John Muir


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a few peaks rocking instead of common rounded low wave crests. Going down grade in series of daring loops, sharp-eared Larch becoming common. Also noticed abies mountain Picea obovata is the only spruce seen. Here and there a small lake with pond lilies, white spiraea common. Nearly all the vast forest seems virgin; saw long strips in parallel lines cut for railroad (?) Separated by serried strips of equal width. 12:45 P.M. Elevation 1150 feet, boundless forests. The Pinus sylvestris here and for miles back branchless to height of 15 feet. Evidently the lower limbs were fire-killed to nearly uniform height, showing evenness of grass and twig, fret and absence of wind. All these pruned trees are plainly fire-blackened at base. We are now passing a large lake which lies south of the railroad, 10 miles (?). 6:00 P.M. More lakes and swamps and dry marshes. No grain except small patches of rye now being cut. The pines cease at foot of mountains, 500 feet elevation. The birch extends far out on account of enduring fire, sprouting from root. At 10:30 P.M. Still extensive patches of birch, a few grain fields, now barometer reads 240 feet above sea level (?).

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Original journal dimensions: 9.5 x 16 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