The Wilderness World of John Muir

One of my favorite quotes is from John Muir.

 "The mountains are calling and I must go."

This quote is on a sticker that is on my hiking water bottle and it is the clarion call that rallies us for our annual vacation in Colorado. And though I love the quote, I had never read anything by Muir.

This book was my introduction to Muir and it did not disappoint.

A few thoughts on Muir. First, he was a very good story teller and a great thinker. My favorite story from this collection was "Stickeen," the tale of Muir, a little dog, and a day on a glacier. Secondly, his adventures are mind boggling considering there were no expedition teams, supplies, safety equipment, etc. The plans and gear were absent from his trips to the back-country. He would simply set out with his notebook and a little bread. Thirdly, I believe his philosophy would be of great benefit in our frazzled world of today. Another of his quotes:

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

My dog-ears and highlights:
  • pg. 144 - the glorious beauty and glorious power of Ililouette Falls; the sound of rushing water!
  • pg. 163 - Muir tries to convince Emerson to go up into the wild; Emerson longed to go but his "handlers" would not let him
  •  pg. 231  Any Fool Can Destroy a Tree (how many trees were bulldozed for the sake of a housing development or shopping center while I read this book???)
  • pg. 277 - Stickeen!
  • pg. 318 - "one day's exposure to the mountains..."
  • pg. 320 - compulsory recreation for the masses!
Now on to "The Wild Muir." I can't wait...would like to read it while deep in the back-country of Colorado but will probably have to settle for some Texas Wilderness.


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