Indescribable, inexhaustible

Why do I love history? Because it is an inexhaustible subject- I will never know it all. Whilst I’m on holiday, I’m doing some reading up on the new historical subjects that I’ll be teaching at JBS in September… I know, I should really learn to switch off! Most of the topics are familiar to me, subjects I’ve studied in the past. But there’s some new material too, which I’ve found really interesting- it reminds me what it’s like to be a student, to learn rather than teach history.

We’ve reached Kamloops, outside of the Rockies, enroute to Vancouver. We’re also staying at a ski resort, which in late July is a bit odd!

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Our time in the Rockies was amazing. As we walked over the Abathagasca glacier, we saw how it has receded in the last one hundred years. Its movement is very slow- it recedes at a speed of 15 metres- a year! We’ve also seen a multitude of wildlife- bull Elk with enormous antlers, deer, big horned sheep, bears and even the rare sighting of a wolf!

We also travelled over the Malinge Lake, through the Queen Elizabeth mountain range towards the iconic Spirit Island. A British tour guide Alex (whose primary job is a snowboard instructor) then proceeded to teach the history teacher about the region. A British lady of leisure named Mary Schaeffer completed her late husbands work by mapping out the region, aided by a native Indian who did the unthinkable and spoke with a white woman.

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And whilst looking at the “geography” of the Rockies (some good links with other humanities subjects!) I’m loving the history of the area, how it was first discovered by the people of the west, how they mapped it out, integrated with the natives, built the Trans-Canadian railway- it’s all fascinating!

Everything has a history, whether you support a football team, follow a celebrity or are busy enjoying the Olympics- history is everywhere and if we enjoy something today, the chances are we find its back-story interesting too. So if you’re on holiday, picking up a new hobby, or getting engrossed in London 2012, get into its history too!

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