A Nobel Laureate in physics, Declan invites his close friends and fellow scientists to the woods of Boundary Waters National Park to get away from their blackboards and observe the snowy owl. While waiting for a fleeting glimpse of the great bird, Spindlequick cooks elaborate meals no one would expect in the wild, and informs Natalie that she has been named the coveted Feynmann Lecturer for the year. Though pleased, the idea of delivering a speech means traveling close to where her estranged son lives, forcing Natalie to decline the offer, triggering an all-night discourse, full of revelations, with her husband, David. The ongoing discussion is constantly interrupted, first by the appearance of Cometti, a former student of Declan's, and his new girlfriend, Sylvia, then by everyone's own misadventures. Cometti, invited by mistake and not exactly welcome, wants to reveal to Declan his almost finished solution to "cosmic strings" and maybe learn of the missing link he needs for his equation. But the rules of camping state that no work can be discussed, throwing Cometti into an angry panic his girlfriend must try to calm. Declan, taken with Sylvia, convinces her he would be a perfect candidate for her to teach the secrets of cosmic travel, so around the campfire, she takes him to other places, while Cometti decides whether a gun he brought with him to fend off wild animals might really be meant for other purposes. Through the night, the partners mix and mismatch with results akin to , waking the next morning to find they have rediscovered themselves and their scientific calling with the help of the redemptive powers of nature itself.