About 10:00 P.M. Barometer stood near 2900 feet. August 11th Leave train at Chita 2:30 A.M. Very sleepy. Country dry, sandy and most denuded of timber near town. Within 4 or 5 miles, only second crop trees, but distant mountains all around when not burned or heavily timbered. All delicate herbaceous plants destroyed by cattle and horses, meadows seem to have been over-pastured for many years. Part of town old. 80,000 soldiers said to be encamped in the neighborhood. None of the features of vast Siberia more excites the imagination than the great rivers pouring their mighty flood from thousands of dark forested mountains and broad flowery plains, and sweeping on over the level frozen tundras to the Arctic Ocean, all through the white winter beneath ice and snow, its fishers, people of many tribes on its banks, beneath hot and icy skies, storm clouds fury, cumuli taking place of mountains on the level tundras, and making snowy peaks over the smooth hills and gently waved mountains. The animals that dwell among their outspread branches, the glowers and mosses, etc., color changing the mammoths (Sketch: In [val] of Selinga 2 pm […])
Original journal dimensions: 9.5 x 16 cm.
Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist