Trail Map

Photo:  Grandfather Mountain view, North Carolina


Note:  All Readings will be posted here each week



Course Outline (Spring 2018)

Alert:  Syllabus may adjust to “trail conditions”


Week One (March 28): Meeting Saint John (Muir) for the First Time

Reading: The Mountains of California

Reading: Son of the Wilderness, Preface (Wolfe)

In Class: The Life of John Muir

In Class: Traditional Words used by Muir

In Class: The Book of Nature


Week Two (April 4): Scotland to Wisconsin to California to Planet to Universe

Reading:  Yosemite Glaciers

Reading: My Boyhood and Youth

Reading: A Thousand-Mile Walk

Reading: Picturesque California

Reading: Muir on Hiking and Sauntering

In Class:  A Pilgrimage with John


Week Three (April 11): Nature’s Cathedrals and Classrooms

Reading: My First Summer

Reading: Journals (Heaven on Earth)

Reading: Travels in Alaska

Reading: Little Wild Apostle

Reading: Letter to Catharine

In Class:  Infinite Storm of Beauty

In Class:  Camping among the Tombs

In Class:  Terry Tempest Williams


Week Four (April 18): The New American Nature Religion

Reading: Our National Parks (“tree flowers”)

Reading: Muir’s Nature Religion (Robert Underwood Johnson)

Reading: Theodore Roosevelt and Muir (Douglas Brinkley)

Reading: Muir as a Freethinker (Worster selections)

Reading: Muir among Native Peoples (Highland)

In Class:  Castle Gordon (Robert Burns)


Week Five (April 25): The Two Johnnies and their Gospel of Nature

Reading: The Gospel of Nature

Reading: Leaf and Tendril (pages are not consecutive)

Reading: Faith of a Naturalist 

Reading: Contrasting the Two Johnnies

In Class:  The Tables Turned (William Wordsworth)

In Class:  A Forest Hymn (William Cullen Bryant)

“Extra Credit”: Natural Ethics

“Extra Credit”:  The New American Religion (Highland)


Week Six (May 2): Sauntering the naturality/spirituality path with Muir

Reading: My First Summer

Reading: Our National Parks-The American Forests

Reading: Muir and Tourism (Cohen)

(and what would Muir say about 20,000 tourists in Yosemite Valley per day?)

In Class: Pine Beauty

In Class: Eulogies for John

“Extra Credit”: John Muir’s World Travels

“Extra Credit”:  Taking the Sacrament with John Muir (Highland)



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