Page:A Thousand-Mile Walk To The Gulf.djvu/21

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Introduction

JOHN MUIR, Earth-planet, Universe.”—These words are written on the inside cover of the notebook from which the contents of this volume have been taken. They reflect the mood in which the late author and explorer undertook his thousand-mile walk to the Gulf of Mexico a half-century ago. No less does this refreshingly cosmopolitan address, which might have startled any finder of the book, reveal the temper and the comprehensiveness of Mr. Muir’s mind. He never was and never could be a parochial student of nature.

Even at the early age of twenty-nine his eager interest in every aspect of the natural world had made him a citizen of the universe. While this was by far the longest botanical excursion which Mr. Muir made in his earlier years, it was by no means the only one. He had botanized around the Great Lakes, in Ontario, and through parts of Wisconsin,

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