Finally some good news for those of us who love wilderness. John Muir fought to preserve the beautiful valleys in the California Sierras while formulating innovative ideas that changed the future. National parks were his idea. The then controversial theory of giant glaciers carving mountains originated with Muir, who was not a geologist, and was ridiculed by geologists of his day. I’m so pleased that this visionary is getting some well-deserved recognition.
Maybe this will inspire more young people to learn about the Yosemite wonderland that Muir and Ansel Adams explored and why special places must be protected.
(Personal note: Half Dome is pictured in the background on the coin. I proposed to my wife Ann on the top of Half Dome on the first day of autumn in 1995.)
Muir, who emigrated from Scotland as a boy, explored and wrote about much of the western United States in his lifetime. His advocacy helped launch the national parks system and he founded the Sierra Club.
Schwarzenegger picked from 20
The coin was designed by Los Angeles graphic artist Garrett Burke. The final design was one of more than 100 submitted to a committee that narrowed the selection to 20 entries. Schwarzenegger picked the winner last year.
The California condor, whose wingspan can be as long as nine feet, is also on the quarter to reflect the successful repopulation of the bird that nearly went extinct.