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A longtime backpacker, climber, and skier, Michael Lanza kws our national parks like the back of his hand. As a father, he hopes to share these special places with his two young children. But he has seen firsthand the changes wrought by the warming climate and understands what lies ahead: Alaska's tidewater glaciers are rapidly retreating, and the abundant sea life in their shadow departs with them. Encroaching tides threaten beloved wilderness coasts like Washington's Olympic and Florida's Everglades. Less swfall and hotter summers will diminish Yosemite's world-famous waterfalls. And it is predicted that Glacier National Park's 7,000-year-old glaciers will be gone in a decade. 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 sets out 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, Mount 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 caeing in the Everglades. Through these poignant and humorous 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.
Michael Lanza is a veteran freelance outdoors writer and photographer. He is the northwest editor of Backpacker magazine, where his articles about the impacts of climate change on Montana's Glacier National Park and other wild lands helped Backpacker win a National Magazine Award. He runs the website TheBigOutside.