John Muir


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Elevation of meadow pass deserted above 2500 feet. The descent from summit of switchback 500 feet. Meadow bottom of pass east side widens to a mile with far-reaching bays, opening charming views bounded by peaks forested. Bluebells, asters, etc., again luxuriant and abundant, polygonum, etc. and tall comp [illegible] I don’t know. Extensive brickyards in pass worked by Chinese. They are also doing most all the bricklaying and stone masonry for buildings and bridges, etc. Houses of Chinese and of some Russians are half underground or on top wood-casing covered with earth, with boards corrugated iron, straw, bark, etc., some plain log-houses. Breakfasted at 9:30 at large village in the pass where important buildings of the Company or Government are being slowly erected. 11:00 A.M. Barometer 1725. Meadow Pass (Yolo) beautiful as ever, innumerable branches opening charming view, blue mountains ahead, one peak and ridge beyond another with lovely tones, farthest 100 miles (?) Beautiful dianthus noticed far back, common here, also Veronica. 2:00 P.M. Still descending the beautiful Yolo Valley, swollen by many tributaries it is now very wide, and the river is many times larger and brimming full as if heavy rains had fallen on sources. The valley floor now far less Alpine and meadowy. Barometer now 1100 feet, and ground covered with small trees and rough weedy plants still the general views are very fine.

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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