36 to the snow of the main can [canon] wall In its approach to the edge of the gorge it descends a gentle incline about 50 feet in length where it acquires a lace structure & becomes white with friction but on swing [swinging] free over the beetling wall the stiff breeze generated by the main fall wh [which] constantly sweep the gorge, sways it gently down & at the same time [winnows] searches its whole substance through & through [winnowing] out all its foam dust & leaving it nothing but a transparent shower of glistening diamonds. When the sun shines up the gorge about midday as it is doing now this Diamond fall is [finally] dazzled & so is the broad white cascade into whose leaping foam it confidingly pours. [both] The walls of the gorge are both black showing off their brightness in a most [glorious] manner
37 View from Diamond Casc [Cascade] Looking up [on your right] It is a [sunful] day 2 [or] 3 [o’clock] you look N [north] ward with spray beating in face but do not feel it for you stand on the edge of a black [deep] gorge At the bottom you see the wild white water rushing with speed & voice that inspires you with terror & [admiration] On your right you see the [lofty] Diamond Fall bestowing its precious tribute direct in its wild [heavy] flood 200 feet higher up the gorge you see the lace cascade passing in its water web of [fairy] [brown] [snowy] tissue & on the main stream just above this are two falls cascades & above these on the right side the cañon are three falls descending side by side to the channel below Now you gaze on a wall of gray granite streaked black, the sun shines full upon it down the face of this wall descends the great Upper Yo Sem [Yosemite] Fall 1600 ft. A column of snowy water descending from the top of this gray wall to bottom. At bottom a hill
Original journal dimensions: 10 x 16.5 cm.
Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist