The Sun Is a Compass: A 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds

The Sun Is a Compass: A 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds

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 environme For fans of Cheryl Strayed, the gripping story of a biologist's human-powered journey from the Pacific Northwest to t...

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Title:The Sun Is a Compass: A 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds
Author:Caroline Van Hemert
Rating:
Genres:Nonfiction
ISBN:0316414425
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:320 pages pages

The Sun Is a Compass: A 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds Reviews

  • Chrissie
    May 09, 2019
    The Sun Is a Compass: A 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds chronicles the author?s and her husband?s journey from March 17 to September 5, 2012. They hiked and skied, rowed, canoed and rafted. Never did they use a motor vehicle. They traveled from Bellingham (outside Seattle...
  • Amanda
    Mar 14, 2019
    I loved this memoir. The first few chapters had me asking myself, ?how crazy ARE these people???. But as the journey continued, I found myself longing for the wilderness described. I loved the descriptions of wildlife and birds. I loved reading about Caroline and Pat?s relationsh...
  • Caroline
    Mar 19, 2019
    I have loved wilderness adventure stories since I was a kid reading (and rereading) Caddie Woodlawn and My Side of the Mountain; The Sun Is a Compass is a fantastic addition to the genre. I would never dream of trekking 4,000 miles, as Van Hemert and her husband did, from the Pacific N...
  • Katelyn
    Nov 27, 2018
    Wow. I loved this nature memoir. Whenever I had a spare minute, I eagerly picked this book up. While finishing her graduate degree, Van Hemert was feeling disconnected from what had drawn her to science in the first place: observing and being in the natural world. She was spending h...
  • Julia Wilson
    Apr 02, 2019
    Listening to this tale of endurance did not make me want to hike across the Arctic inlands but it did give me a strong appreciation for the incredible variety of bird, and animal life that is found there. Author Van Hemert is an ornithologist and she appreciates every encounter with na...
  • B
    May 12, 2019
    Does your dream vacation involve getting stalked by a hungry bear? What about not showering for weeks on end? Or camping in the ice and snow? For Caroline Van Hemert and her husband Pat, it was thoughts of this trip that kept them sane as they toiled at their day jobs. Finally, in 2012...
  • Pamela
    Apr 10, 2019
    This is a well written book. The imagery is vital in an adventure book like this, and it's spot on here. Caroline and her husband Pat decide to traverse across mountains, rivers, oceans and glaciers using their own muscles. They hike, row or paddle into the arctic and back. For me ...
  • Benjamin Wallace
    Apr 25, 2019
    Caroline Van Hemert's The Sun Is A Compass is a wonderful tale of adventure, love, and hardship. Who are we after we dedicate so much of our lives to Sciences in the modern age? Scientific research is mainly done a season at a time now. Most of it is done in the perpetual season of dro...
  • Diane S ☔
    Apr 04, 2019
    4.5 I love reading adventure stories, especially ones set in cold climates. This is a book that contained so many beautiful descriptions of nature and wildlife, that I could have read it indefinitely. A biologist, working in a lab studying chickadees and the crooked beaks that have bee...
  • Martha☀
    May 02, 2019
    I love an armchair adventure and this one is wild beyond imagination. Within the tight window of Spring/Summer 2012, Caroline and Pat travel from Bellingham, WA, up the coast of BC and into the wilds of the Yukon and Alaska. They use only human power to travel and no paved roads or eve...
  • Sue
    Apr 28, 2019
    "There is always a certain level of risk involved in negotiations with wild places and wild elements. Even those places that seem tame, or familiar. . . The key is finding a balance - trying to determine whether the risk is worth the reward." -Caroline Van Hemert Caroline Van Hemert...
  • Katie/Doing Dewey
    Apr 03, 2019
    Summary:Lovely - full of beautiful nature writing, incredible adventures, fun facts, and moving personal stories. When Caroline Van Hemert finished her PhD, studying beak deformities in chickadees, she felt more uncertain than accomplished. Her years in the lab had left her feelin...
  • Brian
    Apr 10, 2019
    I enjoyed this book greatly. With "Wild", I knew some of the places hiked and I could appreciate the difficulties, but I could not relate to Cheryl. In this work, I understood better the personal struggles: with earning a PhD, decisions about children, and so I could relate much more w...
  • Lindsey
    Mar 02, 2019
