Location: Nevada Falls, Yosemite National Park
Is technology invading our escapes into the wilderness, is the draw of a cell phone or WIFI trickling into those quite moments of introspection, wonder or freedom that comes with a weekend camping trip or hike along your favourite trail? Rather than tackling this broad and multi-faceted question, I would propose that we consider and mindfully use this invasion of technology into our natural spaces as a valuable opportunity to document and share your love and reverence for the outdoors. Become a lorax, steward, and an advocate for those defenceless forests, lakes, rivers and mountains that have no voice. Today, technology has become the conduit through which photos and words can be shared with millions of people at the click of a button. Back when John Muir first explored Yosemite, @Instagram obviously didn’t exist, but John Muir realized the importance of media and the big corporations that ran and managed the major newspapers and magazines of the world. He realized that these periodicals were read by millions, many of whom had deep pockets, ties to politics or a vote to offer. He knew that if he wanted to save Yosemite, he would need a coalition of conservationists from across the country. And he knew he needed to convince them that what was at stake was worth fighting for. Inspired, John Muir began writing about his adventures, and submitted these essays and articles to major magazines including Harper’s Weekly, The Atlantic, and Century Magazine, intent on capturing the minds and hearts of his readers. Over the course of his life, 300 of Muir’s articles were published, having a significant hand in conservation of Yosemite Valley.