John Muir Quotes 133 Sourced Quotes

John Muir (21 April 1838 – 24 December 1914) was a Scottish born American environmentalist, naturalist, traveler, writer, and scientist. He is, however, probably best remembered as one of the greatest champions of the Yosemite area's natural wonders. He thought that nature was a primary source revealing the character of God.

Here are 133 real John Muir quotes ordered by their popularity online. The most quoted quotes on the web appear first. Questionable and fake quotes are excluded. Sources and related information are shown after each quote. We hope you find these quotes useful. If there is anything we can do to improve this article, your feedback is welcome. If you find these quotes helpful, please share them.

1. “The mountains are calling and I must go.”

—John Muir

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Source: letter to sister Sarah Muir Galloway (3 September 1873); published in William Federic Badè, The Life and Letters of John Muir (1924), chapter 10: Yosemite and Beyond

2. “Going to the mountains is going home.”

—John Muir

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Source: "In the Sierra Forests", San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin (part 3 of the 11 part series "Summering in the Sierra") dated July 1875, published 3 August 1875; reprinted in John Muir: Summering in the Sierra, edited by Robert Engberg (University of Wisconsin Press, 1984) page 79

3. “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”

—John Muir

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Source: "Mormon Lilies", San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin (part 4 of the 4 part series "Notes from Utah") dated July 1877, published 19 July 1877; reprinted in Steep Trails (1918), chapter 9

4. “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”

—John Muir

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Source: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. July 1890, page 313

5. “I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”

—John Muir

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Source and Related Info: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. page 439
• (Last line of the documentary film "John Muir in the New World" (American Masters), produced, directed, and written by Catherine Tatge.)

6. “‘The water in music the oar forsakes.’ The air in music the wing forsakes. All things move in music and write it. The mouse, lizard, and grasshopper sing together on the Turlock sands, sing with the morning stars.”

—John Muir

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Source and Related Info: letter to Mrs. Ezra S. Carr, from Yosemite Valley (September 1874); published in William Federic Badè, The Life and Letters of John Muir (1924), chapter 11: On Widening Currents
• (Presumably paraphrasing from the poem Woodnotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Come learn with me the fatal song / Which knits the world in music strong / … / and the ripples in rhymes the oar forsake / The wood is wiser far than thou".)
• (Turlock: Town where Muir changed from railroad to foot travel in this particular journey from Oakland, California, to Yosemite Valley.)

7. “How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!”

—John Muir

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Source: 1890s, The Mountains of California]'' (1894): The Mountains of California (1894) chapter 4: A Near View of the High Sierra

8. “When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.”

—John Muir

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Source: Travels in Alaska (1915), chapter 1: Puget Sound and British Columbia

9. “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1900s, '''Our National Parks'' (1901): Our National Parks (1901) chapter 1: The Wild Parks and Forest Reservations of the West

10. “Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter.”

—John Muir

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Source: letter to wife Louie (Louisa Wanda Strentzel) (July 1888); published in William Federic Badè, The Life and Letters of John Muir (1924), chapter 15: Winning a Competence

11. “[Muir describes himself as] me the poetico-trampo-geologist-bot & ornith-natural etc etc —!—!—! !”

—John Muir

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Source: letter to Robert Underwood Johnson, from Martinez (13 September 1889); published many times, often with more conventional spelling

12. “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.”

—John Muir

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Source and Related Info: 1860s, My First Summer in the Sierra, 1869: My First Summer in the Sierra (1911), 6 June 1869 Terry Gifford, EWDB, page 248
• First line of the documentary film "John Muir in the New World" (American Masters), produced, directed, and written by Catherine Tatge.

13. “Keep close to Nature's heart … and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”

—John Muir

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Source: statement by Muir as remembered by Samuel Hall Young in Alaska Days with John Muir (1915), chapter 7

14. “Come to the woods, for here is rest.”

—John Muir

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Source: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. page 235

15. “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.”

—John Muir

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Source: The Yosemite (1912), chapter 15: Hetch Hetchy Valley

16. “There is that in the glance of a flower which may at times control the greatest of creation's braggart lords.”

—John Muir

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Source: A Thousand-Mile Walk To the Gulf, 1916: A Thousand-Mile Walk To the Gulf (1916) Terry Gifford, EWDB, chapter 5: Through Florida Swamps and Forests, page 151

17. “We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1860s, My First Summer in the Sierra, 1869: My First Summer in the Sierra (1911), 6 June 1869 Terry Gifford, EWDB, page 195

18. “Another glorious Sierra day in which one seems to be dissolved and absorbed and sent pulsing onward we know not where. Life seems neither long nor short, and we take no more heed to save time or make haste than do the trees and stars. This is true freedom, a good practical sort of immortality.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1860s, My First Summer in the Sierra, 1869: My First Summer in the Sierra (1911), 6 June 1869 Terry Gifford, EWDB, page 204

19. “Another glorious day, the air as delicious to the lungs as nectar to the tongue.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1860s, My First Summer in the Sierra, 1869: My First Summer in the Sierra (1911), 6 June 1869 Terry Gifford, EWDB, page 253

20. “The world, we are told, was made especially for man — a presumption not supported by all the facts.”

—John Muir

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Source: A Thousand-Mile Walk To the Gulf, 1916: A Thousand-Mile Walk To the Gulf (1916) Terry Gifford, EWDB, chapter 6: Cedar Keys, page 160

21.John Muir, Earth — planet, Universe”

—John Muir

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Source: Muir's home address, as inscribed on the inside front cover of his first field journal, which started 1 July 1867

22. “None of Nature's landscapes are ugly so long as they are wild.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1900s, '''Our National Parks'' (1901): Our National Parks (1901) chapter 1: The Wild Parks and Forest Reservations of the West

23. “Of all the fire-mountains which, like beacons, once blazed along the Pacific Coast, Mount Rainier is the noblest.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1900s, '''Our National Parks'' (1901): Our National Parks (1901) chapter 1: The Wild Parks and Forest Reservations of the West

24. “Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.”

