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Postcards from the Earth
by Dave Shreffler
For the Sequim Gazette
“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” - Robert Louis Stevenson
Traveler’s Journal moves into its 23rd season of adventure travel slide shows next week on Feb. 6. The eight-week slide show series features presentations by local travelers who hiked, boated, sailed, dived, backpacked or cycled in various countries around the world.
Some spent a long time in one place; others spent a shorter time in many places. All came back changed by their travels.
Join us each Thursday in February and March for a fun and inexpensive evening of entertainment. The suggested donation is $5 and all of the money raised during this year’s TJ series will be spent on project supplies and food for volunteers who work on the Olympic Discovery Trail.
Each year the dream of a continuous, non-motorized trail from Port Townsend to Forks gets a little closer as Peninsula Trails Coalition volunteers donate thousands of hours constructing new sections of the ODT.
To learn more about the Olympic Discovery Trail and the Peninsula Trails Coalition visit www.olympicdiscoverytrail.com.
2014 Traveler’s Journal Presentation Series
“Bhutan: Land of Gross National Happiness” — Pam Perry
In the early 2000s, Pam Perry learned about Bhutan’s policy of Gross National Happiness and became totally obsessed with learning more about a government that truly makes decisions based on what is good for people, culture and environment. The journey that she will present is one she took in May 2012 on a tour called “Fibers of Bhutan: Culture, Heritage & Arts.” It was designed for people interested in learning more about the weavings and historical traditions of this little known Himalayan kingdom, which is arguably the most progressive country in the world despite having one of the smallest GDPs. Much to the government’s chagrin, technology is profoundly changing the culture in Bhutan, especially among the younger generation, and some of the age old traditions — such as weaving — are being lost every day.
“Down the Mekong River – 1,200 Miles, 30 Days, 6 Countries, 25 Boats” — Chris Jones and Eileen Cooney
In 2012, Chris Jones and Eileen Cooney embarked on the journey of a lifetime down the Mekong River. They started in the headwaters of the Mekong in China then passed through remote areas of Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia, eventually arriving at the massive Mekong Delta, a major agricultural and industrial region of Vietnam. Their one-month, 1,200-mile journey involved travel by more than 25 small boats as they slowly moved down the river. Along the way they visited many different ethnic communities in the region and saw first hand the changing geography of the river, once dominated by water travel but now being changed forever by the construction of roads, bridges and dams.
“Polar Bears to Penguins: Sailing from the Eastern Arctic to Alaska, by Way of Cape Horn and Antarctica” — Mark Roye and Nancy Krill
This show combines Nancy Krill’s fine photography with Mark Roye’s passion for storytelling and maritime history. The presentation chronicles their voyages aboard their steel ketch Tamara from Hudson Strait in the Eastern Canadian Arctic to Alaska, by way of Newfoundland, the Azores, Cape Verde, Brazil, Argentina, the Falklands, Cape Horn, Antarctica, Chile and the Galapagos — the route of mariners who, bound for the Pacific Northwest, opened the secret drawers and lockers of our world and ushered our young nation to the forefront of world trade. Mark and Nancy’s cruising journeys and spirit of adventure have resulted in several prestigious awards including the Cruising Club of America’s Charles H. Vilas Prize for 2011 and the Royal Cruising Club Trophy for 2012.
“Finding the Ultimate Reef: Our Journey” — Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock
Since 1992, award-winning photojournalists Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock have explored the Indonesian archipelago and recorded images of its spectacular reefs. They have published two popular guidebooks, “Diving Indonesia’s Raja Ampat” and “Diving Indonesia’s Bird’s Head Seascape,” which have promoted sustainable marine tourism as a way of preserving these regions’ unsurpassed marine life. Their photography has also been featured on the covers of more than a dozen of the world’s most recognized publications, including GEO, BBC Wildlife, Smithsonian and Natural History. The first large format collection of their photography, “Secret Sea,” has won several publishing awards including the Benny Award for best photography book. In 2012 Shimlock was inducted into the Women’s Diving Hall of Fame and honored for her photojournalism and conservation work. Committed to marine conservation, Jones and Shimlock use the art of photography to help preserve life in the sea.
“A Passage to Paradise: Sailing to French Polynesia” — John Wegman
In April 2013, John Wegman and his son Alex crewed on a 37-foot sailboat from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to the island of Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia, in the South Pacific. During this fascinating presentation John will regale us with the story of this maritime adventure and show photos of his journey of 2700 miles and 26 days, as well as of the tropical paradise they found at the end of the journey. Join John and Alex as they recount their modern day “Tales of the South Pacific.”
“Parting of the Waters - A 1,600 Mile Hike along America’s Backbone” — Dick Pattee
Dick “Giraffe” Pattee is an avid cyclist, backpacker, mountain climber, and occasional backcountry skier. In 2010 he hiked the 2,663-mile Pacific Crest Trail from Canada to Mexico. In 2012 and 2013 he hiked 1,600 miles of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, which is by many measures the toughest of our country’s long-distance trails. Traveling a span of more than 3,000 miles, that trail winds its way high along America’s backbone. At times the so-called “trail” is nothing more than a dotted line on a map. It starts at the Mexican border in the “boot heel” of southern New Mexico. It travels north through the Land of Enchantment, strides along the highest ridge lines and alpine meadows of the Colorado Rockies, and wanders among the deserts and mountains of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail comes to an end along the scenic shoreline of Waterton Lake, Alberta, just north of Glacier National Park. Join Pattee as he shares the joys and tribulations of his epic journey along the Continental Divide.
“Cycling Vietnam” — Larry Fisher and Wendy Feltham
Larry Fisher and Wendy Feltham’s 2012 trip to Vietnam opened their eyes to a beautiful country, with warm, welcoming people who were unaccountably friendly to Americans and food — an amalgam of Asian and French cuisines — that was fabulous. But they won’t sugarcoat Vietnam. The country has major environmental problems and it is still ruled by an authoritarian government rife with corruption and human rights abuses. And yet its many assets — the long beautiful coastline, cool mountain retreats and above all, its warm and gracious people — made their visit an unforgettable experience. Come marvel at their stories of cycling in the “real Vietnam,” the small villages where children and older people alike would run out to shout “hello,” and flash warm smiles. Despite the considerable poverty, these villages pulse with vitality and a palpable sense that life is getting better. Every bend in the road brought fresh surprises.
“Bike Touring along the Beautiful Inn and Danube Rivers – Innsbruck to Vienna” — Chet Rideout
In 2013, Chet Rideout and his wife, Lynn, boxed up their recumbent bikes, packed their panniers, flew to Germany and took a train to Innsbruck, Austria, where they met up with Piero, a biking friend from Italy. In celebration of Chet’s 70th birthday, the three cyclists then embarked on a leisurely tour along the Inn and Danube Rivers, cycling during the day and staying at bed and breakfasts (gasthaus and privat zimmers) at night. Their travels took them to the beautiful Austrian cities of Schwaz, Passau, Linz and Melk, the Wachau Valley with its orderly vineyards, castle ruins and Krems wine, and eventually to Vienna. The Danube bike tour, ridden each year by 300,000 cycle tourists, is perhaps the most famous part of the EuroVelo bike routes, which include 14 trails and a total of almost 43,000 miles crisscrossing Europe.
* — Note: This one show only will be at 7 p.m. in the Sequim Middle School cafeteria, 301 W. Hendrickson Road.