Jan. 18. Was up at 5. Wonderful change. All the broad plain or plateau green and even flowery here and there, and dotted with bushes and small trees. Mimosa, etc. Some of them in flower. Gradually increasing in size and number until they darkened the landscape in the distance like forests. Only a few rounding hills or low mountains visible in the vast expanse. At 10:00 A.M. ran suddenly into a region of rounded glaciated hills of metamorphic slate out of which we emerged in about an hour to a wide plain green and flowery with dark forested mountains in the distance. Ground near the track densely covered with bushes, mostly with yellow-green foliage. Here the first trees were found, twenty to thirty feet high, eighteen inches in diameter, with lavish undergrowth of bushes. This plain, with its low forest, extends with great regularity for one hundred and fifty miles or more. The train had been running through it at twenty miles speed over six and a half hours, and now, at sundown, there is no sign of reaching the limit of this strange forest or the plain. One smooth sand-stone plain, apparently boundless. Only a small group of peaks to the westward, seen about 6:00 P.M. A red sand-stone in rounded masses and ridgy pavements
Original journal dimensions: 10 x 17 cm.
Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist