Meet Ken Ilgunas – the wordsmith and wanderer who trekked nearly 2,000 miles across North America.

Ilgunas followed the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf Coast of Texas. During his odyssey, Ilgunas encountered stampedes of cows, charging moose and climate-change skeptics. He wrote about the experience in his book, Trespassing Across America: One Man’s Epic Never-Done-Before (and sort of Illegal) Hike Across the Heartland. It’s both a memoir of traveling the Great Plains and reflection on climate change.

Ilgunas visited our library earlier this month. While here, he discussed:

  • why he walked 1,700 miles (most of it by himself) to protest the pipeline and encourage people to think about climate change
  • what libraries meant to him and what he read during his journey
  • what “the right to roam” is and why he considers it so valuable
  • the importance of walking to both his writing and thinking
  • why he loves Scotland.