The Inspiration of John Muir

Everything we do at Juniper Ridge is informed and inspired by John Muir, and he is one hell of an awesome style icon too.

“…we had plenty of time, and proposed drifting leisurely…by any road that we chanced to find; enjoying the flowers and light, “camping out” in our blankets wherever overtaken by night, and paying very little compliance to roads or times…” – John Muir

Much of what we do at Juniper Ridge would not be happening if not for John Muir. As folks who like to think of Earth Day as Every Day, we would like to pause and honor the man who raised awareness and started a fight, that to this day, still rages across the American West: the fight to defend wilderness. The question of defending wilderness for wilderness’ sake comes from the revelations of John Muir. Revelations that describe the wilderness as an aesthetic landscape, a terrestrial paradise where we can again find ourselves, even if we didn’t realize that we were missing something. Even more than the Wilderness Defense stuff, it is the interaction with nature that most inspires our efforts. For Muir, wilderness seems not an infinite museum that either needs to be conquered or segregated from daily life, it is part of our heritage, it is our home, and an expression of our highest freedoms. From Tom Melham in John Muir’s Wild America: “His most treasured commodity was time -time to pore over a leaf or trace a glacier’s trail, time to ramble, time to write and sketch and study, time to learn nature’s varied wilderness lessons.”I have not yet in all my wanderings found a single person so free as myself,” he confided to a friend. Of all American naturalists, Muir was the wildest; he was also the most active, the most self-reliant, and the most persuasive, probably because his knowledge came from nature, not simply from books. In endless pursuit of that wisdom, John Muir disdained creature comforts, preferringinstead to live on “essences and crumbs.” His beard and hair grew shaggy; his clothes became equally unkempt. But Muir’s rough hewn exterior and free form lifestyle never deterred him from success. He achieved what many aspire to but so few attain: He lived his own life, following the dictates of his heart for good or ill – and yet he still wrought lasting changes in the world.”