Thursday, October 3, 2019

John Muir's "Snow-Storm on Mount Shasta"

For a couple of bucks I've bought the e-book John Muir Ultimate Collection. My first dip into this collection is "Snow-Storm on Mount Shasta."

I have not finished this piece, but am reminded that Muir's roots as a naturalist stand side-by-side with his narrative capabilities as a writer. This piece begins with the geological history and description of Mount Shasta, a volcano in northern California. After a thorough description of the geology of the area, Muir continues on with an overview of the different zones of vegetation. Then he warms up to the narrative of his and a companion's climb to Shasta's summit in the April spring to conduct barometric pressure readings, in conjunction with a college at the base of the mountain.

A lively blend of observation and action ensues, with the two men reaching the top summit, where they observe clouds forming and blanketing the entire area. What with the title of the article, we know what is coming . . . wind, snow, and more exquisite narration by John Muir.

I leave the how Muir's great, true adventure ends to your reading, but of course we know Muir made it out alive to write the article. We'll experience considerably more fair weather reading about his exploits from our armchairs at home, where nothing is a better read than Muir upon the snowy, wind-swept heights of California peaks.

Other articles I've written about John Muir:

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