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A Camping Trip that Changed the Nation - Bully !



In 1903, John Muir took part in bringing a group of visitors to the Yosemite where they began their visit in the famous Mariposa Groves. This group of visitors was lead by President Theodore Roosevelt, an avowed outdoor living enthusiast. Roosevelt and Muir knew quite a lot about one another, had admired each other from afar, and here was their opportunity to meet and get to know one another. Roosevelt had written him in advance saying

"I want to drop politics for four days and just be out in the open with you."

With great spunk, Roosevelt decided to slip away from his hotel-staying group, and ventured off with Muir (and a ranger and a cook) to camp overnight near the foot of the great sequoia known as the Giant Grizzly. In the morning they enjoyed campfire cooking and then climbed on horses to head towards the Yosemite Valley.

By nightfall they arrived at a campsite near Glacier Point, and with only layers of blanket for warmth, spent their second night out in the open, beneath the stars. In the morning the men woke to find a 4-5" layer of snow upon them. It was an experienced neither would ever forget, and one that changed the nation.


Roosevelt commented of that camping trip that sleeping " amongst the pines and silver firs in the Sierra solitude, in a snowstorm, too, and with out a tent I passed one of the pleasantest nights of my life. It was so reviving to be so close to nature in this magnificent forest."

In the morning before sunrise they rode on to Glacier Point where the famous Roosevelt/Muir photo was taken. The sunrise view from Glacier Point showed Roosevelt the most dramatic panorama of Yosemite possible, and in his regular fashion you can imagine he exclaimed "Bully!' in heart felt approval when he saw this incredible view.

Muir had intimate discussions with Roosevelt about what was at stake at Yosemite and in wilderness lands nationwide. This shaped the President's attitude about preserving our wilderness and he soon became the author of proclamations that created many new National Parks, including Yosemite. Their friendship continued through out their lives, with Muir writing often to encourage more support for additional National Monuments and Park.