38 of snow framed around the base in dark wet rocks Irised foam falling everywhere There is another vert [vertical] wall grand as this near you on your left but you see only this with the tongue of white flame from the top of wh [which] as out of the sky comes this grandest fall in the world. The roar of the many cascades hush all but the deepest tones of Yo Sem [Yosemite]. Look at the comet masses near the top. They shoot out into the free air with an assurance & grace that is all together godlike. Finest effect of water tissue at 1000 [ft] from top Lower it is more cloud like though still exquisitely wrought, no disorder 6 runs of small cups formed in [seams] [running] par [parallel]? within breadth of 8 ft [of each other] formed by decaying [power] of HO [water] washed out occasionally by [stream] The scenery of the fall itself is wonderful Lay it on its side
39 & look at it, have seen masses of ice clouds all way to bot [bottom] from top & [they] did not travel faster [ ] the HO [water]. Where did it gather that mighty pillar of ever [withering] ever [opening] bloom. Seems at top as if propelled in huge masses [beating] from a big now & then by the pulses of a few [comets] [diverging] from [comp] & shoot down to one side alone. 3rd Awoke in night 2 o’clock Huge mass of Yo Pt [Yosemite Point] stood over me like spirit its magnificent sculptures grandly brought out by the lights & shades of the moon Ab [above] the pt [point] like a crown there reached & spread a wonderful fabric of cloud silvery gray in color & rayed deeply like an aurora. The broad snowy shoulders of Tis [Tissiack] were flooded with the moon storm of light & she seem to crouch as she received her [silvery] [baptism]
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