John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



[that] holding the eye in devout admiration call it back again & again from[& fixing it whenever it roamed to] the falls or meadows or even to the mountains beyond. Marvelous cliffs, marvelous in sheer dizzy depth & [in sublime] sculpture[& as] types of endurance [but more marvelous & impressive are they in the expression they give to of eternal Youth] Thousands of years have they stood in the sky exposed to [every storm of] rain, snow, frost, earthquake & avalanche. Yet they still wear the bloom of Youth & [speak not of age Nay all are blessed with the fresh morning bloom of beauty & youth] [seem as fresh as young blooms][ as if never before in contact with the sky, newly exposed like & opening flowers. After this I had an Exciting] I rambled along the Valley rim westward to the [terribly rugged I found it and] most[ly] of it is rounded off on the very brink so that it is [was] not easy to find places where one may [I could] look sheer down the face of the wall to the bottom. [and] When such places were found, & I had continuously set [fixed] my feet [well] & drawn my body erect I could not help [experienced a] fearing a little that the rock might split off & let me down & what a down! More than 3000 feet. Still my limbs did not tremble


nor did I feel the least uncertainty as to the reliance to be placed on them. My only fear was that a flake of the granite which in some places showed cracks parallel with the face of the cliff might give way [split off and] After withdrawing from such places [satisfied] excited with the [grand] views I had got I would say to myself “Now don’t go out on the verge any more” But in the face of Yosemite scenery continuous remonstrance [but all such was] is vain. Under its spell one’s body seems to go where it likes with a will over which we [I] seemed to have scarce any control. [my body seems][the spell of these stupendous attractions seemed] Where the top of the wall is level[& meets the perpendicular faces of the cliffs the granite often] it almost always shows [found to be cut with] vertical joints more or less open[ed] giving it a dangerous unstable look, while the unjointed [solid] portions are rounded & brow-like forbidding a [very] close approach to the edge [of the cliff][sheer portion of the front farther down.] After experiencing a memorable mile of this cliff work I at length discovered Yosemite Creek [the main object of my search] coming confidently forward with easy graceful flow [from a] on its narrow canyon [cut in bare solid granite. It was] singing the last of its mountain songs on its way to its fate. A few rods more over the

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook07 Img032.jpg

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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