John Muir


John Muir


Louie [Strentzel Muir]


Hotel Gibbon
Lausanne ,le Aug. 15, 1893

Dear.Louie-This is a hot but lovely calm Indian Summerish morning in a beautiful old town. I arrived late last night and am off this morning for Zermatt where I hope to be cooled and stirred beneath the shadows of the grand .Alps.
I have just been taking a short walk to a garden and terrace overlooking the town and commanding a grand view over the lovely Laueanne Geneva lake to the farms and vineyards and mountains in the hazy distance.
It is now about 9:30 o'clock. I had an exceedingly interesting ride up the valley of the Rhone after skirting the lovely Lake Geneva for 30 or 40 miles. The Rhone is a wilk roaring stream thick with glacial mud ground from the flanks of the Junzfrau , Mount Rosa, Matterhorn and many other monarchs of the Alps. Here at a height of 5250 ft. above the sea the valley ends in glaciers coming in from all directions, and the views are wonderful even to me The Matterhorn in particular is one of the wildest strangest looking peaks I ever saw, a hugh savage pyramid a triumphant momument of nature's glacial sculpture piercing the heavens in lonely serene majesty. 1 am again in the heart of the Alps, but on account of haze have not yet seen Mt. Blanc, but will soon, as I intend going to Chamounix tomorrow or next day. I had not the slightest difficulty coming up the valley today in solving the problem that puzzled Tyndall Why does the Rhone valley bend so suddenly at Martigny? It was caused by the enormous floods of ice which united with the main trunk from Mr. Blanc and peaks adjacent--Indeed I had solved the problem before leaving California simply by looking at the map of Switzerland. I arrived here about 5 o'clock and took a good long walk up towards the glaciers. They looked small as compared with those of Alaska, mere shriveled receding remnants, but glorious they were in their prime, and glorious is the work they have done. Such a wilderness of gigantic peaks such a labyrinth of profound canons (canyons) and valleys, and such immense beds of gravel and soil spread over the plains of Belgium even to the seashore a hundred miles or more.
The larch as well as spruce is a common tree here. In my walk this evening I found the common garden crocus wild in meadows in great abundance, and many other pretty flowers a few of which I send you. I had a cold caught in a railroad car but am getting rid of it in this mountain air, How glad I would be for a word from home saying "All Well". Heaven bless you all.

Hello Midge, hello Wanda. Here are some pretty flowers from Grindelwald, they grew near a big glacier. Love to Grandma, Maggie,Dave, and all the family- Ever yours
John Muir


Lausanne, le [Switzerland]

Date Original

1893 Aug 15


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 07, Image 1273

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, click here to view the Holt-Atherton Special Collections policies.

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



3 pages


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



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