John Muir


[John Muir]


Louie [Strentzel Muir]


Grand Hotel S.F.

July 14 1889.

Dear Louie its late but here is a bit you will like & I will write very fast part of todays composition. "The upper Snoqualmie Falls is about 75 ft high, with bouncing rapids at head & foot, set in a romantic dell thatched with dripping mosses & ferns & embowered in dense evergreens & blooming bushes. The road to it leads through majestic woods with ferns ten feet long beneath the trees, & across a gravelly plain disforested by fire many years ago, where orange lilies abound & bright shiny mats of the Kinikinik sprinkled with scarlet berries. From a place called "Hunts" at the end of the wagon road a trail leads through fresh dripping woods never dry - [Merten?] Menzies & Douglas spruce, & maple and Thuja. The ground is covered with the best moss-work of the moist



cool woods of the north - made up chiefly of the various species of hypnum, with marchantia jungermania etc in broad sheets & [basses?] where never a dust particle floated, & where all the flowers fresh with mist & spray are wetter than water lilies. In the pool at the foot of the fall there is good trout fishing, & when I was there I saw some bright beauties taken. Never did angler stand in a spot more romantic, but strange it seemed that anyone could give attention to hooking in a place so surpassingly lovely to look at - the enthusiastic rush & song of the fall; the venerable trees overhead leaning forward over the brink like listeners eager to catch every word of their white refreshing waters; the delicate maiden hairs & aspleniums with fronds outspread gathering the rainbow spray, & the myriad of hooded mosses every cup fresh & shining."



Heres another kind, starting for Mt Rainier "The guide was well mounted Keith had bones to ride & so had small queer Joe the camp boy & I. The rest of the party traveled afoot. The distance to the mountain from Yelm in a straight line is about 50 miles. But by the mule - & - Yellow Jacket - trail that we had to follow it is 100 miles. For notwithstanding a part of the trail runs in the air where the wasps work hardest it is far from being an air-line as commonly understood." At the Soda Springs near Rainier "Springs here & there bubble up from the margin of a level marsh both hot & cold & likely to tell in some way on all kinds of ailments. At least so we were assured by our kind buxom hostess who advised



us to drink without ceasing from all in turn because 'everyone of em had medicine in it & therefore sure to do good. All our party were sick, perhaps from indulging too freely in "canned goods" of uncertain age. But whatever the poison might have been these waters failed to wash it away though we applied them freely & faithfully internally externally & almost eternally as one of the party said. Next morning all who had come through the ordeal of Yellow jackets ancient meats & medicinal waters with sufficient strength resumed the journey to Paradise Valley & Camp of the Clouds. And strange to say only two of the party were left behind in bed too sick to walk or ride. Fortunately at this distressing crisis by the free application of remedies ordinary



& extraordinary such as brandy, paregoric, painkillers, & Doctor somebody or other's Golden Vegetable wonder they were both wonderfully relieved, & joined us at the cloud camp next day" etc etc etc The dentist is still hovering like an angel or something over me. This writing will be finished tomorrow if all goes well, But punctuation & revision will take some time, & as there is now enough to fill two numbers, I guess it will have to be cut down a little. Guess Ill get home Thursday but will try for Wednesday.

Hoping all are well

I go to slumber

With loving wishes for all



S[an] F[rancisco]

Date Original

1889 Jul 14


Original letter dimensions: 28 x 21.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 06, Image 0179

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



5 pages


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



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