John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



to the bottom of the main Merced Canyon [of the Merced] a few miles below [the] Yosemite [Valley making a descent of] falling more than 3000 feet in a distance of about 2 miles.

All the Merced streams are wonderful singers & [the] Yosemite [Valley] is the [grand] centre where the main tributarys [tributaries] meet. [From] [here] [I] You can see into the lower end of the famous Valley [valley] from a point about half a mile from our camp. A grand page of mtn [mountain] manuscript is spread out before us here [here &] I would gladly give my life to be able to read it. How vast it seems [& hopelessly deep & difficult] & life [is] so short & our powers so shallow yet why [should one] bewail our [ones] poor [feeble] [inimitable/inevitable] ignorance. The external [sunful] beauty is visible & [that] this we can gloriously enjoy, though the [grand mechanical causes] methods of its creation may lie beyond our ken. Sing on brave Tamarac Creek fresh from your snowy forest & meadow[s], fountains splash & swirl [bounce] & dance[& go down] to your fate; go die in the sea, bathe the ferns as you go, refresh the plants [flowers] & every living thing along your course [bank as you go. A good way to waste spend yourself as you pass on go from beauty to beauty rejoicing]


[passing unhalting faithful as like a star.]

Trans to pg 21 as far as the 6th line from foot of this page

Tamarac Flat is named after the two leafed pine P. Contorta [which is a] common here especially [close] around the cool margin of the [long] meadow [where it forms a close wall with silver fir behind it]. On [dry] rocky ground it is a rough thickset tree about from 40 to 60 feet high & one to 3 [4] feet in diameter, bark thin & gummy, branches rather naked [short] tassels & [leaves] & cones small. But in damp [wet] rich soil it grows close & [tall &] slender [to] & reaches a height at times of nearly a hundred feet. Specimens [here] only 6 inches in diameter at the ground are often 50 or 60 feet in height [length] as slender & sharp in outline as arrows. [This form being] like the true Tamarac Larch of the eastern states [have] the name [was applied] to it though it is a [true] pine. Have greatly enjoyed the day, drinking the azure ozone & the Tamarac water, steeping in the mountain influences, sauntering & seeing, sketching, noting, pressing flowers, etc. Found the Washington Lily

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook07 Img015.jpg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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