Image: Muir Woods / Wikimedia Commons
I came back from helping Shawford people dig out the ancient Bishop's Drain and get water flowing. Then rather tired I dropped into a chair. I read the next chapter in a biography of US President Theodore Roosevelt, which described his camping trip in Yosemite with John Muir. I was reminded that many of the most beautiful and wonderful places on Earth were conserved and preserved as a direct result of John Muir, a thin and wiry farm labourer, scientist, mountaineer and wilderness champion who was born in 1838 in Dunbar, East Lothian.
After a few years in grammar school, John arrived in America on an overcrowded boat from Glasgow with his family. He was eleven. He worked as a farmhand for his father. 'A stern Calvinist', his father demanded that his son read only Scripture, but at the age of fifteen John defied his father's whip and began to walk his own road.
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