[Louie Strentzel Muir]
Camp Colby, July 5, 1902
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 and 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 and bacon grease gravy and a big dipper full of strong tea without sugar (sugar has given out) and am still living and feeling as happy and healthy as a mountaineer should. And so is Helen although she also ate a lot of ham besides all the things I did. This morning was spent in washing clothes and visiting around camp, and now I am lying on a bank of pine needles under a big yellow pine writing this letter. How I wish that you could be here for it is a fine place to rest and be lazy in as well as to walk in. It is rather dry and dusty as you have no doubt guessed by the looks of this paper, but the weather has been delightful all the time and the grand domes and cliffs, the big trees and the beautiful river more beautiful even than either the Merced or Tuolumne, make 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 , canyon, rather too many to be in one camp, but still everything 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 and precision of clock work. The three Chinamen who do the cooking never seem particularly busy, yet we ate 57 big loaves of bread yesterday, for one meal we had hard tack...
Yesterday evening everyone tried to make as much noise as possible in celebrating the glorious fourth and a terrific racket was the result. Then we had a big bonfire rally, fire crackers, music and a wonderful supper of plum pudding, chocolate cake, nuts, olives, clam chowder, etc. etc. The whole affair must have been a tremendous surprise to the three gray squirrels and the other little animals that play around the camp, and even the echoes that the big rocks sent back had a startled and unnatural sound.
The only really hard side trip we have taken was the one to Goat Mt. which was tremendous in every sense of the word. Twenty-eight out of the 50 people who started from camp reached the top, 11 of whom were girls, Helen and I among the number, but it was Helen who covered herself with glory by reaching the top first and she did it without any effort. With those long slow looking strides of hers and was not at all tired after it. She has been the pet of the camp ever since and the number of trout, pieces of chocolate, cheese, jam and lemonade which is bestowed upon her daily is really alarming, but she is getting fat so I guess it's good for her...
...Do please write if only a word or two and let me know how you are and what's going on at home. Has my Polly Con 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 held on the top of a big granite boulder and there were 60 college women, including both alumni and undergraduates, and representing about twenty different colleges. Twenty-seven of us were frat girls. Isn't that a pretty good showing for a place like this, and isn't it a fine answer to the people who say that college girls are weak and good for nothing generally? for there wasn't one of us that could not walk comfortably walk twenty miles, or if necessary do anything that has to be done around a camp from cooking a camp meal to packing a mule.
Miss Jordan, President Jordan's daughter, is one of the most delightful people I have met up here. (There are a lot of Berkeley people here and I have met several of my own class at college whom I had never happened to meet there.) Helen Swett is a fine camper and she and her guitar are very much appreciated around the campfire in the evening.
It is getting late and I think I have told you about as much in the scrawly letter as I can without writing a whole book full, so I had better stop until I can talk it, for that's better than writing.
Camp Colby [SNP]
1902 Jul 5
Original letter dimensions unknown.
Muir, Wanda, "Letter from Wanda [Muir] to [Louie Strentzel Muir], 1902 Jul 5." (1902). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 4689.
Reel 12, Image 0482
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