Mille miglia in cammino fino al golfo del Messico MOBI

Mille miglia in cammino fino al golfo del Messico John Muir, pianeta Terra, universo Cos l autore scrive sulla copertina interna del suo taccuino prima di mettersi in cammino poche parole che per rivelano immediatamente il temperamento e la vastit del suo pensieroStudioso appassionato di botanica, a solianni, Muir decide di mettersi in cammino diretto a Sud, con l unico scopo di studiare e documentare le bellezze e le meraviglie della natura, un viaggio che lo condurr fino a Cuba e terminer poi in CaliforniaLeggendo il suo diario di viaggio troviamo annotazioni che rivelano la sua inclinazione ad una vita solitaria e all aria aperta, immerso nella natura selvaggia e immacolata, a cui l uomo non ha ancora imposto la sua presenzaQuesta verso il Golfo del Messico non certamente la prima spedizione esplorativa che John Muir intraprende la prima in assoluto fu quella narrata in My First Summer in the Sierra, La mia prima estate sulla Sierra ma di sicuro resta la pi impegnativa e la pi avventurosa Muir non si limita infatti a parlarci di flora e fauna, di affascinanti foreste, di pianure e paludi rigogliose, egli descrive con grande intelligenza e sensibilit anche il contesto socio economico in cui viaggiaL a di Muir per la natura per prevale su qualsiasi altro aspetto al punto da farsi quasi religione il suo linguaggio diventa biblico quando esprime i suoi sentimenti e nessun profeta avrebbe potuto prendere pi seriamente la chiamata o intraprendere una tale missione con tanto fervente sentimento I really wanted to like this one, but it just didn t happen It started out well enough, but the blatant racism completely took me out of it I found myself turning against Muir theI read, which made me sad because in general I m a fan of his enthusiasm for preservation. Good, interesting account of not finishing his botany, chemistry and geology studies at U Wisconsin, which his cheap Scottish father would not pay for Leaving out his Canadian escape of the draft in 1863, Muir walked south, in 1866 or 67 He slept outside, under trees, often in cemeteries which combined great trees and comfortable grounds In western Virginia I think or North Carolina he ran into some Rebel troops who had not disbanded, but they took him for an herbalist he did carry lots of l Good, interesting account of not finishing his botany, chemistry and geology studies at U Wisconsin, which his cheap Scottish father would not pay for Leaving out his Canadian escape of the draft in 1863, Muir walked south, in 1866 or 67 He slept outside, under trees, often in cemeteries which combined great trees and comfortable grounds In western Virginia I think or North Carolina he ran into some Rebel troops who had not disbanded, but they took him for an herbalist he did carry lots of leaves and flowers, some medicinal and let him by Near Savannah he camped a week in Bonaventura cemetery, amazed at the live oaks and the moss I was fresh from the Western prairies, the garden like openings of Wisconsin, the beech and maple and oak woods of Indiana and Kentucky, the dark mysterious Savannah cypress forests but never since I was allowed to walk the woods have I found so impressive a company of trees as the tillandsia draped oaks of Bonaventura I could say the same of a variety of huge trees at Mt Auburn Cemetery Muir liked reading Emerson, whom I always aloudread in my Birdtalk talks particularly his poem, Titmouse, about a Chickadee s bravery in a winter storm, saying like Caesar, Ve ni vi di vi c h i Years later in the Sierra Nevada, Emerson visited him with a host of protectors Muir wanted Emerson to join him sleeping outside all night what Muir did his whole life but Emerson s handlers figured the old man wasn t up to it A disappointment for Muir, and possibly for Emerson I give this fours stars only because I think Muir s writing improved in his accounts of the Western mountains, his coming across bear with his dog and shotgun, avoiding shooting He d know when there was a bear ahead since his dog would linger near, not proceed ahead of him Great account of canyons and knowing someone is ten miles away Maybe Emerson John Muir would have made the worst Boy Scout imaginable Early in September 1867, joyful and free but woefully unprepared, he set out from Indianapolis, Indiana on a 1,000 mile walk that would take him down the rocky spine of the eastern seaboard across Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, to the Gulf coast of Florida In his rucksack he carried little than a map, compass, comb, brush, towel, soap, and one change of underclothes For entertainment and enlightenment he took John Muir would have made the worst Boy Scout imaginable Early in September 1867, joyful and free but woefully unprepared, he set out from Indianapolis, Indiana on a 1,000 mile walk that would take him down the rocky spine of the eastern seaboard across Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, to the Gulf coast of Florida In his rucksack he carried little than a map, compass, comb, brush, towel, soap, and one change of underclothes For entertainment and enlightenment he took Burn s poems, Milton s Paradise Lost, and a small New Testament He carried precious little cash, no matches, and not even a canteen Night after night he slept in the dirt beside the road and awoke the following morning drenched through by the dew He bathed in blackwater streams, begged for some of his food, and when hospitality and funds failed, he camped in cemeteries Some days he walkedthan forty miles without dinner or supper, unable to find a family that would agree to take him in But none of these discomforts discouraged him in the least from pursuing his course south on his long glorious botanical walk to the sea.High in the Cumberland mountains of Tennessee, where primitive homesteads were far apart and uninhabited, orchards and fences in ruins sad marks of war, he slipped between small bands of guerillas infesting the mountains, presenting himself to thieves as nothingthan a poor herb doctor Whencivilised men inquired Young man, what are you doing here Muir replied that he was looking at plants I love all kinds of plants, and I came down here to these Southern states to get acquainted with as many of them as possible What did he meet Spanish moss, live oaks, magnolias, pineapples, and palmettos all novel and wonderful to the twenty nine year old Muir who had never spent much time outside a northern clime He writes about these plants and dozens of other species in exultant tones that contrast poignantly with his descriptions of the dirt and poverty that mark the human residents who live along the paths he followed For Muir, civilisation seemed necessary only to provide him with the food he needed to continue his long walk among the pine forests, swamps, and sand hills Nature was clean, abundant, and harmonious, the exact opposite of many of the human settlements he encountered if only he could overcome his need of daily bread, he vowed he would turn his back on civilisation forever.But Muir wasn t entirely a misanthrope In fact, his book is a charming read that entertains as much with its unstudied descriptions of Reconstruction Era Southerners as with its detailed observations the region s flora Unlike most of the other books published under his name, A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf was never finally edited by Muir for publication What we read is William Frederic Bad s edition of the journal Muir kept as he walked to the sea The final chapters, dealing with California, are drawn from other sources, and show Muir s penchant for prose in its full bloom and glory But most of A Thousand Mile Walk is fartemperate, and for that reason has proved to be one of my favourites John Muir walks to the Gulf of Mexico from Indianapolis via Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida Once there he heads for Cuba His interactions with people in a Post Civil War period were interesting homes, food, slavery, plantations, robbers, racism etc His journal not only provides observations of the flora he encounters but his views on environmentalism A short and enjoyable read about his wanderings.

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