The recent trip to the Gold Country enlightened me of Yosemite’s 150th birthday. The trip also led me to John Muir, naturalist and founder of the Sierra Club, which saved national treasures like Yosemite and the Sequoia National Park. Without Muir this might no longer exist as it does to this day:
To look at a map of the United States, one would get the impression that moving west a traveler would encounter the Rocky Mountains and then nothing but lowlands stretching out to the Pacific. But no, there are more mountains to be passed once you hit California and they are no joke. Just ask the Donner Party. Muir’s task was to enter this rugged country to oversee a herd of sheep sent into the mountains to forage during the blistering Summers suffered upon the San Joaquin Valley floor. My First Summer in the Sierra is his recounting of this life-altering experience.
The book describes the author’s 1869 stay in California’s Yosemite River Valley and the Sierra Mountains. Muir’s engaging journal describes majestic vistas, flora and fauna, as well as the region’s other breathtaking natural wonders. Picturesque descriptions and sketches will likely invest within reader a strong desire to see all he is describing. One thing is obvious almost from the beginning. John Muir was a good writer. His elegant use of language was apt for the grandeur of his subject.