John Muir


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The wind was a grand gale & it came [laden] scented with the brine of the broad Pacific Ocean pushing & thrashing the forests & making them bend low & roar & [it wandered] far beyond the forest it slid over the icy plains of the glaciers gurgling & booming in their blue chasms & hollows [of the blue smooth crystal] & still beyond [shaping] & surging against a 1000 mountains with rain & snow on its all-embracing wings, but [came] not as a stranger it came for forests glaciers & mountains had felt & heard all this before & [seemed to love] enjoy[ed] [it] & glory[ied] in it

Going up the right bank a few miles I came to another mouth of discharge of the glacier pouring westward which I guessed flowed into the open ocean. It was about two miles wide & made a quick descent. The current was broken up into 1000s of sharp blades of ice 50 to 100 ft high leaning forward one behind the other in unwearied succession like the wild up-dashing flame-shaped waves of a tremendous cataract torn & tossed in a jagged rocky channel. Only strangely seemingly silent & motionless.

Witnessing Stick’s airy easy leaps over crevasses that brought me to a cautious halt I [was frequently] again & again the Scotch proverb came to mind: You canna tell by the looks of a toad how far he can jump

Lifting & placing his little feet so slowly as if counting 1-2-3


It was to me well able to sympathize with him, a great scene & sacred, though only a little dog consciously in the presence of death – far reaching in its lights irradiating the whole entire animal kingdom as our [it] fellow mortals are called.

The bridge was slippery ice hung from side to side like a loose rope 4 inch wide but swung across so broad a chasm seemed narrow as a rope

# This day of weakness was the day of his power & this slender [bridge] sliver of ice not only carried us over the valley of the shadow but united man & animal for me

The tempest was abroad on the wild northland, but there was nothing bodeful to me in its roar but it seemed strange that Stick should face it. The woods bent in the heavy salt blast & the roar blends with the roar of a 1000 cataracts swollen with the rain showing gray & white through the gloomy clouds.

Blue abyss showing vividly beautiful & terrible as the lightning of a black storm

What a morning. A grand day fairly steeped [& intoxicated] with the Spirit of [God] the Lord. A new day a work day sent from Heaven. God that day [was abroad in bodily form] riding on the wings of the wind. A day that made rocks dance in beautiful fruitful life-feeding landscapes

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MuirReel33 Notebook01 Img036.Jpeg

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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