Arts and Entertainment

'Journal' visits a score of countries in two months

_ Feb. 4

"Haida Gwaii: Circumnavigation of the Queen Charlotte Islands by Sea Kayak"

Shawna Franklin and Leon Sommé

In the summer of 2007 Shawna Franklin and Leon Sommé circumnavigated Haida Gwaii - The Queen Charlotte Islands by kayak. The seas surrounding these islands are some of the most challenging in North America.

The feared southern tip of the islands, Cape Saint James, is rated as the windiest place in North America. Haida Gwaii promised everything this couple sought in an expedition: challenging seas, an uninhabited coastline, bountiful natural history, and a fascinating historical and modern culture.

_ Feb. 11

"World 'Cash' Adventure: Exploring 9 Countries in 15 Months"

Sean and Amanda Cash

Traveling turns mundane activities into adventure. Grocery stores, markets, traffic laws (or lack thereof), music, street life, smells, flavors, colors ... it's all different wherever you go, and suddenly exciting.

Normalcy changes. Values intensify. Simplicity is highlighted. For 15 months, Sean and Amanda Cash traveled in Costa Rica, Thailand, Singapore, Bali, New Zealand, Australia, Tonga, Canada and Alaska. The Cashes' world travels took them from vacation mode to travel mode to a way of life that they strive to incorporate into their current daily living.

__Feb. 18

"Around the World in 25 Days: Exploring 4 Continents and 10 Countries"

Jim Karr

Taken together, nature, humanity, culture and geography, plus the artistic, scientific and engineering creativity of the human race in the face of diverse natural environments may be without parallel. In 2008, Jim Karr had the opportunity to circle the globe in less than four weeks. This trip challenged him to look beyond natural environments to see the connections between cultures and environments.

Their expedition took them from mountains 11,000 feet above sea level to tropical island nations threatened by the 21st century's rising sea levels. They visited classic cities of vast empires: Machu Picchu, the Inca city in Peru's high mountains; Luxor, the home of Egyptian pharaohs in the ribbon of well-watered desert along Africa's Nile River; and Angkor Wat, the vast temples of the Kymer Republic in the lowland tropical forest of Cambodia.

_ Feb. 25

"Chiapas: The Most 'Mexican' State"

Judith Pasco and Linda Finch

Although Mexico is our immediate neighbor to the south, any mention of Chiapas usually brings blank looks. When it is explained that Chiapas is the southernmost state of Mexico, bordering Guatemala, inevitably the next comment has to do with how hot it must be there.

And while parts of Chiapas are indeed hot and humid, the highlands enjoy a wonderfully temperate climate, and that's where Judith Pasco and Linda Finch chose to go. The region offers landscapes, activities, culture, food and festivals that provide both delight and fascination.

_ March 4

"Tibet and Nepal: Trekking in the Everest Region and a Look at Buddhist Culture"

Roger Drake

For most of his life, Roger Drake has been fascinated by Mount Everest, faraway places like Tibet, Buddhist culture and mountaineering. Those passions came together when he was able to visit both the Tibet and Nepal sides of the world's highest peak with commercial climbing expeditions in 1994 and again in 2000 as a "researcher."

These trips offered him the opportunity to examine closely at least two highly disparate cultures. One is the dangerous, competitive and highly focused world of high-altitude mountaineering, and the other is the centuries-old devout Buddhist lifestyle of the high Himalayas.

_ March 11

"Perusing Peru: Beyond Machu Picchu"

Marti Campbell

Eager world travelers Marti and Fred Campbell have visited every continent except Antarctica. In 2001, they and dos amigas traveled throughout southern Peru, the third largest country in South America.

Their journey included trekking in the mountainous region of the Alpamayo at 5,945 meters (more than 19,500 feet), viewing Andean condors in Colca Canyon, touring Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable lake, completing the Salkantay Trek: a cleaner, less-crowded alternate trek to the classic Inca Trail to get to the world heritage ruins of Machu Picchu, visiting sacred Inca ruins in the Cusco area and cruising up the Madre de Dios River into Manu National Park.

_ March 18

"Touring Wild Alaska: Adventures by Small Boat"

Paul Lutus

Each summer Paul Lutus crosses the Gulf of Alaska in his Nordic Tug and spends a few months visiting the wilder regions to photograph bears, whales and other wildlife. Over the years, he's watched many little gray fur balls turn into mature bears and he's noticed mother bears gradually deciding he's not a hazard to their cubs. This is his sixth presentation for the Traveler's Journal series.

_ March 25

"Castles & Cobblestones: Adventures of two traveling musicians in Denmark"

David and Dari Michael

Did you know that Denmark recently was voted, once again, the world's "happiest" country? No wonder David and Dari Michael took off in the summer of 2008 to make their dream of playing music on cobblestone streets and in castles a reality.

Traveling with luggage, a medieval bowed psaltery, a small Celtic harp and their busking gear, they got around exclusively by public transportation. They were based primarily in Copenhagen but also visited Jutland (mainland Denmark) and the Island of Funen. They had wondrous adventures in Svendborg, Faaborg, Aarhus, Ebeltoft, Helsingor and the Swedish city of Malmo

Their presentation is a multi-media adventure through the castles and cobblestone streets of Denmark from their vantage point as traveling musicians.

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