National Geographic : 2016 Jan
ANYWHERE WILD In March 1868 a 29-year- old John Muir stopped a passerby in San Francis- co to ask for directions out of town. “ Where do you wish to go?” the startled man inquired. “Anywhere that is wild,” said Muir. His journey took him to the Yosem- ite Valley in California’s Sierra Nevada, which became the spiritual home of Muir’s conser- vation movement and, under his guidance, the country ’s third national park. “John the Baptist,” he wrote, “was not more eager to get all his fellow sinners into the Jordan than I to baptize all of mine in the beauty of God’s mountains.” Today around four million people a year follow their own thirst for the wild to Yosemite. For this Yosemite vista photographer Stephen Wilkes took 1,036 photos— some at 3 a.m ., when the full moon lit the face of El Capitan—over 26 hours. Then he digitally combined select images to make this pan- orama. Learn more about Wilkes’s composite technique on page 144.