John Muir


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64 like foam bells crowded into some side pool near the base of a fall. Most of these domes are quite naked as if the glacier wh [which] laid them bare by the removal of the granite wh [which] surrounded & covered them had but just left them to dry in the sun. A general view of the basin shows these domes & waves in such abundance they seem to cover all the surface Making it look sterile & desolate but when we travel in it we find that it abounds in all that is sublime & beautiful in mtns [mountains] dark forests of fir & pine carpets of fairest meadows glassy lakes countless singing brooks & flowing [shrouds] & birds & bees & butterflies A place of a thousand flowers with all the love & joy & life that ever accompanies them

65 [Here] [sway] the great falls it is natural to crave some little [founts] knowledge concerning the early life of the stream wh [which] forms them. Where does all that snowy water come from This is easily ascertained by rambling a few days in its basin. Let us suppose [that] we set out from Yo Semite [Yosemite] to trace it to its source If you are strong & in a big business like hurry we could go to the very head of the stream & back the same day but Nature will not tell us anything or show us anything unless we wait about with [her] in loitering calm The work of preparation [for] the [journey] is nothing A few pounds of [crackers] & a pinch of [tea] rolled up in a light pair of blankets There is no danger in it Snakes & bears so scarce as to about out of the question Going out of the val [valley] by Ind Can [Indian Cañon] & [arrived] at the head of the fall we catch [sight] [of] observe the Creek coming leisurely along out of the mtns [mountains] between two [runs] of granite [domes] almost bare here & there a tuft of

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