Monday, November 19, 2012

Evening at Egan - Being Caribou

In the fall, the University hosts a lecture every Friday night. When I learned the lecturer on November 16th would be Karsten Heuer, the author and adventurer from Being Caribou, I invited Mr. X to join me for a night out.

You might recall that I recommended his book and his wife's film in 2010. I first became aware of them soon after we moved to Juneau and read Being Caribou and Y2Y in 2007. This year Being Caribou was chosen as the "One Book, One Campus" book selection, and I was excited that the University brought them to campus so we could meet these adventurers in real life.

 Karsten has been a Canadian park warden in Banff for the past 18 years or so. His background is in wildlife biology. Leanne Allison is a filmmaker. Being Caribou is the real life story of this couple's trip following the caribou to their birthing grounds in the arctic and back again. The Y2Y initiative is a Yellowstone to Yukon corridor which would improve animal migration, and hopefully their survival. This is an idea that I have been aware of for many years as we've seen and heard of the increase of wildlife at Mack's Inn and the surrounding areas. Mr. X did a research project and presentation on this topic when he was working on his wildlife degree, and I remember discussing the concept with him at the time.

At the lecture Karsten summarized their adventures: Y2Y, Being Caribou, and Finding Farley. In Finding Farley, they took their 2 year old son and traveled from their home in Rockies of Canada to the Maritime provences where they met Farley Mowat, the author of dozens of classics including Never Cry Wolf. The family was able to find the den of arctic wolves just by following the description from the book! It was a real treat to see their slides from this trip, since I'd not seen the film yet.

In 2014, the family plans to take another of what they call a necessary journey. I can't wait to hear what they have planned next.

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