Who is the John Muir of New Hampshire's White Mountains?
May 12, 2017 8:10 PM   Subscribe

I've recently started reading John Muir's My First summer in the Sierra and it is riveting stuff, a love-letter to an entire landscape that resonates with the bedrock of my soul. However, right now my heart belongs to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, rather than the Sierra Nevada of California. What writings, by what authors, are the closest equivalent to John Muir's work, but set in the Whites?
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The to Writing & Language (4 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
Ooh, fun question! I hope some more answers crop up here! I can't vouch for them myself, but googling leads me to When Women and Mountains Meet: Adventures in the White Mountains (Julie Boardman) and This Vast Book of Nature: Writing the Landscape of New Hampshire's White Mountains, 1784-1911 (Pavel Cenkl). The latter looks like a good history/overview that might lead you to more original sources?
posted by stillmoving at 2:59 AM on May 13


I was intrigued by this question too, so I spent some time searching Goodreads and the Internet Archive. I didn't uncover anything as concretely evocative as Muir's work, but I guess it's worth linking what I found. The first few first-person narratives, the short stories by Hawthorne, and the overview by Starr King probably come closest.
posted by Wobbuffet at 3:46 AM on May 13 [15 favorites]


Guy Waterman, Forest and Crag
posted by Dashy at 6:15 AM on May 13 [2 favorites]


I don't think you can do better than Wobbuffet's list.

But yes, look into writings of Guy and Laura Waterman. They were a couple with their own fascinating history who wrote extensively about the history of hiking and climbing and development in the area. They eventually settled in a little cabin in Vermont that had no electricity and lived a very rugged, outdoor life. They were caretakers at some of the White Mountain shelters and maintained some of the trails for years. Rumor has it there is a little shrine to their sons somewhere on Mt. Lafayette, where Guy would eventually climb one winter a few years ago, sit down, and commit suicide via hypothermia. Obituary in Outdoors Magazine.

I don't think there are any two people that are more associated with the White Mountains, at least in modern times. There's a pretty good FPP to be made about them some day.
posted by bondcliff at 8:29 AM on May 13 [3 favorites]


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