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From banners of glinting glittering snow blowing off the mountainside to polished mirrored rock formed by million John Muir describes Yosemite as a natural cathedral of light, and if that is the case surely he is the preacher, or at least a member of the choir. From banners of glinting glittering snow blowing off the mountainside to polished mirrored rock formed by millions of years of glacial pressure, to majestic soaring trees and gorgeous litanies of flowers, Muir makes us feel the beauty he sees in nature and particularly in the Yosemite.

Muir made the Yosemite his home for six years, and through his eyes we see what made him decide to make the park his home. Nature was for Muir an intensely religious place and we see this through his descriptions of Yosemite as a cathedral, as filled with light, and through his frequently religious metaphors. The adventures and experiences of Muir are extraordinary in their own right. Often I found myself wondering of Muir had a death wish.

John Muir's Yosemite | History | Smithsonian

In this volume, he rides in avalanches, rushes outside during floods, and rock climbs under waterfalls. He would hang over the most precarious ledges simply to get a better view of a rainbow. Here is a man who stays in the Yosemite as earthquakes and rock slides are reshaping the valley, and all of his neighbors flee in fear of their lives. He makes the argument to them that they could hardly ask for a better burial, but they do not seem persuaded. One cannot underestimate the daring of the man and the deep affinity he felt with nature.

Literally sixty pages intimately describing different species of trees in a row will tax the patience of all but the most ardent nature lover. Clustering all of the trees, waterfalls, mountains, etc. I therefore suggest breaking this book up by reading the chapters out of order. By mixing things up, you lose very little in continuity and preserve a great deal of novelty. Muir here records a vision of a place that, even preserved as a national park, is not the same now as it was a hundred years ago.

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And still more changes threaten in the future. I found myself wondering what fate awaits the glaciers that Muir describes in such beautiful detail. These surely are disappearing with global warming, and with them will go the forces that formed the incomparable Yosemite. Ultimately, I found this a fine guide of a singular place by a singular man. His all-encompassing, almost mystical and always infectious appreciation for wilderness helped start a movement to conserve wild places for the enjoyment of all.

One of those places is Yosemite. I had the opportunity to visit recently and picked up a copy of this book. Pictures from another recent visitor thanks Stephanie prompted me to pull this out and read it. It was published in 1 "He must sing, though the heavens fall It was published in and the style is certainly dated, but it was an enjoyable read mostly because it launched me right back to the days spent wandering in awe through the remarkable valley though, it would seem we experienced slightly more visitors in those few days than Mr.

Muir might have encountered in his life. More of a hiking guide than a rumination, it was still highly enjoyable — featuring a breathless description of, well, everything, down to the most minute details. And in those details, he found infinity. On Yosemite Falls which the drought had shut off when we visited: After being flung down the canyon wall on top of an avalanche: This was a fine experience. He must sing, though the heavens fall. When writing about the glaciers, he said this about South Dome: The Yosemite is Muir at his finest. As a spiritual man, John Muir saw the glory and greatness of the natural wonders around him through a lens of awe, wonderment, and appreciation of every detail that he conveys in all of his writings.

His clear prose takes the reader back to the time when he was exploring Yosemite himself and allows you to experience the park as he saw it with his own eyes. Originally written as a guidebook to the part and a means to convince readers nationwide to make the pilgr The Yosemite is Muir at his finest.

Originally written as a guidebook to the part and a means to convince readers nationwide to make the pilgrimage to nature's wonderland, "The Yosemite" contains great practical information on the geography, flora, and fauna of the park. Muir's meticulous studies hold up to the rigors of science even today, creating a timeless characterization of the details of Yosemite. His guides for hiking and exploring can still be followed and still offer the sublime views he recommends.

Yet what makes this book stand out is not the scientific description of the park but rather Muir's own experiences and his narratives of exploring the park on his own. With the crowds and visitors today it is sometimes hard to experience the same sense of awe and wonderment from the Valley floor that Muir so cherished, but his writing is so clear and transcendent that you feel as though you are standing with Muir seeing Yosemite through his eyes.

He conveys clearly his sense of excitement and awe at the park from both a naturalist and spiritual perspective. This is clearest in the first and last sections of the book, providing a wonderful emotional bookend to the scientific descriptions in the middle. Yet even in the scientific narratives, Muir interlaces stories of his own experiences that allow the reader to go back to the late s and see these natural wonders alongside Muir.

The spiritual perspective and clear description of the park is a must-read for any visitor and anyone interested in nature and one of our nation's greatest national parks. Few to none have yet written more clearly, passionately, and so universally meaningfully as has Muir, and few likely ever will. I had to learn that in other ways. But nature gave the word glory meaning for me. Lewis Yosemite is my favorite wilderness in the world, the place where I first experienced God's majesty in creation, so when I found this little paperback at a thrift store for fifty cents I was pretty thrilled.

Part naturalist's field guide, part tourist's hand book, part environmental activist's treatise, part autobiographic "Nature never taught me that there exists a God of glory and of infinite majesty. Muir paints his word-pictures with such masterful strokes that I constantly found myself closing my eyes and digging for memories of my time in Yosemite that matched his for beauty. Sometimes he gets overly descriptive to the point that the reading becomes tedious, but other times his short adventure episodes leave you on the edge of your seat waiting for him to get washed over the lip of a waterfall or buried in an avalanche.

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There are excellent practical tips on how to best see the valley on hiking excursions of various lengths, a fascinating early history of exploration and settlement in the Yosemite, and a moving defense against the damming of the Hetch-Hetchy Valley a seven-year struggle that Muir and the Sierra Club ultimately, unfortunately, lost. Overall, this book is wonderfully diverse and exquisitely written, but will likely lose interest quickly for someone who doesn't have a niche curiosity in glacial wilderness, or doesn't have a reference point having never been to the majestic Yosemite.

Feb 03, Robert rated it liked it. Though published in , The Yosemite reads as firmly planted in the 19th Century, with swaths of descriptive text that can bog down the modern reader, no matter how beautiful its descriptions and indeed its subjects. Yet there is an undeniable poetry to Muir's evangelizing for the wilderness, and I imagine the pace is one well suited to walking through the valley, exploring its wonders.

The passages where he told stories that placed himself and others in the landscape were particularly enjoya Though published in , The Yosemite reads as firmly planted in the 19th Century, with swaths of descriptive text that can bog down the modern reader, no matter how beautiful its descriptions and indeed its subjects. The passages where he told stories that placed himself and others in the landscape were particularly enjoyable, both breaking up the lengthy expositions and providing something of a human scale to the vastness and cathedral-like beauty.

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The one that stood out most of all was the brief chapter on the Native American residents of the valley and their tragic interactions with the encroaching miners and, eventually, soldiers. It was a book meant to inspire the American people to protect more of the continent's wilderness, as evidenced by the chapter on the then-proposed Hetch Hetchy dam project -- a sad reminder of one of Muir's defeats and quite sad in retrospect.

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But it is thanks to Muir and others that even today we can at least visit The Yosemite and see many of the same wonders he and the previous residents saw many years ago. Dec 05, Miriam rated it liked it Shelves: I think I might like this book better if I didn't just listen to it.

Like if there were drawings of all the things he writes about, or a map of Yosemite or something. I tihnk his descriptions of waterfalls are great--he realy knows how to write about water and light and mist and all that good stuff. I appreciate the details of the park and all the trees, and I guess what I really learned is that you have to accumulate knowledge slowly, and someone has to do it before you can get more.

So good fo I think I might like this book better if I didn't just listen to it. So good for him. He's kind of a dummy for trying to jump behind that one waterfall and almost getting hit in the head with big rocks or maybe drowning. The chapter near the end about Tenaya and the treatment of the Native Americans there was very sad, even if he's sort of on the side of U.

It's an interesting line to straddle: Jan 27, Gordon Wilson rated it really liked it. John Muir one of the pioneers of American conservation was a devout Christian man. Unfortunately, many modern environmentalists sweep his Christian faith under the carpet.

John Muir’s Yosemite

They want us to see him as just an environmentalist and ignore the Christian faith that motivated him. As a man saturated in the Scriptures from his early youth in Scotland, he exults in the majesty, beauty, and power of the creation while often giving glory to God. What a stark contrast to the pantheistic or naturalistic drivel we get today.

When Muir really gets in the zone, he reminds me of King David writing about the glory of creation like Psalm If you like to immerse yourself in the great outdoors or, if you can't be there, read about it in a way that ushers you into a spirit of praise for God's mighty work of creation, then reading John Muir's "The Yosemite" is a good place to start. Nov 07, Cinthia Ramirez rated it it was amazing. He describes the features of the park. This small quote shows a little of his adventurous spirit and his need to explore places.

The author describes his approach to the Valley, the winter storms and spring floods, the snow storms and the snow banners, the trees of the Valley, the flowers, the birds,the south dome, and lastly the best way to spend your time at Yosemite. I would recommend this book because the author did an excellent job on describing the park in a way that makes the reader want to visit the park. Apr 13, Thom Swennes rated it liked it. Obviously intended as a travel book, The Yosemite by John Muir paints a picture that will never be seen again except in his words.

Yosemite In Depth

John Muir traveled to California in and spent much time in the area that is now the Yosemite National Park. In the time of his expedition few white men had seen much of that area. His Obviously intended as a travel book, The Yosemite by John Muir paints a picture that will never be seen again except in his words. His descriptions are vivid and clear but unfortunately never to be seen again. If I was not already going to Yosemite, I would have bought a ticket instantly. John Muir is probably one of the most detailed and descriptive writers I've seen yet.

Camping is extremely popular in Yosemite. Plan ahead and figure out what options you have for this enjoyable activity. Yosemite National Park California. Info Alerts Maps Calendar Reserve. Initially associated with the Hudson River School , Bierstadt rose to prominence for his paintings of the Rocky Mountains , which established him as one of the best painters of the western American landscape.

His later paintings of Yosemite were also received with critical acclaim and public praise. Those studies were used as references for his future paintings, including this Valley of the Yosemite , which was painted in his New York studio.

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Since this painting was on a smaller scale than his other larger panoramic scenes and it was done on paperboard, it is often thought that it is a sketch for his significantly larger, Looking Down Yosemite Valley, California , which was painted a year later in Overall, the panoramic scene is idyllic, as a cluster of deer linger peacefully in the center foreground.

A painter of the Hudson River School , Bierstadt's style also had aspects of luminism. As seen in this depiction of Yosemite, the setting sun casts a yellow-orange glow over the entire landscape. Perhaps Bierstadt hoped to preserve this paradise through paintings like these, as a few years later, the First Transcontinental Railroad was built, which introduced tourism to the American west.