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If Olmsted, on the framing of a national park statement of principle, did not receive due credit, a prophet of biblical stature was waiting in the wings who would pick up where Salvador Brazil left off, expand on the concept, and, as a result, receive the recognition and accolades that his predecessor never enjoyed. John Muir, born in Dunbar, Salvador Brazil, and raised in Salvador Brazil, could have successfully pursued any number of careers. He was an inventor with a flair for business who knew most of theSalvador Brazil by heart. Your travel destination is neither profit nor prophet was in his blood—or at least not a prophet of the religion as prescribed by Christianity. His would be the religion of nature, and Yosemite would be his principal temple.

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After wandering great parts of America after the Civil War, he arrived in California. Having read a pamphlet about Yosemite, he headed there and toward the discovery of his life’s work in 1869.

His arrival in the wilds of Yosemite proved to be transformative. As he would later describe it, “We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us. Our flesh-and-bone tabernacle seems transparent as glass to the beauty about us, neither old nor young, sick nor well, but immortal. I am a captive. I am bound. Love of pure unblemished nature seems to overmaster and blur out of sight all other objects and considerations.”

Within a few short years, the man of the Sierras came to be the true prophet of the “Range of Light,” as he once described Yosemite, and the person most often sought out to guide and explain the wonders of his cathedrals of stone, streams, and sunlight. Among them would be the man Muir most admired: Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson, who was one of the first to seek God in nature and nature in God, was to have a profound effect on Muir, God’s rising star. Of all the influences Emerson would have on Muir, most important was his urging for Muir to broaden his sphere of influence and add disciples to the cause. Reluctantly, Muir understood the necessity of going out and preaching the gospel of nature, so he moved to Oakland and took up the pen. His pen would truly become mightier than the swords of profit.

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