I spent another month churning miles under my tires, and in two more weeks, I'll do it again. The first leg of my into-June journey was, of course, arriving at the American Antiquarian Society (preceded by a quick tour of apartments in the Hershey area so we have a place to sleep when we head east at July's end). And, since no fellowship lasts forever, I had to leave Massachusetts and go into the west (but only for a little while). I spent a long time agonizing about my route back to Casper. Because the trip east at the end of May and the trip east again at the end of July need to be the most efficient versions (the first for available time and the second because my two cats will be miserable enough in the car), I wanted to see something I hadn't seen before, and so I buzzed north into Canada, skirting Georgian Bay and the western edge of Lake Huron. I drove through Whitby, Ontario the morning after James Neal had been traded to Nashville, and I thought about Nealer, and I hope(d) that some day he'll mature into the human being his hair deserves. If he (and Nashville, mostly because of Pekka Rinne and completely despite Laviolette) do good this season, I'll be happy about it.
Mostly, though, as I drove north by roads slightly less traveled, I thought I should have gotten a map. I wrote down my directions dutifully before I left Massachusetts, as my phone GPS wouldn't help me in Canada, but I only wrote down the distances between turns when they were really tight. As a result, I spent most of my time on ON-12N being certain I'd missed something, but I hadn't, and then I passed Lake Simcoe, which was so beautiful in the late afternoon sunlight, all blue sky and glitter, that I actually swore at it. (With love, Canada, so much love.)
|The title page to William Ailingham's 1703 A Short Account of the Nature and Use of Maps. The red ink is just fantastic.|
In my route through Ontario, I didn't get into any new provinces, which made me sad. My first choice for my route to Worcester was actually to go north through Fargo and Winnipeg and finally have a good reason to drive through Manitoba, but that was before I knew I was going to be moving. That route is about fifty hours of driving, all told, and as much as I wanted to, I couldn't really justify adding at least two more days to my travel time when I'd already been gone for almost six weeks and there was everything to pack. Since last summer and the perfect days on the Gaspé Peninsula, I wanted to see more of Canada, particularly the parts I wouldn't necessarily have other reason to see. Several people told me there was no real point in taking the route I'd taken, that there wasn't much there to see.
|Even the 1714 Calendar of State Papers attests that Gaspé is a draw.|
|A small ship sketch on a 1688 map of exactly this part of the world, though a bit out of currently known proportions. Never has anything made me want a tattoo more than this map and its small ships.|
|Marbled end-papers of John Oldmixon's 1708 British Empire in America.|