John Muir

Today is John Muir’s birthday.  John Muir was born in Scotland in 1838 and emigrated to the United States with his family in 1849.  In 1867, he waled from Indiana to Florida–over 1000 miles–and then had plans to take a ship to South America.  However, when he contracted malaria, he changed plans, took a ship to New York, then sailed to California.  Upon his arrival in California, he spent a week in Yosemite.  That visit created life-long ties between Yosemite and Muir.

Muir surmised that Yosemite Valley was created by glaciers.  This idea was dismissed as amateurish by many of the noted geologists of the day, but was eventually accepted.  Because of Muir’s efforts, Yosemite was protected as a national park.  He and President Teddy Roosevelt once ditched the president’s staff and an official dinner in his honor and spent the night camped among the redwoods of Yosemite.  The next night they camped again and awoke covered with snow.  Roosevelt claimed it was the “grandest day of my life.”

John Muir was honored on the 2005 California State Series quarter.

Some John Muir quotes:

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.

The mountains are calling and I must go.

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