Happy John Muir Day

john muir

Earlier this week, PBS aired its new American Masters documentary on John Muir (see the preview here). The full film is now available online at pbs.org.

Today commemorates Muir’s birthday, April 21, 1838. He was the father, or at least close relative, maybe uncle, of the National Parks movement, and is best known for preserving Yosemite valley and co-founding the Sierra Club. He stood for preservation in a time when other leading environmentalists leaned toward conservation, i.e., utilization of forest land. He advocated defending the wild and inspired others to experience it by getting into it, “feasting in the Lord’s mountain house.”

For more information check out the John Muir exhibit, from the Sierra Club. I also recommend perusing some of his writings.

Dr. Suess: Model Outdoorsman

This morning we impromptued a scene from The Lorax, where the Lorax (played by Mom) reprimands the Once-ler (our 1-yr-old):

Your nose chugs on day and night, without stop, making gluppitty-glupp, also schloppity-schlopp.

Then, our 5-yr-old joined in:

And what do you do with this left over goo? I’ll show you, you dirty old Once-ler man, you!

He did not proceed to show us what the baby does with her snot. That would have been gross, though funny.

The Lorax – inspiring countless kids to get outdoors and hug a tree, one of the few books I would ever bring camping.

I’m sure Dr. Suess was a minimalist camper and ultralight backpacker, keeping it simple, enjoying the Grickle-grass and the Swomee-Swans song, and leaving no trace. What a model outdoorsman. I can picture him crossing the Sierras with John Muir, swinging their knapsacks, and whistling “Rocky Mountain High.”