    The Sun Is a Compass by Caroline Van Hemert is my most favourite read in a very long time. It?s not often that a memoir captures my attention and reads better than fiction. It is, as described by the publisher, ??the gripping story of a biologist?s human-powered journey from t...
  • Michael Huang
    May 16, 2019
    Making a journey that long by human power alone is a really interesting idea of the author's. You'll find out how it turns out -- spoiler alert -- they didn't die. But they did encounter some pretty aggressive bear, nasty weather, and boating/swimming accidents. For the author who ...
  • Lissa
    Feb 11, 2019
    I?ve become skeptical of memoirs based on a big journey because they sometimes feel forced, taken on for the purpose of writing a book but Caroline and her husband, Pat?s, journey feels much more authentic. They are Alaskans who spend their summers in a log cabin they built themsel...
  • Marita
    May 10, 2019
    4.5 dazzling stars "No" I said "I'm not going to read you now. Simply a quick peek..." Haha, a quick peek and I was hooked. In fact I found this book unputdownable. In March 2012 Caroline van Hemert* and her husband Pat set off on a 4,000 mile journey. However, this wasn't just ...
  • Katie
    Feb 08, 2019
    Caroline Van Hemert, a biologist, and her husband Pat Farrell (artist, outdoorsman, builder) dream a simple dream, yet one so daunting in scope that few could dream it - a trek of 4,000 miles from Bellingham, Washington to a far, far speck in the Alaskan Arctic, Kotsube. Ever been th...
  • Leigh Anne Hancock
    Apr 10, 2019
    Raised in Alaska, I loved the adventures of Caroline and Patrick. Her writing is easy, beautifully descriptive and makes me want to continue to explore the world. The ending made me tear up as they approached Kotzebue and she sees her father. Well worth the read. ...
  • Nancy
    Mar 30, 2019
    I love a good adventure story and if it involves ice I'm in. Caroline Van Hemert's memoir The Sun is a Compass is a beautiful and thoughtful exposition on her love of the Alaskan wilderness and the 4,000-mile journey she and her spouse shared over six months. The memoir transcends the ...
  • Enchanted Prose
    Mar 23, 2019
    Extreme adventure that reads like unimaginable fiction (Washington, Inside Passage and Arctic Alaska, Canadian Territories; six months 2012): If a picture is worth a thousand words, take a look at the video Caroline Van Hemert and her husband Pat Farrell shot during their six-month, mi...
  • LeeAnn
    May 20, 2019
    4.5 stars. When it comes to travel essays/memoirs, those where you feel the rhythm of ocean swells, feel the biting cold of a forded stream, feel the terror of a stalking bear, feel the wonder of caribou streaming past inches away, feel the grandeur, the beauty, and the underlying wild...
  • Lia Keller
    Apr 07, 2019
    Transporting and so well written. Inspiring and beautiful. Read this book! ...
  • Susan
    May 13, 2019
    Caroline and husband Patrick dreamed of making a 4,000 mile journey across the Alaskan Wilderness for many years. The time finally came to set out with the plan of traveling only by boat, skis or on foot. They set off from Bellingham Washington, with the hope of reaching Kotzebue on th...
  • Donna Hines
    May 19, 2019
    Perfect for the outdoor enthusiast, nature lover, birds of fancy admirers. I loved this story from the second I read it and couldn't put it down. I grew up with a variety of boats on a lake in rural area of Bear Creek in the northeastern part of PA (near the Poconos) which was 30 min...
  • Bambi Rathman
    Mar 08, 2019
    I saw this book as I was searching through Netgalley and the synopsis greatly intrigued me. I requested the book and received an ARC copy. This book was a detailed and great narrative of the trek this couple took. It was a book I'm glad I had the chance to read. I have been to the Yuko...
  • Jenn
    Jan 25, 2019
    I won a copy of this book. I have a friend and his wife who love to do things like this. I wouldn't even know how to go about beginning to take a trip this epic. The book is very well written and I just wanted to sit back and enjoy the ride (from the safety of my couch, of course; I...
  • Jypsy
    Feb 11, 2019
    The Sun is a Compass is an adventure story. It's a true story of an incredible journey that is dangerous across Alaska. I always like this type of story because the characters always learn something valuable about themselves. It's a great story. I enjoyed it. Thanks to NetGalley for an...
  • F.
    Apr 17, 2019
    4.5 stars Trekking 4000 miles across Alaska. It?s a wonderful and thoughtful adventure. and it shows how much survival is luck rather than any cunning or skill. One of my favourite moments is the author?s realisation that to lighten each other?s load is a greater gift than a...
  • Tim Holcombe
    May 20, 2019
    This was a great read. In today?s frenetic world and constant immersive communication it is easy to lose sight of the natural world and our place within it. Juxtaposed with these daily, mostly urban realities, are the timeless and unrelenting natural processes afoot, such a caribou m...