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Wilderness Journeys

4.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  213 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe." —John Muir, My First Summer in the SierraThe name of John Muir has come to stand for the protection of wild land and wilderness in both America and Britain. Born in Dunbar in 1838, Muir is famed as the father of American conservation. This collection, including the rarely-s ...more
Paperback, 736 pages
Published December 10th 2001 by Canongate U.S. (first published 1980)
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Sarah F.
Nov 22, 2015 Sarah F. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent compilation of writings by John Muir - essential reading for anyone fascinated by the wildness to be found in Alaska and the Sierras. My favorite essays in this volume were "The Discovery of Glacier Bay" "Among the Animals of the Yosemite" and "The Yellowstone National Park".

I enjoyed the Discovery of Glacier Bay particularly because I have not been there at all, and with Muir's writings so vivid and descriptive, I could just about see it, in all it's grandeur, and hear the
John Orman
Apr 26, 2013 John Orman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This little treasure is part of the Peregrine Smith Library of American Wilderness Literature series. It includes some of naturalist Muir's better writing, with some of them being made available for the first time in book form in 1980 in their unabridged versions.

I especially liked the essays "Discovery of Glacier Bay," "Alaska Trip," "Yellowstone National Park," and "Forests of Oregon," since I have visited those places. "Among the Animals of Yosemite" was of interest since I am planning a trip
Sep 14, 2009 Megan rated it liked it
Shelves: nature, read-2009
My Boyhood & Youth: It was a little slow to start, but it picked up. It is truely amazing what Muir was able to do with such little formal education.

1000 Mile Walk to the Gulf: So far this one is much harder to get through. It is written like a journal so it is somewhat hard to follow. Very choppy. And only half the book is actually him walking from the north to Florida. He then gets on a boat and goes to Cuba, then New York, then California.

First Summer in the Sierra: Again written like a
I haven't finished this yet, since I've been dipping into it and other nature writing. The essay "The Discovery of Glacier Bay" is exciting and poetic. Also, a rather amazing chronicle of John Muir's energy and magnetism as he convinces his gloomy companions that the weather will change for the better and that his 10 years of wandering the high Sierra country have convinced him that he is blessed with good luck. (They believe him, and the weather does change. Everyone returns home safely.)
Sep 11, 2009 Jason rated it really liked it
As a strong environmentalist, I figured it would be interesting to check out the writings of John Muir, the founder of the Sierra Club, one of the fathers of conservation in the US, and also the individual who supported the preservation side of the debate over the Hech-Hechy debate against Gifford Pinchot, another great conservationist. The book contains several stories from his youth on. So far I don't think he's the greatest writer who ever lived, but the passion he feels for the beauty of th ...more
May 10, 2016 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked My First Summer in the Sierra better, but Muir's love of nature as expressed in these essays is profoundly moving.
Maya P
Feb 16, 2016 Maya P rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
**I received this book for free through the giveaway program but that in no way affects my honest review** I wasn't sure how i much i would enjoy naturalist writing but man was i pleasantly surprised. I love nature and everything about it and this compilation of essays definitely quenched my thirst for the outdoors. It definitely isn't the the greatest writing i've ever come across but Muir's ability to instill his spirit and passion for the earth is inspiring. Highly recommend for anyone with a ...more
Nov 02, 2012 Hannah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Naturalist writing is not necessarily my cup of tea, but that does not keep me from seeing that this is a work of great power in that field (or rather, a series of works). I was particularly fond of the essay Wild Wool. I will be passing my tattered paperback copy of this book along to my mountaineering and wildman type friends. I'm sure they will love it to further affectionate ruin.
Mar 08, 2016 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
not really fully "read" but will "always be reading. "This is a great compilation!!!
Jan 09, 2014 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never read any of John Muir's work before. I liked Wilderness Essays (though I could only read one, maybe two essays at a time). Surprisingly relevant, well over a century after they were written. Poetic, inspiring, just a lot of fun.

Also, John Muir was a bad-ass. I had no idea how comfortable he was in the wilderness -- pretty cool guy.
McKenzie Carlile
Classic Muir. Feel free to skip the Wild Wool story.
Rich Flammer
Nov 14, 2007 Rich Flammer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nature, wildlife
John Muir was a gifted, but highly underrated writer. Some of the best nature writing you'll find, at a time when the American West was truly pristine.
Nov 19, 2015 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Goodreads for Wilderness Essays. I have visited some of the places John Muir writes about. Enjoyed reading his essays.
May 29, 2013 Meera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Wild Wool" is a perfect essay.
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John Muir (/mjʊər/; April 21, 1838 – December 24, 1914) was a Scottish-American naturalist, author, and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States. His letters, essays, and books telling of his adventures in nature, especially in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, have been read by millions. His activism helped to preserve the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park a ...more
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“I care to live only to entice people to look at Nature’s loveliness.” 46 likes
“...every sight and sound inspiring, leading one far out of himself, yet feeding and building up his individuality.” 16 likes
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