John Muir


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# What fascination there could be for a dog this dismal morning in a region of rocks ice & water to take him from his warm bed & breakfast I couldn’t guess. For a man going out to see God making landscapes [the case had] all the reason in the world has on his side but this poor child of a dog. What fired his imagination? Who shall divine his motives some fire that cold morning akin to [human] enthusiasm must have moved him – buried in him but how far his thoughts reached don’t know. Set at naught hunger & weather.

Self-controlled if controlled at all for he would mind nobody. Self-contained & perhaps proud curled up at the foot of a tree independent as Diogenes in his tub, as intractable as a wolf though gentle & hold on to his whims or purposes with invincible grip

It’s a narrow way my boy & slippery but will cross all right. At worst a quick clean death showing your mettle. Thus trying to relieve my own fears in seeking to calm/ by calming his.

Little at this time guessed the depth of feeling & knowledge in him. The fever of adventure was beyond control

The blessed ministry of the snow was going on & I was glad to see it in action on so grand a scale. The snow from lofty Crillon & La Perouse here flowed a mighty river of ice miles wide. Snow flowers in close ranks like soldiers pushing their conquests of the west margin of the continent, after those of the East had done work & disbanded.


Surely greater misery never shook poor dog mortal. His intrepidity hitherto constant storms waves gray streams he met all unmoved. Steady direct & bold he never before daunted. Waves breaking along shore in stormy weather snow hail wind lashed rain torrents wild beasts – he faced all with dauntless courage & patience.

To most people it would seem the most likely thing in the world to get caught in such networks of chasms & cracks. Yet it is far otherwise else nobody would go on glaciers, by patient exploration one may find a way or make one through most threatening difficulties & this in all my wanderings was the first time I got caught in such deadly strait & even then only because I had taken one jump that I could not take back, one step I could not retrace. Stick could have retraced all his track & might have worked out another way but his intellect did not turn that way did not range backward so far in the icy desolation

What had got into your little noodle now to bring you out of bed into this icy wind & rain in such a morning without breakfast too. You must be daft. Go back. There’s nothing today for you. No game big or little is astir. Nothing but weather & water moving. Comical puzzling

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MuirReel33 Notebook01 Img045.Jpeg

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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