And in a celebration of John Muir, the wild Scots-American, a quote from his dad, Daniel.
Bairns, you needna learn your lessons the nicht, for we’re gan to America the mornScots explorer and conservationist John Muir’s faither Daniel Muir
My own uncles had a similar spontaneous tale to tell just like John Muir, the wild Scots-American.
They had taken shelter in the opening of the American Embassy from the pouring Glasgow rain.
And they then decided to seek their fortunes anew in the States.
The Muir story
Millions have followed a similar path.
With those from my own homesteads, Scotland and Ireland, up there proportionately with any of them.
John Muir’s story has crept up on me where, of course, it ought to have been front and centre of my Scots education.
And now I’m living in the East Lothian of his informative years, his presence is more visible.
But it is true that the Great Conservationist is more celebrated in his adopted America where he and his family went to live when he was 11.
Than in his own homeland of Scotland although he would visit here in later life.
Where it all began
You can learn all about John Muir at his birthplace in the main street of the once fishing and farming town where the population would be split between Shories and Streeties.
Dunbar has reinvented itself around Muir with a statue in the high street of the Great Man exploring nature.
And a country park and adventure playground on the way out of town.
Again, rather than waffle here, pick out the John Muir birthplace museum in Dunbar, or better still visit it, to learn more about this remarkable man.
The Scot and America
Her eyes lit up when she heard my Scottish accent and the first words that she spoke were ‘John Muir’.
She would go on to tell me about a celebrated Ranger who had been interviewed on American television.
When asked if someone were to put to him that he only had one day to visit Yosemite what would he do, he shot back: ‘Cry’.
I told the very same story to the guide at John Muir’s Birthplace and it was about the only thing that Elaine didn’t know about the Dunbar man.
I left with my Muir passport, determined to walk the 134 mile John Muir Trail from Helensburgh on the west coast of Scotland to his birthplace Dunbar.
And have my book stamped along the way.
Walk this way
Still, even if I do it, it will be as nothing compared to Muir’s 1,000 mile jaunt from Indiana to Florida, his much-celebrated 1,000 mile walk to the Gulf.
Or the circumnavigation of the Earth which you can track on the globe at his old birthplace.
That’s John Muir, the wild Scots-American.