August 4th 4:15 A.M. Yesterday’s time. In a gorge of Urals alongside a fine mountain stream. Temperature 60. Elevation about 1100 feet. Dense forests on either side of Pinus sylvestris. Mountains rising to about 2000 to 3000 feet at sea level. At 5:00 A.M. sunrise reached fine spacious flat, filled lake basin and stopped ½ hour at station. densely forested mountains all round and though elevation only about 1000 or 1100 feet, the calm, cool air - 60, the birch and pine, the asters, bluebells, epilobium, and ferns, etc., make the place seem truly alpine. The aspen (?) Also and willows. A fine young river flows through the flat up which the railroad runs a short distance then turns to left up a small tributary to elevation 1400 feet. Here a broad upland is partly cultivated, oats and rye not yet ripe, and very short while every open grain spot however small, is cut for hay as in Norway. On this upland is a village, apparently old. Before 5 o’clock, the industrious peasants were at work haying, and herding cattle. Beyond this half hour or so, the solid forest nearly closes on the track, then up to 1400 feet, and at 7 o’clock of yesterday’s time we are running down the right (south) bank of wide valley (5 or 6 miles) with finely moulded mountain sides generally forested, but forests interrupted by little farm clearings, the tops and upper slopes of the bounding mountains solid forest. Countless myriads of Pinus sylvestris. Never saw glacial lines more firmly finely drawn, one back of another,
Original journal dimensions: 9.5 x 16 cm.
Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist