John Muir


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131 The Lava Beds rendered famous by the events of Mod [Modoc] war lie at el of about 4500 ft ab [above] level of sea. Do not differ essentially from hundreds of sq [square] miles of lava plains adjacent to them. They are simply a sheet of hard black lava [destitute] [of] soil [broken] traversed in every direction by a labyrinth of jagged fissures & dotted with small irreg [irregular] crater like pits & [subs] The gen surface is level though broken everywhere by [morraine] hill & dale & [hollow] & breaking occasionally into a rough foam of bowlders The crevasses wh [which] are sheer edged & abrupt as those of gls [glaciers] have originated in actual ruptures of the lava

132 The vegetation of this remarkable district consists of here & there a tuft of grass & sage brush not sufficient to soften harshness or hide the strangeblackness A more unfinished hopelessly barren a region abnormal sheet of topography could not be conceived. The lava beds are favorite winter pastures of the wild sheep who find congenial work in leaping the crevasses & from block to block nibbling here & there at grass tufts & shrubby Eriog [eriogonum] The [bears] also find congenial homes in [their] [numerous] caves while salmon is ab [abundant] along the adjacent shores of Klamath.

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 9 x 14.5 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