John Muir was a naturalist (someone who studies nature) and a writer who lived from 1838 to 1914. He wrote many books and articles about his adventures in nature. Muir fought hard to preserve forests and mountains, especially Yosemite Valley and Sequoia National Park in California. The reading for this section is part of a letter he wrote about saving the Sequoia trees.
Sequoias (also called redwoods) are very large, very old trees that grow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. The wood from Sequoias isn’t good for building—it breaks easily—but many of the trees were cut down in the late 1800s anyway. Because of the work of John Muir and others, these trees are now protected and can be enjoyed by visitors today.
On week-days I get up at seven o’clock. The alarm-clock wakes me up every morning. I cannot say that I like its ringing. Then, though sleepy, I do my morning exercises and in a few minutes I feel bright and cheerful.
After that I am ready for other activities: I take a cold shower, wash and dress, and prepare my breakfast. I have to do it myself because when I get up, my wife isn’t in: she has to take our children to the kindergarten. So I have breakfast alone. My everyday breakfast is the same: some cabbage salad, two soft-boiled eggs and a cup of strong coffee with cheese sandwiches. I don’t like coffee with milk, so 1 have it black. It takes me fifteen minutes to have my breakfast.