All photos courtesy of Anna Brones.
“There is a lot of magic in the naming of things. It is my convention that the more we know about nature’s secrets, the more we can enjoy it. Simply being able to call the elements of nature by their proper names helps us to experience them and allows their beauty to unfold, both intellectually and emotionally.”
-Obi Kaufmann, The California Field Atlas
To have a few days to simply exist, to wake before sunrise in order to catch the first rays of light on granite, to inspect the intricate lines of the thick bark of ponderosa pines, to listen to the pounding force of a river descending through a valley; this is a form of luxury.
In June we spent three days near Yosemite National Park at AutoCamp with a mix of JAM clients and editors, and had the time to do exactly that. Lead by Y Explore, we spent a day hiking in the park, scrambling up to the top of Nevada Fall, a stunning view of the valley expanding out in front of us. We were joined by naturalist, artist and writer Obi Kaufmann, who took the time to share his vast knowledge of the natural landscape in this iconic part of California. Pointing out various flora and fauna, he answered questions about the history and science of this majestic place, encouraging us all to dig a little deeper into our understanding of the natural world around us, no matter where we are.
Some of us set the alarms early on our second morning to follow photographer and prAna ambassador Chris Burkard into Yosemite for a sunrise photo shoot, scurrying up the granite to find the perfect vista for watching the sun shine onto Half Dome. Those of us less enthused about an early wake up call hit the Merced River with Zephyr Rafting, letting the cold rapids cool us off in the heat of the early June day.
Working in the outdoor industry, a lot of our time is spent working with brands who inspire people to get outside. It is important for us to put that inspiration into practice, making time for not only ourselves to spend time outdoors together, but with the people that we work with. To get to spend time with our colleagues in such a beautiful place is an honor, and we can’t wait to return.
After all, time taken to disconnect from our modern world enables a reconnection to the natural one.