John Muir


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settlements to westward probably due to want of water. Half hour east from last station saw drove of double-humped camels, running free at pasture. One hour from station no tree or bush in sight over the rolling fertile hills, flowers, blue thistle or Centaurea, Campanula, 2 feet high, simple stem, closely leaved, panicle of 25 flowers or so, Dianthus, aster, potentilla, and penstemon. Soil hereabouts clay and sand glacial decaying states seen in cuts, glacial drift on top a few feet thick only at very great distance an outcrop of bedrock, very fertile, grazing country. At 9:30 A.M. Barometer 2650. Descend rapidly to about 2200. P.M. still lower 1800. Arrived at Manchuria about 1:00 P.M. Left at 4 o’clock new time, hour ahead. Down waving hills all smooth and green until 6:30 when we descended after climbing low divide into broad green flat valley of branch of Amur. Roughened here and there by sand dunes, telling high winds Gobi Desert not far south and west of here. The dunes dotted with the brave sylvestris Pinus, short broad bushy densely leaved. These are now at 7:30 near sundown the only trees we have seen since daybreak today. They are now in the gloaming quite abundant on broad low waves of dunes, all the dunes green with grass and flowers, with few exceptions. A mile or two back saw Ulmus parsifolium as bush, also perhaps dward bush. Barometer 2000. The tops of low mountains, blue and violet in distance most all around.

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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