[pct-l] biography of John Muir

Scott Williams baidarker at gmail.com
Wed Nov 30 21:27:11 CST 2011

That's a wonderful site.  UOP, University of the Pacific, a great smaller
Central Valley University, was the recipient of most of Muir's original
manuscripts and journals.  It's a bit out of the way in Stockton CA which
is why I haven't visited their library or wherever these wonderful
scribbles are displayed, or I hope are displayed.  Great school and a
deserving recipient.


On Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 6:55 PM, rickandurs at juno.com <rickandurs at juno.com>wrote:

> There is also an interesting collection of John Muir photos, drawings,
> journals and correspondence at this web site:
> http://www.pacific.edu/Library/Find/Holt-Atherton-Special-Collections/Digital-Collections.html
> You can read his actual journals, view photos, etc. A very interesting
> site.   I found out about this web site when I had the wonderful privilege
> of meeting Muir's great-great grandson, Robert Hanna, a couple of months
> ago  Robert Hanna has a line of clothing called, Range of Light which can
> be seen at this web site, http://rangeoflight.com/.
> Ursula
> ---------- Original Message ----------
> From: Scott Williams <baidarker at gmail.com>
> To: James Lindstrom <jcrocket at windstream.net>
> Cc: Pct-L at backcountry.net
> Subject: Re: [pct-l] biography of John Muir
> Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2011 18:28:30 -0800
> When I asked that same question of my favorite ranger at the Muir House a
> few years ago, he recommended, *A Passion for Nature, The Life of John
> Muir, *Oxford University Press, by Donald Worster.  I have not read any
> other, but he said the difference between this more recent bio and the
> others was that this one is less about every little thing Muir did, and
> focuses more on how he fits into the intellectual landscape of his time.
> His relationships with the great thinkers of the day, how he was
> influenced and how he influenced others.  He clearly had a religious
> experience when he walked into Yosemite Valley, and went on to become kind
> of a John the Baptist, wild man who brought many others along with him into
> the belief that wilderness could heal the soul of modern man.  Many people
> who met him had similar experiences just by meeting him, and had their
> lives changed as a result.  Stephen Mather, the "Japanese John Muir" are
> two.  His craziness and brilliance went on to change this nation, and we
> hike the trails we do because of how his writings influenced people across
> the nation.  He was much more famous in his own time than he is now, and I
> can't think of anyone else who had two presidents seek him out to go
> camping while in office.  Roosevelt and Taft.  Several National Parks are
> the result of those camping trips.
> This is timely as I just spent the day at the Oakland Museum of California
> pouring over the current Muir exhibit.  It's wonderful, full of interactive
> displays, you can follow his mountain climbing and Sierra wanderings on a
> digital, moving screen that sweeps you all over the terrain he explored and
> we now hike.  I couldn't leave the screen!  It also swings you through a
> landscape in the Sierra and zooms in on a peak or valley he sketched and
> superimposes a photo of his sketch on the landscape.  Very cool.  They have
> lots of his actual journals and tiny little sketches and writings as he had
> only limited paper while hiking just like us, and even some of his larger
> sketches.  They have his original rough map of the entire Sierra Nevada and
> all the Big Tree Groves in existence at the time.  Many are gone now.
> Large dioramas are throughout, gorgeously photographed by Stephen Joseph, a
> friend and probably the best nature photographer in the Bay Area at
> present.  Stephens huge blow ups of Muir's plant pressings, are right next
> to the actual little plant Muir dried.    For a Muirophile, it's a must.
> It closes Jan 22, 2011.  So get yourself to Oakland if you can.  I'd never
> seen his actual journals before, and they are gorgeous.  But then, I'm
> easily amused by anything to do with our patron saint.
> The offer still stands to any on this list who are interested in Muir to
> contact me and come on out to his home in Martinez and do a little hiking
> on his old ranch lands.  And I will give you some John Muir Dirt to take
> home.  Oh, hell, maybe some John Muir Wine too.  The only caveat is that
> I'm actually here, and not off being a damned fool hiker somewhere.
> Shroomer
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