—John Muir

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Source: Muir's marginal note in volume I of Prose Works by Ralph Waldo Emerson (This volume is located at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University. See Albert Saijo, "Me, Muir, and Sierra Nevada", in Reinhabiting a Separate Country: A Bioregional Anthology of Northern California, edited by Peter Berg, San Francisco, California: Planet Drum Foundation, 1978, pages 52-59, at page 55, and Frederick W. Turner, Rediscovering America: John Muir in His Time and Ours (1985), page 193.)

25. “There is not a fragment in all nature, for every relative fragment of one thing is a full harmonious unit in itself.”

—John Muir

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Source: A Thousand-Mile Walk To the Gulf, 1916: A Thousand-Mile Walk To the Gulf (1916) Terry Gifford, EWDB, chapter 7: A Sojourn in Cubapage 168, omits the "all". This is a typo: see 1916 edition page 164

26. “I know that our bodies were made to thrive only in pure air, and the scenes in which pure air is found.”

—John Muir

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Source: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. September 1874, page 191

27. “Cloudy all day. Showery on mtns. to eastward at noon. Fine thunderstorm evening, with grand display of zigzag intensely vivid & very near with keen cracks [and] grand trailing rain … Visited Elk ranch. About sixty old & young. Old bulls carry horns in noble style & grand airs.”

—John Muir

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Source: journal entry, Island Park, Idaho (26 August 1913) — the last field entry in Muir's last field journal

28. “The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing. The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own, and sings our love.”

—John Muir

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Source: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. 1872(?), page 92

29. “The mountains are fountains of men as well as of rivers, of glaciers, of fertile soil. The great poets, philosophers, prophets, able men whose thoughts and deeds have moved the world, have come down from the mountains — mountain-dwellers who have grown strong there with the forest trees in Nature's workshops.”

—John Muir

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Source: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. July 1890, pages 315-316

30. “In God's wildness lies the hope of the world — the great fresh, unblighted, unredeemed wilderness. The galling harness of civilization drops off, and wounds heal ere we are aware.”

—John Muir

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Source: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. July 1890, page 317

31. “Oh, these vast, calm, measureless mountain days, inciting at once to work and rest! Days in whose light everything seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us God. Nevermore, however weary, should one faint by the way who gains the blessings of one mountain day; whatever his fate, long life, short life, stormy or calm, he is rich forever.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1860s, My First Summer in the Sierra, 1869: My First Summer in the Sierra (1911), 6 June 1869 Terry Gifford, EWDB, page 212

32. “A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease. Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life, every fiber thrilling like harp strings, while incense is ever flowing from the balsam bells and leaves. No wonder the hills and groves were God's first temples, and the more they are cut down and hewn into cathedrals and churches, the farther off and dimmer seems the Lord himself.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1860s, My First Summer in the Sierra, 1869: My First Summer in the Sierra (1911), 6 June 1869 Terry Gifford, EWDB, pages 243-244

33. “I care to live only to entice people to look at Nature's loveliness.”

—John Muir

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Source: letter to Mrs. Ezra S. Carr, from Yosemite Valley (7 October 1874); published in William Federic Badè, The Life and Letters of John Muir (1924), chapter 11: On Widening Currents

34. “God never made an ugly landscape. All that the sun shines on is beautiful, so long as it is wild.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1890s, The National Parks and Forest Reservations, 1895: "The National Parks and Forest Reservations", address to the Sierra Club Meeting held 23 November 1895; published in Sierra Club Bulletin, volume 1, number 7 (January 1896) pages 16-21 (at page 16)

35. “I never have held death in contempt, though in the course of my explorations I have oftentimes felt that to meet one's fate on a noble mountain, or in the heart of a glacier, would be blessed as compared with death from disease, or from some shabby lowland accident. But the best death, quick and crystal-pure, set so glaringly open before us, is hard enough to face, even though we feel gratefully sure that we have already had happiness enough for a dozen lives.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1900s, Stickeen (1909): Stickeen (1909) Terry Gifford, LLO, page 693

36. “These temple-destroyers, devotees of ravaging commercialism, seem to have a perfect contempt for Nature, and instead of lifting their eyes to the God of the mountains, lift them to the Almighty Dollar. Dam Hetch Hetchy! As well dam for water-tanks the people's cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man.”

—John Muir

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Source: The Yosemite (1912), chapter 15: Hetch Hetchy Valley

37. “On no subject are our ideas more warped and pitiable than on death. … Let children walk with nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life, and that the grave has no victory, for it never fights. All is divine harmony.”

—John Muir

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Source: A Thousand-Mile Walk To the Gulf, 1916: A Thousand-Mile Walk To the Gulf (1916) Terry Gifford, EWDB, chapter 4: Camping Among the Tombs, page 140

38. “The snow is melting into music.”

—John Muir

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Source: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. 15 January 1873, page 107

39. “No synonym for God is so perfect as Beauty. Whether as seen carving the lines of the mountains with glaciers, or gathering matter into stars, or planning the movements of water, or gardening — still all is Beauty!”

—John Muir

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Source: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. 26 June 1875, page 208

40. “Most people are on the world, not in it — have no conscious sympathy or relationship to anything about them — undiffused, separate, and rigidly alone like marbles of polished stone, touching but separate.”

—John Muir

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Source: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. July 1890, page 320

41. “How hard to realize that every camp of men or beast has this glorious starry firmament for a roof! … In such places standing alone on the mountain-top it is easy to realize that whatever special nests we make — leaves and moss like the marmots and birds, or tents, or piled stone — we all dwell in a house of one room — the world with the firmament for its roof — and are sailing the celestial spaces without leaving any track.”

—John Muir

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Source: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. 18 July 1890, page 321

42. “This time it is real — all must die, and where could mountaineer find a more glorious death!”

—John Muir

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Source: 1860s, My First Summer in the Sierra, 1869: My First Summer in the Sierra (1911), 6 June 1869 Reprinted in The Wild Muir ISBN 0-939666-75-8 page 38, and Terry Gifford, EWDB, page 234

43. “Everything is flowing — going somewhere, animals and so-called lifeless rocks as well as water. Thus the snow flows fast or slow in grand beauty-making glaciers and avalanches; the air in majestic floods carrying minerals, plant leaves, seeds, spores, with streams of music and fragrance; water streams carrying rocks … . While the stars go streaming through space pulsed on and on forever like blood globules in Nature's warm heart.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1860s, My First Summer in the Sierra, 1869: My First Summer in the Sierra (1911), 6 June 1869 Terry Gifford, EWDB, page 277

44. “The whole wilderness seems to be alive and familiar, full of humanity. The very stones seem talkative, sympathetic, brotherly.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1860s, My First Summer in the Sierra, 1869: My First Summer in the Sierra (1911), 6 June 1869 Terry Gifford, EWDB, page 277

45. “Man as he came from the hand of his Maker was poetic in both mind and body, but the gross heathenism of civilization has generally destroyed Nature, and poetry, and all that is spiritual.”

—John Muir

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Source: letter to J.B. McChesney (19 September 1871)

46. “I am hopelessly and forever a mountaineer.”

—John Muir

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Source: letter to Mrs. Ezra S. Carr, from Yosemite Valley (7 October 1874); published in William Federic Badè, The Life and Letters of John Muir (1924), chapter 11: On Widening Currents

47. “By forces seemingly antagonistic and destructive Nature accomplishes her beneficent designs — now a flood of fire, now a flood of ice, now a flood of water; and again in the fullness of time an outburst of organic life.”

—John Muir

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Source: "Mount Shasta" in Picturesque California (1888-1890) page 148; reprinted in Steep Trails (1918), chapter 3

48. “Nature chose for a tool, not the earthquake or lightning to rend and split asunder, not the stormy torrent or eroding rain, but the tender snow-flowers noiselessly falling through unnumbered centuries, the offspring of the sun and sea.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1890s, The Mountains of California]'' (1894): The Mountains of California (1894) chapter 1: The Sierra Nevada

49. “Winds are advertisements of all they touch, however much or little we may be able to read them; telling their wanderings even by their scents alone.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1890s, The Mountains of California]'' (1894): The Mountains of California (1894) chapter 10: A Wind-Storm in the Forests

50. “[Concerning the Water Ouzel, now called American Dipper:] In a general way his music is that of the streams refined and spiritualized. The deep booming notes of the falls are in it, the trills of rapids, the gurgling of margin eddies, the low whispering of level reaches, and the sweet tinkle of separate drops oozing from the ends of mosses and falling into tranquil pools.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1890s, The Mountains of California]'' (1894): The Mountains of California (1894) The Mountains of California (1894), chapter 13: The Water-Ouzel

51. “There is no estimating the wit and wisdom concealed and latent in our lower fellow mortals until made manifest by profound experiences; for it is through suffering that dogs as well as saints are developed and made perfect.”

—John Muir

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Source and Related Info: 1900s, Stickeen (1909): Stickeen (1909) Terry Gifford, LLO, page 685
• For more excerpts from Muir's account of the dog Stickeen in Alaska, see Stickeen.

52. “No right way is easy in this rough world. We must risk our lives to save them.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1900s, Stickeen (1909): Stickeen (1909) Terry Gifford, LLO, page 693

53. “One day's exposure to mountains is better than cartloads of books. See how willingly Nature poses herself upon photographers' plates. No earthly chemicals are so sensitive as those of the human soul.”

—John Muir

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Source: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. 1872(?), page 95

54. “It has been said that trees are imperfect men, and seem to bemoan their imprisonment rooted in the ground. But they never seem so to me. I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do. They go wandering forth in all directions with every wind, going and coming like ourselves, traveling with us around the sun two million miles a day, and through space heaven knows how fast and far!”

—John Muir

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Source and Related Info: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. July 1890, page 313
• (From Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays, Second Series (1844) "Essay VI: Nature": "the trees are imperfect men, and seem to bemoan their imprisonment, rooted in the ground.")

55. “Nature is always lovely, invincible, glad, whatever is done and suffered by her creatures. All scars she heals, whether in rocks or water or sky or hearts.”

—John Muir

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Source: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. 24 March 1895, page 337

56. “This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.”

—John Muir

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Source and Related Info: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. page 438
• (Last lines of the documentary film series "The National Parks: America's Best Idea" by Ken Burns.)

57. “I did find Calypso — but only once, far in the depths of the very wildest of Canadian dark woods, near those high, cold, moss-covered swamps. … I felt as if I were in the presence of superior beings who loved me and beckoned me to come. I sat down beside them and wept for joy.”

—John Muir

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Source and Related Info: letter to Mrs. Ezra S. Carr (1866); published as "The Calypso Borealis, Botanical Enthusiasm" in Boston Recorder, 21 December 1866; republished in Bonnie Johanna Gisel, Kindred & Related Spirits: The Letters of John Muir and Jeanne C. Carr (2001), page 41
• (Muir's first published writing, concerning the orchid Calypso.)

58. “So extravagant is Nature with her choicest treasures, spending plant beauty as she spends sunshine, pouring it forth into land and sea, garden and desert. And so the beauty of lilies falls on angels and men, bears and squirrels, wolves and sheep, birds and bees,... .”

—John Muir

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Source: 1860s, My First Summer in the Sierra, 1869: My First Summer in the Sierra (1911), 6 June 1869 Terry Gifford, EWDB, page 224

59. “Here ends my forever memorable first High Sierra excursion. I have crossed the Range of Light, surely the brightest and best of all the Lord has built; and rejoicing in its glory, I gladly, gratefully, hopefully pray I may see it again.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1860s, My First Summer in the Sierra, 1869: My First Summer in the Sierra (1911), 6 June 1869 Terry Gifford, EWDB, page 287

60. “There is at least a punky spark in my heart and it may blaze in this autumn gold, fanned by the King. Some of my grandfathers must have been born on a muirland for there is heather in me, and tinctures of bog juices, that send me to Cassiope, and oozing through all my veins impel me unhaltingly through endless glacier meadows, seemingly the deeper and danker the better.”

—John Muir

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Source: letter to Mrs. Ezra S. Carr (perhaps Autumn 1870); published in William Federic Badè, The Life and Letters of John Muir (1924), chapter 8: Yosemite, Emerson, and the Sequoias

61. “I drifted about from rock to rock, from stream to stream, from grove to grove. Where night found me, there I camped. When I discovered a new plant, I sat down beside it for a minute or a day, to make its acquaintance and hear what it had to tell. … I asked the boulders I met, whence they came and whither they were going.”

—John Muir

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Source: "Explorations in the Great Tuolumne Cañon", Overland Monthly, volume XI, number 2 (August 1873) pages 139-147 (at page 141); modified slightly and reprinted in John of the Mountains (1938), page 69

62. “Plants, animals, and stars are all kept in place, bridled along appointed ways, with one another, and through the midst of one another — killing and being killed, eating and being eaten, in harmonious proportions and quantities.”

—John Muir

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Source: "Wild Wool", Overland Monthly, volume 14, number 4 (April 1875) pages 361-366 (at page 364); reprinted in Steep Trails (1918), chapter 1

63. “Accidents in the mountains are less common than in the lowlands, and these mountain mansions are decent, delightful, even divine, places to die in, compared with the doleful chambers of civilization. Few places in this world are more dangerous than home. Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain-passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action. Even the sick should try these so-called dangerous passes, because for every unfortunate they kill, they cure a thousand.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1890s, The Mountains of California]'' (1894): The Mountains of California (1894) chapter 5: The Passes

64. “We all travel the milky way together, trees and men; but it never occurred to me until this storm-day, while swinging in the wind, that trees are travelers, in the ordinary sense. They make many journeys, not very extensive ones, it is true; but our own little comes and goes are only little more than tree-wavings — many of them not so much.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1890s, The Mountains of California]'' (1894): The Mountains of California (1894) "A Wind Storm in the Forests of the Yuba", Scribner's Monthly, volume XVII, number 1 (November 1878) pages 55-59 (at page 59); modified slightly and reprinted in The Mountains of California (1894), chapter 10: A Wind-Storm in the Forests

65. “The battle we have fought, and are still fighting, for the forests is a part of the eternal conflict between right and wrong, and we cannot expect to see the end of it. … So we must count on watching and striving for these trees, and should always be glad to find anything so surely good and noble to strive for.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1890s, The National Parks and Forest Reservations, 1895: "The National Parks and Forest Reservations", address to the Sierra Club Meeting held 23 November 1895; published in Sierra Club Bulletin, volume 1, number 7 (January 1896) pages 271-284 (at page 276)

66. “Few are altogether deaf to the preaching of pine trees. Their sermons on the mountains go to our hearts; and if people in general could be got into the woods, even for once, to hear the trees speak for themselves, all difficulties in the way of forest preservation would vanish.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1890s, The National Parks and Forest Reservations, 1895: "The National Parks and Forest Reservations", address to the Sierra Club Meeting held 23 November 1895; published in Sierra Club Bulletin, volume 1, number 7 (January 1896) pages 271-284 (at pages 282-283)

67. “How many hearts with warm red blood in them are beating under cover of the woods, and how many teeth and eyes are shining! A multitude of animal people, intimately related to us, but of whose lives we know almost nothing, are as busy about their own affairs as we are about ours.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1900s, '''Our National Parks'' (1901): Our National Parks (1901) chapter 1: The Wild Parks and Forest Reservations of the West

68. “Nature is ever at work building and pulling down, creating and destroying, keeping everything whirling and flowing, allowing no rest but in rhythmical motion, chasing everything in endless song out of one beautiful form into another.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1900s, '''Our National Parks'' (1901): Our National Parks (1901) chapter 3: The Yosemite National Park

69. “The forests of America, however slighted by man, must have been a great delight to God; for they were the best he ever planted.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1900s, '''Our National Parks'' (1901): Our National Parks (1901) chapter 10: The American Forests

70. “Many of Nature's finest lessons are to be found in her storms, and if careful to keep in right relations with them, we may go safely abroad with them, rejoicing in the grandeur and beauty of their works and ways.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1900s, Stickeen (1909): Stickeen (1909) Terry Gifford, LLO, pages 686-687

71. “I have known many dogs, and many a story I could tell of their wisdom and devotion; but to none do I owe so much as to Stickeen. At first the least promising and least known of my dog-friends, he suddenly became the best known of them all. Our storm-battle for life brought him to light, and through him as through a window I have ever since been looking with deeper sympathy into all my fellow mortals.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1900s, Stickeen (1909): Stickeen (1909) Terry Gifford, LLO, page 696

72. “All Nature's wildness tells the same story: the shocks and outbursts of earthquakes, volcanoes, geysers, roaring, thundering waves and floods, the silent uprush of sap in plants, storms of every sort, each and all, are the orderly, beauty-making love-beats of Nature's heart.”

—John Muir

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Source: "Three Adventures in the Yosemite", The Century Magazine volume LXXXIII, number 5 (March 1912) pages 656-661 (at page 661); modified slightly and reprinted in The Yosemite (1912), chapter 4: Snow Banners

73. “This natural beauty-hunger is made manifest … in our magnificent National Parks … Nature's sublime wonderlands, the admiration and joy of the world.”

—John Muir

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Source: The Yosemite (1912), chapter 15: Hetch Hetchy Valley

74. “My fire was in all its glory about midnight, and, having made a bark shed to shelter me from the rain and partially dry my clothing, I had nothing to do but look and listen and join the trees in their hymns and prayers.”

—John Muir

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Source: Travels in Alaska (1915), chapter 2: Alexander Archipelago and the Home I Found in Alaska

75. “The very thought of this Alaska garden is a joyful exhilaration. … Out of all the cold darkness and glacial crushing and grinding comes this warm, abounding beauty and life to teach us that what we in our faithless ignorance and fear call destruction is creation finer and finer.”

—John Muir

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Source: Travels in Alaska (1915), chapter 16: Glacier Bay

76. “One touch of nature makes all the world kin.”

—John Muir

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Source and Related Info: The Cruise of the Corwin (1917), chapter 3: Siberian Adventures
• (Echoing William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, iii, 3: "One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.")

77. “Lie down among the pines for a while, then get to plain pure white love-work … to help humanity and other mortals and the Lord.”

—John Muir

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Source: letter to Mrs. J.D. Hooker (19 September 1911); published in The Life and Letters of John Muir (1924), chapter 17, II; and in John Muir's Last Journey, edited by Michael P. Branch (Island Press, 2001), page 67

78. “Nature in her green, tranquil woods heals and soothes all afflictions.”

—John Muir

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Source: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. August 1875, page 220

79. “Who publishes the sheet-music of the winds, or the written music of water written in river-lines?”

—John Muir

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Source: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. August 1875, page 220

80. “Pollution, defilement, squalor are words that never would have been created had man lived conformably to Nature. Birds, insects, bears die as cleanly and are disposed of as beautifully as flies. The woods are full of dead and dying trees, yet needed for their beauty to complete the beauty of the living.... How beautiful is all Death!”

—John Muir

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Source: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. August or September 1875, page 222

81. “All the wild world is beautiful, and it matters but little where we go, to highlands or lowlands, woods or plains, on the sea or land or down among the crystals of waves or high in a balloon in the sky; through all the climates, hot or cold, storms and calms, everywhere and always we are in God's eternal beauty and love. So universally true is this, the spot where we chance to be always seems the best.”

—John Muir

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Source: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. June 1890, page 299

82. “There is a love of wild Nature in everybody, an ancient mother-love ever showing itself whether recognized or no, and however covered by cares and duties.”

—John Muir

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Source: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. July 1890, page 315

83. “Government protection should be thrown around every wild grove and forest on the mountains, as it is around every private orchard, and the trees in public parks. To say nothing of their value as fountains of timber, they are worth infinitely more than all the gardens and parks of towns.”

—John Muir

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Source: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. 1895, pages 350-351

84. “The wrongs done to trees, wrongs of every sort, are done in the darkness of ignorance and unbelief, for when the light comes, the heart of the people is always right.”

—John Muir

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Source: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. about 1900, page 429

85. “The whole wilderness in unity and interrelation is alive and familiar … the very stones seem talkative, sympathetic, brotherly. … No particle is ever wasted or worn out but eternally flowing from use to use.”

—John Muir

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Source and Related Info: attributed to a Muir "manuscript" in Linnie Marsh Wolfe, Son of the Wilderness: The Life of John Muir (1945), page 124
• (Similar to statements from My First Summer in the Sierra, see quotes from 30 August and 2 September above.)

86. “I will follow my instincts, be myself for good or ill, and see what will be the upshot. As long as I live, I'll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I'll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I'll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.”

—John Muir

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Source: attributed to a Muir "autobiographical notebook" in Linnie Marsh Wolfe, Son of the Wilderness: The Life of John Muir (1945), page 144

87. “Rocks and waters, etc., are words of God and so are men. We all flow from one fountain Soul. All are expressions of one Love. God does not appear, and flow out, only from narrow chinks and round bored wells here and there in favored races and places, but He flows in grand undivided currents, shoreless and boundless over creeds and forms and all kinds of civilizations and peoples and beasts, saturating all and fountainizing all.”

—John Muir

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Source: letter to Catharine Merrill, from New Sentinel Hotel, Yosemite Valley (9 June 1872); published in William Federic Badè, The Life and Letters of John Muir (1924), chapter 9: Persons and Problems

88. “When I reached the [Yosemite] valley, all the rocks seemed talkative, and more lovable than ever. They are dear friends, and have warm blood gushing through their granite flesh; and I love them with a love intensified by long and close companionship. … I … bathed in the bright river, sauntered over the meadows, conversed with the domes, and played with the pines.”

—John Muir

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Source: letter to Mrs. Ezra S. Carr (December 1872); published as "A Geologist's Winter Walk", Overland Monthly, volume 10, number 4 (April 1873) pages 355-358 (at page 355); modified slightly and reprinted in Steep Trails (1918), chapter 2

89. “I ran home [from Cloud's Rest to Yosemite Valley] in the moonlight, with long, firm strides; for the sun-love made me strong. Down through the junipers — down through the firs; now in jet-shadows, now in white light; over sandy moraines and bare, clanking rock; past the huge ghost of South Dome, rising weird through the firs — past glorious Nevada — past the groves of Illilouette — through the pines of the valley; frost-crystals flashing all the sky beneath, as star-crystals on all the sky above. All of this mountain-bread for one day!”

—John Muir

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Source: letter to Mrs. Ezra S. Carr (December 1872); published as "A Geologist's Winter Walk", Overland Monthly, volume 10, number 4 (April 1873) pages 355-358 (at page 358); modified slightly and reprinted in Steep Trails (1918), chapter 2

90. “I used to envy the father of our race, dwelling as he did in contact with the new-made fields and plants of Eden; but I do so no more, because I have discovered that I also live in ‘creation's dawn.’ The morning stars still sing together, and the world, not yet half made, becomes more beautiful every day.”

—John Muir

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Source: "Explorations in the Great Tuolumne Cañon", Overland Monthly, volume XI, number 2 (August 1873) pages 139-147 (at page 143); modified and reprinted in John of the Mountains (1938), page 72

91. “Living artificially in towns, we are sickly, and never come to know ourselves.”

—John Muir

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Source: "Explorations in the Great Tuolumne Cañon", Overland Monthly, volume XI, number 2 (August 1873) pages 139-147 (at page 146); modified and reprinted in John of the Mountains (1938), page 77

92. “No one of the rocks seems to call me now, nor any of the distant mountains. Surely this Merced and Tuolumne chapter of my life is done.”

—John Muir

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Source: letter to Mrs. Ezra S. Carr, from Yosemite Valley (September 1874); published in William Federic Badè, The Life and Letters of John Muir (1924), chapter 11: On Widening Currents

93. “No dogma taught by the present civilization seems to form so insuperable an obstacle in the way of a right understanding of the relations which culture sustains to wildness, as that which declares that the world as made especially for the uses of men. Every animal, plant, and crystal controverts it in the plainest terms. Yet it is taught from century to century as something ever new and precious, and in the resulting darkness the enormous conceit is allowed to go unchallenged.”

—John Muir

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Source: "Wild Wool", Overland Monthly, volume 14, number 4 (April 1875) pages 361-366 (at page 364); modified slightly and reprinted in Steep Trails (1918), chapter 1

94. “How terribly downright must seem the utterances of storms and earthquakes to those accustomed to the soft hypocrisies of society.”

—John Muir

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Source: "Flood-Storm in the Sierra", Overland Monthly, volume 14, number 6 (June 1875) pages 489-496 (at page 494)

95. “I would advise sitting from morning till night under some willow bush on the river bank where there is a wide view. This will be ‘doing the valley’ far more effectively than riding along trails in constant motion from point to point. The entire valley is made up of ‘points of interest.’”

—John Muir

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Source and Related Info: "The Summer Flood of Tourists", San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin (part 1 of the 11 part series "Summering in the Sierra") dated 14 June 1875, published 22 June 1875; reprinted in John Muir: Summering in the Sierra, edited by Robert Engberg (University of Wisconsin Press, 1984) page 71
• (Advice for visitors to Yosemite given by John Muir at age 37 years. Compare advice given by the 74-year-old Muir below.)

96. “In every country the mountains are fountains, not only of rivers but of men. Therefore we all are born mountaineers, the offspring of rock and sunshine.”

—John Muir

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Source: "From Fort Independence to Yosemite", San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin (part 6 of the 11 part series "Summering in the Sierra") dated September 1875, published 15 September 1875; reprinted in John Muir: Summering in the Sierra, edited by Robert Engberg (University of Wisconsin Press, 1984) page 113

97. “[I first climbed Half Dome on] one of those brooding days that come just between Indian summer and winter, when the clouds are like living creatures.”

—John Muir

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Source: "South Dome", San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin (part 11 of the 11 part series "Summering in the Sierra") dated 10 November 1875, published 18 November 1875; reprinted in John Muir: Summering in the Sierra, edited by Robert Engberg (University of Wisconsin Press, 1984) page 147

98. “No portion of the world is so barren as not to yield a rich and precious harvest of divine truth.”

—John Muir

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Source: "Arctic Coal Mines — The Diomede Bay Islands", San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin (part 18 of 21 part series "Cruise of the Corwin") dated 25 August 1881, published 25 October 1881; reprinted in The Cruise of the Corwin (1917), chapter 17: Meeting the Point Barrow Expedition

99. “Take a course of good water and air, and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you.”

—John Muir

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Source: "Mount Shasta" in Picturesque California (1888-1890) page 165; reprinted in Steep Trails (1918), chapter 5

100. “The view we enjoyed from the summit [of Mount Rainier] could hardly be surpassed in sublimity and grandeur; but one feels far from home so high in the sky, so much so that one is inclined to guess that, apart from the acquisition of knowledge and the exhilaration of climbing, more pleasure is to be found at the foot of the mountains than on their tops. Doubly happy, however, is the man to whom lofty mountain tops are within reach, for the lights that shine there illumine all that lies below.”

—John Muir

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Source: "Washington and the Puget Sound" in Picturesque California (1888-1890); reprinted in Steep Trails (1918), chapter 20

101. “Happy will be the men who, having the power and the love and the benevolent forecast to [create a park], will do it. They will not be forgotten. The trees and their lovers will sing their praises, and generations yet unborn will rise up and call them blessed.”

—John Muir

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Source: "The Basin of the Columbia River" in Picturesque California (1888-1890); reprinted in Steep Trails (1918), chapter 22

102. “That memorable day died in purple and gold, and just as the last traces of the sunset faded in the west and the star-lilies filled the sky, the full moon looked down over the rim of the valley, and the great rocks, catching the silvery glow, came forth out of the dusky shadows like very spirits.”

—John Muir

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Source: "A Rival of the Yosemite: The Cañon of the South Fork of King's River, California" The Century Magazine, volume XLIII, number 1 (November 1891) pages 77-97 (at page 86)

103. “Let our law-givers then make haste before it is too late to set apart this surpassingly glorious region for the recreation and well-being of humanity, and all the world will rise up and call them blessed.”

—John Muir

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Source: "A Rival of the Yosemite: The Cañon of the South Fork of King's River, California" The Century Magazine, volume XLIII, number 1 (November 1891) pages 77-97 (at page 97)

104. “[Concerning the founding of the Sierra Club:] Hoping that we will be able to do something for wildness and make the mountains glad.”

—John Muir

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Source: letter to Henry Senger (22 May 1892)

105. “Those [forest] reserves are not merely for the convenience and benefit of the people near them, but they are the property of the nation and for its greatest good. It is unreasonable to suppose that they should be destroyed or imperiled for any local convenience, as a mere present to men engaged in one local industry.”

