John Muir


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Whirling [tissues] of [fairy] [spring] & rushing comets [let] that is suddenly [frozen] and carried bodily out into the middle of the Valley when we can go around it & see it on all sides. There it stands a [huge] colossal white post 1600 ft. high. Its greater dia [diameter] 200 ft [lesser] 150 the [diameters] at the top about so [about] & 6 or 7 ft. Around the base we find the ice in the form of finely wrought [inflated] folds of tissue like gauze. [Sleeked] with [ ] of a rounded delicate structure wh go inside the [sun shine] through it like ground glass [showing] the fine structure & [ ] wh [which] it has in [motion] working [farther] towards the [ ] from the front side we find [dressy] fabric of wavy ice yet [through] [ ] with air & while higher up at back the [many] [gauzy ] folds are gracefully


carried backward.

As we go higher the various forms of folding [curving] tissue becomes more dense until at a height of about 400 ft [feet] ab [base] [comet] [forms] begin to appear these [comets] are formed by solid [ ] of water rushing so rapidly through the air that [their] [outer] surfaces are torn of [off] by friction & extended back like the white [fibrous] tail of a comet. The head or nucleus remaining compact although white like the tail. As we go higher we find there comets not singly but in [companies] [ ] of many not only in the heart core of the fall but all around the sides & front. The [smaller] ones [pointing] more divergent[ly]. Indeed the fall is made up of these [cometed] forms of every size grouped in most admirable order as we go [groping] our way upward [how] the [bylets] & [ ]of these [variously] [derived]

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