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The Sun Is a Compass
The Sun Is a Compass: A Memoir | Caroline Van Hemert
6 posts | 3 read | 7 to read
For fans of Hope Jahren, Helen MacDonald, and Cheryl Strayed, the gripping story of a biologist's journey from Washington State to high above the Arctic Circle -- traveling across remote and rugged terrain solely by human power -- to rediscover birds, the natural world, and her own love of science. 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, and increasingly distanced from the natural world. 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 without the help of any motor or machine. By rowboat, ski, foot, raft, and canoe, they explored northern landscapes so remote there were no maps or guidebooks to mark them. 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 book explores the bounds of the physical body and the tenuousness of life in the company of creatures whose daily survival is nothing short of miraculous. It is a journey through the heart, the mind, and some of the wildest places left in North America. In the end, The Sun Is a Compass is a love letter to nature, an inspiring story of endurance, and a beautifully written testament to the resilience of the human spirit.
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DebinHawaii
The Sun Is a Compass: A Memoir | Caroline Van Hemert
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#SoaringScores
I love books about people who trek & go adventuring & checked this one out from the library as it starts in Washington & the Pacific Northwest which used to be my #Homeland before I moved to Oahu in 2001.😉

As humid as our weather has been for going on months now, a few chapters seemed perfect to accompany my Creamy Tomato Soup & Toast with Tomato Butter. 😋I can dream of cold places. Link to soup & tomato butter recipes 👇🏻

CrowCAH Now you have a new homeland in Hawai‘i! 1mo
Cinfhen Even your toast looks SCRUMPTIOUS 😋 1mo
59 likes1 stack add3 comments
review
JSW
The Sun Is a Compass: A Memoir | Caroline Van Hemert
Pickpick

I absolutely LOVE books like this. They let me adventure with the writer without the mosquitos, dirt, hunger, cold, and bears. 😂 Meanwhile I also got educated on ecology, birds, climate change, and survival. Fantastic read.

WhatWouldJaneDo I loved this one as well! I had dreams about trekking around Alaska after I finished it, but the dream culminated in getting to a town and buying coffee and pastries 😂 4mo
JSW @WhatWouldJaneDo I‘m forever imagining myself on these huge adventures when the reality is I want a nap after 2 miles! 😂😂😂 but that‘s what reading is for. 👍🏼📚 4mo
20 likes2 comments
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JSW
The Sun Is a Compass: A Memoir | Caroline Van Hemert
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Next up! I‘m loving my new reading spots at the new house. Everything is unpacked, sorted, art on the walls, settled, and I can enjoy my Bookcation. 📚☕️🙌🏼

MyBookSwapClub I need bookcation ;) 5mo
JSW @MyBookSwapClub I do one every year at this time, usually a four day weekend or five day if I can swing it. I highly recommend. 👍🏼 5mo
Samplergal That looks amazing. 4mo
29 likes3 comments
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AnnaClark
The Sun Is a Compass: A Memoir | Caroline Van Hemert

I‘m heading out to the wilderness for four days alone for a solo backpacking trip and I download “The Sun is a Compass” for my Kindle. Looking foreword to hammock evenings with a good book and reconnecting with nature.

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WhatWouldJaneDo
The Sun Is a Compass: A Memoir | Caroline Van Hemert
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Adding another square to my #nonfiction2019 bingo card. The tagged book featured many animal encounters: bears, caribou, whales, and lots and lots of birds since the author is an ornithologist!

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WhatWouldJaneDo
The Sun Is a Compass: A Memoir | Caroline Van Hemert
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Pickpick

A fascinating tale of van Hemert and her husband Pat's 4000 mile trek from Bellingham, WA to the Arctic circle, rowing skiing and hiking. The drive and planning that went into arranging this kind of expedition were just as interesting to me as the trip itself. Van Hemert's musings about what she wants to do when she got back to relative civilization got a touch repetitive but overall a very engaging and thoughtful memoir.