From Journeys of Simplicity
Scottish-born American naturalist, inventor, writer, rover, and crusader for wilderness preservation.
John Muir was a lifelong pacifist who moved to Canada during the Civil War conscription. He was a mechanical wizard who refused to patent his inventions because “all improvements and inventions should be the property of the human race.” When a factory accident temporarily blinded him, young Muir resolved to devote the rest of his life “to the study of the inventions of God.” Upon regaining his sight, he set off alone on a thousand-mile botanizing walk from Indiana to the Gulf of Mexico.
“Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness,” he wrote. “All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter.”
JOHN MUIR’S THOUSAND-MILE WALK TO THE GULF
In a rubberized bag
change of underclothing
copy of Burn’s poems
Milton’s Paradise Lost
small New Testament
a plant press