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My First Summer in the Sierra, by John Muir

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avatar My First Summer in the Sierra, by John Muir
April 20, 2011 09:01PM
In the great Central Valley of California there are only two seasons—spring and summer. The spring begins with the first rainstorm, which usually falls in November. In a few months the wonderful flowery vegetation is in full bloom, and by the end of May it is dead and dry and crisp, as if every plant had been roasted in an oven.

http://yosemitenews.info/muir/1st-summer.html
avatar Steep Trails by John Muir
April 20, 2011 09:34PM
The papers brought together in this volume have, in a general way, been arranged in chronological sequence. They span a period of twenty-nine years of Muir's life, during which they appeared as letters and articles, for the most part in publications of limited and local circulation. The Utah and Nevada sketches, and the two San Gabriel papers, were contributed, in the form of letters, to the San Francisco Evening Bulletin toward the end of the seventies. Written in the field, they preserve the freshness of the author's first impressions of those regions. Much of the material in the chapters on Mount Shasta first took similar shape in 1874. Subsequently it was rewritten and much expanded for inclusion in Picturesque California, and the Region West of the Rocky Mountains, which Muir began to edit in 1888. In the same work appeared the description of Washington and Oregon. The charming little essay "Wild Wool" was written for the Overland Monthly in 1875. "A Geologist's Winter Walk" is an extract from a letter to a friend, who, appreciating its fine literary quality, took the responsibility of sending it to the Overland Monthly without the author's knowledge. The concluding chapter on "The Grand Canyon of the Colorado" was published in the Century Magazine in 1902, and exhibits Muir's powers of description at their maturity.

Some of these papers were revised by the author during the later years of his life, and these revisions are a part of the form in which they now appear. The chapters on Mount Shasta, Oregon, and Washington will be found to contain occasional sentences and a few paragraphs that were included, more or less verbatim, in The Mountains of California and Our National Parks. Being an important part of their present context, these paragraphs could not be omitted without impairing the unity of the author's descriptions.

The editor feels confident that this volume will meet, in every way, the high expectations of Muir's readers. The recital of his experiences during a stormy night on the summit of Mount Shasta will take rank among the most thrilling of his records of adventure. His observations on the dead towns of Nevada, and on the Indians gathering their harvest of pine nuts, recall a phase of Western life that has left few traces in American literature. Many, too, will read with pensive interest the author's glowing description of what was one time called the New Northwest. Almost inconceivably great have been the changes wrought in that region during the past generation. Henceforth the landscapes that Muir saw there will live in good part only in his writings, for fire, axe, plough, and gunpowder have made away with the supposedly boundless forest wildernesses and their teeming life.

William Frederic Bade
Berkeley, California
May, 1918

http://yosemitenews.info/muir/steep-trails.html
avatar The Story of My Boyhood and Youth, by John Muir
April 20, 2011 09:44PM
When I was a boy in Scotland I was fond of everything that was wild, and all my life I've been growing fonder and fonder of wild places and wild creatures. Fortunately around my native town of Dunbar, by the stormy North Sea, there was no lack of wildness, though most of the land lay in smooth cultivation. With red-blooded playmates, wild as myself, I loved to wander in the fields to hear the birds sing, and along the seashore to gaze and wonder at the shells and seaweeds, eels and crabs in the pools among the rocks when the tide was low; and best of all to watch the waves in awful storms thundering on the black headlands and craggy ruins of the old Dunbar Castle when the sea and the sky, the waves and the clouds, were mingled together as one. We never thought of playing truant, but after I was five or six years old I ran away to the seashore or the fields almost every Saturday, and every day in the school vacations except Sundays, though solemnly warned that I must play at home in the garden and back yard, lest I should learn to think bad thoughts and say bad words. All in vain. In spite of the sure sore punishments that followed like shadows, the natural inherited wildness in our blood ran true on its glorious course as invincible and unstoppable as stars.

My earliest recollections of the country were gained on short walks with my grandfather when I was perhaps not over three years old. On one of these walks grandfather took me to Lord Lauderdale's gardens, where I saw figs growing against a sunny wall and tasted some of them, and got as many apples to eat as I wished. On another memorable walk in a hay-field, when we sat down to rest on one of the haycocks I heard a sharp, prickly, stinging cry, and, jumping up eagerly, called grandfather's attention to it. He said he heard only the wind, but I insisted on digging into the hay and turning it over until we discovered the source of the strange exciting sound,—a mother field mouse with half a dozen naked young hanging to her teats. This to me was a wonderful discovery. No hunter could have been more excited on discovering a bear and her cubs in a wilderness den.


http://yosemitenews.info/muir/boyhood.html
Re: The Story of My Boyhood and Youth, by John Muir
April 22, 2011 12:57PM
Thanks guys for the read. Will put me into prospective during my hikes, and someone to be thankful for, for doing to so much to help preserve this land.
Re: My First Summer in the Sierra, by John Muir
April 21, 2011 08:19AM
In one of Muir's books he wrote about the time he climbed high up into a tree to experience a Yosemite windstorm. I'd like to re-read it but I can't remember which book it was in.
avatar Re: My First Summer in the Sierra, by John Muir
April 21, 2011 08:32AM
Quote
Louis
In one of Muir's books he wrote about the time he climbed high up into a tree to experience a Yosemite windstorm. I'd like to re-read it but I can't remember which book it was in.


You will find the link on this webpage:
http://www.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/geography/california/john_muir_tree_yosemite.aspx
(Didn't send you directly to the appropriate page because I thought that you would enjoy the story about the 'Muir Tree.')
Re: My First Summer in the Sierra, by John Muir
April 21, 2011 08:59AM
Quote
szalkowski
Quote
Louis
In one of Muir's books he wrote about the time he climbed high up into a tree to experience a Yosemite windstorm. I'd like to re-read it but I can't remember which book it was in.


You will find the link on this webpage:
http://www.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/geography/california/john_muir_tree_yosemite.aspx
(Didn't send you directly to the appropriate page because I thought that you would enjoy the story about the 'Muir Tree.')

Thank you, Dr., for the link. Greatly appreciated.
avatar Re: My First Summer in the Sierra, by John Muir
April 21, 2011 06:38PM
Quote
Louis
Quote
szalkowski
Quote
Louis
In one of Muir's books he wrote about the time he climbed high up into a tree to experience a Yosemite windstorm. I'd like to re-read it but I can't remember which book it was in.


You will find the link on this webpage:
http://www.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/geography/california/john_muir_tree_yosemite.aspx
(Didn't send you directly to the appropriate page because I thought that you would enjoy the story about the 'Muir Tree.')

Thank you, Dr., for the link. Greatly appreciated.

Dr.?Marmot
Re: My First Summer in the Sierra, by John Muir
April 21, 2011 07:58PM
Quote
tomdisco
Quote
Louis
Quote
szalkowski
Quote
Louis
In one of Muir's books he wrote about the time he climbed high up into a tree to experience a Yosemite windstorm. I'd like to re-read it but I can't remember which book it was in.


You will find the link on this webpage:
http://www.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/geography/california/john_muir_tree_yosemite.aspx
(Didn't send you directly to the appropriate page because I thought that you would enjoy the story about the 'Muir Tree.')

Thank you, Dr., for the link. Greatly appreciated.

Dr.?Marmot
Dr. F. J. (Len) Szalkowski
Re: My First Summer in the Sierra, by John Muir
April 23, 2011 05:00PM
Awesome. Thanks for the link.
Re: My First Summer in the Sierra, by John Muir
April 24, 2011 04:11PM
Thanks for the link. John Muir has some of the best lines to describe Yosemite.
Re: My First Summer in the Sierra, by John Muir
April 30, 2011 09:45AM
I will think of John Muir with my first time in Yosemite. Hopefully, I will experience the same magical journey.
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