BELLINGHAM - At age 81, Bellingham resident John Hoyte isn't planning any more hikes high in the French Alps.
That means his Aug. 2 outing was his last one to commemorate the British Alpine Hannibal Expedition, Hoyte's 1959 trek with an elephant to explore where Hannibal might have crossed the Alps more than 2,000 years ago to attack Rome with his army and herd of elephants.
Hoyte recently returned to the route that won him and a school colleague international coverage about their adventure. This time, about 40 people, friends and relatives, participated.
Fifty years ago, Hoyte ascended Col de Clapier, a nearly 8,200-foot pass judged to be Hannibal's most likely route, and descended into Italy's Po Valley. This time, Hoyte left the descent to others.
"Only the young and the more vigorous went down the steep side," he said.
Fifty-five years ago, their expedition featured an 11-year-old female Indian elephant they borrowed from a zoo in Italy. This time, they had two donkeys, to carry young grandchildren and an adequate supply of wine.
"You have to have Italian and French wine to celebrate," Hoyte explained.
What: John Hoyte will review his 1959 walk over the French Alps with an elephant to test a possible route used by Hannibal to attack Rome with an army and a herd of elephants. Hoyte also will discuss his recent 55th reunion walk along the same route.
When: 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21.
Where: Rotunda Room in Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall building, 121 Prospect St.
Admission: $3 suggested donation, free for museum members.
More: Hoyte will have sale copies of his charming 1960 book, "Alpine Elephant, In Hannibal's Tracks."
Reach Dean Kahn at 360-715-2291 or firstname.lastname@example.org .