Melissa Ross spoke with Florida Times-Union reporter Mark Woods about his new book, "Lassoing the Sun: A Year in America's National Parks." Woods spent one year in the country's national parks where he shared his personal journey, and examined the parks' legacies in time for the National Park Service's centennial this August.
First Coast Connect videos produced by TVJax.com
Starring Melissa Ross and Mark Woods
Shot and Edited by Derrick Allen Dillinger
In cooperation with WJCT
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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, 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, the legacies we inherit and the ones we leave behind.
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Melissa Ross photo by Toni Smailagic