Thursday Havering

A lot of the ads popping up lately on YouTube have been to promote Canadian tourism. Mostly the ads depict, in music video style, young people doing the kind of vigorous activities that (some) young people must imagine is the essence of traveling to exotic places like Saskatchewan. Actually, one today featured the Yukon.

I’m all for visiting Canada, and encouraging people to do so, but the ads don’t really speak to me. Besides, Canada’s not really top of my mind in November. Then again, it’s good to plan ahead, so you can visit Canada, and even the Yukon, during that short window of opportunity when the place is pleasantly warm.

I never knew until recently that The Proclaimers did a charming version of “King of the Road” back in 1990. No one does it like Roger Miller, but I smile when I hear lyrics like, “destination Bangor, Maine” in that burr of theirs.

“King of the Road,” in the way things go on the Internet, soon leads to a song stuck in mid-60s amber, “Queen of the House.” Even better, the song is done in a Scopitone.

I was in the city not long ago with a camera in the front seat, so I took a few pictures while stopped at traffic lights. Such as this place. So very Chicago.
Then there was Thunderbolt.
It’s an ax throwing venue, only the second one in Chicago, according to the Tribune, opening this spring.

“Ax throwing — indoor or outdoor — is a skill-based sport; [owner Scott] Hollander likens it to pool or darts, where participants can take the competition as seriously or lackadaisically as they please,” the paper says.

“Easygoing ax throwers can book an hour at a lane for $15 per person Wednesdays and Thursdays, and for $20 per person Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Food and nonalcoholic drink is allowed and can be consumed at the plywood stands behind each pair of lanes or at the picnic tables in the building. Thunderbolt also is available for bachelor or bachelorette parties, birthday parties and corporate events.”

What do I think of when I hear about ax throwing? Ed Ames, naturally. Tomahawk, but close enough.

Captain Canuck & President Polk for Christmas

My last Christmas present came via UPS today. Lilly ordered it not long ago, some time after I assured her that a little while after Christmas is close enough. It’s an attitude that makes the holidays less stressful; more people should consider it.

I’d suggested the item almost off-handedly. In our time, such whims are easily gratified online. It’s alarmingly easy. Here’s a closeup.

Captain Canuck!

It’s a Captain Canuck t-shirt, 100 percent cotton, made in Nicaragua. Accept no less.

Also for Christmas this year, but some time earlier, Jay got me a t-shirt with another larger-than-life figure, though from the annals of U.S. history.

James K. Polk, Napoleon of the Stump

None other than James K. Polk, Napoleon of the Stump. Also all cotton, but made in Haiti. On the back it says POLK 11.

Three More Philly Sites

One of the things to do while you wait to enter Independence Hall is take a look at the museum of the American Philosophical Society, which stands very near the hall itself.
American Philosophical SocietyI wasn’t aware that the APS is still an ongoing thing, but that’s just me being ignorant again. It’s a learned society, originally inspired by the old concept of leisure. “The first drudgery of settling new colonies is now pretty well over,” wrote Benjamin Franklin in 1743, “and there are many in every province in circumstances that set them at ease, and afford leisure to cultivate the finer arts, and improve the common stock of knowledge.”

The main current exhibit at the APS museum is Gathering Voices, which “tells the story of Jefferson’s effort to collect Native American languages and its legacy at the Society,” says the museum. “Jefferson had an abiding interest in Native American culture and language, while, at the same time, supporting national policies that ultimately threatened the survival of Indigenous peoples. As president of the APS from 1797 to 1814, Jefferson charged the Society with collecting vocabularies and artifacts from Native American nations. Over the next two hundred years, the APS would become a major repository for linguistic, ethnographic, and anthropological research on Native American cultures.”

It was an interesting display, including some documents in Jefferson’s hand. The collection isn’t as large as it might have been, however. The museum also tells this little-known story: “When Thomas Jefferson left Washington after two terms as President of the United States, he packed 50 Native American vocabulary lists in a trunk and sent them on a river barge back to Monticello along with the rest of his possessions. Somewhere along the journey, a thief stole the heavy trunk, thinking it was full of treasure. Upon discovering it was only filled with papers, he tossed the seemingly worthless contents into the James River. The loss of the vocabularies represented the destruction of 30 years of collecting on Jefferson’s part.”

Photocopying. That’s what Jefferson needed, but didn’t have.

In the West Wing of Independence Hall, there’s a small exhibit that doesn’t require waiting or a ticket to enter — another thing you can do while waiting to get into the rest of the hall. The exhibit is called Great Essentials.

On display are original printed copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution. All very interesting, but the thing that really got my attention was the Syng inkstand. A fine work of silversmithing, and highly placed in the history of the United States. It may be the only inkstand anywhere that has a proper name, though I wouldn’t swear to it.

“Irish-born Philip Syng was the son of Philip Syng, a silversmith,” notes the Penn University Archives and Records Center. “In 1714 he and his father emigrated to America. In 1726, after a successful apprenticeship in Philadelphia and a trip to England, Philip established himself as a silversmith in Philadelphia. In 1730 he married Elizabeth Warner; together they had at least eighteen children.

“Perhaps on his trip to England, and if not, soon thereafter, Syng met Benjamin Franklin. The two formed a friendship, leading to Syng’s inclusion in the Junto, Franklin’s group of political and intellectual civic leaders… Syng was also elected to various public offices including city assessor, warden of the port, and treasurer of the city and county of Philadelphia.

“Syng was renowned as a silversmith, creating the finest work for Philadelphia’s leading families. His most famous work was the inkstand he made for the Pennsylvania Assembly, which was then used by the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. He provided seals for the Library Company, the Union Fire Company, the Philadelphia Contributionship and for various surveyors and Pennsylvania counties. His shop produced not only silver bowls, tankards, teapots and trays but also gold belt buckles, buttons and teaspoons.”

A block north of Independence Hall is a visitors center of fairly recent vintage, at least compared with the original buildings, and across Market St. from the center — between it and the Liberty Bell — is the President’s House Site.

Presidents House Site, Philadelphia

I quote the NPS on the history of the site at some length, because it’s a relatively unknown place, but much happened there. It was originally built in 1767, and was known as the Masters-Penn house (a grandson of William Penn lived there in its early days).

“In September 1777, British forces under General Sir William Howe occupy Philadelphia after the Battles of Brandywine and Germantown. General Howe makes the Masters-Penn house his winter residence and headquarters while Washington and his troops retreat to Valley Forge. In June 1778, the British evacuate Philadelphia and consolidate their forces in New York.

“Colonial forces enter Philadelphia under the command of Major-General Benedict Arnold. Arnold promptly makes the Masters-Penn House his residence and headquarters. In March 1779, Arnold resigns his post and two months later, while still living in the house, he begins his treasonous correspondence with the British.

“In January 1780, the house is severely damaged by fire, and is subsequently purchased and rebuilt by Robert Morris, the famed ‘Financier of the Revolution.’ Morris rebuilds the house to its original plan, enlarges the property, and adds an icehouse and several back buildings.

“In 1790, Robert Morris volunteers his house to serve as President Washington’s residence while Philadelphia temporarily serves as the nation’s capital. Washington occupies the property from November 1790 to March 1797, during which time his household includes nine enslaved Africans brought up from Mount Vernon. He also makes several enlargements and modifications to the house and back buildings, including the addition of a slave quarters between the kitchen and stables.

John Adams succeeds Washington as President and moves into the President’s House in March 1797. Adams leaves Philadelphia in 1800 and moves into the newly completed White House in Washington D.C. on November 1.”

So it’s a house associated with the Penn family, Gen. Howe, Benedict Arnold, Robert Morris, George Washington and John Adams. What happened to it later?

“In 1832, the building is demolished and rebuilt as a series of three narrow stores. Only the east and west walls of the original house are left standing, and are incorporated into the later commercial buildings… In 1935, the later commercial properties are themselves demolished, although remnants of the original east and west walls of the President’s House survive until the early 1950s. In 1951, the entire block is razed.”

What’s standing there now is a monument, completed in 2010 after much agitation, to the slaves who came with George Washington to attend his household while he lived there. (And whom he rotated back and forth to Virginia to avoid having to free them under Pennsylvania law.)

“Dominating the site as a whole is a large glass enclosure — the architects, Kelly/Maiello Architects & Planners, call it a ‘glass vitrine’ — protecting the fruits of a 2007 archaeological excavation. Within, about 10 feet below street level, visitors can see the remains of house foundations, revealing both the world of Washington and Adams (who held no slaves), and the world of indentured servants and Washington’s black chattel.”

For the record, Moll, Christopher Sheels, Hercules, his son Richmond, Oney Judge, her brother Austin, Giles, Paris, and Joe were the slaves who worked for President Washington at the Philadelphia household.

Of Hercules, the president’s chef, Wiki notes that “Stephen Decatur Jr.’s book Private Affairs of George Washington (1933) stated that Hercules escaped to freedom from Philadelphia in March 1797, at the end of Washington’s presidency… In November 2009, Mary V. Thompson, research specialist at Mount Vernon, discovered that Hercules’s escape to freedom was from Mount Vernon, and that it occurred on February 22, 1797 – Washington’s 65th birthday…

“At Martha Washington’s request, the three executors of Washington’s Estate freed her late husband’s slaves on January 1, 1801. It is possible that Hercules did not know he had been manumitted, and legally was no longer a fugitive.

“In a December 15, 1801 letter, Martha Washington indicated that she had learned that Hercules, by then legally free, was living in New York City. Nothing more is known of his whereabouts or life in freedom.”

Map Hero’s Laminated Gitche Gumee

You never know what’s lurking in the fine print. Usually that’s taken to be a bad thing, but yesterday I took a look at a map I’ve owned for years and discovered a fine thing in the fine print.

First, the map. It’s laminated, and so in excellent shape. I got it when we went up to northern Wisconsin in 2003. At 16¾ inches x 10⅝ inches, it’s beyond the capacity of my simple scanner, so here’s a large detail from the midsection of the map: instantly recognizable as the ice-water mansion Lake Superior.
LakeSuperiorLake Superior Port Cities Inc., publisher of Lake Superior Magazine, published the map in 2001. It’s a quietly gorgeous map whose shadings not only indicate elevation above and below the surface of the lake, but are pleasing to the eye. Besides towns and roads, it notes all of the various state forests and parks along the shores of Lake Superior, plus the national lakeshores and the single national monument, Grand Portage in Minnesota.

Here’s a closeup of Keweenaw Peninsula, the UP’s UP, and a place I surely must see.
KeweenawVery small versions of the Lake Superior Circle Tour sign mark a network of roads that circumscribe the lake. If I had the time, that’s a drive I wouldn’t hesitate to do. I remember the first time I visited Lake Superior — Labor Day weekend 1989 — I was driving between Munising and Marquette and I saw one of the signs. I hadn’t realized there was a Lake Superior version of the drive; the Lake Michigan Circle Tour signs can be seen even in the Chicago area and, in fact, I’ve done my own version of circum-driving that lake twice (once was that ’89 weekend).

Instantly I was taken with the notion of driving around Lake Superior. I was by myself and could have done it. I didn’t have my passport, but you didn’t need a passport to visit Canada in those days. I hadn’t planned to take any time off after Labor Day, but I could have called in sick for a few days, something I very rarely did. But no. I was entirely too responsible.

On the lake itself, the map also features lighthouses and the sites of notable shipwrecks. Some of the lighthouses are probably easy enough to see, but others are impossibly remote, such as the Stannard Rock Light, more than 20 nautical miles southeast of Keweenaw Point, slap in the middle of the lake.

As the for the wrecks, few will ever see them in the chilly Superior waters (average temp, 40 degrees F.). The most famed of them, naturally, is the Edmund Fitzgerald, but it has a lot of company, such as the Onoko, Henry Steinbrenner, John Owen, Western Reserve, Gale Staples, Niagara, Superior City and others.

A handful wrecks are marked but also noted “went missing,” such as the Owen and Manistee. To quote Wiki on that ship: “The Manistee was a packet steamship that went missing on Lake Superior on November 10, 1883. It was presumed to have sunk, with no surviving crew or passengers. The cause remains a mystery, and the wreckage was never discovered.” Sometimes Gitche Gumee just eats ships, it seems.

As for the fine print, way at the bottom right corner of the map, in about 3-point print, it says, “Design/Cartography by Matt Kania.” He’s easy enough to find: Map Hero, maker of custom maps. Looks like he’s done a lot of wonderful maps besides Superior. If I had any talent for it, I’d do the same.

The University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology

Visit the University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology, as I did on the afternoon of August 25, and you’ll probably end up in awe of this fellow.Cedar ManIt’s the head and chest of Cedar Man, who stands about two stories tall in the museum’s Great Hall. He has arms and legs, but they were in shadow.

The museum says: “Carved welcome figures on the Northwest Coast have traditionally been raised on village beaches to greet visitors. Joe David carved this one for a different purpose: to protest logging operations on this birthplace of Meares Island, part of the ancestral territories of the Tla-o-qui-aht and Ahousaht peoples of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations.”

Meares Island is off the west coast of Vancouver Island in Clayoquot Sound. This was the first I’d heard of it. The protest was in 1984, and eventually the Indians won the day, and the ancient trees on the island still stand. The museum bought Cedar Man from Joe David in 1987.

All together the UBC Museum of Anthropology houses 38,000 ethnographic objects — which I suppose includes artwork like Cedar Man, made in living memory — plus 535,000 archaeological objects. The ethnological collections include over 15,000 objects from Asia, almost 12,000 from North America (including over 7,100 from B.C. First Nations), about 4,300 from South and Central America, 4,000 from the Pacific islands and over 2,300 from Africa.

An overwhelming amount of stuff, in other words, and not just from the Pacific Northwest, though that’s a heavy emphasis. The mass of carvings in the Great Hall, which includes an array of other Northwest Coast totem poles, house poles (carved structural elements), masks, and more, are only the beginning.

The face is pretty much universal.

UBCUBCUBCThe museum goes off in a number of directions, branching into various displays. An entire room is devoted to a sculpture called “The Raven and the First Men” by Bill Reid, which used to be on the Canadian $20 bill.

In other galleries, all stuffed to the gills with items from around the world, I encountered the work of Kwakwaka’wakw carver Willie Seaweed (ca. 1873-1967), which the museum calls “one of the great 20th-century artists of the Northwest Coast.” Among other things, he made ritual items for potlatches while they were illegal in Canada (1884-1951).

UBCI was surprised to find a room devoted to European ceramics, but there it was in the Koerner Ceramics Gallery. I’m not up on European ceramics, so I’d never heard of the likes of Bellarmine or Bartmann jugs, which have bearded faces at the base of the neck, and seemed to have been the last word in jugs in the 16th and 17th centuries, and mostly made in western Germany.
UBCOther galleries sported plenty of other things from around the world. Such as a familiar image of Buddha, though its origin is uncertain (either China or Japan).
UBCA puppet from China, though it reminded me of the ones from the East Indies.
UBCHere’s my own favorite from the UBC, a recent work — the last 30 years or so — from Papua New Guinea, many of whose inhabitants are inordinately fond of The Phantom, who appears on their battle shields like this one.
The Phantom!A great example of cross-cultural WTF. More examples are here.

Peace Arch Park

One thing to think about at Peace Arch State Park in extreme northwestern Washington state is the last time the United States invaded Canada, namely the bungled campaigns of 1812 and ’13. Bungled from the U.S. point of view, that is, though of course there were some successes, such the battles of the Thames and Lake Eire (“We have met the enemy and they are ours.”).

The War of 1812 was the last bit of fighting along the U.S.-Canada border, not counting spats over fishing, so it’s reasonable that a bi-national park on the border commemorates the long peace. Peace Arch Park is that place, 22 acres south of the border (Peace Arch State Park) and nine hectares north of the border (Peace Arch Provincial Park).

I arrived around noon on August 25, driving up from Bellingham, Wash. You take the last U.S. exit on I-5 (or maybe it’s the first exit) and park nearby, just south of the border, and then walk to the Peace Arch, which is slap on the border, meaning it’s also exactly 49 degrees North, as well as in the grass median between the northbound and southbound lanes of the highway (the meeting of I-5 and BC 99). Since traffic stops on each side of the border, crossing the road on foot there isn’t very risky.

Peace Arch, August 25, 2015On the U.S. side, the Arch is 67 feet tall; on the Canadian side, 20.5 meters. It’s been standing for there for 94 years, built at the behest of Pacific Northwest business tycoon Sam Hill (1857-1931), who also had a replica of Stonehenge built in another part of Washington state, and who was an avid advocate of road improvement. (“Good roads are more than my hobby; they are my religion.”) Presumably Hill would have been happy that a major road linking the two nations passes around the Arch.

