the palmettos than the hunting. Also I was weary and a little rest was tempting. On the following day, after having outlived the sanguinary hunter narratives of my loquacious captain and having breakfasted sumptuously upon fresh venison from the neighboring hummocks and “caller” fish from the sea, I set out for the grand tropic plantation of palms. I had witnessed these dazzling sun-children in every one of my Florida days, but they were always standing solitary or in groups of three or four, but this day I was going to behold them by the mile. My captain led me a little way in his cornfield and showed me a trail which would lead to the grove. He pointed the general direction which I noted upon my compass. “Now,” said he, “at the other side of my farthest field you will come to a jungle of cat-briers, but you will be able to pass them if you keep the trail. You will find that the way is not very easy, for in passing the swamp the trail is compelled to take a good many abrupt turns to avoid deep water and logs or places that are too thickly wooded, and some places you will have to wade, and in passing those water-covered places you will have to watch for the point where the trail comes out on the opposite side,” etc. I made my way through the briers, which in strength and ferocity equaled those of Tennessee – followed the path through all its dim waverings, waded all the opposing pools, and emerging all at once form the leafy dark of the forest, stood free and unshaded in this first glorious colony of sunny palms.
Original journal dimensions: 10 x 16.5 cm.
Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist