John Muir


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hotel, see Judge Garr on timber matters. All Flathead forests still in hands of U.S. Should be reserved. Drove 15 ms to Kalispell, a twice dead places, poor fussy hotel. Fine yell p on prairie edge of immense drift beds, glorious larch forest along road, many mills, centers of desolation. July 19. Took train for Bemiss Ferry on Kootenai River. Fine yel p Larch and Contorta down to 2000 ft. The Kootenai a fine broad rolling river. Falls in rugged zigzag rocks, water rather muddy. At ferry took steamer for Nelson on Kootenai Lake. Steamer new and nice, on it all night. The river muddy and level, 1 - ½ ms per hour, very deep, 40 ft at high water, variation between high and low 15 to 18 ft, banks lined with cottonwoods, a few poor settlers on the banks liable to be submerged every yr trying to live among the trees and rushes and mosquitoes. Reclamation works by Eng syndicate, 1000s of acres flooded by break of lever. Lofty mtn banks seldom visible thro’ smoke. Lake a mining center, water deep and pure, many small villages. Said to be grand scenery, lofty mtns, but mostly invisible to us. Mtn pine, Contorta, larch, yel p, cottonwood, aspen, birch, Douglas sp, empetrum, spiraea, etc. Mtns rocky, mostly bare of soil where burned. Prospectors burn to bare the rocks. July 20. Train to Spokane, all day trip, road crooked and dangerous; lofty mtns timbered with larch, pine, etc. Engleman sp and Douglas, etc. until lower levels of Columbia are reached where yel p is the main tree.

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Original journal dimensions: 8.5 x 14.5 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