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Video: Scottish Students Follow John Muir's Footsteps

The students visited Martinez from their hometown of Dunbar, Scotland — Muir's birthplace.

Martinez is a long way from the small town of Dunbar, Scotland. But a group of students are taking the pilgrimage in honor of a famous Scot who made the same trip in the mid-19th century. 

The fifth- and sixth-year students — or juniors and seniors to Americans — arrived Thursday, June 22. On Friday, they spent a jetlagged morning in Muir Woods followed by an afternoon stroll of the John Muir Historical Site under the guidance of Park Ranger Daniel Prial. Prial gave an enthusiastic tour, which students Emily Gilmour and Cheryl McCandlish said expanded their understanding of the man behind the name John Muir.

Gilmour and McCandlish are staying with Kris Russell, one of the many Martinez residents who are hosting the Scottish teenagers. As an introduction to the United States — and Martinez — Russell took the young women to the mall, the downtown, and for a day of watersports on the Carquinez Strait.

From Martinez, the students head over to Yosemite National Park.

Lisa Songster June 26, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Thank you so much for posting this story! We've been twice been a host family of 3 Scottish students (2 different sets of kids) and we'd highly recommend it. Another group should be back in 2 years and we're already on the list to host. It's a wonderful experience and we now have lots of friends to visit across the pond.
Mr D Burns August 14, 2012 at 08:02 PM
From Douglas Burns - Dunbar, Scotland I have just seen this video of our trip to John Muir's birthplace in Martinez and it has just reminded me yet again of the wonderful time our whole group had there. If you are reading this and don't know the background we were a group of students and teachers from Dunbar in Scotland who visit on a bi-annual basis with the intention of giving our school students the opportunity to understand more about the environmentalist John Muir, who was born in our town in Scotland. We are hosted in Martinez by a group of hugely hospitable and generous families who make the opening section of our trip very special indeed. Our deepest thanks again.

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