John Muir


image preview

Circa Date

circa 1887


17¼ 7 & 8

protected by [the ample] hedges of dogwood & willow. The north side is also flat, but sandy & gravelly like Yosemite No 1 about Lamon’s, and more or less in a marked way all along down to the moraine [like] heaps extending between El Capitan & Cathedral Rock. These gravelly flats are remarkable for their extreme levelness, and for the fineness of the polish that their pebbles possess, and for the great quantity of red sand & dust that enter their composition. If they occurred in ribbed & curved masses I would say they were formed by avalanches from the south side sweeping up [all] the pebbles & sand, and loose soil from the bottom of the lake or river channel as is often done, but how would the after leveling be accomplished? Perhaps by their separate avalanche deposits being left in shallow water.

Certain it is that they have experienced a coarse stratification in some instances, and in all, a soaking in water as is evidinced [evidenced] by their redness and stained appearance. Moreover some few heaps seem to have been left above water and are consequently rounded and heap-like.

In one instance near (8) Lake Tenaya an avalanche appears to have come from a smooth south mountain side sweeping a shallow lake bottom bare of all its wave & stream polished pebbles & mud,

8 & 9 17½

and left it in heaps mounded & crescented in form

Where the Little 2nd Yosemite is narrow at the upper end, there the moraine material is more heaped against the north wall, leaving a steep [wall] bank [33/88°] [degrees], & 20 feet high, with large somewhat rounded boulders protruding in a [scarce] settled way from the surface, in all these particulars exactly corresponding to the same relative portion of Yosemite the 1st near Washington column. (Shadows.) (The curved and regularly formed moraine dams extending across the lower end of the valley, as before mentioned, are not more effected by the slopping of snow or ice from the south side of the wall than in having their South ends pushed lower - and this would be effected by the regular action of the glacier in dying, because it would live longer and be heavier on the south side, giving the form or curve to the moraine which it possesses, and which as far as I have observed is universal among similarly situated moraine dams. As in Bloody Canon [Canyon]-far down (for(?)) quite below (9.) the jaws of the canon [canyon] where the formation of large snow, or ice avalanches would be impossible.)

(Map of Little 2nd Yosemite Valley.) Page 9.

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel32 Notebook02 Img011.Jpeg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

Rights Management

To view additional information on copyright and related rights of this item, such as to purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish them, click here to view the Holt-Atherton Special Collections policies.