CHAPTER I THROUGH THE FOOTHILLS WITH A FLOCK OF SHEEP In the great Central Valley of California there are only two seasons—spring and summer. The spring begins with the first rainstorm, which usually falls in November. In a few months the wonderful flowery vegetation is in full bloom, and by the end of May it is dead and dry and crisp, as if every plant had been roasted in an oven. Then the lolling, panting flocks and herds are driven... more...

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's loveliness." 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.... more...

I A BOYHOOD IN SCOTLAND Earliest Recollections—The "Dandy Doctor" Terror—Deeds of Daring—The Savagery of Boys—School and Fighting—Birds'-nesting. When I was a boy in Scotland I was fond of everything that was wild, and all my life I've been growing fonder and fonder of wild places and wild creatures. Fortunately around my native town of Dunbar, by the stormy North Sea, there was no lack of wildness, though... more...

CHAPTER I THE SIERRA NEVADA Go where you may within the bounds of California, mountains are ever in sight, charming and glorifying every landscape. Yet so simple and massive is the topography of the State in general views, that the main central portion displays only one valley, and two chains of mountains which seem almost perfectly regular in trend and height: the Coast Range on the west side, the Sierra Nevada on the east. These two ranges... more...

Happy nowadays is the tourist, with earth's wonders, new and old, spread invitingly open before him, and a host of able workers as his slaves making everything easy, padding plush about him, grading roads for him, boring tunnels, moving hills out of his way, eager, like the devil, to show him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory and foolishness, spiritualizing travel for him with lightning and steam, abolishing space and time and almost... more...


STICKEEN In the summer of 1880 I set out from Fort Wrangel in a canoe to continue the exploration of the icy region of southeastern Alaska, begun in the fall of 1879. After the necessary provisions, blankets, etc., had been collected and stowed away, and my Indian crew were in their places ready to start, while a crowd of their relatives and friends on the wharf were bidding them good-by and good-luck, my companion, the Rev. S.H. Young, for... more...

The plants named in the following notes were collected at many localities on the coasts of Alaska and Siberia, and on Saint Lawrence, Wrangel, and Herald Islands, between about latitude 54° and 71°, longitude 161° and 178°, in the course of short excursions, some of them less than an hour in length. Inasmuch as the flora of the arctic and subarctic regions is nearly the same everywhere, the discovery of many species new to... more...

Chapter 1The Approach to the Valley When I set out on the long excursion that finally led to California I wandered afoot and alone, from Indiana to the Gulf of Mexico, with a plant-press on my back, holding a generally southward course, like the birds when they are going from summer to winter. From the west coast of Florida I crossed the gulf to Cuba, enjoyed the rich tropical flora there for a few months, intending to go thence to the north end... more...