Leave Only Footprints

Leave Only Footprints: My Acadia-to-Zion Journey Through Every National Park by Conor Knighton

Armchair travel has been a reading theme for me this summer. Fortunately, there are a lot of terrific books that can take the reader on a virtual journey. In his first book, Emmy award-winning television correspondent Conor Knighton visits all the National Parks in the U.S. in 2016, beginning with the first sunrise of the year in Acadia National Park in Maine. Imagine visiting Alaska, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Hawaii, and American Samoa in the same year, along with all the other National Parks! Conor, recovering from a broken engagement, isn’t sure where he wants to live when his year of traveling is over. His writing is insightful, and occasionally funny. I would have liked more photos, but enjoyed the ones that are included. For videos from his time in the parks, visit his website. Different chapters cover the night sky, climate change, diversity in the parks, and how the most popular parks are coping with crowds. Knighton talks with many park rangers and guides, and is smitten by a litter of puppies in Denali, where dogsledding often makes more sense than snowmobiling. He gets advised to not always climb the highest peak, as the view and experience may be better from another less popular peak. Every cave tour has a moment of utter darkness, and while dark skies in some parks make for amazing stargazing, it’s getting harder to find an area without cellphone service. I enjoyed Knighton’s writing so much, I read several short passages out loud to my family. Since 2016, Conor has visited our newest national parks, including the Indiana Dunes, some national parks in other countries, and many islands.

Brenda

 

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