John Muir


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Alt [Altitude] brow of Cascade of Can [Cañon] next above Merced Lake 8400-400 Near top tossed & crumpled in narrow zig zag gorge

[sketch: Crest & Pk [Peak] above Merced L [Lake] on N [North] side from top S [South] Merced Cascades]

Camp No 1 Alt [altitude] 9900 From top S [South] Merced L [Lake] Cascades a very fine view of Mt. Lyell McClure & pks [peaks] adjacent together with the noble amphitheatre curving from their bases, the ancient gl [glacier] fountains of the Merced—(the highest) now has patches of snow (Aug [August] 13th 1873) From the brow of the Cascades the cañon rises gently exhibiting [five] ample pavements of granite polished [&] [sunbeaten], upon this pavement there are the usual deposits of moraine matter & sand water washed & water deposited on wh [which] are gardens & groves, of the usual kinds. Will [Willow] Spruce all the up to the top timberline. At an elevation of 9,000 ft I found ripe strawberries today Near the head of Cascades there is a remarkably fine view of a small fall with picturesque [ ] of rock tree & bush with a path opening directly back to its fountain viz [that is to say] the gl [glacier] of Red Mtn [Mountain] (See sketch)

Hammock lakes or ponds are common slung upon the sides of this valley or cañon, on account of the development of N 35 E [some] most common on E [East] side. In this cañon five at least snow avalanches have occurred—one on W [West] side 9300 Well up—brought down [massive] quantities of trees sparing none—is not very old—2 others on west side are older many of the trees laid upon dry granite mouldered to dust Most disposed of by having slid into a shallow lake [ wherever] sections of resulting [meadow] The trees are [seen] better preserved than when laid high on dry [granite] This kind of water [burial] resulting in mud [burial] for one the other [w] avalanche occurring lower lodged its trees in the way of the stream there gradually stopping & accumulating soil until a [leaning] meadow & grove is made. The living trees upon the dead the two avalanches of the E [east] side are not far above the mouth of the cañon [ ] are younger perhaps than any of the others [This] is one of the openest smoothest bottomed of all the cañons much of the [surface] being naked sunshiney granite. the groves are small [& in] the way of the stream. Waters come from Red Mtn [Mountain] gl [glacier] & never [as] such is [cooperated] by spreading out on [top] granite. [Some] places [ ] erosion [1] trees & small plants of this can [canon] & of beautiful [looking] top plants according to conditions in [pond] [by] cleavage

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Original journal dimensions: 15 x 18 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