John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



Yo [Yosemite] Fall

It is to the great width of this glacier Yo crk [Yosemite Creek] at the mouth that we owe the peerless Yosemite Falls, other factors [being] remaining unchanged For had the positions of the ice fountains & the structure of the rocks been such as to cause the concentration of the gl [glacier]. Yo crk [Yosemite creek] basin gl [glacier] (current) as it approach the valley then instead of a vertical fall [we[ should have had a long slanting cascade which after all would perhaps have been as beautiful & interesting if we only could saw it as impressivly [impressively]

√ Yo[Yosemite] Sculpture

/// □ Copy this if you did not copy ○ it before.

While the snowflowers for Yosemite glaciers were growing in the depths of the sky, the stones for Yosemite temple walls were growing [crystallizing] in the depths of the mountain[s] In the fullness of time came the glaciers the offspring of the gentle snow & opened the glorious temple of the sun. The young rocks glowed like silver, waterfalls began their anthems waving pines flocked to their appointed places in the groves, the warm air blossomed with insects & the mission of the ice was accomplished.


Yo [Yosemite] Falls in Windstorm

○ The following is much like yos. [Yosemite] pp [pages] 51-53.

√ The summer winds that blow flow up the valley from the plains are broken & chafed in passing over rough mtns [mountains] & along zigzag irregular canons. [canyons] But the wind that so stirs the valley today seems to find a tolerably smooth path into the valley by way of Indian Canon [Canyon] & strikes with remarkable steadiness in many places, though in others making huge boisterous whirlpools & upswelling domes of air. The gale has been [steadily] increasing all day. In the morning I stood awhile in the middle of the valley opposite Blacks to look about me tree-limbs & the tassels of the silver-pine & empty cones were being tossed about as I had never seen them before.

√ The great white column of the upper Yo. [Yosemite] Fall increased in volume by the melting snows during the late warm days was caught by a tremendous whirlpool of wind bank upward & torn into shreds like a piece of fluffy muslin, a portion its waters were driven back over the cliff whence they came in the form of hail & rain as if denied admission to the valley. The heavier ribbons of water & torn ends of camel shaped masses were carried athwart the face of the cliff toward Indian Canon [Canyon]. [All] & the rocks in that direction were white with frozen spray foam. This state of things would be kept up for ten or fifteen minutes, when

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook11 Img011.jpg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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