2016 is almost over, and with it the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Columnist Mark Woods intended to write a book simply about visiting a variety of national parks over one year. Yet the book became much more personal than he set out to do, a story of the intertwining of life and land. I’ve enjoyed the first few chapters, and so far would recommend this book for anyone who appreciates connecting to our federal lands.
Mark Woods, Lassoing the Sun: A Year in America’s National Parks (New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2016), 320 pp.
Publisher’s description For many childhood summers, Mark Woods piled into a station wagon with his parents and two sisters and headed to America’s national parks. Mark’s most vivid childhood memories are set against a backdrop of mountains, woods, and fireflies in places like Redwood, Yosemite, and Grand Canyon national parks. On the eve of turning fifty and a little burned-out, Mark decided to reconnect with the great outdoors. He’d spend a year visiting the national parks. He planned to take his mother to a park she’d not yet visited and to re-create his childhood trips with his wife and their iPad-generation daughter. But then the unthinkable happened: his mother was diagnosed with cancer and given just months to live. Mark had initially intended to write a book about the future of the national parks, but Lassoing the Sun grew into something more: a book about family, the parks, and the legacies we inherit and the ones we leave behind.