John S. Gray
U.S. Spokane Near Killisnoo Alaska
July 26th 1903
Dear Friend Mr. Muir
Having just come away from Glacier Bay where I had a distant view of the great glacier named after yourself it seemed to me that I might take the liberty of writing you a few lines, before we leave this great country of Alaska. What a wonderful country it is, and how I have had to correct preconceived ideas regarding it, its climate, its vegetation and its grandure of mountain scenery. Perhaps in the first item we have been more than favored, by having delightful sunshine all the time. The luxuriance of vegetation I had demonstrated last evening in penetrating the thicket in front of Davidsons glacier which was well-nigh impenetrable- And then these glacier mountains and snow capped peaks in such unending succession have been more than all else, a surprise.
We left Detroit two weeks ago and at Milwaukee were joined by Mr & Mrs. Edward Lindsay. For a time while there, we were in doubt whether to continue or turn back, as we heard there of the death of a grand child only an hour or two previous- but the use of the long distance phone helped us to decide in favor continuing on and so coming by C[illegible]an Pacific we came out at Seattle & were soon on board this good Str bound for the North- We are hoping to meet Isabella in Portland & return to the Yellowstone together and it is possible she may have called at your place ere now as she was coming up from Southern California-
Now I want to tell you what a disappointment it has been not to get up nearer the great Muir glacier- but it is absolutely impossible to get through that ice with a steamer. In fact for miles before reaching the Bay it did not seem at all safe- We are to be in part compensated for the disappointment by going up close to the [illegible] tomorrow or next day- While talking with the Capt. yesterday he made the statement that President Roosevelt while on this Str going up Puget Sound, said that he had not met another such entertaining man as John Muir in all the West. And the Capt. a good Scotchman said he wished you would come north by his steamer-
I wonder how you all are, & how David as well as yourself is getting on planting resistant views, Remember us to him and his wife as well as Mrs. Galloway, Mrs. Reid & family and to Mrs. Muir and Helen, who both did so much to make our visit enjoyable when under your hospitable roof. We will turn Eastward from Portland remaining a few days at S[illegible]pter- where the Lindsays & I have interests in a S[illegible]elter- than the Yellowstone and home, so we will not see you this time. I trust you are able to continue your literary work as you outlined it to me, and that I may have the pleasure of reading many of your works yet- With best wishes and hoping some day to see you when you go East.
I remain yours Sincerely
John S. Gray
Near Killisnoo [Alaska]
1903 Jul 26
Original letter dimensions: 27.5 x 21 cm.
Gray, John S., "Letter from John S. Gray to John Muir, 1903 Jul 26." (1903). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 2675.
Reel 13, Image 0734
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