1. Captain James Cook was a historical figure I had never heard of before starting to read this text. Although my knowledge of this part of history is limited to begin with, I find it interesting that his expeditions are not more recognized. I think this idea is prevalent especially when it comes to where Captain Cook failed and was eventually murdered, and what was learned because of this failure moving forward by the British. This textbook describes Cook as “the most famous navigator of his day,” (Shwantes, 20). This causes me to wonder about the public opinion of Captain Cook and his work, and what the response was after word of Captain Cook’s death made it back to England. I can imagine if he was as much of a public figure as this book is making him out to be, exploration might have been altered and adjusted based on the findings of Captain Cook and his crew. Something else that I found very interesting about Captain Cook and his time as a navigator is how he managed to maintain a relationship with Americans for an extended period of time while England and America were essentially at war with each other. I am interested to know if his kind approach that highlighted his similarities with the locals was unique to him or if it was an already established technique or unwritten rule in exploration for other world navigators of the time. I also wonder if this idea was not entirely true and the Americans treated Captain Cook and his crewmen with respect out of fear instead because of England’s great power at the time.
2. One thing that I think makes the pacific northwest and living in Oregon so special is that it seems to be so centralized. An hour away from the beach, mountains and desert all providing us with different scenery and climates. I think this is something that makes defines the pacific northwest because of the assortment in the geographical regions, landmarks and patterns.We talked about how Washington and Idaho only have 2 genomes but Oregon has 6/7. On one end of the spectrum, we have the coast and the coastal mountains, moving east we then have the valley where we get a lot of rain but in the summer gets very hot, further east we then have more mountains that get a lot of snowfall, enough for timberline to stay open for skiing all year long, then onto the desert area. Getting a lot of rainfall, and seemingly known for our green color, we have a lot of vegetation while we also offer highland, arid, and coastal climates. I think that a great reason that the PNW is seen as a wonder, is because of the great diversity that it has all in one place.