Re-Tracing John Muir's Famous Walks
John Muir's 1868 Walk from San Francisco to Yosemite
- Peter & Donna
Thomas - Re-walking John Muir's 1868 Walk from San Francisco to
Yosemite (2006) (off-site link)
and Donna Thomas recently engaged in a project
to document and retrace John Muir's first trip across California.
On March 27, 1868, John Muir arrived in San Francisco from New
York, by steamer. John Muir then chose to walk to Yosemite. Muir
took the ferry to Oakland and walked via the Santa Clara Valley,
over the Pacheco Pass, across the San Joaquin Valley to Snelling,
and then up the foothills through Coulterville to arrive in Yosemite
Valley around May 22.
After finding that no Muir scholar or enthusiast had ever done
this before, Peter and Donna Thomas set out to rewalk Muir's 1868
walk on April 2, 2006.
- Alex McInturff
- California Transect -
(2009) (of-site link)
In 1868, when John Muir first arrived in San Francisco,
he almost immediately crossed the Bay to Oakland and began walking
to Yosemite. On April 6, 2009, Stanford University grad student Alex
McInturff set off to retrace Muir's path across California. Alex
is a master's student in the Earth Systems Program in the School
of Earth Sciences at Stanford University. He has been researching
the history of and current state of conservation in California.
- David Page - Hurtling Toward The Range of Light: A cross-California bike-packing ramble follows in the footsteps of the original conservationist, John Muir. (2011) Read about the 7 day bike ride to Yosemite from San Francisco in Go: AirTran Inflight Magazine (October, 20011
John Muir's 1,000 Mile Walk to the Gulf of Mexico (1867-68)
- James B. Hunt, Restless Fires: Young John Muir's Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf in 1867-68 (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2012). Provides a detailed rendering of Muir's thousand-mile walk based on both manuscript and published accounts. Hunt particularly examines the development of Muir's environmental thought as a young adult. Includes 14 photographic reproductions of pages from Muir's journal containing Muir's often whimsical drawings; three period photographs; and 1 modern (2011) map of Muir's route. As part of his research for the book, Hunt traveled Muir's route from Louisville, Kentucky, to Cedar Key, Florida beginning on September 1, 2007, discovering major and minor libraries and research institutions all along the route which aided in providing maps, diaries, newspapers,local histories, and other historical material relevant to the social, political, and economic context of Reconstruction of the communities through which Muir passed in 1867. A book jacket summary of this book is available, and an annotation on our Annotated John Muir Bibliography.
- Ron "Ramblin" Boone, John Muir's "Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf" "Revisited".
This self-published book relates the author's physical re-tracing of Muir's approximate waking route via a mini-camper. Each chapter includes brief excerpts from Muir identifying the various towns he passed through; Boone then elaborates on the history of each geographic area, both before and after Muir's 1867 journey. Includes a line-drawn map, and 14 sketches of various buildings seen along the route. While not really a scholarly work, the endnotes include references to many reference books which elucidate the history of the places Muir visited on his famous walk. (Washington, PA: "Ramblin" Ron Boone, 2006). ISBN No. 0910042969. 87 pp.; Illustrated, Preface, Endnotes, Index. Available from online bookstores such as Amazon.com.
and Sarah Reding - Re-Walking Muir's 1,000 Mile Walk (2006) (Off-site
Reding, an interpretive naturalist, has long
dreamed of re-walking Muir's 1,000 mile walk. He and his wife Sarah
plan to begin re-tracing Muir's steps from Kentucky to Florida in May,
- Michael Muir's Horse
Journey Re-Tracing Muir's 1,000 Mile Walk (2003) (off-site link)
Michael Muir, the great grandson of America's
most famous naturalist, John Muir, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis
at the age of 15. He is a passionate believer in what people with
disabilities can achieve. He uses Horse Journey to show by example
that disability does not mean inability. In 2003, his Horse Journey
followed the route taken by John Muir in his first great wilderness
adventure, The Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf.
Perkins, "Looking for John Muir" -
film documentary (1996) (off-site link)
film maker here passed up an excellent opportunity to explore what
Muir's 1,000 Mile Walk to the Gulf may look like today, but instead
provides little more than scenes of driving a sidecar motorcycle
down truck-infested highways; visiting motels and hotels; and finding
almost nothing of Muir left in the South. Because Perkins travels
with a dog, he cannot even visit the one place Muir visited which
is now a National Park - Mammoth Cave National Park. The only bright
spot in this dismal documentary is the visit to Bonaventure Cemetery,
which appears to be as beautiful today as when Muir slept there in
October of 1867.
- Dr. D. Bruce
Means retraced Muir's 1,000 walk on the same dates as Muir
(leaving Louisville Kentucky on September 2), but in 1984 rather
than in 1867, using Muir's journals as a guide. He wrote about
it on pages 212-214 (chapter 22 - "Okefenokee
his book Stalking
the Plumed Serpent and Other Adventures in Herpetology (Pineapple
Press, Sarasota, Florida, 2008). Means was heartsick to discover
that virtually none of Muir's wilderness remained along the route:
"The deep, green sea of bossy oaks and virgin hardwood
forests described by Muir were gone from Kentucky and Tennessee.
1 couldn't walk up 'the
leafy banks of the Hiawassee ... with its surface broken to a thousand
sparkling gems' because that 'most impressive mountain river' had
long been drowned behind dams. And more than 90 percent of the vast
Coastal Plain longleaf pine forest was clearcut and replaced
with agriculture and sterile tree farms."
- John Muir's Longest Walk: John Earl, a Photographer,
Traces His Journey to Florida by John Earl, with Excerpts from Muir's A Thousand-Mile Walk to the
Photographs of the route of the thousand-mile walk in March of 1973, starting
at Cedar Key and retracing Muir's route backward so as to follow spring north.
Earl sought out the few places that remain the way they were when Muir first
John Muir in California
Muir: A Naturalist in Southern California by Elizabeth Pomeroy
Historical overview of Muir's frequent visits
to the Los Angeles and Pasadena area include Places to Visit: Southland
sites associated with Muir which can still be visited today.
with Muir across Yosemite by Thomas R. Vale and Geraldine
R. Vale - University of Wisconsin Press Release (offsite link)
Thomas and Geraldine Vale retrace Muir's path,
based upon journal descriptions of his activities and experiences during
his first summer in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. From the foothills
through Yosemite Valley and on up to the Tuolumne Meadows, the Vales
follow the present roads and trails that crossed Muir's route, imagining
his reaction to the landscape while reflecting on the natural world
in both his time and ours.
John Muir in South America
John Muir Around the World
- On the Trail of
John Muir by Cherry Good (January 17, 2000)
In this book, each stage of Muir's life and development
is set within the context of the places that were special, magical
to him - the Canadian forests, the glaciers of Alaska, Arizona's Grand
Canyon, and most important of all, the High Sierra of California, where
the John Muir Trail now runs for over two hundred miles from Yosemite
Valley to the summit of Mount Whitney. By following the directions
and maps included in On the Trail, readers are able to participate
in Muir's adventures on both sides of the Atlantic, to feel a part
of Muir's world as they too experience the beauty of the wilderness
and the need to preserve it.
- "John Muir in India" - Power Point presentation by Harold Wood, presented at the John Muir in Global Perspective Conference at the University of the Pacific, March 31 - April 1, 2006.
- "Around the World with John Muir"- Power Point presentation
by Harold Wood. Frequently shown at LeConte
Memorial Lodge in Yosemite
Note: The John Muir Trail is a high-route
along the crest of the Sierra between Yosemite and Mt. Whitney. Though
it covers many of the places Muir visited, but it is not a precise
re-creation of Muir's actual Sierra rambles. For more information,
The Complete Guide to the John Muir Trail (off-site link)
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