#traveler

I’m embarrassed to have gone so long between entries, and am penning this blog with one foot out the door before the calendar flips over to October. I thought I would be better at keeping this up to date, and I don’t want an empty month with no content in this space.

Apparently a lot has happened since I wrote in August. I’ve been to Colorado and Arizona. I have aimlessly hiked near Angeles National Forest and along the Pacific Ocean coastline in San Pedro. I have seen the Cubs play in Los Angeles and partied with the raucous Wildcat and Cougar fandoms at University of Phoenix Stadium. I have watched three weeks of disheartening Bears performances, choosing to make other plans for the other thirteen Sundays for the balance autumn. Rooting for an unlikable, uninspired, unorganized home team stops becoming a priority when the day can instead be spent on the beach with a cocktail in-hand.

Time spent in the Arizona desert was to celebrate ANOTHER birthday. Time goes by much too quickly. I’ve got more grey hair and fewer muscles and less stamina, but otherwise everything works great. I rented a car and drove from LA to PHX, because who doesn’t love dry desert heat over Labor Day weekend? At the end of my six-hour tour through limited civilization I was greeted by my parents with breathtakingly warm air and near 100 degree temperatures, despite it being after 10pm. Thankfully there was a bottle of Makers Mark waiting for my arrival at the hotel to quench my thirst.

We packed in three rounds of golf and played each day in record time, as no one else was foolish enough to brave Arizona at the peak of summer. At least we just barely missed monsoon season. Bartenders and waitresses were exceptionally friendly… Possibly because every next phrase from Mom was “Oh, and its his birthday,” or maybe because our red foreheads so obviously gave us away as out-of-town tourists.

 

August and September were both busy months and October is promises to be the same while the Roaming Team passes through the west region. I am looking forward to returning to Santa Barbara for the first time since my first ever trip to California ten years ago, as well as another long weekend spent in San Diego. It is exciting to have things on the calendar, more importantly, exciting dates on the calendar and someone with whom to share them. I have gotten by on my own for most of my time in California, so it is quite enjoyable to have someone special who I can count on for many more memorable experiences together.

Someday I might be the talented writer and social media all-star that Jenny is, but today is not yet that day. She was one of the reasons I decided to start my blog because of the way she openly shared life on the road with words and photos. Jenny’s most recent entry featured at Visit Winter Park proves her ability, spirit, and enthusiasm for the place she calls home… At least when she isn’t trail running or canyon hiking or guerrilla marketing. We are lucky to include her as part of our family, and I am always grateful for the open invitation to meet with Case and Jenny, wherever they may roam.


 

WHY AMERICAN WAS NAMED AMERICA

Today I found out how the Americas got their name.

Like most, I’ve known that the Americas were named after Amerigo Vespucci since my early education. However, the story behind why this is the case is somewhat more interesting and quite a bit less well-known. Vespucci was a navigator that traveled to “the new world” in 1499 and 1502. Being a well-educated man, he realized that this new world was not part of Asia, as some had initially thought. Vespucci chose to write about his travels and his books were published in 1502 and 1504. Being both entertaining and educational, his accounts of the new world were reprinted in almost every European language.

In 1507, a German cartographer, Martin Waldseemüller, chose to make a new map that included the new world. He and two scholarly partners were aware of Vespucci’s writings and were ignorant of Columbus’s expeditions. As such, they mistakenly thought Vespucci was the first to discover this new land and so named it after him.

When the large new map, was unveiled by Waldseemüller, it had the large title “AMERICA” across what is now present day Brazil. Waldseemüller used Vespucci’s travelogues as a reference for his drawing and so his map had South America as the only part of this new western hemisphere. When North America was later added, the mapmakers of the time retained the original name. In 1538, The famous geographer Gerard Mercator chose to name the entire north and south parts of America as one large “America” for the entire western hemisphere.

Christopher Columbus might well have had the new world named after him, had it not been for two shortcomings. The first was that Columbus was under the mistaken impression that he had found a new route to Asia and was not aware that America was an entirely new continent. The second was that he never wrote publicly about it so the masses were not aware of his discovery. Had he done this, Mr. Waldseemüller and his colleagues might have named it Columba! As it happened, Vespucci did write about it and was the first to call this land the “Novus Mundus” (Latin for “New World”).

  • Waldseemüller’s 1507 map was lost to scholars from 1538-1901 when it was discovered inside a German castle. Once found, it was recognized as the earliest map to record the use of the name “America”. Today, that map is on permanent display in the Library of Congress.  They purchased it in 2001 for $10 million.
  • Christopher Columbus and Vespucci were actually good friends. Vespucci was sent to Spain in 1490 by his employers to help in their business venture of fitting out new ships. In that role, he became involved in fitting out Columbus’s fleet for his second voyage and Columbus later wrote the he trusted Vespucci and held him in very high esteem.
  • Vespucci was also credited for inventing a system of computing longitude. This system was so accurate that he was able to calculate the circumference of the earth, at the equator, to within 50 miles of the actual measurement.
  • Vespucci was born in March 9, 1454 in Florence. He was baptized, “Amerigho”, named after his grandfather. Remarkable to think that when his parents were picking a name for this baby, they were also picking a name for the Americas.  He died February 22, 1512.
  • Vespucci is thought to have taken four voyages to the new world. His first voyage from 1497-98 has been called in to question, and many scholars believe it might not have taken place. However, there is significant evidence that his second and third voyages in 1499-1500, and 1501-1502 actually took place. It is believed that he might have taken another voyage to the Americas in 1503-04.

Read More at Today I Found Out

 

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