I have long been looking from the wild woods and gardens of the northern states to those of the warm south, and at last, all drawbacks overcome, I set forth on the first day of September 1867 joyful and free on a thousand mile walk to the Gulf of Mexico. Crossing the Ohio at Louisville I steered through the big city by compass without speaking a word to anyone. [Drawing – “Planning my journey outside of Louisville, Ky.”] Beyond the city I found a road running southward, and after passing a scatterment of suburban cabins and cottages I reached the green woods, and spread out my pocket map to rough-hew a plan for my journey. It was simply to push on in a general southward direction by the wildest, leafiest, least trodden way I could find promising the greatest extent of virgin forest. Folded my map, shouldered my little bag and plant-press, and strode away among old Kentucky oaks, rejoicing in splendid visions of pines and palms and tropic flowers in glorious array, not, however, without a few cold shadows of loneliness. The great oaks seemed to
Original journal dimensions: 10 x 16.5 cm.
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist