John of the Mountains

The mountains are calling and I must go.

John Muir was born on April 21, 1838 in Dunbar, United Kingdom. He was a Scottish-American naturalist, engineer, botanist, geologist, author, environmental philosopher and early advocate of preserving the wilderness areas in the United States, which makes him one of my heroes. Today he is often referred to as "Father of the National Parks".

Millions of folks have read his letters, essays, and books, fascinating true stories of his adventures in nature, especially in the Sierra Nevada of California. John Muir is the founder of the famous Sierra Club, an American conservation organization. He helped to preserve the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and other wilderness areas, mostly in California. He petitioned the U.S. Congress for the National Park bill that was passed in 1890, establishing Yosemite National Park.

His writings about nature, which some called almost spiritual, inspired presidents, congressmen, and the public to let their voices be heard and to take action that would preserve and protect large wilderness areas. Much of how we see our relationship to the natural world even today, can be traced back to John Muir's writing and his example. He wrote and published over 300 articles and 12 books. His first appearance in print was not his idea. Someone he didn't know submitted, without his permission, a personal letter to his friend Jeanne Carr, describing Calypso borealis, a rare flower he had encountered. It was published anonymously, identified as having been written by an "inspired pilgrim".

California celebrates John Muir day each April 21st. Many places have been named in honor of John Muir, and here are a few of them:
  • Mount Muir (elevation 4688') in Angeles National Forest north of Pasadena, California
  • Muir's Peak next to Mount Shasta, California (also known as Black Butte)
  • Muir Glacier, Alaska
  • John Muir Trails in California, Tennessee, Connecticut, and Wisconsin
  • John Muir Wilderness (southern and central Sierra Nevada)
  • Muir Pass Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, the divide at 11,955' above sea level, between Evolution Creek and Middle Fork of Kings River
  • Muir Woods National Monument just north of San Francisco, California
  • Muir Beach, California
  • John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, California
  • Camp Muir in Mount Rainier National Park
  • John Muir College, one of the six undergraduate colleges of University of California, San Diego
  • John Muir Highway - a section of California State Route 132 between Coulterville and Smith Station at California State Route 120. This road roughly follows part of the route Muir took on his first walk to Yosemite.
  • The main-belt asteroid 128523 Johnmuir
John Muir passed away on December 24, 1914. I wish he was still here. We really need him now.

If you'd like to read some of John Muir's books, you'll find many of them on this page: http://amzn.to/1W42CeY

The following video was made by Powercity Films, and is dedicated to John Muir. If you are a hiker or avid outdoors person, I think you'll enjoy it. =]:)

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