Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mountain Man: John Muir

Did you know that this week is National Park Week? Well, it is... and we have the man in the above sculpture to thank for it.

John Muir, the Father of the National Park. Because of the essays he wrote and his strong belief in these beautiful lands being protected, the first National Park was established. He was an inspiring man, but also, an ordinary man.

John Muir was known as being an engineer, a naturalist, a writer, a botanist, and a geologist... yet he didn't have a degree. At age 22, he paid his own way and started taking classes at University of Wisconsin-Madison but it is said he took an "eclectic approach" to his studies. He attended the school for two years, and was never listed higher than a freshman because of the odd selection of classes he took. He enrolled in botany and geology classes, and was so excited by what he learned he later wrote about one of his first botany lessons that it "sent me flying to the woods and meadows in wild enthusiasm."

He seems like such a hippie. He dropped out of college, traveled long distances by foot, dodged a draft to go to war, and was so in love with nature that he devoted his whole life to it. We are lucky that on top of all this he was such a beautiful writer and poet... his essays are quoted often, and inspire many of the graphics I see being pinned daily on pinterest:

"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."

"Who wouldn't be a mountaineer! Up here all the world's prizes seem nothing."

"The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark."

"In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks"

"I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in."

"Few places in this world are more dangerous than home. Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous enthusiastic action."

"There is a love of wild nature in everybody, an ancient mother-love showing itself whether recognized or no, and however covered by cares and duties."

"One day's exposure to mountains is better than a cartload of books."

"I never saw a discontented tree."

"None of Nature's landscapes are ugly so long as they are wild."

"Going to the mountains is going home."

"The mountains are calling and I must go."

Aren't those beautiful? And it was these glorious words that sparked the decisions that were made to establish National Parks.

The National Park Service has this goal "to conserve the scenery and the nature and historic objects and wildlife therein, and to provide the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations". So wonderful... these amazing places are protected just for you. Because of John Muir, the father of National Parks, you get to see Yosemite, Yellowstone, Sequoia, the Everglades, and Glacier all in their protected natural state! The Grand Canyon, Badlands, Redwoods, and Mount Rainier are there to be enjoyed by you! In Utah we have Canyonlands, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Zion... the most beautiful places I've ever seen!


I think Mr. Muir is so interesting. I hope to get his autobiography and read it in the near future.

I love the Muir inspired prints and craft on Etsy (click the picture to be directed to the Etsy shop they were found in)...

Happy National Parks Week! I hope you are planning a road trip to one soon!
To see another pretty John Muir Etsy find... click here.

1 comment:

+ + + + + +