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Before They're Gone

A Family's Year-Long Quest to Explore America's Most Endangered National Parks

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

A lifelong backpacker, Michael Lanza knows our national parks like the back of his hand. As a father of two, he hopes to share these special places with his kids. But he has seen firsthand the changes wrought by global warming and understands what lies ahead: melting glaciers, disappearing species, and inundated coastlines. To Lanza, it feels like the house he grew up in is being looted. Painfully aware of the ecological--and spiritual--calamity that global warming will bring to our nation's parks, Lanza is determined to show his children these wonders before they have changed forever.

He takes his nine-year-old son, Nate, and seven-year-old daughter, Alex, on an ambitious journey to see as many climate-threatened wild places as he can fit into a year: backpacking in the Grand Canyon, Glacier, the North Cascades, Mt. Rainier, Rocky Mountain, and along the wild Olympic coast; sea kayaking in Alaska's Glacier Bay; hiking to Yosemite's waterfalls; rock climbing in Joshua Tree National Park; cross-country skiing in Yellowstone; and canoeing in the Everglades.

Through these adventures, Lanza shares the beauty of each place, and shows how his children connect with nature when given "unscripted" time. Ultimately, he writes, this is more their story than his, for whatever comes of our changing world, they are the ones who will live in it.

From Publishers Weekly

Mar 19, 2012 – Worried that climate change might soon destroy many of America's most beautiful places, Lanza, the northwest editor for Backpacker magazine, embarks with his wife and two kids, nine-year-old Nate and seven-year-old Alex, to visit "as many climate-threatened U.S. national parks as could cram into a year." Their journeys take them from Alaska's Glacier Bay to Florida's Everglades, and to many breathtaking locales in between. Blending anecdotes and ecology lessons, Lanza sheds light on his family's charming dynamic (from his daughter's sensible suggestion that they depart from bear territory to his son's preference to attack the brutes), the wonder of the natural world, and the ethical responsibility we all have to mitigate the forces that are changing our planet "faster even than scientists or computer models have anticipated." This is a terrific blend of adventure ("Seeing a bison gallop thirty miles an hour as they can is like seeing a grand piano suddenly sprout horns and charge you with the speed of a horse.") and ecological forecasting (and forewarning) that aptly conveys the passion of a devoted outdoorsman, and serves as a wake-up call to the state of our planet. Photos.

Customer Reviews

Harrowing both for the adventures and for what they reveal

Formulaic chapters can not diminish the powerful story revealed by each – we are leaving a very different world to our children than we grew up in. Any parent who wants to raise their children well will enjoy this book.

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Before They're Gone
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  • $15.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Sports & Outdoors
  • Published: Apr 03, 2012
  • Publisher: Beacon Press
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 224 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings