From the tallest peak in Africa to the chilling waters surrounding Antarctica, from the “Land of the Unexpected” to two-wheeled treks through the woods of British Columbia and the countryside of Northern Laos, this year’s Traveler’s Journal series has plenty of fodder for adventurers and spectators alike.
Traveler’s Journal is a presentation of the Peninsula Trails Coalition with local adventurers sharing their stories and photos with the community.
The annual series taking place over eight consecutive Thursdays in the late winter/early spring has a new venue this year: The Guy Cole Convention Center at Carrie Blake Community Park, 202 N. Brown Road.
Shows start at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 adults, youths 18 and under free.
All of the money raised is used to buy project supplies and food for the volunteers working on the Olympic Discovery Trail.
Each year, the coalition’s dream of a continuous trail from Port Townsend to Forks gets a little closer. In 2017, about 200 volunteers put in more than 9,000 hours of labor on the trail.
One selected photo enlargement is given each week as a door prize.
For more about the series, call Arvo Johnson at 360-301-9359. Read more about each presentation in the following Sequim Gazette editions.
Feb. 14 — “Kilimanjaro: Trekking to the Rooftop of Africa” with Steve and Lucy Nordwell
Olympic Peninsula natives, Steve and Lucy Nordwell endure long travel and a five-and-a-half day trek through five climate zones to reach their ultimate goal: the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. At 19,341 feet, this peak the highest point on the African continent and nearly 5,000 taller than Washington state’s own Mount Rainier.
Feb. 21 — “Papua New Guinea: Land of the Unexpected” with Bob and Enid Phreaner
Sequim residents since 2012, Bob and Enid Phreaner have traveled to obscure locations such as including Patagonia and South Georgia Island which they shared during the 2017 Travelers Journal Series. This year, the Phreaners explore Papua New Guinea, where Bob’s mother served as a U.S. Army nurse during World War ll. The couple get to see up-close the reason why this region is called the “Land of the Unexpected,” as forests burn to clear land for farming or mining, and technology begins to creep into relatively primitive cultures.
Feb. 28 — “Paddling Through the Antarctic Archipelago” with Jeff Selby
Born in Seattle and raised in Port Angeles, Jeff Selby spent much of his childhood exploring the Olympic Peninsula before getting the chance to travel to the continents of North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. In his presentation, Selby goes south to complete his seven-continent checklist, paddling among varieties of whales, penguins, seabirds and seals while viewing impressive ice formations and glaciers in Antarctica.
March 7 — “A Tale Of Two Captains” with Chris and Lisa Duff
Residents of the Olympic Peninsula for about 30 years, carpenter/author Chris Duff and Lisa Markli, a nurse, enjoy biking, hiking, skiing and kayaking the region. In their presentation on March 7, the couple describes setting out on a 24-foot sailboat for a two-and-a-half month, nearly 2,000-mile trek of British Columbia’s Inside Passage.
March 14 — “The Ultimate Single Track Experience” with Powell Jones
Sequim’s Powell Jones’ passion for mountain biking takes him on a seven-day mountain bike stage race in British Columbia. The 2018 BC Bike Race featured 600-plus racers from 40 countries racing over 200 miles with more than 80 percent of the course being single track and 31,000 feet of climbing. It also featured just two riders — Jones included — who competed on just a single speed.
March 21 — “The Wilds and Wonders of NW Canada and Alaska” with Ken and Mary Campbell
Wildlife and nature photographers, Ken and Mary Campbell have been photographing nature for more than 35 years together making trips to all seven continents in search of extraordinary wildlife. The couple moved from New Hampshire to Port Angeles in 2007 looking for a home with more wildlife viewing opportunities. On March 21, the Campbells’ presentation will feature images from our trips to Alaska and Northwest Canada, including the Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories.
March 28 — “Mountain Biking the Ho Chi Minh in Laos with Rebecca Rusch” with Garth Schmeck
In 2018, Garth Schmeck rode with award-winning cyclist Rebecca Rusch, who was featured in the documentary “Blood Road” — where she traveled 1,800 kilometers on the Ho Chi Minh Trail to see the crash site of her father during the Vietnam War. The purpose of the expedition he will describe on March 28 was a followup to “Blood Road” Rusch, a seven-time world champion, created a return expedition to Laos to seek adventure, explore places where no westerner had ever ridden a mountain bike before, and to raise funds to remove unexploded ordnance that was left behind from the Secret War and Vietnam War. As the chosen team member, he will share through videos and photographs the daily hardships and victories looked and felt like as the oldest member of an exclusive team of mountain bikers.
April 4 — “In Basho’s Footsteps: Traveling Through Japan in the Cherry Blossom Season” with Wendy Feltham
A Port Townsend-based photographer and amateur naturalist, Wendy Feltham tells the story of her trek to Japan after a friend invited her to celebrate their 50th anniversary as pen pals by following the route of Matsuo Basho, a renowned 17th-century haiku poet.