John Muirs Trail In History

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John Muir's Trail in History

John Muir was a man of great importance in the history of the United
States and in the preservation of it's beauty. His tireless efforts to protect natural wonders such as Yosemite Valley demonstrated his undying love for the outdoors. Muir took a stand against the destructive side of civilization in a dauntless battle to save America's forest lands. The trail of preservation that
Muir left behind has given countless numbers of people the opportunity to experience nature's magnificence.
John Muir was born on April 21, 1838 in the small rural town of Dunbar,
Scotland. As a boy, Muir was “fond of everything that was wild”(My Boyhood and
Youth 30) and took great pleasure in the outdoors. In 1849, Muir and his family emigrated to Wisconsin to homestead. The great forests of Northern United
States captivated him and fueled his desire to learn more. Muir later enrolled in courses in chemistry, geology, and botany at the University of Wisconsin.
After his education, Muir began working in a factory inventing small machines and contraptions. However, a serious working accident in the factory left Muir temporarily blind. When he finally regained his vision, he vowed to live life to the fullest and devote everything he had to nature.
At the age of 29, Muir made a thousand-mile walk from Indianapolis to
Florida for the sheer pleasure of being outdoors. This experience enlightened
Muir and compelled him to extend his travels. With his family's blessings (his wife and two daughters), he began to wander America's forests, mountains, valleys, and meadows extensively. Alone and on foot, he filled his notebooks with sketches and descriptions of the plants, animals, and trees that he loved.
He later took trips around the world, including destinations such as Europe and
South America. There he explored the Amazon basin and noted many new plant species. In Alaska, he became the first white man to see Glacier Bay. He definitely made an impact in Alaska's history: Mount Muir, Muir Glacier, Muir
Point, and Muir Inlet all carry his name.
However, it was California's Sierra Nevada and Yosemite Valley that truly claimed him. In 1868, he walked across the San Joaquin Valley through waist-high wildflowers and into the high country for th...

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... today follow the path of John Muir's conservation. His teachings of nature and life live on through his writings. He possessed the foresight to know that the forests needed to be protected. He knew that they wouldn't have lasted forever. The Sierra Club that he founded has helped save millions of acres of forest lands, and other national monuments that otherwise would have been destroyed. He truly took a stand for nature, and in doing so, took a stand for mankind.

"The whole wilderness seems to be alive and familiar, full of humanity.
The very stones seem talkative, sympathetic, brotherly. No wonder when we consider that we all have the same Father and Mother."
-John Muir, April 1911
(Browning 13).

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