November 27, 2009
Near Roche Miette on the Yellowhead Highway we get stopped by a “sheep-jam”, bighorn-induced traffic congestion  at about the same time that we interrupted a truly engaged activist, peace rider who was cycling to Alaska to raise awareness of climate change. Just after our second sheep-jam where a film crew member also caught in the same traffic jam, pulled over to catch some sleep behind the wheel of a powerful all-terrain vehicle(did he see that many bighorn already?), we stopped to film a pack of wolves. After we booked into a place to stay in Jasper, we drove up to the ski hill at Marmot. A huge raven guided us along the winding road to the lodge. This winter there is a record snow fall to the delight of snowboarders and skiiers. The tasks of downloading the day’s film clips and photos to Picasa, and reading Gadd to name peaks, etc, were again interrupted by Yellowhead wildlife. Wapitii surrounded the hotel attracting amateur photographers to the unbelievably fun shot of a wapiti posing in front of the Wapiti signage.
Later on the same day speechless hits reached 150, 000 perhaps at exactly the same time we were left speechless by the miyat.
Speechless began as the next step from “beached wail” a failed attempt to overcome serious creative blocks . . .
Speechless does not really require the author to write. Web 2.0 platforms are ideally designed for writers who cannot write. At least for writers who cannot write in a straight line. Rhizomic thinkers and learners can allow themselves to “get lost.” All we need to do is to mark the virtual trail with something more solid than breadcrumbs.
Speechless cannot imagine faces or stories of its visitors and would rather that for now at least, that the speechless face be faceless, ageless, genderless, not associated with any institution, or group, or ideology, or demographics . . .
Speechless shares resources using the Creative Commons,
for memory work,
for revisiting histories with an ethical dimension,
for virtual tourists,
for the blogosphere,
for public policy,
Speechless has been a technological tool for mind-mapping . . .
1. See Ben Gadd 2008:408. Gadd explained that the bighorn sheep ovis canadensis, are plentiful in this area and female and young are often sighted here.
He claimed that the mountain named in the 1820s by voyageurs Roche Miette (Miette Rock) probably comes from the Cree word miyat (bighorn sheep). This tangible (very geological) link to the early (fur) trade routes is one way that the nonlinear learner can be pulled in so many directions that only web 2.0 platforms and applications could mind map it.
Gadd also notes a number of commonplace Canadian English misprononciations and/or mispellings of geological formations and place names in the Rocky Mountains with Spanish, French, Irish, Cree, Ojibwa etc origins.
Webliography and Bibliography
Gadd, Ben. 2008. Canadian Rockies: Geology Road Tours. Corax.