John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



As for the able irrepressible Douglass squirrels one never thinks of their breakfast or the possibility of sickness or [birth or] death: [he] rather they seem[s] like sunshine above [all] terrestrial [they] chance & change, even though we may see them at times busy gathering burs, working hard for a living [like anybody else but how unlike they are to sheep ever lumps of mutton meat laden with dusty wool, or to our own lumpy dirty selves].

On [we go] through the forest ever higher we go [up the mountains, eager pagan mountaineers led by silly sheep], a cloud of dust [to] dimming the [our] way, [four] thousands [pairs] of feet [to] crushing [the] leaves & flowers, but in this mighty wilderness they seem but a feeble [harmless] band, & a thousand [blooming] gardens will escape their blighting touch [and the noble firs & pines] They cannot hurt the trees [at all] though the seedlings sometimes suffer & should the wooly race be greatly [still] multiplied as on account of dollar value it is likely has to be [been these latter years]. Then the forests too may in time to be destroyed [will suffer]. Only the sky will then be safe though hid from view by dust & smoke – incense of a bad sacrifice [rising from all these holy]


[mountains] Poor helpless hungry sheep. [Poor] Misbegotten [creatures] in great part without good right to be, semi-manufactured, made less by God than man, born out of time & place yet their voices [for mammon only] are strangely human & call[ing] out one’s pity [made for Mammon only]. [Well, on we go like pilgrims & through all the confusion I will be as good a shepherd as I can.] Our way is still along the Merced & Tuolumne [main north] divide [of the Merced]. The streams on our right [are all] going to swell the songful Yosemite River [Merced]. Those on our left to the [dashing] songful Tuolumne, slipping through [bright] sunny Carex & lily meadows [& lily gardens] & breaking into song [a] down [the] a thousand ravines

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook07 Img010.jpg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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