The Yosemite

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University of California Press, 1914 - Nature - 215 pages
3 Reviews
In The Yosemite John Muir recounts his adventures during the years he sojourned amid the Yosemite Valley's spectacular scenery. Muir eloquently portrays the valley he called his "marvelous wonderland," providing detailed descriptions of its natural features--from tiny birds and wildflowers to fierce storms and floods and even an earthquake he experienced. Combining rare literary skills with a passion for discovery, Muir captures moments of breathtaking adventure: peering over the dizzying brink of Yosemite Falls; climbing a hundred feet up into a high, hollow ice-cone; and scaling Half Dome while it is covered with a fresh blanket of snow to see his shadow, a half-mile long, clearly outlined on the sea of clouds beneath him.

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User Review  - junebedell - LibraryThing

Beautiful, descriptive passages that anyone who has experienced Yosemite can immediately relate to. Loved it! Read full review


The Approach to the Valley i
Winter Storms and Spring Floods
Snow Storms
Snow Banners 52
The Trees of the Valley 6 5
The Forest Trees in General 69
The Big Trees 94
The Flowers
The Birds
The South Dome
How Best to Spend Ones Yosemite Time
Galen Clark

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About the author (1914)

The naturalist John Muir was born in Dunbar, Scotland. When he was 11 years old, he moved to the United States with his family and lived on a Wisconsin farm, where he had to work hard for long hours. He would rise as early as one o'clock in the morning in order to have time to study. At the urging of friends, he took some inventions he had made to a fair in Madison, Wisconsin. This trip resulted in his attending the University of Wisconsin. After four years in school, he began the travels that eventually took him around the world. Muir's inventing career came to an abrupt end in 1867, when he lost an eye in an accident while working on one of his mechanical inventions. Thereafter, he focused his attention on natural history, exploring the American West, especially the Yosemite region of California. Muir traveled primarily on foot carrying only a minimum amount of food and a bedroll. In 1880 Muir married Louie Strentzel, the daughter of an Austrian who began the fruit and wine industry in California. One of the first explorers to postulate the role of glaciers in forming the Yosemite Valley, Muir also discovered a glacier in Alaska that later was named for him. His lively descriptions of many of the natural areas of the United States contributed to the founding of Yosemite National Park in 1890. His urge to preserve these areas for posterity led to his founding of the Sierra Club in 1892.

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