John Muir


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When my observations on this most interesting gl [glacier] were finished it was near sunset & I had to make a dash for the bottom of the mtn [mountain] at least as low as trees, yet I lingered in the grandeur of the landscape I was on the summit of the pass Ritter Lake with its snowy crags & banks & many a wide gl [glacier] fountain beyond rimmed with pks [peaks] the wind making stern music among [their] thousand spires the sky with grand [openings] in its huge black clouds openings jagged walled & steep like the passes of the mtns [mountains] beneath them, E [East] ward lay Islet lake with its countless little rocky isles. To the left the splendid architecture of Mammoth Mtn [Mountain] & in the distance range on range of mtns [mountains] yet unnamed with [Mono] plains & lake & volcanic cones, sunlit & warm between

Above the Mono plain was a range of the very grandest alabaster cumuli that I ever beheld presenting a series of precipices deeply cleft with shadowy cañons the whole fringed about their bases with a grand talus of the same alabaster material here & there occurred black masses with clear defined edges like metamorphic slate in granite

Beneath this grand [cloud] range were horizontal bars & feathery touches of rose & crimson with clear sky between of that exquisite spiritual kind that is connected in some way with our other life & never fails wherever we chance to be to produce a hush of all our present cares & a longing longing longing

My feet soon awakened to their work a mile of rock leaping on angular slopes of water washed moraine soon came in sight of wind-bent P. flexilis that insured fire for the night my feet soon felt soft cushions of carex & I saw here & there a daisy & a stone fringed with Bryanthus

Descended a long icy névé felt weary & halted in the first thicket of flexilis. The wind blew wildly all through the night. hedged myself & fire round with boughs to deaden the blows of the wind that came down in craggy avalanches. The outlet of a little gl [glacier] sends down its stream over a precipice near by for music that is heard in the pauses of the wild wind

A new bird came to look at me just at dark

Found a pair of the big horns of the mtn [mountain] sheep & a skull near by Struck the skull between the horns a dozen blows with hatchet without breaking through very old is far stronger than bulls [hunters] [stories] [that] they leap from [precipices] [lightly]


on their heads may be true certainly they would [not] crack so [readily] as legs


There are 8 gls [glaciers] between the N [North] Lyell & N [North] Ritter spur

Reckoning in the [two] of the Matterhorn both of wh [which] are nearly dead

The largest & most interesting of these are the [two] nearest Lyell

From Matterhorn Lyell [bear]

N 55 W

Ritter E 10 S

on the E [east] Inyo Mtns [Mountains] & Mono [val] [valley] & plain (not the lake).

SE [Southeast] countless peaks with many a gl [glacier] of the Ritter group, 3 gls [glaciers] [are] visible on the mtns [mountains] between Rit [Ritter] & Matt [Matterhorn] [2] on the S [south] the Can [Canyon] of Joaquin with domes & bosses

W [West] & SW [southwest] Yosemite S D [South Dome] gl pt [Glacier Point], Sentinel Dome, El Cap [Capitan], (Pilot Peak a little to S [south] of S D [South Dome] very little)

Clark group with névés & gls [glaciers], NW [northwest] Lyell, & the gray slopes & crests of Hoff [Hoffman]

N [North] Dana, Castle Pk [Peak] etc.

[A] circle of lakes near base

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 15 x 18 cm.

Resource Identifier



Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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