A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf Paperback – June 1, 2018
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- Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 1, 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 98 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1720584591
- ISBN-13 : 978-1720584599
- Item Weight : 7 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.25 x 9 inches
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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John Muir starts his walk on September 01, 1867, at Louisville, KY. He is 29 years old. He has a wonderful obsession with the flora of this earth, is knowledgeable of same, and knows many of the scientific names for the various species. He intends to go due south, wanting to see tropical flora, and eventually hopes to float down the Amazon River. It is an ambitious undertaking; he has only limited financial resources, so he lives “rough,” often sleeping in the open fields, only in his clothes.
In a month he managed to walk not to the Gulf, but to the Atlantic Ocean, at Savannah, GA, by October 08. Thus he is managing about 20 miles a day. He notes the microclimate around the non-commercialized entrance to Mammoth Cave, KY that permits ferns to flourish. His route takes him over the Appalachian Mountains, through Murphy, NC, and on to Blairsville, Gainesville, Athens and Augusta, GA. The towns, however, are of little interest. It is the topography of the land, and its flora that compel his attention. Crossing the last, most eastern chain of mountains, the Blue Ridge, he contemplates the vast pine forest that stretches eastward to the sea.
Different eyes might have focused on the devastating impact of the Civil War on the lands that he passed through. He does mention it from time to time. There is concern about lawlessness, and roving bands that might rob him (his principle protection is that he has virtually nothing to steal.) There is the dire poverty of the mountain people who nonetheless offer him their hospitality. In Georgia he talks to a plantation owner de-rusting his cotton gin, after he had hidden it in a pond, so Sherman’s troops would not destroy it. But overall, the Civil War is deep-background, and although he spends almost a week sleeping in a grave yard just outside Savannah, waiting for additional supplies and money to arrive by post, he never mentions what Sherman’s troops did to that city.
Tillandsia usneoides is the scientific name for Spanish moss. He considers two rows of 100-year old oak trees, touching at the top, over a road, draped in Tillandsia, with the low light of morning to be the most spectacular sight he had ever seen (of course, this is prior to Yosemite.) Walking is much more difficult in the coastal lowlands, with the swamps, snakes and alligators, so he elects to take a steamer to Florida. Lush tropical flora, the vines and the palm trees, enchant him. Despite the swamps, he does walk across the peninsula, and finally reaches the Gulf of Mexico, culminating a walk of that titled 1000 miles. Shortly thereafter, while working in a sawmill he contracts malaria, and almost dies.
It takes him a couple of months to recover. He catches another boat, not for South America, per the original plan, but to Cuba. He says he’d love to walk the 700-800 mile mountain spine (as would I!), but was still too weak from the malaria. Therefore, he confines his enjoyment of tropical flora to Havana, and immediate environs. Next he catches a sloop loaded with oranges for NYC, where he catches another boat that reverses the journey, takes him to the isthmus of Panama, which he crosses, and catches another boat for California. The last chapter concerns his time in “Twenty Hill Hollow”, which is before Yosemite, describing the much different ecology of California, based on much less rain.
I could use a good 1000-mile walk myself to shake off the weighted cares of our civilization. For Muir’s inspiration, 5-stars.
John Muir is rarely taught in high schools or classes, but he truly is the most genuine writer of his discipline. He went out and experienced nature first hand, allowing him to understand and articulate it in an insurmountable way. Contrast this to Thoreau who merely spend time on one pond. John Muir walked across the country, followed sheep in the Sierra Nevada, trekked Alaska and climbed into trees during rainstorms just to see what the tree felt. He founded the Sierra Club so that he could build a community of people who can protect nature together by instilling awareness. He started a National Park movement to set aside land that cannot be developed, namely Yosemite National Park. He wrote books on many different ecosystems and even made scientific breakthroughs on some of his observations in addition to being eloquent. He protested and fought the San Francisco government to protect land in the Sierra Nevada from being dammed. His life is inseparable from his work because he embodied that same honesty, curiosity, and intensity that he wrote about.
It was exactly what I was looking for. As someone who loves and visits Cedar Key, I felt that the writing was precise to the feel of the location.
But I also enjoyed the rest of the book. How adventurous of Mr. Muir to take on this task of walking 1000 miles to the Gulf. For fortunate for him that he was able to do so. And how fortunate for me that I am able to read about it.
Eva Marie Everson
Things Left Unspoken: A Novel
Top reviews from other countries
Titel und Impressum werden offenbar als überbewertet angesehen. Schmutztitel genügt, und dann beginnt der Text gleich auf der nächsten, linken! Seite. Auch auf Seitenzahlen wurde locker verzichtet, "Schusterjungen" sind gern gesehen, und wenn eine Kapitelüberschrift zufällig ganz unten auf einer Seite landet... egal! Die Anmerkungen schließen natürlich auch direkt nach dem "The End" an den Text an. Warum sich Gedanken um den Seitenumbruch machen? Papier ist teuer!
Insgesamt macht das Werk den Endruck, jemand hätte einfach seinen Kindle auf einen Kopierer gelegt. Vielleicht kann man für den Preis nicht mehr verlangen, aber dann wäre ein Hinweis nett gewesen.