I was in Edinburgh over the weekend and took a trip out to Dunbar to see where John Muir grew up. The house with a very good display about his life and achievements used to be the grain store next to the house where he lived (which is big, and for sale if you fancy it).
If you are in the area it’s well worth a visit, and if you don’t know about John Muir then his wikipedia page is worth a visit too. For more information then why not try Mary Colwell‘s excellent book (reviewed here).
Muir left Dunbar at the age of ten years when his family moved to the USA and he lived in Wisconsin where he saw enormous flocks of Passenger Pigeons less than 50 years before their extinction in the wild (see A Message from Martha p69).
He was an influential campaigner for the protection of America’s wilderness through National Parks.
This quote struck me as relevant today, with our sub-standand, dewilded National Parks and to the difficulty that Scottish Mountaineering has got itself into.
‘It is impossible to overestimate the value of wild mountains and mountain temples as places for people to grow in, recreation grounds for soul and body. They are the greatest of our natural resources, God’s best gifts, but none, however high and holy, is beyond reach of the spoiler. In these ravaging money-mad days monopolizing San Francisco capitalists are now doing their best to destroy the Yosemite Park, the most wonderful of all our great mountain national parks.’