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Range of Light

by Walkin' Jim Stoltz

This outstanding song is now available on the John Muir Tribute CD!

  • Lyrics by Walkin' Jim Stoltz

About the Song

Walkin' Jim Stoltz was a long-distance hiker, adventurer, author, painter, photographer, poet, wilderness activist, musician, songwriter, and troubadour for the Earth. He performed countless concerts and slide shows, and recorded numerous albums about the wilderness. This song inspired by John Muir, Range of Light is also ecorded on his album, The Long Trails as well as on the John Muir Tribute CD.

This wonderful song celebrates Muir's inspiration from the High Sierra, the Range of Light. The refrain confirms:

Yes, the fire of ol' Man Muir
Is still a-shining bright,
Up in the High Sierra, out in the Range of Light!

About Walkin' Jim Stoltz

Jim Stoltz, known far and wide as Walkin' Jim, sang his songs with a definite sense of having been there. Indeed, he has. It all began innocently enough, walking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. That was in 1974. After a year and a half spent walking from the Atlantic to the Pacific, folks just naturally started referring to him as "Walkin' Jim."

What followed was a trek from Mexico to Canada along the Continental Divide Trail, four years of hiking his own border to border trail through Arizona, Utah, Idaho, and Montana, and yearly long walks across the remaining wildlands of America. Although his miles now total more than 24,000, it all adds up to much more than miles. It's year's of experiences, stories and songs.

Jim began playing professionally around Detroit, Michigan back in the early '70s before he started the long treks. With no formal music training, Jim's roots are based solid in traditional folk music. His original songs often come out sounding more like hundred-year-old ballads. With his deep, powerful voice and basic guitar and harmonica back-ups, he sings with the assurance and sincerity of one who has something to say.

Jim's relationship with the Earth gave him a deep commitment to preserve the wilderness, protect the planet's creatures, and fight for the right to a clean and healthy environment. Walkin' Jim's music springs from the land itself.

Leading somewhat of a double life, he spent months in the backcountry soaking up the solitude of the wild places and writing his songs and poetry. Then, emerging from the wilderness, he took his show on the road and through song shared those most precious feelings that the wilderness can offer.

In Spring of 1991 Jim was awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Outstanding Achievement Award. The award reads: "For Sharing Nature and Wilderness with Others Across America Through Your Extraordinary Words, Images, and Music."

Sadly, Jim died on September 3, 2010 at the age of 57 from cancer. His legacy, music, and website lives on, guided by his wife, Leslie Stoltz, sister (herself a singer-songwriter) Susan Grace Stoltz, and long-time friend, Scott Carpenter.

For album and concert information:


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