P. B. Van Trump


P. B. Van Trump


John Muir



Last August I took my wife and little girl to the snow line and camped there several days. Camp of the clouds last August was nearly a mile away from the snow line, so light had been the snowfall the previous winter, and so great last summer's heat. I took my little daughter up nearly to our camp below "Goat Pillar," and would have taken her quite to it, only a recent fall of snow (3 inches) we had been travelling through for half a mile began to make her little feet cold. Quite a climb for a little 9-year old, wasn't it? From our highest point we could see two climbers nearing the summit of the mountain, who had started in the morning. One was a member of the Alpine club of Oregon and the other a Tacoma gentleman.


Yelm, Wash, June 18-90

John Muir, Martinez, Cal.

Dear sir:

Many, many thanks for the two elegant numbers of "Picturesque California, Oregon Washington" etc. I should have long ere this written thanking your for the same, but business calling me from home several times since their receipt delayed my letter till this time. I loaned the numbers to the editor of the Tacoma Ledger to read. In a recent number of his paper your very interesting account of our ascent of the grand old mountain appears.


They reached the top between 4 and 5 o'clock, and had to stay all night in the crater. The next day they looked the worse for their [dreary?] vigil on the summit. Like other [tyros?], I think they thought to make the trip from lower snowline and back the same day I see by the papers you are contemplating soon another exploring trip to Alaska. Is there any chance of your coming this way? If you do come this route you must not fail to make me a visit. As if I knew that you would touch at some point on the Sound I would be there to see you if possible. If it wasn't for the sea voyage one has to endure (and a sea voyage nearly kills me) to reach that


in full under large headlines, preceded by a complimentary notice of the work at large, its scope, interest, and its [illegible] and typographic merit. Kernahan was down from the "Such-Lo-tash" a day or two after the arrival of the books, and I gave him his. He was very much pleased. He made a remark that will recall to your mind a personage who figured largely in a portion of our otherwise glorious Rainier days. Said Kernahan: "now what nice old lady Longmire say? When I told her that Mr Muir promised to send us the Rainier number of his book she said: 'now just you mark my work, Kernahan, he'll never send it, never!' As I write about this old lady with the greed



for gold a vivid picture comes up in my mind of that scene in the room upstairs here where you and Keith were putting on again the garb of civilization. I can see you in your semi-nude state, pausing frequently in the operation of lathering yourself with soap, to give greater emphasis to some part of your graphic description of your parting interview with Mother Longmire, Keith occasionally [ejaculating?] some confirmation of your account from his chair in the corner, where he was wrestling with the overalls that were so loath to leave the long encased limbs. Glorious Rainier days, and happy time when "we lingered in those gardens of Eden"! The longing comes over me as I write today to "flee as a bird to the mountains".



country, I would be sorely tempted to tackle Mt. St. Elias some time. I note by the papers that a party intends to try the ascent this summer. A party (partly governmental and scientific, I believe) are making a thorough exploration of the Olympic Mts. this season. When you are at leisure, and if you are not averse to it, please write to me occasionally. I would be most pleased to hear from you and would value your letters very highly. The Kernahans frequently talk about and inquire after you. Wife joins me in kind remembrance of you. When you see him, remember me to Keith.

Yours very truly,

P. B. Van Trump.

Has Keith convinced you yet that his brand of smoking tobacco is the best?


Yelm, Wash[ington Terr.]

Date Original

1890 Jun 18


Original letter dimensions: 20 x 25 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 06, Image 0527

Collection Identifier

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

Copyright Statement

Some letters written to John Muir may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

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.


2 pages


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



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