiling river. In one place in this lower gorge is on edge not more than five or six feet wide at this stage of water. The 3 domes are just to the West of Yosemite pass. Aug. 9. Bowlder Camp. Camp at upper end of the gorge. Alt. river at upper end gorge 5900ft lower 5740. Alt ridge to be climbed 600 ft in going down, 750 going up. The gorge begins a short distance below Yosemite pass. A fine stream comes down the pass - snow in it still near the foot. A fine fall and stretch of cascades come in over a cliff 2.000 ft high just below gorge on north side. It is torn into shreds and braided again in wonderful manner, beard it roaring more than a mile away. Hollow mountain stands on the E side of Yosemite pass- horizontal section thus

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Original journal dimensions: 10.5 x 17.5 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