I'm totally nerding out on the maps and stories collected by Derek Hayes. His latest atlas is titled the Historical Atlas of Washington and Oregon. It feels like a friend, in book form. Which, once again, is a total nerd thing to say. So what. Hayes also wrote previous atlases about the Pacific Northwest and the United States. Even though he's verifiably and proudly Canadian. My initial motivation for diving into his oeuvre came from a desire to see some of the historical representations of the Hudson's Bay Company in their exploration and mapping of North America all the way to the Pacific due to the fur trade. That Company certainly wasn't alone, and thanks to Hayes I've now got a much better handle on who got here when and how. But what's got me coming back for much more of Hayes' shtick are the nuggets that come from this part of the world being, in effect, such a distant corner of the globe until well into the 18th Century and beyond. Hayes expounds upon the typical colonial rivalry motivations (Spanish vs. British...vs. Russian...as a way of getting to China - quite a twist in the case of the Pacific Northwest - FYI). He manages to also quite uniquely showcase the bursts of energy and influence that luck had in settling this part of the World. Just plain awesome nerdball (of history buff) stuff. In fact, his entire bibliography looks fascinating and he comes off as a real nerd's nerd. That's a compliment. Takes one to know one. If you lean in any sense in that direction, I highly recommend checking it all out.