John Muir


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Thursday eve. 14. Dinner at Tait’s. Guests, the LeContes, Colbys, and Badè. All saw me aboard at Oakland Mole at 9:30. Train started 12:10 Friday. Friday, 15. At sunrise winding up through the pines, fine views at Summit and Cape Horn. Miserable snow-sheds. Thought of dinner party and blessed Harriman and his wonderful tunnel plans. All P.M. on tawny desert. Saturday Morning, 16. At sunrise at the lake—Harriman’s cutoff through the lake. Arrive at Ogden 7 o’clock. Cared for by Station Master. Sent to Salt Lake City. Utah Hotel fine as any in San Francisco. Auto ride through city in the P.M. Wondrous changes since my geodetic days in 1875? Lombardy popular avenues, miles and miles of them. Memorable ride! And memorable organ music in tabernacle, especially “Nearer, my God to Thee,” so devout, so sweet, so whispering low. Guided by Mr. Spencer and Mr. Smith, Secretary to Mr. Bancroft, railroad manager. Left Salt Lake for Island Park at 7:15 P.M. accompanied by two professors of Utah University. Sunday, 17. Arrived Island Park Station, on Yellowstone Park branch at 5 or 6 A.M. Got breakfast and drove in spring wagon 12 miles to Harriman ranch. Arrived 9 o’clock. Welcomed by Mrs. Harriman and Mrs. Averill, and had second breakfast. Glorious, spacious, peaceful meadows embosomed in spiry pines. Snake River winding in shimmering ripples through the midst of the broad long meadows, swirling around innumerable little islands; mountains all around in the distance, especially Teton range to southward. One grand, peaceful, soothing picture, with innumerable little pictures near and far. Elevation about 6200 feet above sea. Drove with Mrs. Harriman and Mrs. Averill in the P.M. Trees all P. contorta marvelously carried and picturesque. Flowering plants magnificent: Sego Lily (Calochortus), frasera out of flower, geranium (large) potentilla, aster (blue), solidagoes, sedges, typha (small) broad leaved compositae like Wyethia.* This region a great camp place. Mosquitoes sometimes troublesome. *Eriogonum, erigeron, gentian simplex, tall crucifer, Amelanchier, Everlasting, peony, gilia, Orthocarpus, tall 2 ft. leaves pinnate anemone, polygonum. Monday, 18. Lovely morning, surely none better in the world, so cool, so calm, so bright; not a leaf stirring; shimmering ripples, not a cloud or faintest hint of one in the entire blue sky dome. Full moon rose last eve with 3 trees on disc like medal.

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Original journal dimensions: 9 x 15 cm.

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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