John Muir


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around the shores of the bay & along the banks of the glaciers. Since I made my first excursions & called attention to this wild scenery [of Alaska through the newspapers] a [bright &] lively stream of tourist travel has been developed through the midst of the more accessible portion of it, & fortunately the most accessible is also the most interesting portion of Alaska as to the grandeur & novelty of the scenery.

From San Francisco you can go all the way by steamer. Or if afraid of seasickness you may go by rail to Tacoma on Puget Sound & there take the regular excursion steamer [to Alaska] & as all the way from this point is through the inland waters there is no seasickness. for with the exception of an hour or two’s sailing in passing [two] open sounds the water is as smooth & free from heaving as land locked harbors are.

I sailed from San Francisco on the steamer City of Puebla, choosing the sea for the sake of the coolness & freedom from dust. It was a [fine] clear day as most of the California days are at this time of year & as our fine ship passed through the Golden Gate & held proudly on her course up the coast I was exhilarated with the idea of the magnificent icy region where my


summer work lay & thus while merely gazing into the distance the blessings of the trip already began to come in. After sitting at a desk [three] months with a sore influenza throat. How fresh & influential the landscape seemed as we glided over the crisp blue water brightened by the downpouring sunbeams the great ocean stretching away beneath the horizon how many thousand miles to the westward on our left hand, the edges of [the] our continent in plain sight [on the other showing] a range of smooth [browned] hills [turned/tanned] to a yellowish brown [in the summer sunshine] The seeds of their flowers ripe already & the leaves dry as hay, Redwood trees dwarfed by, filling the hollows & crowning the further summits [but the trees of no grand size owing to the repressing influence of] the trade winds along the shore the ground rises in jagged bluffs of no great height but severely precipitous & wreathed with foam [along their bases]. In stormy weather the heavy swells driven by the gale thunder in grand style all along these rocky battlements for a thousand miles sending sheets of foam & [scud] over the tops of the cliffs & back into the evergreen woods. Making a show of white dashing water incomparably more sublime than that of the grandest waterfalls. Nearly all the way up to Victoria [we have] the coast was in sight [near clear view]

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MuirReel33 Notebook02 Img006.jpg

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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