[Annie] Wanda [Muir]
Oct. 28, 1898.
My dear Wanda,
I've been trying to tell you the course of my wanderings, since I left home, partly that I might thus help to keep track of myself, I've been going so fast and have made so many turns and doubles far and near in so many states north and south -- enjoyed so much and been bothered and fussed so much -- mixed day and night so much in cars, hotels, friends’ homes, steamboats, shanties, etc. it is no easy matter to keep anything like a clear record. I think I wrote last from Burlington, Vermont. Prom there I went to Stowe, Vermont. I went up to the snowy summit of Mt. Mansfield, the highest of the Green Mountains. Thence in wind and rain and fog drove in [a] buggy 17 miles through Smugglers Notch to [the] railroad, thence through beautiful hills, woods, and mountains and villages, all luminous with autumn purple and gold to the White Mountains, o celebrated down through the famous Crawford's Notch and on down derry down to Portland, Maine; thence up to Bangor, Maine, thence up to Bangor. Maine, thence to Moosehead Lake -- a charming sheet of pure water 40 ms. long full of picturesque islands; thence on and on through the Maine and Canada woods to Quebec; thence south again through I don't know how many states and across I don't know how many rivers and lovely colored landscapes to Boston, arriving there last Sunday morning in time for breakfast at Sargents.
After breakfast Sargent drove me in a carriage 12 ms. through the loveliest groves and gardens where the leaf colors were at their best to Hunnewell's grand place. There we saw the grand old man and his sons, had grand champagne dinner, strolled through his parks and groves and orchid conservatories, and then back to Sargents. Hunnewell himself was the best of this trip. In particular he asked me how long it took me to write the Douglas Squirrel, and said he wished he could get me to interview and talk with the squirrels of his woods, etc., etc.
Next day went to Page in Boston, talked an hour with Mifflin, dined with Page, Bradford Torrey and others, was guided through the huge I bookmaking establishment at Riverside, etc. Next day went to the Arnold Arboretum and library, thence to Boston again, thence to Cambridge and spent the night at Page's home and visited Mrs. Gray and talked over old botanic times, etc. Next morning back to Sargent and thence Sargent and his daughter Molly came here. Next day, yesterday, Molly started for Paris to her sister. Yesterday, too, when Sargent, a friend of his and I were at lunch the waiter brought me your last letter and the clippings on a silver plate, and when I got back from Quebec I found all yours and Helens and Mamma's letters at Sargent's, he having had them forwarded from N.Y., so now I feel better.
Yesterday forenoon I 'saw all the Century people. In the afternoon Sargent drove me to the Columbia College Museum where all the tree sections are and Mrs. Sargent's drawings of the flowers and cones, etc., also the palaeontological collections, and Heaven knows what else. Here I found [Prof. 0shorn, and he is to take me to their Hudson River home next Monday or Thursday. Then we drove through Central Park. Thence I went to the Century office, and Johnson took me home to dinner, calling on Tesla at his laboratory on the way. He (Tesla) wants us to dine with him and spend an evening at the Waldorf -- a swallowtail affair, I fear. This afternoon I am to go with Gilder to his summer home in the Berkshire Hills for a few days. Then to Osborn's. Sargent goes home tomorrow. He wants me to return to Brookline and in eight or ten days go with him to Key West, Florida. I would like to see Florida again. If I go it will be 3 or 4 weeks before I get home.
I'll be precious glad to get to quiet work in the home nest once more. I seem to have been away a whole blurry indefinite year or half dozen of them. Were I to accept all the invitations that offer I would never get home at all or do another stroke of work. The Sierra animals will be published soon, and I'm now correcting the proofs of the birds. Page says he will print anything and everything I'll write. R.U. Johnson is well and as funny as ever. He marched me through the wildest maddest parts of the town last night, pretending he was taking me to jail for vagrancy --stopping now and then to ask little ragged boys the way to the police station, took me out into the middle of the streets among the whirl of cars and pretended he was afraid he would be run over to frighten me - showed me the moon and minutely told me how to know it among the million electric lights, etc. and the way he fooled with Tesla was too funny for anything. Lovingly yours, Helen, Mamma, Maggie, all,
1898 Oct 28
Original letter dimensions: 23 x 14.5 cm.
Muir, John, "Letter from John Muir to [Annie] Wanda [Muir], 1898 Oct 28." (1898). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 2292.
Reel 10, Image 0411
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