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The Yosemite Naturalist
Sunday May 13, 2001
The Naturalist Without Buses or Crowds !
John McKinney, Trailmaster
YOSEMITE VALLEY -- If you have Yosemite
National Park firmly in mind, it's a stretch to call this isolated
canyon east of Fremont "Little Yosemite."
The small waterfalls don't resemble Vernal
Fall or Yosemite Falls, and the canyon's rock outcroppings
don't call to mind Half Dome or Cathedral Rocks.
On the other hand, Little Yosemite doesn't
require shuttle buses, reservations, a long trip and contending
with crowds. In fact, few hikers wander the East Bay's Little
Yosemite, a narrow gorge cut by Alameda Creek.
The creek flows through the southern part
of Sunol Regional Wilderness, a 6,000-acre preserve of rolling,
grassy hills dotted with oak and madrono.
At first glance the preserve seems to have
changed little since rancho days--a perfect pastureland of pastoral
hills and valleys. This is a park with room to roam, one grassy
hill after another, the pattern interrupted only by occasional rock
outcroppings and oak groves.
From high points whose names suggest
the good views they offer--Eagle's View, Vista Grande, Flag Hill--you
can gaze out at ever more back country belonging to East Bay
Regional Park District.
Numerous trails wind through the preserve.
First-time Sunol sojourners will appreciate Canyon View Trail,
which offers the most direct route to Little Yosemite.
Directions to trail head: From Interstate
680, just south of the community of Sunol, exit on Calaveras
Road. Head south five miles to Geary Road.
Turn left and follow this road to its end
and the park entrance. The hike begins by the park's small visitor
center. The hike: Indian Joe Nature Trail takes you to a
bridge spanning Alameda Creek. Cross to the other side, turn
right and hike a flat segment of Canyon View Trail for 0.25
mile to Indian Joe Creek Trail.
The shortest way to this hike's highlight
is to stick with gentle Canyon View Trail for another mile
as it crosses Jacob's Valley and delivers you to Ohlone Road
at a junction close to Little Yosemite.
Mile-long McCorkle Trail is a worthy
extension to this route. For a longer loop, ascend grassy slopes
along the sycamore- and oak-lined Indian Creek.
A mile out, you'll reach Indian Rock
Caves, a basalt-schist conglomerate popular with rock climbers
and picnickers. After another 0.25 mile of climbing you'll near
the ridge top and bear right on Cave Rocks Road.
Enjoy the expansive views from the open
ridge as you descend to Cerro Este Overlook and Road, and
continue on a southern descent to Ohlone Road. Head right to Little
Yosemite. Return via Ohlone Road or Canyon View Trail.
[Editor's Note: For more
of John McKinney's hiking tips and trails, visit http://www.thetrailmaster.com].
Tuesday May 1, 2001
Muir's Personal Library Saved
The Naturalist's Personal Collection!
By Yosemite News Staff Writers
YOSEMITE VALLEY -- Richard
Hanna, one of Muir's grandsons, gave the University of the Pacific
Library over 700 volumes encompassing 509 titles that belonged
to John Muir.
This is approximately half of the
books known to have been in the working library that Muir left to
his daughters. A bibliography of the collection is available in
Many of the books are housed in the ornate,
Victorian bookcases that had been in the "scribble den" of the Muir
family home in Martinez.
Some books found in the collection date
from Muir's days as a schoolboy in Scotland. Others include family
Bibles, textbooks from his days as a student at the University of
Wisconsin, books given to him by his friends during his early travel
years, and the numerous books he gathered once he settled into life
as a family man in Martinez.
Many volumes contain Muir's handwritten
notes and annotations that are indicative of his thoughts and development
as a literary creator in his own right.
Muir often indexed ideas and phrases on
the end-papers of his books, indicating the page and a sentence
or passage, marking the idea that had captured his attention.
Thus, Muir himself has given the scholar a guide
to the literary origins of many of his important ideas. Until recently
the Muir Library had not been accessible because of the condition
of many of the books.
A grant from the Skaggs Foundation
funded the restoration of over 200 volumes. The volumes were restored
to retain as much of the original book as possible, leaving all
of Muir's marks and use evident. Many of the volumes are inscribed
Note: The John Muir Collections at University of the Pacific is
the Official repository for the John Muir Papers and related material.
On May 4-6, 2001 University of the Pacific will sponsor its
fifth conference on John Muir, held at UOP's Feather River Inn
located near Quincy, California in the Sierra Nevada mountains.
The theme of the conference, the 53rd California History Institute,
is John Muir: Family and Friends. For registration information,
contact: Bonnie Gisel, John Muir Center for Regional Studies,
3601 Pacific Ave., Stockton, CA 95211, (209) 946-2527, firstname.lastname@example.org].
the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow
into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own
freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will
drop off like autumn leaves."
-- John Muir, 1901