January 5th Charming calm, sunny morning. Had walk before breakfast. Started for Mt.Victoria at 9:30, pleasant drive. Many Casuarinas along stream within 8 or 10 miles of Mt.Victoria. Around about 4:00 P.M., met two motor cars carrying passengers, also 2 stage coaches well filled going to the caves. 3000 to 4000 a year said to visit the caves as tourists, going in all the year round. After dinner started for Katoomby. Arrived about 8:00 P.M. Good hotel, was delighted to find the Husteads and Scotch fellow-voyagers of Barbarossa stopping here. We all intend going to New Zealand together. Such acquaintances make one feel at home most anywhere everywhere. January 6th The scenery here very fine - boundless roads, deep valleys with precipitous bands of sandstone running like ribbons around their sides. Blue in distant heights as well as hollows. Well deserve name of Blue Mountains. Highest about 4000 feet. Sadly in need of lofty white summits, real mountains for these foothills so gloriously forested. Had drive and walk to Falls and Parks (Government) lovely glens, ferny flowery trees - a few real tree ferns. The Falls would be thought nothing of in California, but the surroundings are glorious in plants. Found 3 more new Banksias, one looks like pine in foliage; another with soft broad velvety leaves, and lots of other plants nearly all new to me. A considerable number of tourists hereabouts enjoying the fresh air and scenery, etc. A few sassafras trees, 70 or 80 feet high. Some acacias in full bloom, white make grand show. Saw flock of 50 or so of beautiful bright blue birds. Pinus insignis from California is almost the pine planted here and at the caves, and her it seems to thrive better even
Original journal dimensions: 11 x 16.5 cm.
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist