The Wild Muir: Twenty-Two of John Muir's Greatest Adventures

The Wild Muir: Twenty-Two of John Muir's Greatest Adventures

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 1930238371

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Here is an entertaining collection of John Muir’s most exciting adventures, representing some of his finest writing. From the famous avalanche ride off the rim of Yosemite Valley to his night spent weathering a windstorm at the top of a tree to death-defying falls on Alaskan glaciers, the renowned outdoorsman’s exploits are related in passages that are by turns exhilarating, unnerving, dizzying, and outrageous.

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and broken branches of the trees standing on the sides of the gaps record the depth of the overwhelming flood; and when we come to count the annual wood-rings on the uprooted trees we learn that some of these immense avalanches occur only once in a century or even at still wider intervals. Few Yosemite visitors ever see snow avalanches and fewer still know the exhilaration of riding on them. In all my mountaineering I have enjoyed only one avalanche ride, and the start was so sudden and the end

patch of flood-sand on the riverbank, and a lot of driftwood close by for a campfire. But when I threw down my bundle, I found two snakes in possession of the ground. I might have passed the night even in this snake den without danger, for I never knew a single instance of their coming into camp in the night; but fearing that, in so small a space, some late comers, not aware of my presence, might get stepped on when I was replenishing the fire, to avoid possible crowding I encamped on one of the

and the great Tenaya Cañon, with its wealth of all that makes mountains sublime, they were welded with the vast South, Lyell, and Illilouette glaciers on one side, and with those of Hoffman on the other—thus forming a portion of a yet grander mer de glace in Yosemite Valley. I reached the Tenaya Cañon, on my way home, by coming in from the northeast, rambling down over the shoulders of Mount Watkins, touching bottom a mile above Mirror Lake. From thence home was but a saunter in the moonlight.

ploughed ledges and cleaved fissures and fastened crags and pinnacles upon it, so that, while its surface was full of man-traps and blind ways, the human spider might still find some hold for his claws. The shadows were dark upon us, but the lofty, icy peaks of the main range still lay bathed in the golden rays of the setting sun. There was no time to be lost. A quick glance to the right and left, and Muir, who had steered his course wisely across the glacier, attacked the cliff, simply saying,

solemn roaring. No tinkling, whistling rills this night. Ever and anon I hear a falling boulder. I have had a glorious and instructive day, but am excessively weary and to bed I go. July 18. I felt tired this morning and meant to rest to-day But after breakfast at 8 A.M. I felt I must be up and doing, climbing, sketching new views up the great tributaries from the top of Quarry Mountain. Weariness vanished and I could have climbed I think, five thousand feet. Anything seems easy after

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