For Britain Peters, Yosemite National Park was a place that shaped his childhood.
He can recall long summer days spent exploring the park.Back then, he was only momentarily mesmerized by the towering granite cliffs that propelled Yosemite to fame, but enthralled by the lazy swell of the Merced river, the armies of unique insects, and the easily-startled ground squirrels.
Now, he’s reminded of this youthful fascination regularly, as he observes that the children who visit the park are usually similarly intrigued by the smaller details.
Though Britain grew out of his childhood vacations, the park’s pull was magnetic. For the past few years, he’s returned to Yosemite for summer work opportunities and, in the spring of 2016, he decided to permanently relocate to the valley. He’s been exploring ever since.
Britain didn’t always consider himself adventurous. During the summer months he spent working at the park, he’d complete a shift, play Pokemon, sleep until the afternoon, then read until it was time to work again. Initially unaware of his astonishingly beautiful surroundings, he’s since capitalized on the natural beauty of the park.
With his exploration of the park came the desire to document it. He originally brought a point-and-shoot camera along on backcountry treks but, as the hobby evolved, so did his gear. He’s now equipped with a full-frame camera he totes along on all of his adventures.
One of his fondest experiences in the park is of a weekend he spent with his co-worker and fellow adventurer, Craig, in 2012. It was his first backpacking trip in Yosemite’s “grand canyon” of the Tuolumne River — a narrow river-canyon running from Hetch Hetchy, passing through White Wolf and Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp, and finally ending in Tuolumne Meadows. It was a trip that encompassed a great expanse of Yosemite’s land.
The duo spent two days and one night hiking nearly 30 miles of trail. Challenging, extraordinarily beautiful, and freeing, it was the single most amazing experience he’d ever had in Yosemite’s high country, and he was hooked. It turned out to be the catalyst for his return the following year, when he would tramp through hundreds of miles of park trail.
Britain hopes that his photography inspires people to visit Yosemite National Park and encourages visitors to say yes to the opportunities that may come their way. For Britain, the place that was once only a summer getaway has become a second home.