The famed American adventurer, geologist, and naturalist recounts his experiences, impressions, and discoveries during four trips to Alaska between 1879 and 1890
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: Preface Forty years ago John Muir wrote to a friend; I am hopelessly and forever a mountaineer. ... Civilization and fever, and all the morbidness that has been hooted at me, have not dimmed my glacial eyes, and I care to live only to entice people to look at Nature sloveliness. How gloriously he fulfilled the promise of his early manhood! Fame, all unbidden, wore a path to his door, but he always remained a modest, unspoiled mountaineer. Kindred spirits, the greatest of his time, sought him out, even in his mountain cabin, and felt honored by his friendship. Ralph Waldo Emerson urged him to visit Concord and rest awhile from the strain of his solitary studies in the Sierra Nevada. But nothing could dislodge him from the glacial problems of the high Sierra; with passionate interest he kept at his task. The grandeur of these forces and their glorious results, he once wrote, overpower me and inhabit my whole being. Waking or sleeping, I have no rest. In dreams I read blurred sheets of glacial writing, or follow lines of cleavage, or struggle with the difficulties of some extraordinary rock-form. There is a note of pathos, the echo of an unfulfilled hope, in the record of his later visit to Concord.
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