Travels in Alaska

Travels in Alaska Considered one of the patron saints of twentieth century environmental activity John Muir s appeal to modern readers is that he not only explored the American West but also fought for its preservatio

  • Title: Travels in Alaska
  • Author: John Muir
  • ISBN: 9781423644743
  • Page: 363
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Considered one of the patron saints of twentieth century environmental activity, John Muir s appeal to modern readers is that he not only explored the American West but also fought for its preservation.Travels in Alaska is part of a series that celebrates the tradition of literary naturalists writers who embrace the natural world In this collection, originally published iConsidered one of the patron saints of twentieth century environmental activity, John Muir s appeal to modern readers is that he not only explored the American West but also fought for its preservation.Travels in Alaska is part of a series that celebrates the tradition of literary naturalists writers who embrace the natural world In this collection, originally published in 1915, John Muir captures the beauty and intensity of Alaskan wilderness and its people from his travels between 1879 and 1890 John Muir s strength lies in delicately mapping the intimate connection between the person and natural world, and awakening his readers to that reality.With an increasing global focus on the environment, and humans role in protecting it, there s never been a finer time to reacquaint oneself with John Muir s writings.

    One thought on “Travels in Alaska”

    1. A little embarrassed to say this is the first of Muir's books I've read. After all, this is a man with plants, animals, mountains, a glacier, trails, a wilderness, and a forest named after him, is the founder of the Sierra Club, and a true original. He is part of, arguably the founder of, an era when environmentalism was innocent love of nature.To share his pure joy of being in the Alaskan bush is more than worth the effort of working through his archaic style. The anecdotes of what he experienc [...]

    2. Even today Alaska is one of the few unspoilt wildernesses in the world. This vast part of America still has glaciers, bears, eagles and wolves, and still has the capability of filling people with awe at the scenery. In the late nineteenth century, John Muir made a number of trips to Alaska. At this point the land was barely explored, and was relatively untouched. Travelling by boat to a variety of places to camp, from there he climbs high onto the pristine glaciers. We read of his encounters wit [...]

    3. John Muir is amazing. He's like a nature-based superhero. Hiking for days with no food other than a pocketful of grain? Fun! Falling into glacial crevasses? Sure! Fending off hypothermia by doing jumping jacks all night? Of course! Snow blindness? Bring it on! And he does it all with a smile and an eagerness to do it all again tomorrow.Reading this book was delightful and exhausting. Muir's descriptions of the Alaskan scenery and surroundings were wonderful and exuberant. He used "Yosemitic" as [...]

    4. I thought I would completely enjoy this book, but I didn't all. This was a little on the painful side to get through. Primarily, it dealt with what Alaska looks like which isn't the detail I enjoy reading. I grew up in Alaska, so I'm already well acquainted with what it looks like. I wanted something a little more personable and a little less factual.

    5. Wow! This man could brave anything, I believe! Throughout this short book, Muir walked and hiked and climbed (in some of the worst weather) more terrain than most of us walk in our lives. Muir was preparing this book for publication from his journals when he died, so much of what is in the now-published version would surely have been edited by him had he lived longer. Unfortunately, there were long stretches of the writing that I found less than engaging, though his use of metaphor is well done. [...]

    6. I became aware of John Muir's extensive travels in Alaska while kayaking the Stikine River in 2008. I hadn't realized the founder of the Sierra Club had spent so much time in Southeast Alaska. When Ken Burn's 'National Parks' book/documentary came out last year, it further cemented my desire to dive into Muir's journals about his travels in Alaska. The coup di gras was reading 'The Only Kayak' by Kim Heacox. He further exposed me to Muir's writings that have inspired generations of intrepid adve [...]

    7. A remarkable man writing about remarkable places in remarkable prose. John Muir, a Scot, was an advocate for the Great Outdoors, instrumental in the setting up of National Parks in the US, passionate about exploring the wilds of nature and passionate too in describing them. We find him striding fearlessly off to study his beloved rivers of ice, not sheltering from storms but rushing out in them, not shirking from danger but relishing it. So mad are his exploits that even the local Indians shake [...]

    8. The great American naturalist describes three trips to Alaska -- 1878, 1880, and 1890. It seems his motto was "carpe diem," because he never wasted a moment in which he could possibly hike, observe, measure, or sketch. He also took substantial risks to see as much as he can. He canoed through ice fields; he weathered the Alaskan rain forest without Gore-Tex; he trekked 20+ miles a day over mountains and glaciers. I was kind of gratified when, towards the end of the memoir, he recounts first near [...]

    9. While this is on the whole not a gripping tale, John Muir's descriptions of his experiences exploring, charting, studying, and appreciating south-eastern Alaska's glaciers should be read by anyone contemplating cruising the Inland Passage. I wish I'd read it before our 2008 cruise. John Muir is clearly a character, with no fear, a complete adoration of nature and of God, and a heart for all the creatures of a place, including (but probably not especially) the people. Heading to Alaska again soon [...]

    10. While there can be no doubt about John Muir's expertise in his field I did not find myself enjoying this book. That doesn't mean it isn't worth reading, simply that it wasn't of interest to me. The author spends probably 80% of his time describing what he sees: the sights, sounds, and smells of every form of flora and fauna that exists along his path. He spends some small amount of time describing the people that he encounters but it is apparent that Mr. Muir thinks more of the natural world tha [...]

    11. This certainly isn't a light read (it took me more than 2 weeks), but it is a good one. Reading about Muir's trip to Alaska while it was still relatively unknown is both interesting and exciting. He uses beautiful language to bring to life his surroundings. There certainly is a lot of talk about glaciers and all of their grandeur. He really, really loved the glaciers. The amount of time dedicated to them is far more than necessary.It's a good read but expect the book to drag. I recommend it if o [...]

    12. John Muir took me by surprise, though I really shouldn’t have been so shocked. For some reason, I assumed this book would be dense, erudite, and difficult to read – but Muir wouldn’t have been the father of modern American conservation if his writing had been inaccessible. Indeed, Travels in Alaska is surprisingly readable, lyrically and beautifully written. While there’s no plot underlying this rambling travelogue, I found it to be nonetheless a fascinating and meditative reading experi [...]

    13. For Muir, Nature is the source of all that is spiritual in life. His writing emanates with the peace and beauty that he finds in the woods and wilderness. One reads his writings with a sense that somehow we are missing out on something precious in life by confining ourselves to what is known and safe.

    14. I've been reading this book, a couple pages at a time, for about 10 years. It's so incredibly beautiful and is what inspired a trip to Alaska in 1999. I don't care about a plot or anything else when I read itI just like to suck it in like the clean Alaskan air.

    15. When can I leave for Alaska? Muir paints a picture of Alaska that fans the flames of adventure and exploration!

    16. enchanting descriptions of a wonderful place. how could one not want to spend time in this wonderful country after reading Muir's description of Alaska. just fantastic writing and a joy to read.

    17. I believe this is my favorite Muir book. It reads like a truly grand adventure combined with observation of nature at its most wild.

    18. I think my expectations were way too high. John Muir is a legend, especially around these parts (in my Yukon home, a 2 hour drive from some of the stunning parts of coastal Alaska which are gorgeously, extensively, exhaustingly, ceaselessly detailed in this collection). There are some significant victories in Muir's words. Muir is unquestionably a master of prose. His writing is absolutely stunning. Richly detailed, though poetic and emotive Muir's passions are on full display. The first half of [...]

    19. I had a difficult start with this book and found it a little hard to get into but I'm glad I persevered as I feel that I've got to go on a journey with an awesome bloke called John and met some fantastic characters along the way. I think what enthralled me the most was the different tribes that are met along the way and the various stories told by each of them. What surprised me the most was how easily they took to Christianity and how humbling it was that they felt and described themselves as m [...]

    20. An eye opening readI normally am a blood and guy's action guy. Taking the time to read this man's exploration and description of early Alaska through his eyes was enlightening to say the least. The birthing of Icebergs and the corruption of some tribes that had been introduced to Alcohol was a reminder of how far we have come in discovery and self destruction. SCS

    21. Before photography was readily available, I can appreciate why naturalist John Muir's descriptive writing was so revered. But today, requiring five pages to describe one glacier makes for a slog of a read. His verbosity is a result of his vast wealth of knowledge, but some editing would've made this far more enjoyable.

    22. I might be biased because I read this while vacationing in Alaska, but this was absolutely superb. Muir has an obvious, outsized love for the outdoors, strolls through adventure, and writes like a poet. Listen, there are a couple of cons. This is 19th century prose, which can wear a little thin, and Muir knows more about geology than you do (especially moraines and the last glaciation). He also knows all of the scientific names of all of the trees. But this whole volume is only about 200-odd pag [...]

    23. I must recognize that my first thought was: such a boring book! But then I started kind of a journey with John Muir in wild places and really enjoyed all the marvelous descriptions of the Alaska life and nature!

    24. A grand old adventure with John Muir, full of richly detailed descriptions of Alaskan nature and peoples lang syne.

    25. Redundant in description, compelling in events, detailed in creating a compelling picture of the landscape.

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