Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Road Goes Ever Ever On: Getting Into the Field Again!


Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.
The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings were an important part of my youth, in part because Tolkien constructed a vividly real world in which he set his stories. The mountains of Middle-Earth, whether the Misty Mountains, the Lone Mountain, or the jagged cliffs surrounding Mordor, all seemed to evoke real places that I noted as I grew and traveled more and more. The poetry was pretty cool too, and I think of this poem whenever I set out on a new journey. Can anyone see the Misty Mountains north of Moria in a picture like that above (out of Banff?)
I love taking people to new places they have never seen, and helping them to understand the sometimes mysterious forces that produce these awesome landscapes. We don't usually have to battle orcs and goblins, but there ARE mosquitoes, tourons, and the occasional bear.
What I like better is to see new places and to get to know them. That's why this week is a bit special, because it combines the two. I'm taking our students to some familiar places to me, like Mt. Rainier, the Channeled Scablands, Glacier National Park, and Banff. But I'm also going to be discovering some places that are new to me as well: Olympic National Park, Vancouver Island, the Sea to the Sky Highway out of Vancouver and Whistler. I'm leaving this morning on a scouting expedition, and I'm feeling as excited as any of my students.

Posting will be off and on, as we will occasionally be in some isolated regions, but I'll certainly try to put up some pictures from the road. Take care, all!
Does this resemble Erebor, the Lonely Mountain, at least to those with a pre-Peter Jackson image in their minds?

1 comment:

Michael Colby said...

if you find any native north american hobbits, let me know