John Of The Mountains

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Howard Stableford follows in the footsteps of John Muir (1838-1914), traveling from his childhood home in Dunbar to Yosemite National Park to discover a man whose spirit never faltered, who led America to treasure their wonderful land and who is still today a national hero.

He was born in Dunbar into a fanatically Christian home.

One evening, when he was 11, his father told him he didn't have to study that night because 'we are going to America in the morning'.

And so began the trail of adventure, drama and exploration of the New World that led to him being hailed as the founding father of the modern environmentalist movement.

John Muir was a man whose life was nothing short of inspirational.

His writings are clear, vibrant and full of prophetic wisdom, he was on of the first to realise that all species are interconnected.

He developed a deep, spiritual connection with the land as he walked thousands of miles, from alaska to Florida.

He hated the blatant waste and foolishness of man and yearned for people to love and respect the wilderness.

As his fame and following grew Theodore Roosevelt wrote to him in 1903 to ask John to take him to the mountains.

During this pivotal time John talked to him about the importance of the wilderness to the human spirit and the nation as a whole.

As a result, by the time he left office in 1909 he had added 100,000 acres to the forest reserves, created 6 new National parks and 53 new wildlife refuges.

He also created 16 national monuments, among them Muir Woods National Monument, a spectacular redwood forest.