John Muir


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19 alpinness is easily explained by the coldness of the river. The supply of cold water is so great & the rocks over wh [which] it flows so favorable for its transmission that it is able to carry down with it from its icy fountains a portion of its higher climate. It creates so to speak a narrow strip of climate many degrees colder that the main mass of the climate of the region, thus enabling plants as the saxifrage & azaleas to flourish in proximity to plants like lynosiris [linosyris ] & [Chaenactis] hemizonia wh [which] love hot sunshine. The temp of the river at an elevation of only [800]

20 Oct 28 1874 feet [is], 41° & in Aug & Sep two of the hottest months it seldom rises above 55 while the atmosphere is 100 or more. Like mtneers [mountaineers] who approach the plains or lowlands so gradually they acquire the habits & appearances of inhabitants of plains lowlanders. The rivers of the south are all so nearly dry at this season they partake of the general characters of the hot foot hills through wh [which] they pass. They cannot carry climate with them in sufficient quantities for [their] [own] use & from Aug to May have little to [hint] the characters of the snowy pks [peaks] [alps] whence they rise not so the streams bred in Shasta glaciers

Date Original

October 1874


Original journal dimensions: 9 x 14.5 cm.

Resource Identifier



Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist