Top ten reasons John Muir – the Father of our National Parks – is awesome!
Often referred to as “The Father of our National Parks,” John Muir (1838-1914) was America’s most famous and influential naturalist and conservationist, and founder of the Sierra Club.
Ten Reasons John Muir Is Awesome
2. While working in a factory at age 29, Muir was blinded in accident. When his sight returned months later, he left factory work to study nature.
3. Muir once described himself as a “poetico-trampo-geologist-botanist and ornithologist-naturalist, etc., etc.”
4. Choosing to go by “the wildest, leafiest, and least trodden way I could find,” he walked 1,000 miles from Indiana to the Gulf of Mexico.
5. Muir was a vocal proponent of the awesomeness of dogs, even referring to them as “our horizontal brothers.” (His position on cats has been lost to the sands of time.)
6. Before he took President Theodore Roosevelt camping in Yosemite Valley: 0 national parks. After? Five national parks, 18 national monuments, 55 national bird sanctuaries and wildlife refuges, and 150 national forests.
7. He traveled on every continent (except Antarctica), including exploring the Chilean Andes at age 72.
8. His beard can go toe-to-toe with any beard in history (including Brian Wilson’s).
9. He appears on the California state quarter.
10. Muir loved him some sequoias. He discovered that soaking sequoia pine cones in water turned the water purple. He then used the purple liquid as ink, and also drank it, “hoping thereby to … render myself more tree-wise and sequoical.” Click here to see the Sequoia and Kings Canyon site.
John Muir Trail
On the California State Quarter