W[illiam] H. Trout
Lufkin Texas March 15th 1912John Muir Martinez CalDear Friend JohnI have purposed writing you sometime soon, ever since last August, when I returned from my last Pacific coast journey. You being in South America at the time, knew nothing about it, and most probably have not learned about it since. When I was last with you I was quite determined, health and strength being spared, to make another good leisurely visit to the Pacific. I had a short one to Seattle at the time of their Worlds Exposition, combining business with it, and seeing the neighboring towns. Last summer our bretheren had their General Missionary Convention at Portland Ore. This great convention is always a matter of much interest to me, so I determined to go, and with it see Edward and family at Hollywood. Brother-in-law and family in Pasadena. Ascend Mount Wilson, and with other accessible fine views, get a good inspection of the great observatory. At San Francisco, see three cousins and a respectable group of second cousins. Go up to Martinez and wag my jaw with John Muir for a few days. Take in the convention. See other relatives and friends in the towns up to Vancouver B. C. Then steer homeward to Milwaukee. A two months job. And it took about that time, but missed some of the best parts of the program. Notably the Mount Wilson ascent. I did not like the idea of a [9?] mile ride each way on mule back. Friends thot I should not entertain it, so reluctantly gave it up, and as a compromise ascended Mount Lowe. The last part of05162
2the journey was a mule ride of just one hour, which with the return journey, chafed me so badly that my clothes were sticking to the sores for the next several days. Still I enjoyed the trip immensely. One of my nephews acompanied me. This was about the middle of June, there was a good deal of cool weather with foggy mornings, and the change from nearly 3 weeks of Texas nineties, gave me lumbago, that held on to me for about 3 week, and limited my activities considerably. Had it not been for that I would have gone out to your place, and seen whoever might have been there belonging to you. Helen is the only one I know. Not being certain of seeing her, and being in such uncertain condition, I concluded not to go. However I entirely recovered from the lumbago before leaving Frisco, and was in fine condition all the rest of journey.In going northward it was pleasant for me to observe the gradual increase in the growth of timber, and getting up to Oregon, to find our northern grains and grasses growing luxuriantly. Notably timothy and the clovers. Like getting back to old friends. This growth seemed to be increasing all the way to Vancouver. I had daylight travel, when I had night travel on the previous journey. We passed the lordly Shasta late in the forenoon. I had two good distant views of Mount Hood, which appears like a true cone. A good view also of Massive Ranier; but had a better one once before. I had nine very enjoyable days at Portland; had a good nephew with his nice family to lodge with. 3 interesting days at Seattle most all the time in company with old Milwaukee friends. A full day at Everett. A short stop at Victoria; and four remarkably pleasant days at Vancouver. I met some old friends and relatives that I had not seen for 40 years. Besides the big saw mills
visit with him after my Pacific trip. You can understand why I like to visit old friends. Henry was in his 82d year only 4 years ahead of me.3You see I have not quit saw mill work yet. It is no comparison with your magnificent line of work, but it seems to be about the best way for me to be useful. I am still improving the present good machinery. Not so much to do the work faster, but more exact and with less waste of material. My son is my boss and I am a willing worker. I shove in 8 hours every day, mostly over the drawing board. I had pleasant visit to Canada in the fall. Duncan Stirling, my sister Maggie and Peter, are the only old timers left there. Oh there is Eliza there also, who resides mostly in Ill. Duncan just passed his 70th birthday last week, but his health is very uncertain. Had a severe sickness this winter. Sister Maggie is not strong but lively. Peter had a fall downstairs crippling one of legs badly, and the confinement gave him an attack of pneumonia, but he is recovering from both. Edward in Hollywood is the toughest of the crowd. He seems to have such an exuberance of animal strength that he takes to digging to work it off. I suppose that is California.I reckoned last summers journey would be the last western journey for me. The boys were afraid to have me go alone as I did, but if I can hold out good, possibly 1915 may see there again. Not that I care for the great fair, or great sights. I value the interchange of thought and mutual sympathy with old friends. Right or wrong, scientific or not, I regard mind or spirit as eternal. Being so there is a value in personal and spiritual relationships that is beyond all material considerations We can carry out with us our identity and our character but as far as I can see or think, that only. So to me it is valuable to maintain and preserve or conserve if you choose our tried friends and acquaintances So hoping to see you again before I shuffle off I remain as ever your friendW. H. Trout[in margin: Henry Trout of Buffalo died last July He and wife were visiting friends in Brooklyn N.Y. Weakness of the heart was the trouble He had no sickness He was a rare noble fellow I was looking forward to a good]
1912 Mar 15
Original letter dimensions: 28 x 21.5 cm.
Trout, William H., "Letter from W[illiam] H. Trout to [John Muir], 1912 Mar 15." (1912). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 6231.
Reel 20, Image 0845
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