John Muir


John Muir


Louie [Strentzel Muir]




Aug. 17 or 18 1895

Dear Louie,

I reached this cool calm nest in the sugar pines last evening. I think you will remember the the place. It is not far from the Tuolumne Sequoia grove where we had lunch on the way to the Valley 10 years ago.
I sent a pencil note to Wanda from the Tuolumne meadows at the head of the great canon by Mr Howard which I suppose was received. I had taken two of the Howard boys (Spring Valley Howards) to the top of Conness & left them at the meadows, they to return to Yosemite, & I to go down the canon to Hetch Hetchy where I had ordered horses to meet me about the 20th. Well I had a hard time & a good time & anyhow by this you see I got through safely. I started with provisions for three weeks but after breaking my way for a few miles through the rocks & brush I found it was too heavy & bulky & so had to throw half of it away somehow I couldn't eat much--only a handful of conkers & bite of chocolate no matter



how hard I scrambled, so I threw away half of what was left when I was about the middle of the canon for the weather was hot during the day & I soon was very tired. I carried that extra thick suit of underclothing to draw on at night as I had no blanket but I abandoned that also & then got on better though of course cold at night. The bears were very numerous, this being berry time in the canon but they gave no trouble as I knew they wouldn't, only in tangled underbrush I had to shout a good deal to avoid coming suddenly on them. But the rattlesnakes called for far greater caution on two evenings when I was seeking a little open spot in the brush & rocks for a camp & had chosen one I came plump on a big snake just where I was going to make my fire so I had to climb onto a big boulder about 15 ft square & sleep there on the sloping surface as best I could, but of course I had a fire on the boulder with a row of rough stones to keep the fire from rolling off & another rough to keep myself from rolling off or onto the fire Well--it was pretty trying, & I couldn't eat & was of course growing very thin & [gaunt?] but nevertheless I climbed & made my way with the old skill & the old [lore?] & was very far from fainting by the way. I sketched & made



the notes I wanted, took my time, & in spite of all disadvantages greatly enjoyed the glorious river in its glorious home.
When at length I reached Hetch Hetchy I had only two handfuls of little square crackers & tea. I bathed & washed my underclothes stayed a day sketching noting etc for the next description I have to write & then instead of waiting for horses I having no food had to set out for Crockers 20 miles on foot. This seemed only a comfortable saunter weak though I was after the canon work. But now came a change.
After I had climbed out of H. H. two or three miles on my way to Crockers I met a big good-natured dog on the trail, then a big good-natured man on horseback. Then another man came in sight around a bend in the trail & two laden pack animals etc. The gentleman on the lead asked my name, then told me he had come



to meet me & came so early to make sure of not missing me or keeping me waiting. He Mr Lukens is a banker stopping at Crocker for his health, said he was glad of the chance of knowing John Muir & so organized the expedition at his own expense & refuses to allow me to pay for anything. Well he offered to open a pack & feed me when we met on the trail but I was not hungry We returned to H Hetchy & camped there on the bank of the beautiful river beneath a Kellogg Oak. & remained 3 days making photos of the scenery fishing for trout--eating etc. I left my handful of crackers by the roadside and when I sat down to the bountiful table of Mr Lukens my appetite came back & I have been eating ever since. those 3 days in the valley I was fairly stall fed on trout.
But enough & more of these small [illegible] I have no space here for the substantial result of the trip. I mean to rest here a week or so making short excursions into the woods then go back to Yosemite for a few days & home. I hope you dont miss me much in the work. The grapes will not be ripe for some weeks yet. Everybody is kind & flattering & the glorious woods are about me with healing in their arms.

With love to all I am ever yrs

J. Muir


Sequoia, Calif

Date Original

1895 Aug 17


Original letter dimensions: 26.5 x 20.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 08, Image 1119

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



4 pages


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



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