John Muir & I

The Man, The Trail, and The Wilderness Ideal

by Don Weiss


This is the story of my solo hike on the John Muir Trail. I walked the trail as a middle-aged rite of passage, but I found my life and thought were profoundly affected by the experience. In particular, it allowed me to develop a theory of Wilderness as essentially a state of mind. In the book, I allow this idea to unfold as it developed in my mind, walking from Yosemite to the summit of Mt. Whitney.

The manuscript has an interesting non-publication history. I submitted the first half dozen chapters to an adventure travel contest and was one of two runners-up to a book that was published as a prize for winning the contest. I subsequently submitted the completed manuscript to every vaguely suitable publisher in North America. Two of them gave it serious consideration, but it remains unpublished. However, I gave a talk on the topic to a conference on John Muir held in Stockton, California in April 1990 and had my talk published in the volume dedicated to the conference papers, John Muir: Life and Work Edited by Sally M. Miller, University of New Mexico Press 1993. (Note: though this work has never been published in print, it is Copyright Don Weiss, 1989, and may not be reproduced in any form without the consent of the author except for brief excerpts for purposes of reviews.)

(If you are interested in reading about a 900-mile (1400km.) Buddhist pilgrimage that I walked in Japan, go to A Pilgrim In Japan)

Table of Contents

Preface and Prologue
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Sixteen
Chapter Seventeen
Chapter Eighteen
Chapter Nineteen
Chapter Twenty
Chapter Twenty-One
Chapter Twenty-Two
Chapter Twenty-Three
Chapter Twenty-Four
Chapter Twenty-Five

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