Mark Twain and the Sierra Nevada

Highway 395 in California opens up the Sierra Nevada for those who live or travel along it. I discovered it on a trip to Death Valley in the 60’s and have photographed it ever since. When I was given the opportunity to be part of an art show at the Mark Twain Museum Center, I looked through Twain’s writings about his early years in the West.

I’m quite sure that those mountains touch many many people when they see them for the first, or fiftieth, time.  Mark Twain wrote about his feelings so intimately that we are able to almost reach into his soul to share his feelings.

A letter to his mother about it was written in September or October of 1861:

“we are … surrounded on all sides by such prodigious mountains, that when you gaze at them awhile—and begin to conceive of their grandeur—and next to feel their vastness expanding your soul—and ultimately find yourself growing and swelling and spreading into a giant”

He goes on to describe his mining adventures around Mono Lake.

For the Visions on Twain show,
I have enlarged my image called Down to the Sierra to make it my largest framed and signed photo yet and named it Roughing It in the Sierra Nevada. You could look at the smaller version (see gallery) while reading his adventures about Mono Lake in either Roughing It or The Complete Letters of Mark Twain.

And save the dates for the show. October 7–31, Artists Reception Sunday, October 16, 2–4 pm.

3 thoughts on “Mark Twain and the Sierra Nevada

  1. Hi Mom,
    I like your blog post. Ever since you described Highway 395, I’ve wanted to see it, and now of course I want to see it even more. Good luck with your show. Wish I could be there. Jenn

  2. As one who grew up along 395, lived aroud the corner from Mark Twain House, and then ended up writing a book about the Eastern Sierra and managed to sneak Mark Twain in–your pictures of that area are magnificent. From Hartford to the 14,000 foot range–not that far.Thanks for the fine work; hope to get to the gallery soon!

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