John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



[sketch of valley with a couple of trees rising above the rest]

zigzagging stiffly outward seemingly lawless yet unexpectedly stopping just at the right distance from the trunk & dissolving in a dense bossy mass of leafy sprays thus making a regular though varied outline. A cylinder of leafy bossy spray masses terminating in a finely curved massive dome that may be recognized while yet far off swelling against [high in] the sky above the pines & firs & specimens [fifty miles away]. The King of all conifers not only in size but in beauty & majesty of behavior & port.

I found a black charred stump [an ancient ruin more than] about 30 feet in diameter & 80 or 90 [or 100] feet high [which must have been] a venerable impressive old monument of a tree that surely was the monarch of the grove in its prime may have [in its prime] & also a number of mere seedlings & saplings thrifty & hopeful giving no hint of the dying out of the species. Not any favorable change of the climate but only fire threatens the existence of these noblest of Gods trees. [Sadly] I was not able to get a count of its annual rings. It seems oldest I have yet seen.

We are camped this evening at Hazel Green just on the broad back of the dividing ridge [between the basins of the Tuolumne & Merced] near our old campground when we were on the


[sketch removed]

way up the mountains in the spring. A magnificent place [camp]. This ridge has the finest sugar pines & finest manzanita & ceanothus thickets I have yet found on all the journey. Hazel (see back) [thickets gave the name to the place. Delicious water here [as it]

18th) Made a long descent on the south side of the divide to Brown’s Flat. The grand forests now left above us. Though the sugar pine still flourishes fairly well & the yellow pine, libocedrus & douglas spruce make forests that would be considered wonderful in the size & beauty of the trees in almost any other part of the world.

Some Indians here pointed to an old garden patch on the flat with frightened looks & told us to keep away from it [vamos] “vamose aci” Perhaps some of their tribe were killed here.

19th) We are camped this evening at Smiths Mills on the first broad mountain bench or plateau reached in ascending the range where large pines grow fit for lumber. Chiefly yellow pine &

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook 009 Img060.jpg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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