John Muir’s Yosemite

The father of the conservation movement found his calling on a visit to the California wilderness.

Tony Perrottet in Smithsonian Magazine:

Screenhunter_06_jul_13_1352The naturalist John Muir is so closely associated with Yosemite National Park—after all, he helped draw up its proposed boundaries in 1889, wrote the magazine articles that led to its creation in 1890 and co-founded the Sierra Club in 1892 to protect it—that you’d think his first shelter there would be well marked. But only park historians and a few Muir devotees even know where the little log cabin was, just yards from the Yosemite Falls Trail. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing, for here one can experience the Yosemite that inspired Muir. The crisp summer morning that I was guided to the site, the mountain air was perfumed with ponderosa and cedar; jays, larks and ground squirrels gamboled about. And every turn offered picture-postcard views of the valley’s soaring granite cliffs, so majestic that early visitors compared them to the walls of Gothic cathedrals. No wonder many 19th-century travelers who visited Yosemite saw it as a new Eden.

More here.  [This post is dedicated to my friend Tamuira Reid, who happens to be John Muir’s grand-daughter.]