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The Patagonia Blues

Crayola's current edition of its famed 120-crayon box comes with twelve colors whose primary hue is blue: Robin Egg Blue, Aquamarine, Turquoise Blue, Sky Blue, Blue Green, Pacific Blue, Cerulean, Cornflower, Midnight Blue, Navy Blue, Denim, and just plain old "Blue", which has been the company's primary blue since 1949.  These are the blues of youth, the names inculcated into young minds as they color and scribble their way to maturity.  So you can be forgiven if when traveling the Southern Cone you find yourself speechless on a shore overlooking a blue-y bay that is not found in the taxonomy of Crayola colors.  In Patagonia, a new vocabulary is needed.

- There is the blue that is a cool emerald green, revealing its deep blue heart in the river depths while the rapids churn up a leafy green.  This blue is found in test tubes and beakers of B-movie scientists and might be called Love Potion Blue.

- There is the azure-like blue that is everywhere in cruise ship ads and found in the shallows of Lake General Carrera.  This is Vacation Blue.

- There is the pasty blue of glacial run-off.  It looks like the result of a dropped grocery bag where the mouthwash split open and corrupted the skim milk.  It was made famous by George Lucas in Star Wars as the milk drunk by bowl-topped budding heroes.  It is Blue Milk.

- Blue Milk is not to be confused with the creamy blue that is more consistent in color and looks fatty and rich in flavor if only you could dip your finger in and taste a dollop.  That one is Icing Blue.

- There is the blue of diaper and feminine product ads, designed no doubt through focus groups and marketing executives trying to deflect viewers from thinking of the bodily fluids their products necessarily are designed to deal with.  This blue, by definition, is the cleanest color on earth.  It is Sanitary Blue.

- There is a sort of blue found on overcast days that is all gray but for the slightest cool tint that becomes perceptible only after extended staring.  This is Patient Blue.

- There is what might be called Icarus Blue, described as traditional sky blue that has fallen into the water below.  It is the same color as the sky, but deeper and more opaque.

- There is the blue of shallow rivers where sandy bottoms are partially visible through translucent waters, creating a purplish hue that looks like the welt under pasty white skin.  This is Bruised Blue.

- There is the blue that is perfect in its blueness, even more than Crayola's primary "Blue".  It seems to be father to all blues, more conceptual than actual, except that in Patagonia if fills large lakes.  It may be rightly called Platonic Blue.

- There is Bubble Gum Blue, the exact color of fully-chewed blueberry-flavored bubble gum.

These are just some of the myriad shades of blue that flow through Patagonia, each its own unique addition to the palette of quietude.


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