John Muir


John Muir


Louie [Strentzel Muir]



July 23 1888

Dear Louie We have been working hard these last three days eating for Picturesque California & am truly reluctant to cease our toils in this commendable direction. This is our last day here It is now 4 P.M. & we go abroad the steamer tonight for Vancouver So that we will have only one meal more [then?] farewell to fatness & smooth downy digestion. Have been more than half sick since leaving home but now am feeling well & eat majestic massive meals. Wish I could stay here until I got my bones decently fleshed over


but my picturesque D[rawing?] duties call & I must obey. We will sleep aboard the steamer tonight & be in Vancouver the terminus of the Canadian R.R. tomorrow morning I have after learning what I can of the forests scenery etc of Vurrand Inlet. Will cross over to the Fraser River for a day or two & may go a few hundred miles up the Canadian railroad among the best scenery. Thence returning to Victoria go to Seattle & thence back to Tacoma to get into the woods & among the Glaciers of Mt. Ranier. May then go up the Columbia. & thence home stopping a week on the way to visit the famous Crater Lake. How long all this will take will depend on how well we endure the fatigue & how well our money lasts.




Keith is much better but still far from well & I fear the hardships of camping & tramping will be more than he can bear Only by going alone in silence without baggage can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness all other travel is more dust & hotels & baggage & chatter.

Tacoma is finely situated & commands a most [illegible ] view of the great mountain & the sail to Victoria is smooth & pleasant. Were it not for the long journey from S.F. you should all come up & enjoy it but 800 miles of dust or ocean waves are hard to bear.


though it is more ten years since my last visit here Alaska comes back into near view & if a steamer were to start now it would be hard indeed to keep myself from going aboard. I must spend one year more there at the least the work I am doing now seems much less interesting & important I hope the ranch is not giving you too much trouble. I wonder if Anna has got away. Guess she has. & then if so whether you are trying to keep house or have moved to Grandpa's If so that confounded pond will worry me. I ought to have a letter soon- there may be one at Seattle now. I guess I will nto get back there for a week. I need not tell you how close & constant should be your care of




the children especially of Helen this hot weather. See that their clothing is not too tight or heavy & be prompt to change as the weather changes. Also see to it that nothing in the way of bad food & excitement or bad water or sewer gas reaches them & be sure to make them go regularly to bed as the same hour every night.

If Anna is still with you tell her to be sure to pick out a good travelling companion before starting & make herself comfortable for the trip.

The weather here is very delightful How fine it would be could you & the children & grandpa & grandma come here & stay at this house for a month



to rest & see new sights & eat new food. The Dr. would find cooking here according to his own heart & everybody would grow fat. even old bony me. Mt. Baker makes a find show from here & the long line of the Olympic Range snowy & ice-sculptured. While the honeysuckle cottages & green fields & orchards along the many arms of the bay mingles with the dark spring woods of the Douglass spruce are very picturesque though the town as a whole shows but little life & would be called insufferably dull by booming enterprizing americans.

Continue in the meantime to direct your letter to Seattle

Everyours John Muir with love


Victoria, B. C.

Date Original

1888 Jul 23


Original letter dimensions: 23 x 14 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 05, Image 1074

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

University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. 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



4 pages



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