—John Muir

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Source: statement by Muir quoted in news report "Started for Alaska: Harriman Exploring Expedition in Portland" in the Portland Morning Oregonian, 31 May 1899, page 12, columns 1-5 (at column 4)

106. “With inexpressible delight you wade out into the grassy sun-lake, feeling yourself contained in one of Nature's most sacred chambers, withdrawn from the sterner influences of the mountains, secure from all intrusion, secure from yourself, free in the universal beauty. And notwithstanding the scene is so impressively spiritual, and you seem dissolved in it, yet everything about you is beating with warm, terrestrial, human love, delightfully substantial and familiar.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1890s, The Mountains of California]'' (1894): The Mountains of California (1894) "The Glacier Meadows of the Sierra", Scribner's Monthly, volume XVII, number 4 (February 1879) pages 478-483 (at page 479); modified slightly and reprinted in The Mountains of California (1894), chapter 7: The Glacier Meadows

107. “It is generally supposed that complete pleasure of this kind, permeating one's very flesh and bones, unfits the student for scientific pursuits in which cool judgment and observation are required. But the effect is just the opposite. Instead of producing a dissipated condition, the mind is fertilized and stimulated and developed like sun-fed plants.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1890s, The Mountains of California]'' (1894): The Mountains of California (1894) chapter 7: The Glacier Meadows

108. “[Concerning the Sugar Pine:] The wood is deliciously fragrant, and fine in grain and texture; it is of a rich cream-yellow, as if formed of condensed sunbeams.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1890s, The Mountains of California]'' (1894): The Mountains of California (1894) chapter 8: The Forests

109. “[Concerning the Hemlock Spruce, now called Mountain Hemlock:] I wish I had space to write more of the surpassing beauty of this favorite spruce. … The deer love to lie down beneath its spreading branches; bright streams from the snow that is always near ripple through its groves, and bryanthus spreads precious carpets in its shade. But the best words only hint its charms. Come to the mountains and see.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1890s, The Mountains of California]'' (1894): The Mountains of California (1894) chapter 8: The Forests

110. “To the sane and free it will hardly seem necessary to cross the continent in search of wild beauty, however easy the way, for they find it in abundance wherever they chance to be.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1900s, '''Our National Parks'' (1901): Our National Parks (1901) chapter 1: The Wild Parks and Forest Reservations of the West

111. “I had built a little cabin in Yosemite, and for convenience in getting water, and for the sake of music and society, I led a small stream from Yosemite Creek into it. Running along the side of the wall it was not in the way, and it had just fall enough to ripple and sing in low, sweet tones, making delightful company, especially at night when I was lying awake. Then a few frogs came in and made merry with the stream, — and one snake.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1900s, '''Our National Parks'' (1901): Our National Parks (1901) chapter 6: Among the Animals of the Yosemite

112. “Storms of every sort, torrents, earthquakes, cataclysms, ‘convulsions of nature,’ etc., however mysterious and lawless at first sight they may seem, are only harmonious notes in the song of creation, varied expressions of God's love.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1900s, '''Our National Parks'' (1901): Our National Parks (1901) "The Fountains and Streams of the Yosemite National Park", The Atlantic Monthly, volume LXXXVII, number 519 (January 1901) pages 556-565 (at page 565); reprinted in Our National Parks (1901), chapter 8: The Fountains and Streams of the Yosemite National Park

113. “Little, however, is to be learned in confused, hurried tourist trips, spending only a poor noisy hour in a branded grove with a guide. You should go looking and listening alone on long walks through the wild forests and groves in all the seasons of the year. In the spring the winds are balmy and sweet... . In summer the days go by in almost constant brightness... . In the autumn the sighing of the winds is softer than ever... . Winter comes suddenly, arrayed in storms.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1900s, '''Our National Parks'' (1901): Our National Parks (1901) chapter 9: The Sequoia and General Grant National Parks

114. “Many lawless mysteries vanish, and harmonies take their places.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1900s, '''Our National Parks'' (1901): Our National Parks (1901) chapter 9: The Sequoia and General Grant National Parks

115. “The United States government has always been proud of the welcome it has extended to good men of every nation, seeking freedom and homes and bread.”

—John Muir

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Source: 1900s, '''Our National Parks'' (1901): Our National Parks (1901) chapter 10: The American Forests

116. “Surely all God's people, however serious and savage, great or small, like to play. Whales and elephants, dancing, humming gnats, and invisibly small mischievous microbes, — all are warm with divine radium and must have lots of fun in them.”

—John Muir

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Source: The Story of My Boyhood and Youth (1913), chapter 5: Young Hunters

117. “If I were so time-poor as to have only one day to spend in Yosemite I should start at daybreak, say at three o'clock in midsummer, with a pocketful of any sort of dry breakfast stuff, for Glacier Point, Sentinel Dome, the head of Illilouette Fall, Nevada Fall, the top of Liberty Cap, Vernal Fall and the wild boulder-choked River Cañon.”

—John Muir

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Source and Related Info: The Yosemite (1912), chapter 12: How Best to Spend One's Yosemite Time
• (Advice for visitors to Yosemite given by John Muir at age 74 years. Compare advice given by the 37-year-old Muir above.)

118. “One learns that the world, though made, is yet being made. That this is still the morning of creation. That mountains, long conceived, are now being born, brought to light by the glaciers, channels traced for coming rivers, basins hollowed for lakes.”

—John Muir

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Source and Related Info: "Alaska Glaciers: Graphic Description of the Yosemite of the Far Northwest", San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin (part 5 of 11 part series "Notes of a Naturalist") dated 7 September 1879, published 27 September 1879; reprinted as "Baird Glacier" in Letters from Alaska, edited by Robert Engberg and Bruce Merrell (University of Wisconsin Press, 1993), pages 28-32 (at page 31); modified slightly and reprinted in Travels in Alaska (1915), chapter 5, A Cruise in the Cassiar
• (First lines of the documentary film series "The National Parks: America's Best Idea" by Ken Burns.)

