John Muir worked at a factory in Canada. He invented time and money saving machines for the factories. But one day an accident changed his whole outlook on life. As he was tightening a machine belt with a file, the file flew out and pierced his right eye. His left eye grew dim to the reaction.
John's friends and neighbors tried to help him and brought doctors. Some friends read to him. Children brought him flowers and listened to his stories. He finally began to regain his sight. His employer, grateful for the work that he had done for his company, offered John a job as foreman and a future partnership. But John gave up the chance to be a wealthy business man because he wanted to use his precious sight to enjoy the creations of nature.
On September 1, 1867, John stepped off a train in Louisville, Kentucky. The next day he set out on foot to walk from Louisville to Florida, a distance of 1,000 miles.
In Florida, he planned to catch a boat for South America because he was eager to observe the plants of southern lands. This was known as the thousand-mile walk. During his journey, he would stop to collect plant samples and write about his observations in his journal.
John was weak from the trip and thought that he would need much more energy to travel to South America. He decided to visit Yosemite Valley, where he would regain his strength. He took up the job as a herder there and began to explore the area. Then he got a job as guide to the Yosemite. Muir quickly became an expert on Yosemite. John believed that glaciers had helped in the formation of the valley. People began to pay attention to his ideas. Some...