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The Grand Cañon of the Colorado by John Muir
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by John Muir


Happy nowadays is the tourist, with earth's wonders, new and old,
spread invitingly open before him, and a host of able workers as
his slaves making everything easy, padding plush about him, grading
roads for him, boring tunnels, moving hills out of his way, eager,
like the devil, to show him all the kingdoms of the world and their
glory and foolishness, spiritualizing travel for him with lightning
and steam, abolishing space and time and almost everything else.
Little children and tender, pulpy people, as well as storm-seasoned
explorers, may now go almost everywhere in smooth comfort, cross
oceans and deserts scarce accessible to fishes and birds, and,
dragged by steel horses, go up high mountains, riding gloriously
beneath starry showers of sparks, ascending like Elijah in a
whirlwind and chariot of fire.

First of the wonders of the great West to be brought within reach of
the tourist were the Yosemite and the Big Trees, on the completion
of the first transcontinental railway; next came the Yellowstone and
icy Alaska, by the Northern roads; and last the Grand Cañon of the
Colorado, which, naturally the hardest to reach, has now become, by
a branch of the Santa Fé, the most accessible of all.

Of course with this wonderful extension of steel ways through our
wilderness there is loss as well as gain. Nearly all railroads are