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The Sun Is a Compass
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The Sun Is a Compass

A 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds

Bookseller Recommendation

The Sun Is a Compass

“The Sun is a Compass is a biologist’s candid journey of self discovery complete with aggressive bears, playful humpback whales, feisty hummingbirds and scolding chickadees. Heading into the most remote areas of Alaska and Canada, Caroline Van Hemert and her husband Pat rowed, rafted, hiked, skied and canoed 4000 miles from Bellingham, Washington to Kotzebue, Alaska. How do two people have such resilience to survive dangerous situations – unpredictable storms, the threat of an avalanche, swimming across a frigid Arctic river, and a depleting food supply? This memoir and others such as Raynor Winn’s The Salt Path, will compel you to observe and appreciate the healing forces of your own natural environment.”

The River's End Bookstore image Mindy, The River's End Bookstore

Description

For fans of Cheryl Strayed, the gripping story of a biologist's human-powered journey from the Pacific Northwest to the Arctic to rediscover her love of birds, nature, and adventure.
During graduate school, as she conducted experiments on the peculiarly misshapen beaks of chickadees, ornithologist Caroline Van Hemert began to feel stifled in the isolated, sterile environment of the lab. Worried that she was losing her passion for the scientific research she once loved, she was compelled to experience wildness again, to be guided by the sounds of birds and to follow the trails of animals.
In March of 2012, she and her husband set off on a 4,000-mile wilderness journey from the Pacific rainforest to the Alaskan Arctic, traveling by rowboat, ski, foot, raft, and canoe. Together, they survived harrowing dangers while also experiencing incredible moments of joy and grace -- migrating birds silhouetted against the moon, the steamy breath of caribou, and the bond that comes from sharing such experiences.
A unique blend of science, adventure, and personal narrative, The Sun is a Compass explores the bounds of the physical body and the tenuousness of life in the company of the creatures who make their homes in the wildest places left in North America. Inspiring and beautifully written, this love letter to nature is a lyrical testament to the resilience of the human spirit.
Winner of the 2019 Banff Mountain Book Competition: Adventure Travel


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