John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



Hard-shelled as hazelnuts – food and fire fit for the gods from the same fruit. [the most beautiful firewood I have ever used. Indian corn burned at times in the old west when low prices prevailed 10 cts [cents] a bushel for corn & 25 cts [cents] for coal [wood and coal were scarce and dear] This methinks is the most [seems to me] perfectly beautiful of all fuel, fit for the Gods, if Gods may be so extravagant And after all what more worthy use could it be put to than to [make fires was allowing it] rise again free into the clean sky whence it came in beautiful flame serving mankind as it goes.

June 5th} This morning, a few hours after setting out [with our crawling] sheep cloud [of mutton] we gained the summit of the first well-defined bench of [on] the mountain flank at Pino Blanco a peak whose massive dark brown summit serves as a good landmark [for this region].

The Sabine Pines growing on the ridges to the southward interested me greatly. They are so airy and strangely [fairy] palm like I was eager to sketch every one of them & was in a fever of excitement, without accomplishing much I managed to halt long enough however to obtain a tolerably fair sketch of the [main] peak from the S.W. side where there is a small field & vineyard irrigated by a stream that makes a pretty [dainty]


[Sketch: Pino Blanco, Young Sabine Pine]

fall on its way down a [the] gorge by the roadside [from the E.ward [eastward]]

After gaining the open summit of this first general bench feeling the natural exhilaration due even to the slight elevation of a thousand feet or so & the hopes excited concerning the outlooks to be obtained, a magnificent section of the Merced Valley [a glorious view of the valley of the Merced] at what is called Horseshoe Bend came fully in sight- a glorious [virgin] wilderness that seemed to be calling me [to to heart] with a thousand songful voices. Bold, down-reaching slopes feathered with pines and clumps of manzanita with sunny open spaces between them made up most of the foreground. The middle and background alike presented fold beyond fold of finely modeled hills and ridges rising into mountain-like masses in the distance. All covered with a shaggy growth of chaparral probably in great part adenostoma, planted so marvelously [was spread out before us in which my delighted wondering eyes reveled in pure delight, tempered only by the knowledge of the fact that I was bound to the on passing sheep & could not bury myself for any unmeasured time in the lovely wilderness.

The view swept out & down by a deep side valley tributary to the main canon of the river. The foreground showing bold sweeping slopes delicately feathered & fringed with pines, & clumps of manzanita, with bare ground brown & sunny between each, giving]

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook05 Img014.jpg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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