Man's books are but man's alphabet,
                                                                                    Beyond and on his lessons lie—
                                                                                    The lessons of the violet,
                                                                                    The large gold letters of the sky;
                                                                                    The large content, the tranquil toil:
                                                                                    The love of beauty, blossomed soil,
                                                                                    The large content, the tranquil toil

Lonely as God, and white as a winter moon,
Mount Shasta starts up sudden and solitary from
the heart of the great black forests of Northern
California. You would hardly call Mount Shasta a
part of the Sierras; you would say rather that it is
the great white tower of some ancient and eternal
wall, with here and there the white walls overthrown.
It has no rival! There is not even a snow-crowned
subject in sight of its dominion. A shining pyramid
in mail of everlasting frosts and ice, the sailor
sometimes, in a day of singular clearness, catches
glimpses of it from the sea a hundred miles away
to the west; and it may be seen from the dome of
the capital 300 miles distant. The immigrant coming
from the east beholds the snowy, solitary pillar from
afar out on the arid sagebrush plains, and lifts his
hands in silence as in answer to a sign.
Ascend this mountain, stand against the snow above
the upper belt of pines, and take a glance below.
Toward the sea nothing but the black and unbroken
forest. Mountains, it is true, dip and divide and break
the monotony as the waves break up the sea; yet it is
still the sea, still the unbroken forest, black and
magnificent. To the south the landscape sinks and
declines gradually, but still maintains its column of
dark-plumed grenadiers, till the Sacramento Valley
is reached, nearly a hundred miles away.
Joaquin Miller– Unwritten History

                                                                                    I’m beneath a tall and shading pine
                                                                                    A sitting at its foot sire
                                                                                    I’ll take the pains to drop a line
                                                                                    That I might read in future

From Joaquin's Diary:
February 26, 1856 McCloud, California The
next day it stopped raining & the next I went
hunting elk in co with ten Indians (in the line
of provisions I had two cakes of shorts, the
Indians had nothing) we traveled all day on
tracks and at dusk camped on the head of
Mud Creek through the day I and the Indians
ate three fourths of the bread we had nothing
in the morning. I divided my bread with them
amounting about an ounce to each man. I
fared no better than the rest. A light snow fell
during the night but I rested very well in the
morning most of the Indians rose and striped
naked waded through the snow to Mud Creek
about one hundred yards distant then plunged
into the water & remained there paddling and
swimming as much as five minutes then
returned to the fire and dressed the snow at
this place …Snow fell thick & fast during the
day at about 12 o’clock we came up on the Elk
and I was soon left in the rear The game
traveled on the snow as well as any of us but
they were so harassed by the Indian dogs that
the Indians managed to slay 12 in a few hours.
I saw one Elk I never fired a shot but the Indians
said there was over one hundred in the band.
They appeared to continue their course up
Shasta Buttes….
Diary of Joaquin Miller