John Muir


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miles in extent for pastures, or farm size. A sad sight especially the tens of thousands of dead bleached tree ruins prostrate encumbering the ground, or erect gaunt bleached stump with few stubs of main branches stretched to heaven as if for help. Many broad Vicus with a few real mountains and a few glacial fountains well defined at wide intervals at elevation of about 5000 or 6000 feet at Half Way House, elevation 3700 feet, some well round glacial bosses of granite. Also wide bottomed valleys in granite or meta slates must have been glaciated but long ago. Arrived early in afternoon, and took walk. The Hotel buildings of limestone belong to Government and are leased. Located at bottom of hopper made of very steep, yet flowery and well forested hills. The approach to these hotel cottages is perfectly magnificent and charming. The 4-horse teams dash at gallop through a noble cave arch from side to side of limestone ridge in which the caves are. Ferns near mouth of arch, trees aloft on ridge. Know of nothing like this way, nearly all natural, in the world. January 4th Went through one of the 3 caves in forenoon; another in the afternoon and the last in evening after dinner. Walked perhaps 8 or 10 miles through the heart of a gray rough marble ridge or mountain, along many wide and narrow jewelled alleys to many jewelled halls and nooks and secret chambers, decorated infinitely with the ordinary stalactites and stalagmites, etc., of every form and color, and with many forms of crystal limestone fabrics like graceful cloth hangings in folds ineffable beautiful. These cloth-like fabrics were also translucent and varied much in color and pattern. Chambers many, small with exquisitely fine small jewels, the whole lighted with electricity, and the chambers and

Date Original

November 1903


Original journal dimensions: 11 x 16.5 cm.

Resource Identifier



Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist