By Emily Clever
As much as I am embarrassed to admit it, this is the first John Muir book I have read. The Yosemite is a terrific introduction to his work and a timely read since 2016 is the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service.
His writing is beautifully descriptive. There is a sort of calm and serene manner to his words that I have never before experienced. He is quite adept at conveying the beauty and peacefulness of the world around him. You can feel him communing with nature. Even with his calm and gentle words you can still feel the excitement and tension of him standing on the narrow ledge, being swept away in an avalanche and experiencing an earthquake. His solitude is felt in his words, but they do not feel lonely.
If you have the urge to visit Yosemite but neither the time nor money this book may provide the necessary escape. Muir’s description does not encompass only one day or season, it encompasses entire days and seasons. If you are limited on money or time he does provide suggestions for excursion that are one to three days long.
His last chapter focuses on the threats the park was facing at the time. Sadly, the Hetch Hetchy Valley lost the fight for its protection and was dammed. Although the backlash from the damming of Hetch Hetchy Valley resulted in the creation of the National Park Service Act which was intended to protect our national parks going forward. Unfortunately, our parks are still not safe. They are facing pressures from development just outside their boundaries, destruction of the wildlife that happen to leave a park’s boundaries, climate change, lack of funding to maintain trails and structures, and more.
Please join our book discussion on Sept 1 at 6:30PM at Fresh Deli by Nostalgia Farms in the Freight House, Davenport.
Image: Yosemite Falls and Merced River from NPS Historical Images