John Muir


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42 They do not dissipate like smoke neither do waters But [though] I was thus in a heaven of song I could not rest for masses of air torn [off] by the [strength of] the up [upper] & rolled & [whirled] & all came rolling down upon me from [above] like icebergs. Some of these air bergs would strike full upon me from above & bound off again so suddenly that I was left vibrating on the elastic branches of my bed while all around was calm. Occasionally a small wind fragmt [fragment] would [drop] come bounding down squarely into the fire like a [bounding] boulder crushing & scattering it in every direction These are of all sizes & variable in temp [temperature]. Most all are ragged in outline & angular, move like rocks of an avalanche But those of the bottom of the valley wh [which] are formed in currentless nooks drift out by night with calm

43 motion exactly like icebergs in a calm sea. Sometimes in crossing the meadow one will run against a score of these air bergs wh [which] have been dislodged & set a drift by currents wh [which] could not reach them during the day White & purp [purple] spireae Lily mosses Laurel & fringe of maidenhair [fern] of fairy lightness waves from a seam in the rock ever dewy wet in unison with every [turn] of fall 3rd day 10:30 AM At foot of 1st gorge iris fall Glorious storm of irised foam wh [which] has all of the motions & energies of flame. A halo of living beauty that all recognize as divine compassing the uproar that nature composes of every fall. First hint of its existence at base 2 [small] white threads issuing from grove A small cascade after accomplishing various feats of sliding & tumbling at length arrives at the brow 150 ft of the gorge where it has yet to make 50 ft fall immediately above the base of this wild fall so glorious with flames of irised foam. The very noise might frighten it aside but without hesitancy pours straight

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 10 x 16.5 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