View registration summary

The Sun is a Compass: A 4,000-mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds

  • 6:30 PM  –  8:00 PM
Registration closed


  • Group size: 60
  • Instructor: Caroline Van Hemert

Travel alongside birds, bears, and caribou and discover the wonder of Alaska via a 4,000-mile human-powered journey to the Arctic. Join author, adventurer, and wildlife biologist Caroline Van Hemert for a presentation of her award-winning book, The Sun is a Compass. During graduate school, as she conducted experiments on peculiarly misshapen bird beaks, Van Hemert began to feel stifled in the isolated, sterile environment of the lab and increasingly distanced from the natural world. Embracing the concept of Zugunruhe--migratory restlessness typically described in birds in springtime--she launched with her husband on a journey from the Pacific rainforest to the Alaskan Arctic. For six months, they traveled by rowboat, ski, foot, raft, and canoe across some of the wildest places left in North America. The pair survived spring storms, predatory bears, and hordes of mosquitoes, while also experiencing incredible moments of joy and grace--a trumpeter swan bathing on an icefield, moose swimming in the Arctic Ocean, and thousands of caribou on their fall migration. Winner of the 2019 Banff Adventure Travel award and picked as one of Outside Magazine's best books.

    Olympia REI

    625 Black Lake Blvd, Olympia, WA 98502

    Get directions Map image of Olympia REI