stream and encamped beneath an Ar. [Araucaria] grove. Ar. in scattered groups or singly all way down and up S. slope and fringing the horizon all around. A glorious and novel sight, beyond all I had hoped for. Yet I had so long dreamed of it, it seemed familiar. My three companions slept under tarpaulin tents, strangely fearing the blessed mountain air and dew. The bark of the trees varies very much in thickness and pattern. On some it is smooth; on others deeply cut into squares or rombs like alligators skins, from half an inch to nearly two inches in diameter. Nov. 21. I traced the South ridge above our camp, sketching and photographing six views of the ancient forest. Obtained a male and female flower and cones and started on the return trip to the Smith ranch, by a way several miles to the southward of the way we came up, thus obtaining new views of the magnificent round-headed forest trees extending over the whole plateau as far as the eye could reach, and interrupted only by small grassy prairies and meadows. I think it is without exception the tallest forest of round-headed trees that I have ever seen, averaging mile after mile over a hundred feet in height. Many beautiful trees and shrubs were in flower, especially around the meadow and prairie openings. One shrub in particular, usually eight to ten feet in height, was covered with brilliant scarlet flowers, making a magnificent border to the forest. Many of the trees, too, had their trunks and larger branches adorned with ferns of many species and beautiful parasites and epiphypes. Arrived at the Smith ranch in the evening of the same day as left the Ar. woods. We noticed in several places a lone Ar. growing in the beach and laurel groves, especially on the edges of the groves, six or eight miles from the lower edge of the main Ar. belt. Nov. 22. Returned in buggy to Victoria. Nov. 23. Bade goodbye to the good Smiths and started at 7:30 A.M. for Santiago. Arrived at 10:20 P.M., thus obtaining views of the region passed during the night on the way to Victoria.
Original journal dimensions: 10 x 17 cm.
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist