John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



on the north & in the distance southward, a [vast] multitude of snowy peaks the [forming] [the sublime] fountains heads of the [for many] rivers. Lake Hoffmann lies [lay] shimmering [clear & brilliant] just beneath my feet [set in solid rock with here & there] a few sturdy mountain pines anchored in flawed spots of its glacier polished basin. [what seemed to be bare soilless stone, making barrenness of the surroundings more apparent.] These lakes seem[ed] like small wells in so vast a circumference of mountains rather than marked features & though [yet] attractive & kindly looking. The eye soon leaves [left] them to revel in the glorious congregation of the peaks on the axis of the range silent in their robes of snow & light [They had no power to hold the attention one gazed & gazed into the heart of the majestic wilderness enchanted though all seemed silent & bare.] Even the forests filling the hollows & sweeping in fringing girdles about the bases of the peaks [could] do but little to soften the stern adamantine ruggedness of the general view [or keep the eye from the snow clad summits. [No life was visible, yet] Nevertheless there [was] is no expression of death or desolation, but rather an oppressively vivid sense of nearness to the very fountains of life. [There was] [While] All the vast landscape [a glow of] far & near seemed to glow with awful enthusiasm [over the whole face of the landscape infinitely more impressive]


[sketch cutout: Lake Tenaya]

[than any show of the life of the north portion of the lowlands while their great cities & fertile fields covered with men & their flocks of animals.] My companion St Bernard dog, Carlo, caught an unfortunate woodchuck [one of a colony that lived on the summit of this mountain][the Hoffmann summit] & I saw the [a] curious sewellel or Little Chief that [waterrat that digs canals & controls the flow of the small streams here about his home and] cuts large quantities of lupines & other plants & lays them out to dry in the sun[& dries them like hay & then stores them in [chambers] underground barns for [use in] winter food. Coming upon these plants freshly cut & lying in handfuls here & there [in the sun] has a startling effect of busy

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook07 Img065.jpg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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