July 23, 1896
Dear Mr. Muir,
I have some bad news to send you. the Commission has decided that I should be of some service to the general cause by spending more time in the Bitter Root Mountains than was intended at first. Consequently it will be impossible for me to get to Tacoma as early as I had hoped. and the Alaska trip is now beyond my reach. You will know, without any words from me, how sorry I am that matters have turned out in this way. I had already written home that I was going with you, and I know how sorry my people will be when I tell them, as I must tonight, that the plan is changed. It is now to spend not less than twenty days in the Clearwater & Salmon River country, going through to the open land
on one trail, & returning across the Bitter Root Mts. another Lieutenant Ahern is going along, and my assistant, Graves, will also join the party. So I hope to come out with a great deal of useful information of various kinds.
No one, so far as I can hear, has ever made quite a similar trip in this region, and so I am looking forward to finding a great deal of interesting in the forest, the topography, and the animals. Now I am wishing that we had known, for this trip might have tempted you to stay with us. It is a wonderfully rough country, they say, and almost unknown.
With much regret, and many thanks for your constant kindness, I am
Very sincerely yours,
1896 Jul 23
Original letter dimensions: 24 x 15 cm.
Pinchot, Gifford, "Letter from Gifford Pinchot to John Muir, 1896 Jul 23." (1896). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 813.
Reel 09, Image 0348
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