I have to admit, I am posting this picture mostly as a test. This is our first blog and I need practice sharing pictures. The picture is a beach at Kouchibouguac National Park in New Brunswick, Canada. For a Chicago native like me, the place was pretty exotic. One reason I enjoy traveling is becoming exotic too, a curiosity piece within the landscape. Within the Maritime provinces, people will often give our car a once over before asking where we are from. Although most people know of Chicago, Illinois is sometimes seen as a faraway and mysterious place. Sometimes one finds themselves traveling a great distance only to suddenly re-enter the familiar. That is what happened when we drove to Alaska and found ourselves surrounded by Midwesterners when hiking in Denali National Park. It had been a month since meeting someone from Chicago and it was weird to talk to persons who had been at a Cub’s game just a day or two before. It felt like traveling through an hourglass with the Alcan highway the most narrow point of the familiar and the two ends (Edmonton and Fairbanks) spread thick with the known.