Of Ships and Glass in Canada
Apparently The Company kept fort in British Columbia. It was of course illegal for them to operate within the United States, but not on the banks of the Fraser River. Naturally, the fort is called Fort Langley.
The Company, of course, is the Hudson Bay Company, a British concern organized to take advantage of the salmon and fur trade on the Fraser river and keep an eye on greedy Americans who might try and push the border north. Actually, this fort is now mostly a reconstruction. But it's pretty!
We took a ferry from Tsawwassen on the coast of the British Columbian mainland to Vancouver Island, passing several small and lushly wooded Islands on the way. It all seemed very peaceful in the summer, but I can't help but wonder what it's like living on a small, isolated Island with only limited ferry service when it gets stormy:
We drove down from the Ferry landing to the southern tip of the Island, where lies the graceful town of Victoria. I got to the Maritime Museum of British Columbia
right before closing time, and the kind host would not charge me admission. I've been fascinated with sailing ships ever since a childhood visit to the reconstructed Golden Hinde of Sir Francis Drake
, which circumnavigated the world. Inside the museum I found the Tilikum, originally a native canoe fashioned from a single cedar log, which almost circumnavigated the world:
The wharf at Victoria is criminally charming, with flowers and art galleries bathed in the sun and reflected sea-glitter.
Walking around, I could not pass up a moment of Go Bears solidarity (oops! I'm wearing red!):
We stopped at the Starfish Glassworks
, an ingeniously set up workshop wherein the gallery is a mezanine overlooking the workshops where artists take up fiery honey-like blobs and turn them into translucent shimmering stuctures. It's clearly long, hot, hard work to make even a single piece:
and therefore all the more amazing to turn around and survey the collection of unique pieces:
Back on the mainland I saw this sign:
As opposed to all the Irrelevant High Schols the rest of us went to?