John Muir


John Muir


[Jeanne C.] Carr


Letter #67

[Letter copied from typewritten, bound set, as this letter is missing in mounted series of letters to Mrs. Carr]

To Mrs. Ezga S. Carr
Yosemite Valley
Aug. 5th, 1872.

Dear Mrs. Carr:

Your letter telling me to catch my best glacier birds and come to you and the Coast mountains only makes me the more anxious to see you, and if you cannot come up I will have to come down, if only for a talk. My birds are flying everywhere, into all mountains and plains of all climes and times, and some are ducks in the sea, and I scarce know what to do about it. I must see the Coast Ranges and the coast, but I was thinking that a month or so might answer for the present, and then, instead of spending the winter in town, I would hide in Yosemite and write, or I thought I would pack up some meal and dried plums to some deep wind-sheltered canyon back among the glaciers of the summits and write there and be ready to catch any whisper of ice and snow in these highest storms.
You anticipate all the bends and falls and rapids and cascades of my mountain life and I know that you say truly about my companions being those who live with me in the same sky whether in reach of hand or only of spiritual contact, which is the most real contact of all. I am learning to live close to the lives of my friends without ever seeing them. No miles of any measurement can separate your soul from mine. [Part of the letter missing]

The Valley is full of sun, but glorious Sierras are piled above the South Dome and Starr King. I mean the bossy cumuli that are daily upheaved at this season, making a cloud period yet grander than the rock sculpturing, Yosemite making, forest planting glacial period.
Yesterday we had our first midday shower, the pines waved gloriously at its approach, the woodpeckers beat about as if alarmed, but the hummingbird moths thought the cloud shadows belonged to evening and came down to eat among the mints. All the firs and rocks of Starr King were bathily dripped before the Valley was vouchsafed a single drop. After the splendid blessing the afternoon was veiled in calm clouds, and one of intensely beautiful pattern and gorgeously irissed was stationed over Eagle Rock at the sunset. Farewell...

As ever your friend,

John Muir


Yosemite Valley

Date Original

1872 Aug 5


Original letter dimensions: 33 x 21.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0875

Collection Identifier

Online finding aid for the microform version of the John Muir Correspondence

Copyright Statement

The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust. To purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish or exhibit them, see

Owning Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.

Copyright Holder

Muir-Hanna Trust

Copyright Date



1 page


Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters



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