Wanda Muir


[Annie] Wanda [Muir]


[Louie S. Muir]



Camp Colby July 5

Dear Mama

We are spending the day in camp for the first time since we reached here, that is this is the first whole day we have stayed in camp, for there has been so much to see & so many places to go. I have just finished lunch, it consisted of ten biscuits, seven pickles (small) a big plate full of stewed dried apples, some flour & bacon [grease?] gravy & a big dipper full of strong tea without sugar (sugar has given out) & am still living & feeling as happy and healthy as a mountaineer should & so is Helen although she also ate a lot of ham besides all the things I did. This morning was spent in washing clothes & visiting around camp & now I am lying on a bank of pine needles under a big yelow pine writing this letter. How I wish that you could be here for it is a fine place to rest & be lazy in as well as to walk in.



it is rather dry & dusty as you have no doubt guessed by the looks of this paper but the weather has been delightful all the time & the grand domes & cliffs, the big trees and the beautiful river more beautiful ever than either the Merced or Tuolomne make[s?] it an ideal place to camp. One does not realize how many people are here unless one helps wash dishes or doles out soup to the hungry multitude. There are now nearly two hundred people in the canon [diacritic], rather too many to be in one camp but still every thing goes finely & the way things are managed is simply marvelous, there never seems to be any rush or hurry yet all the work of this big camp is done with the regularity & precision of clock work. The three chinamen who do the cooking never seem particularly busy yet we ate 57 big loves of bread yesterday for one meal we had hard tack for the other & every thing else in proportion. Yesterday evening everyone tried to make as much noise as possible in celebrating the glorious fourth & a terrific racket was the result. Then we had a big bon fire rally, fire crackers, music


& a wonderful supper, of plum pudding chocolate cake, nuts, olives, clam chowder ect, ect. The whole affair must have been a tremendous surprise to the three gray squirells & the other little animals that play around the camp, & even the echoes that the big ricks sent back had a startled & unnatural sound.
The only really hard side trip that we have taken was the one to Goat Mt. which was tremendious in every sense of the word 28 out of the 50 people who started from camp reached the top, 11 of whom were girls, Helen & I among the number but it was Helen who covered herself with glory by reaching the top first & she did it without any effort with those long slow looking strides of hers & was not at all tired after it. She has been the pet of the camp ever since & the number of trout, pieces of chocolate cheese, & the jam & lemon aid which is bestowed upon her daily is really alarming, but she is getting fat so I guess its good for her. The [whole?]


camp has been talking about how the "little Muir girl walks". The trip to Goat Mt. is a perfectly safe one most of the way over a good trail but between five in the morning & six at night we climbed nearly eight thousand feet & walked twenty two miles. Mr Le Conte took the trip mostly "to show people that they could not walk" but a good many of them showed him that they could & he was pretty thouroughly tired out himself. When we reached the top there was a glorious view quite worth the long hard walk & then we had a lovely snow storm while we were up there & coming down a magnificent tobogan slide on a snow bank, the first one Ive ever had, it only took a few minutes to come down a place that had taken hours to go up. Besides the Goat Mt trip we have gone up Sentinel Rock, to Mist Falls, Bubs Creek Falls, Roaring River & Granite Lake.
We have tried to do a little botanizing but there are very few flowers near here & it is hard to carry them from longer trips



We girls have a camp by ourselves & have fine times together, Cora has found herself a fine walker & a charming [addition?] to the camp in everyway. Grace is cheerful but quiet.
Do please write if only a word or two & let me know how you are & whats going on at home. Has my Polly [illegible]n report come yet? or any other college reports or news. Speaking about college, what do you think? yesterday we had a meeting of college women here in camp. it was helt on the top of a big granite boulder & there were 60 college women including both alumni & under graduates & representing about twenty different colleges. Twenty seven of us were frat girls. Isn't that a pretty good showing for a place like this & isnt it a fine answer to the people who say that college girls are weak & good for nothing generally, for there wasnt one of us that could not comfortably walk twenty miles, or if necessary do any thing that has to be



done around a camp from cooking a camp meal to packing a mule. Miss Jordan Pres. Jordans daughter is one of the most delightful people I have met up here There are a lot of Berkeley people here & I have met several of my own class at college whom I had never happened to meet there. Helen Swett is a fine camper & she & her guitar are very much apreciated around the camp fire in the evening
It is getting late & I think I have told you about as much in the scrawlly letter as I can with out writing a whole book full so I had better stop until I can talk it, for thats better than writing.

Good night




Camp Colby

Circa Date

[1904] Jul 5


Original letter dimensions: 25 x 20 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 14, Image 0320

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.


6 pages


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



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