Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Visit with John Muir

Before I return to CTK tomorrow to spend another day with students, I should tell you how I spent my Friday. As it turns out, Christ the King School is only about five miles from John Muir's Home in Martinez. And a beautiful, almost-spring day is the perfect time to walk around the grounds.

John Muir, who was actually born in Scotland, is perhaps best known for being a champion of nature. In 1867, he began a 1,000-mile walk from Kentucky to the Gulf of Mexico, and along the way was able to experience so much of what nature had to offer. He is arguably this country's most famous conservationist, without whom we may not have Yosemite National Park. In fact, Muir is often referred to as The Father of Our National Park System. He co-founded the Sierra Club, and became its first president, a title he would hold until his death in 1914.

As it was a school day for most children in the area, we pretty much had the place to ourselves...except for the rather rambunctious first graders who were on a school field trip. That attic got rather noisy with all of those little voices, especially after one of the moms mentioned something about ghosts!

We were lucky enough to have our own private tour guide for our walk through the Muir Home. Mr. Hughes was nice enough to share plenty of wonderful information about John Muir and his wife Louie and what life was like when they lived in this house.

There are actually two homes here to see: John Muir's and the Martinez Adobe, built around 1849 by Don Vicente Martinez. The walls of this home are made entirely of adobe, sun-dried bricks.

You can see photos of the John Muir Home here.

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