The border’s also marked by a number of concrete posts.
US-Canada borderThe International Boundary Commission (Commission de la frontiere internationale) put the plaque at the bottom of the post on the occasion of its centennial in 2008. I figure most Americans, and most Canadians, have never heard of the commission. I barely remember reading about it some years ago in the context of the Alaska-Yukon border.

According to the commission’s web site, “Officially, the Commission’s work is described as maintaining the [U.S.-Canada] boundary in an effective state of demarcation. This is done by inspecting it regularly; repairing, relocating or rebuilding damaged monuments or buoys; keeping the vista cleared, and erecting new boundary markers at such locations as new road crossings.”

My italics. This is the body that’s responsible for clear-cutting the border between Alaska and Yukon — a 20-foot (six-meter) swath all the way along the 141st meridian. Since I read about that some years ago, I’ve since pondered the usefulness of doing such a thing. The commission asserts that “the boundary vista must be entirely free of obstruction and plainly marked for the proper enforcement of customs, immigration, fishing and other laws of the two nations.” I’m not quite persuaded, but anyway, more about the line is here.

The border posts have four sides: UNITED STATES on the south face (visible in my picture), CANADA on the north face, and INTERNATIONAL BOUNDARY and TREATY 1925 on the other two. I wondered about that. The commission references it too.

The treaty’s formal name is: “Treaty Between the United States of America and His Britannic Majesty, in Respect of the Dominion of Canada, to Define More Accurately at Certain Points and to Complete the International Boundary Between the United States and Canada and to Maintain the Demarcation of that Boundary, Signed at Washington, February 24, 1925.”

I made a point of crossing and recrossing the border a number of times near the posts. Now I can accurately say I’ve been to Canada more than a dozen times, including the six regular check-your-passport visits, plus the half-dozen (maybe more) crossings at the Peace Arch.

Pacific Northwest ’15

I left for the Pacific Northwest on August 21 and returned home late yesterday. Imagine an axis that connects Portland, Seattle, Bellingham and Vancouver, which are all linked by I-5 (British Columbia 99 north of the border). That axis was the focus of the trip. I went to all of those cities and some points in between, some for a matter of hours, others for a few days. I spent time away from those cities as well, in hilly territory lorded over by towering pines and enchantingly quiet at night.

I drove a lot but also managed to spend a solid chunk of time walking and riding buses and light rail. The visit involved attending a conference, touring an exceptional building and seeing other fine ones, experiencing two large public markets, wandering through one of the largest book stores anywhere and a few other excellent ones, and seeing two museums and a Chinese garden very much like some of the wonderful ones in Suzhou. I ate food both awful and extraordinary, including things I’d never heard of before.

Going to another part of the country means doing new things, too. Or it should. Not necessarily life-changing experiences, but the sort of petite novelties that add up over time to make the fabric of one’s life better. Even before I got there, this was the first time I’d ever booked a rental car through Costco or a room through Airbnb. I attribute a less expensive trip, and a better one, to both. I visited a new city (Portland) in a new state (Oregon) and visited new parts of places I’d been (Vancouver in British Columbia, the Fremont neighborhood in Seattle). I witnessed a major forest fire from the air and smelled the result on the ground as the wind wafted west. Unexpectedly, according to the residents. I stood inside a building designed by Frank Gehry, rather than looking at its curious outside.

I saw a number of odd and interesting things, such as the street musician who’d modified a bagpipe and played it on stilts (Vancouver, just outside the Pacific Central Station). What to call it? Steampunk bagpiping?
Vancouver, August 25, 2015Or the Gum Wall (Seattle, next to the Pike Place Market). Each of the those bits of color is ABC gum, often used to attach cards and small posters to an alley wall. Why? As near as I can tell, just because.

Gum Wall, Seattle, AugOr the echo of a celebrity event I’d missed when it happened, the Bill Murray Party Crashing Tour of 2012 (this sign was in Portland).

Portland, August 22, 2015I can think of a lot worse people to show up at one’s party uninvited; maybe he’s still doing it occasionally.

Most importantly, I reconnected with two dear old friends, one of whom I hadn’t seen in 18 years, another I hadn’t seen in 30 years, since my last visit to Seattle. Our friendships have been maintained over the years mostly through paper correspondence, with a more recent electronic component. But there’s no substitute for being there.

Coins from Way Down South

Hard to believe Canada Day’s rolled around again. Time to honor our neighbors up north by watching one of their major cultural achievements. Other episodes are also available on YouTube.

