John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



[fine color] [an exquisite finish. Beyond this open upper slope the middle ground [presented] showed fold beyond fold of finely modelled hills [rising into mountain like masses in the distance all so] covered with a shaggy growth of chaparral, chiefly adenostoma & manzanita - planted so marvelously] close

& even that it looked like a soft rich [fine] plush [in the distance, not [uninterrupted] roughened by [without] a single tree or bare spot. [A more vigorous & better established growth of any sort

I never saw in any country, one that suggested more of absolute vigor & permanence.]

As far as the eye can [could] reach it extends a [there was one] heaving swelling sea of green as [smooth in the distance] regular and continuous as that produced by the heathers of [Europe] the north of Scotland [a close sod of well watered grass & in the near middleground like deep furred plush. Not a single bare spot was visible]

The sculpture [of this mtn [mountain] portion] of the landscape is as [very] striking in its main lines [as well] as in its lavish richness of detail. A grand assemblage of massive heights with the river shining between. Each [mass] carved & smoothed & rounded [into delicate] folds without leaving a single rocky angle [being left] exposed, as if the delicate fluting & ridging fashioned out of the [jagged] metamorphic slates had been carefully sandpapered [sadpapered] by a gentle hand]. The whole landscape showed design far more clearly than man’s noblest sculpture [as clearly as the marble of any sculptor].

Gazing down into the heart of it, the awe and [that elaborate]


[section cut out]

admiration it excited was boundless [landscape how deeply I loved it]. How wonderful the [its] power of its beauty. [How] Gladly bidding the world farewell could I have rushed into the midst of it [all] & remained there forever could I have but a crust of bread every day. Glad work without end would be mine, tracing the forces that have brought forth the features of this divine mountain [countain] countenance [How interesting to trace the action of the forces that have from first to last, as far even as we can see them] Studying the hidden crystals of its rocks and those glowing in light gardens, animals, beauty above X beneath beyond thought made and being made forever. [given features to this divine sculpture. What crystals are hidden in its rocks besides those glinting & flashing in the light of the sun. What rare gardens are to be found in the thousand dales & hollows of the ravishing landscape.

What homes for bears & foxes & deer beneath]

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook05 Img015.jpg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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