“This fascinating memoir documents . . . a must-do travel item shared by many.”―USA Today
When Conor Knighton set off to explore America's "best idea," he worried the whole thing could end up being his worst idea. A broken engagement and a broken heart had left him longing for a change of scenery, but the plan he'd cooked up in response had gone a bit overboard in that department: Over the course of a single year, Knighton would visit every national park in the country, from Acadia to Zion.
In Leave Only Footprints, Knighton shares informative and entertaining dispatches from what turned out to be the road trip of a lifetime. Whether he's waking up early for a naked scrub in a historic bathhouse in Arkansas or staying up late to stargaze along our loneliest highway in Nevada, Knighton weaves together the type of stories you're not likely to find in any guidebook. Through his unique lens, America the Beautiful becomes America the Captivating, the Hilarious, and the Inspiring. Along the way, he identifies the threads that tie these wildly different places together—and that ties us to nature—and reveals how his trip ended up changing his views on everything from God and love to politics and technology.
Filled with fascinating tidbits about our parks' past and reflections on their fragile future, this book is both a celebration of and a passionate case for the natural wonders that all Americans share.
“Conor Knighton is not only blessed with Charles Kuralt’s peripatetic curiosity and John Muir’s reverence for nature, he shares their all-too-rare gift—his writing makes you want to hit the road and see for yourself what truly makes America great.”
―Mark Adams, New York Times bestselling author of Turn Right at Machu Picchu
Conor Knighton is an Emmy-winning correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning, America's #1 Sunday morning news program. Depending on your cable package, you may have also seen him hosting shows on Current TV, AMC, and The Biography Channel or providing commentary for the likes of MTV, E!, and CNN. He has been to all of America's national parks and what feels like 40 percent of its Hampton Inns.