Lilly brought us souvenirs from her trip to Latin America — omiyagi, to use the Japanese term, which means souvenirs specially obtained for people who didn’t make the trip. It’s a custom we follow.

She got me three things, all showing that she knows her dad pretty well: coins, postcards and Ecuadorean chocolate. As it happens, both Ecuador and Panama are dollarized economies. No currency exchange was necessary; she took greenback cash and also withdrew funds, in dollars, from an ATM.

The small change is each country’s own. This is 50 centavos from Ecuador, obverse.

50 centavos, EcuadorIt features the face of one José Eloy Alfaro Delgado (1842-1912), who was president of Ecuador from 1895 to 1901 and from 1906 to 1911, and had the distinction of being assassinated by anti-secularizers, since he introduced the likes of civil marriage and divorce, and secular eduction, to his nation. He also oversaw the construction of the Ferrocarril Transandino (Trans-Andean Railroad) connecting Guayaquil and Quito.

The reserve.

50 centavos, EcuadorThe steel Ecuadorean coins are made at mints in Canada and Mexico. Other denominations include 25c, 10c, 5c, and (supposedly) 1c. Lilly brought back the first three of that list, and along with the 50c piece, I checked their sizes. They’re exactly the same size as their respective U.S. coins.

Apparently Ecuador doesn’t issue dollar coins. Lilly said that U.S. dollar coins are in circulation there much more than they are in the United States. If we’d known that, I’d have given her a roll or two of dollar coins to take with her.

Panama, on the other hand, does have its own dollar-equivalent coin, the bimetallic balboa, which Lilly tells me circulates with U.S. dollar coins.

one balboaWho else to put on the balboa than Balboa? The man who lost his head over Panama. Here’s something I didn’t know: there’s a crater on the Moon named for him. He might have made it to the Pacific, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t get that far.

The reverse.

balboaIt’s hard to see, but the coat of arms of Panama includes a depiction of the isthmus, a sword, rifle, shovel, hoe, and more. The eagle is specifically — according to recent Panamanian law — a harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja), the national bird. The impossible-to-read motto is Pro Mundi Beneficio, for the benefit of the world.

Desk Debris

The other day, an old friend mentioned a paperweight she has on her desk, one that she acquired when we worked together in Nashville in the mid-80s. I didn’t remember the item, but it did inspire me to take a look at some of the debris on my desk even now.

Desk Debris

The largest item is a plastic durian. A contributing editor at a magazine I once worked for, a woman who lived in Singapore for a while, gave it to me. I think because it came up in conversation that I knew what a durian was. The dog chewed on the stem not long ago, but I got it away from her.

The medallion is a Vanderbilt souvenir. Not sure when I got it, but it wasn’t when I attended school there. It’s a sturdy bronze object, weighing 9 oz., with Cornelius Vanderbilt on the obverse. Made by Medallic Art Co. of New York, according to the rim of the medallion. Maybe the company was once HQ’d in New York, but according to the web site, it’s now a division of Northwest Territorial Mint, which is headquartered in Federal Way, Washington, and has no facilities in New York.

I got the Maple Leaf bouncy ball at a store in Canmore, Alberta, in 2006. It was just after Canada Day, and Canada-themed items were at a discount.

The green item is a glass egg I bought at the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum in Neenah, Wisconsin, last year. A pretty piece of glass, but also inexpensive and hard to break.

Item From the Past: On the Borders

In July 2006 we found ourselves – because of much sustained effort, mostly in the form of driving long distances – at a triple border. I can’t think of anywhere else I’ve been quite like it. The spot is at the meeting of British Columbia and Alberta; of Banff National Park and Kootenay National Park; and on the Continental Divide. On one side of the road are three flagpoles, with the Maple Leaf flying between the provincial flags of British Columbia and Alberta.

On the other side of the road is a large wooden sign offering some geographic information (it says 5,382 ft). I wore my Route of Seeing cap, and a shirt acquired on a previous visit to Canada, for a snap with the three-year-old Ann. (Be sure to read about Ed and Haleakala and that thing called Death.)

Not too far away, or at least northward on the British Columbia-Alberta border, is a triple continental divide, the Snow Dome of the Columbia Icefield. Our guide on the Icefield pointed it out to us, but that’s as close as we got. At that point water drains either to the Atlantic, Pacific or Arctic oceans.