John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



it but long without avail. Like the Christian on Jordan’s stormy banks it feared to launch away, at length gathering it trembling[ly] inexperienced [gathered its] legs for the mighty effort, threw up it’s head as if it knew all about drowning & was anxious to keep it above water. [to avoid drowning] [perfectly well acquainted with the suffocating character of the dreadful element] & it made the [plunge] tremendous leap landed in the middle of the inch deep stream. [It seemed to hope it's head would be left above the water, lack of experience incapacitating it from gauging the depth]. It seemed [stood] astonished at first to [moment in] find[ing] only its toes wet [feet covered] & then sprang to the shore safe & dry through the dreadful adventure. All kinds of wild sheep are mountain animals & their dread of water is not easily accounted for.

Aug [August] 11)

[Clouds .05] Fine shining weather with a 10 minute[s] noon thunderstorm & rain.

Have been rambling all day getting acquainted with the region north of the river [&] I found a small lake & many charming glacier meadows enblossomed in an extensive forest of the [Tamarac or] two-leaved pine. This has evidently been grand mer de glace. For many miles there is almost continuous deposit of moraine material, [on which the forest is growing]. [And] The meadows are filled up the lake[s] basins & have a charming effect as one comes suddenly upon them out of the depths of the woods. This forest is remarkably even in its growth & the


trees are much closer together than any of the furniture or other pine woods farther down the range. The evenness of the growth would indicate that the trees are all of the same age or nearly so. & this regularity has probably been the result of fire. Indeed I saw some portions in which the trees were all dead, like bleached spars, the bark off, & [the] smaller branches, while the ground beneath them was covered with a young equal growth. Fire can run in these woods not only because the thin bark of the trees is dripping with resin [rosin] but because the growth is close, but comparatively rich soil produces good crops of grasses tall & broadleaved on which [helps to enable the] fire can travel [to run] even when the weather is calm.

Traveling in these woods one has to wade through [this] the tall grass, & [also] cross in numerable [logs and] fallen trees, many of them with their branches still on, [in some cases,] as if they had lately been blown down.

Here I enjoyed a fine view of [I saw] a large[st] black tailed deer [in these words that I ever saw anywhere of the black tailed species] a buck with wide heavy

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook 009 Img025.jpg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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