John Muir and Lyndon Johnson successfully lobbied Congress to establish Yosemite as a National Park on October 1, 1890. Part of this success was due to a photographer named Ansel Adams. Adams portfolio of the Sierra Nevadas and Yosemite were very influential in their efforts to argue for a protected wilderness.
For the past couple years I have been obsessing over Adams photographs, as well as some instagram accounts of photographers who have traveled to this "Mecca of landscape photography" When Meredith surprised me with a map and airplane tickets to California I was beyond words. I have seen just every photo there is of the Valley and its surrounding granite peaks. So when I tell you that seeing these photos Ansel or any other photographer has taken does not do the park justice, believe me. There is something about your peripheral vision which cannot be captured in a 2x3 frame of a camera that allows you to take in the scale of where you are standing. When you can walk up to the base of El Capitan and look 3000' straight up the granite wall you are left with a sense of wonder. The majesty of half dome, as the sun sets from almost anywhere in the valley becomes electric. The water rushing down Yosemite falls crushing the rocks below fills you with a sense of fragility that only nature can bestow.
If I could leave you with only one idea, it would be to value these National Parks. To allow them to operate efficiently, through proper funding and management so that You, I, and everyone from now until eternity can visit these parks, and share in the sense of wonderment which I have felt.
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