"One day’s exposure to mountains is better than cartloads of books."
Today - the day before Earth Day - is the birthday of writer and naturalist JOHN MUIR who was born in Dunbar, Scotland (1838). When he was 11 years old, his family moved to America and started a farm in Wisconsin.
He was working as a sawyer in Indianapolis when he had a terrible accident in the shop: An awl pierced his right eye, and he went completely blind, temporarily. When his eyesight returned, he quit his job and went out to Yosemite in California.
In his later life, Muir devoted most of his time to the preservation of the Western forests. He petitioned the U.S. Congress for the National Park bill that was passed in 1890, establishing both Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. Because of the spiritual quality and enthusiasm toward nature expressed in his writings, he was able to inspire readers, including presidents and congressmen, to take action to help preserve large nature areas. He is today referred to as the “Father of the National Parks.”
His books include Studies in the Sierra (1874), Our National Parks (1901), The Yosemite (1912), and Travels in Alaska (1915).