Magazine article Sunset

Muir's Yosemite

Magazine article Sunset

Muir's Yosemite

Article excerpt

Take the road less traveled

On the 1869 journey made famous by his book My First Summer in the Sierra, John Muir paused on Penon Blanco Peak to admire "a glorious wilderness that seemed to be calling with a thousand songful voices." He "gazed and longed and admired made hurried notes and a sketch," and reluctantly moved on.

Today at the Penon Blanco Look- out Bed and Breakfast, innkeeper Margi Tanner will proudly show you a copy of the sketch that Muir made at the exact spot where the B&B now stands above Lake McClure. Down the road in sleepy Coulterville, the Hotel Jeffery and Magnolia Saloon are still run by the same family that served the town during Muir's visit. Farther back in the hills, the road passes the majestic limestone cavern at Bower Cave, "one of the most novel and interesting of all Nature's underground mansions," in Muir's words.

Once a sheepherders' trail and later a stagecoach road into Yosemite, the Old Yosemite Road is finally making a well-deserved comeback. With Mariposa County planning signs to mark the historic route, visitors now have an opportunity to trace what some are calling the "John Muir Corridor."

Those picking up State 132 in Modesto can follow it through Coulterville (where it changes to County Rd. …

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