John Muir’s grave is in a small random fenced-in area in between some people’s backyards in Martinez, California. Somehow the randomness befits such an iconoclast, but mostly in its lack of ceremony - regardless of where the Father of the National Park System’s body lies, he continues to have many stories to tell. Those outside of California may only recognize him as the dude on the California quarter, and those within California may only know him as the namesake for the redwood grove on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge, but Muir was a one of a kind, a mountain prophet, and he personally changed the American experience.
Muir moved to the States from Scotland before his teen years and in his two years of university, he studied random classes that fit his interest in nature but never allowed him to move past consideration as a first year student. While building wagon wheels to pay the bills in 1867, an accident blinded him - but Muir knew he had too much to see in this world to let something like that slow him down.  With the support of his friend Catharine Merrill, Muir overcame his blindness and then set off on a thousand mile walk across the United States - the real beginning to a life full of exploration and eye opening and boundary pushing.  In Muir’s words: “This affliction has driven me to the sweet fields. God has to nearly kill us sometimes, to teach us lessons.”
And so the mountain prophet found his calling. Muir founded the Sierra Club, was responsible for the designation of Yosemite as a National Park, and essentially started the environmental movement in the United States.  Theodore Roosevelt called a night camping with Muir in Yosemite in 1903 “the grandest day of my life.”
Muir’s grave is notably simple and Muir’s character was remarkably complex, and that’s a piece of what makes Cemlurking so consistently interesting for me.  A grave is a lasting physical representation of a person, but there are no rules about how a person is represented.  A crazy looking stone doesn’t necessarily mean you were a badass, while a simple one doesn’t mean you were a bore.  Just as Muir was able to see things around him without vision, it’s on us to peel back the first layer, not take things at face value and understand and appreciate what exists all around us. 

John Muir’s grave is in a small random fenced-in area in between some people’s backyards in Martinez, California. Somehow the randomness befits such an iconoclast, but mostly in its lack of ceremony - regardless of where the Father of the National Park System’s body lies, he continues to have many stories to tell. Those outside of California may only recognize him as the dude on the California quarter, and those within California may only know him as the namesake for the redwood grove on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge, but Muir was a one of a kind, a mountain prophet, and he personally changed the American experience.

Muir moved to the States from Scotland before his teen years and in his two years of university, he studied random classes that fit his interest in nature but never allowed him to move past consideration as a first year student. While building wagon wheels to pay the bills in 1867, an accident blinded him - but Muir knew he had too much to see in this world to let something like that slow him down.  With the support of his friend Catharine Merrill, Muir overcame his blindness and then set off on a thousand mile walk across the United States - the real beginning to a life full of exploration and eye opening and boundary pushing.  In Muir’s words: “This affliction has driven me to the sweet fields. God has to nearly kill us sometimes, to teach us lessons.”

And so the mountain prophet found his calling. Muir founded the Sierra Club, was responsible for the designation of Yosemite as a National Park, and essentially started the environmental movement in the United States.  Theodore Roosevelt called a night camping with Muir in Yosemite in 1903 “the grandest day of my life.”

Muir’s grave is notably simple and Muir’s character was remarkably complex, and that’s a piece of what makes Cemlurking so consistently interesting for me.  A grave is a lasting physical representation of a person, but there are no rules about how a person is represented.  A crazy looking stone doesn’t necessarily mean you were a badass, while a simple one doesn’t mean you were a bore.  Just as Muir was able to see things around him without vision, it’s on us to peel back the first layer, not take things at face value and understand and appreciate what exists all around us. 

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    My hometown lol cool to find when I look it up!!
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