119. “When night was drawing near, I ran down the flowery slopes exhilarated, thanking God for the gift of this great day. The setting sun fired the clouds. All the world seemed new-born. Every thing, even the commonest, was seen in new light and was looked at with new interest as if never seen before.”

—John Muir

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Source: Travels in Alaska (1915), chapter 7: Glenora Peak

120. “[Concerning an aurora, ‘vivid crimson … indescribably rich and deep’:] The white, rayless light of morning, seen when I was alone amid the peaks of the California Sierra, had always seemed to me the most telling of all the terrestrial manifestations of God. But here the mountains themselves were made divine, and declared His glory in terms still more impressive.”

—John Muir

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Source: Travels in Alaska (1915), chapter 9: The Discovery of Glacier Bay

121. “[When asked about the word ‘hike’:] I don't like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains — not hike! Do you know the origin of that word saunter? It's a beautiful word. Away back in the middle ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, 'A la sainte terre,' 'To the Holy Land.' And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not 'hike' through them.”

—John Muir

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Source: statement by Muir as remembered by Albert W. Palmer in The Mountain Trail and its Message (1911), pages 27-28

122. “I don't think Mr. Harriman is very rich. He has not as much money as I have. I have all I want and Mr. Harriman has not.”

—John Muir

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Source: memorial volume Edward Henry Harriman (1911)

123. “Most interesting forest I have seen in my whole life.”

—John Muir

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Source: journal entry (24 October 1911) concerning Araucaria braziliensis in southern Brazil; published in John Muir's Last Journey, edited by Michael P. Branch (Island Press, 2001), page 88

124. “I'm now done with this glorious continent [South America] … . I've seen all I sought for and far, far, far more. … wandered most joyfully … through millions of acres of the ancient tree I was so anxious to find, Araucaria braziliensis. Just think of the glow of my joy in these noble aboriginal forests — the face of every tree marked with the inherited experiences of millions of years. … Crossed the Andes... Then straight to snowline and found a glorious forest of Araucaria imbricata, the strangest of the strange genus.”

—John Muir

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Source: letter to Mrs. J.D. Hooker (6 December 1911); published in The Life and Letters of John Muir (1924), chapter 17, II; and in John Muir's Last Journey, edited by Michael P. Branch (Island Press, 2001), page 125

125. “I've had a great time in South America and South Africa. Indeed it now seems that on this pair of wild hot continents I've enjoyed the most fruitful year of my life.”

—John Muir

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Muir, John. “John Muir Quotes: 133 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/john-muir-quotes.html#125

Source: letter to William Colby (4 February 1912); published in "John Muir — President of the Sierra Club", by William E. Colby, Sierra Club Bulletin, volume 10, number 1 (John Muir Memorial Issue, January 1916) pages 2-7 (at page 6); and in John Muir's Last Journey, edited by Michael P. Branch (Island Press, 2001), page 160

126. “Good walkers can go anywhere in these hospitable mountains without artificial ways.”

—John Muir

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Muir, John. “John Muir Quotes: 133 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/john-muir-quotes.html#126

Source: letter to Howard Palmer (12 December 1912); published in William Federic Badè, The Life and Letters of John Muir (1924), chapter 17, II

127. “Man has injured every animal he has touched.”

—John Muir

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Muir, John. “John Muir Quotes: 133 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/john-muir-quotes.html#127

Source: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. 11 February 1869, page 23

128. “Earth hath no sorrows that earth cannot heal, or heaven cannot heal, for the earth as seen in the clean wilds of the mountains is about as divine as anything the heart of man can conceive!”

—John Muir

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Muir, John. “John Muir Quotes: 133 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/john-muir-quotes.html#128

Source and Related Info: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. 1872(?), page 99
• (Echoing the 1816 hymn Come Ye Disconsolate by Thomas Moore: "Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.")

129. “Our crude civilization engenders a multitude of wants, and lawgivers are ever at their wits' end devising. The hall and the theater and the church have been invented, and compulsory education. Why not add compulsory recreation? Our forefathers forged chains of duty and habit, which bind us notwithstanding our boasted freedom, and we ourselves in desperation add link to link, groaning and making medicinal laws for relief. Yet few think of pure rest or of the healing power of Nature.”

—John Muir

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Muir, John. “John Muir Quotes: 133 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/john-muir-quotes.html#129

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Muir, John (2017, November 15) John Muir Quotes: 133 Sourced Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/john-muir-quotes.html#129

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Muir, John. “John Muir Quotes: 133 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/john-muir-quotes.html#129

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Muir, John. “John Muir Quotes: 133 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/john-muir-quotes.html#129

Source: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. 12 November 1875, page 234

130. “I always befriended animals and have said many a good word for them. Even to the least-loved mosquitoes I gave many a meal, and told them to go in peace.”

—John Muir

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Muir, John (2017, November 15) John Muir Quotes: 133 Sourced Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/john-muir-quotes.html#130

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Muir, John. “John Muir Quotes: 133 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/john-muir-quotes.html#130

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Muir, John. “John Muir Quotes: 133 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/john-muir-quotes.html#130

Source: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. page 277

131. “I always enjoyed the hearty society of a snowstorm.”

—John Muir

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Muir, John (2017, November 15) John Muir Quotes: 133 Sourced Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/john-muir-quotes.html#131

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Muir, John. “John Muir Quotes: 133 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/john-muir-quotes.html#131

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Muir, John. “John Muir Quotes: 133 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/john-muir-quotes.html#131

Source: John of the Mountains, 1938: Full title: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir; edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1938, reprinted by University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). According to Ronald Limbaugh and Kirsten Lewis (The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers, 1986, page 2), this volume is a "highly selective and heavily emended" reflection of the original Muir journals. 19(?) July 1890, page 321

132. “April 21. My birthday — I am told the fifty-seventh, and yet I feel only a boy. Must make haste and get my work done ere the night falls. Made an excursion with the babes to Mount Wanda.”

—John Muir

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