[Ezra S. Carr]
P.322 [deleted: Friday evening.] Yosemite Vally July 11th 1873
[deleted: My dear husband.]
We returned last night from the great Tuolumne Canon (to find letters, and to feel a little more gratitude than words will convey. for the good news.) Of all our party. I was the only one who had not been ill or disabled by the severe exer- cise, and I feel quite as fresh to day as the ordinary tourists who came in from the little trips arund the Valley. We are all lighter in flesh. but I am quite sure lost in quantity is made up in quality.
I started two weeks ago today — Dr Kellogg. Keith, Muir & Myself. Each well mounted, with Manuel and Allie to drive the two pack animals, and return with the horses we rode. Without a trail other than the one we made, the boys were to return for us in ten days. through some twelve miles of forest lying between the Yo Semite Valley and the Tuolumne. or rather the summit of the [underlined: divide] between the latter river & the Merced. Sunday morning Allie turned back with the guide & eight horses. & we moved on. Each carrying his pack. Muirs had two pairs of blankets & provisions for two, weighted some sixty
[fa?] not far above we could see that the river swept the canon wall. Camped at four o’clock, and Muir commenced the task of cutting down a tree – a yellow pine nearly four feet in diameter & perhaps eighty in height. The river ran with a strong current & narrow channel at this point & a bridge we must & would make. There was only Allies hatchet to make it with. The next morning after four hours [illegible]ious] chopping our tree fell, just as Ive rushed, but the fall & river were too much, the great log snapped like a thread & went down stream. We crept on to find another tree with the right leaning and in threading the mazes of a tributary found a necklace of beautiful cascades. Camped at the junction of the Tuolumne & the [illegible] and
tributary naming this Cascade camp. The next morning while Muir & I explored the Tributary, Dr Kellogg & Ruth made a log [illegible] across and we went on until nightfall to find just at dark an [universe?] log felled by a natural process. It was a Librocedrus tree that carried us safely over the main trunk of the river. It took another day of hard climbing to put us into [underlined: the] Cascades in the heart of the Canon. The admission fee here was shoes, stockings, glasses & all superfluous freight of clothing. Bare footed & handed we stuck to the glacier polished rocks & pulled ourselves up to the broad plane of a rock wall, that said thus far shalt thou go; but did not say - how far we should [underlined stick on].
As we had moved from camp to camp we had left clothing & provisions we thought, well protected, for our return. We took only a days provisions into the Cascades. consequently when Muir fell sick there, & we had to lay over a day, we got hungry & hungrier, & longed to get back to our base of supplies. Because they were an hungered, with butter gone – no sugar. I only cracked wheat & poor coffee, the gentleman ate heartily of plums stewed in their own juice, with a trifle of Tuolumne water for seasoning. Not many hours after my three companions behaved as if each had swallowed a glacier! I ordered for [deleted: my dear John] Muir . a wet blanket pack, for he was in a high fever. — [deleted: (bring my shawl out in]
[deleted: the river wrapped the patient in it)] piled on the blankets, put hot stenes to his feel, and ate the cracked wheat which I was beginning to think anything but [illegible], feeling almost sure that I should be obliged to spend some days there. The next morning all bettered & we made our first days return march, - to find at the end all our provisions devoured by the Bears. They had gobbled up all the dried beef, and chewed my stockings. Many of their packs were on the sand around us. Muir hurried on to the next camp. to get something for us to Eat, and there also the Bears had been [illegible] and with us. — We all felt a ‘ching [illegible]’ – [deleted: & that the things of the [illegible] here not good)]. We could not stop to get hungrier
pushed on with only a little graham flour & salt, which the Bears had not gathered. With our appe- tites a little assuaged with a cheese rind, & some unleaved pancakes, we lay down in the stones to rest, before a grand fire. [deleted: Feeling very lonesome without] Muir [deleted: who had] pushed up to the top of the canon to spare anxiety for the boys at whose horse station we were already due. I dropped asleep. About half past eleven. “I heard a voice crying in the Wilderness”! Bread, meat, [underlined: Sugar], [underlined: letters]!! and there stood an Angel of Deliverance laughing over his ragged browses & torn shoes, [deleted: which] and at our bewildered faces. for it did not seem possible that he could have returned so soon. He brought us good mutton chops, lump sugar, & [underlined: tea]! Then scoundrels running on four legs past
eaten our tea also. The next day we reached Allie & the horses. & one feat was accom- plished. Dr Kellogg & Ruth both held out bravely. I never heard a complaining or impatient word from any of the party. [Keith?] has fine sketches. I will resume this Narrative when I am a little more rested. Good night [illegible]
Muir brought me yours of the 3d R[illegible] & some other papers.
and the Doctor and myself many plants – some rare if not new species.
[Yosemite Valley, Calif.]
Original letter dimensions: 21 x 13.5 cm.
Carr, Jeanne, "Letter from Jeanne Carr to [Ezra S. Carr], [1873 Jul 11]." (1873). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 1532.
Reel 02, Image 1155
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Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters