Category Archives: Travel

Outward Bound

Outward_BoundThis article first appeared in the February, 1982 edition of BC Outdoors magazine.

Seven of us trooped off the bus into the spectre grey of that January dusk. As we silently marched into the Outward Bound compound of A-frame bunkhouses, we must have looked like prisoners about to serve time. The Gulag Keremeous.

Inexplicably, nobody spoke. Then we were directed to our allotted bunkhouse, where we found two others who had arrived earlier from Toronto via Calgary and Penticton. This prompted introductions all around and the ice was broken.

Read the complete article: Outward_Bound

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Snohomish is Northwest’s capital for antiquing

Snohomish

Henny Youngman once suggested that you could have a lot of fun by walking into an antiques store and asking, “What’s new?”

If that’s the case, Henny would be ecstatic in Snohomish, Wash., where more than 100 antiques shops are clustered in the historic downtown area. And this is in a community of a mere 5,500 souls.

Read the complete article: Snohomish

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The pearl of Siberia

 

The marble cliffs of Olkhon on Lake Bailkal

The marble cliffs of Olkhon on Lake Bailkal

The Russians have a saying that when God was flying over Siberia, he froze his hands and was forced to drop all his jewels. And the greatest gem of them all, they claim, was Lake Baikal.

It is impossible to avoid the use of superlatives when talking or writing about Lake Baikal. More than 600 kilometres long and containing one-fifth of the planet’s fresh water and nearly two kilometres deep in places, it is the world’s deepest and purest lake.

Read the complete article: Siberia

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KAUAI ‑ THE GARDEN ISLE

Kauai

Kauai

Obviously the pilot had anticipated our jokes about scenes from Apocalypse Now. As soon as we donned our earphones aboard the tour helicopter we heard the stirring strains of Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries.

So with cameras poised like M 16s through the window of our Bell Jet Ranger we proceeded to fire benign bullets of light upon the verdant Valhalla of Kauai.

In our bionic butterfly we soared over the town of Lihue, center for business and government in the County of Kauai and over the lush Hanapepe Valley, with its vegetable farms, sugar cane fields and taro plantations. The starchy taro corms are cooked and mashed into the traditional Hawaiian food called poi. Off to our right lay the beautiful Lumahi Beach, featured as “Nurses’ Beach” in South Pacific. The stunning Mt. Makana (Bali Hai) formed the backdrop.

Read the complete article: Kauai

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Skiing in summer sunshine

Timberline Lodge, Mount Hood, Oregon

Timberline Lodge, Mount Hood, Oregon

To everything there is a season. Except skiing.
We’re sitting in the Ram’s Head Bar of the magnificent Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon, watching the Snow Cats in the alpenglow, grooming snows that are older than history.

Read the complete article: Mount_Hood

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California coast harsh yet lovely

Punta de los Lobos Marinos

Punta de los Lobos Marinos

Enormous cloud-mountains that form
over Point Lobos and into the sunset,
Figures of fire on the walls of tonight’s storm,
Foam of gold on gorges of fire, and the great file
of warrior angels.

Thus wrote California poet Robinson Jeffers in “Clouds of Evening” of his precious central Californian coastline.

Punta de los Lobos Marinos, Point of the Sea-wolves, was named by the early Spanish explorers who could hear the hoarse basrking of the Calfornia and Steller’s sea lions penetrating the ocean mist from the offshore rocks.

Landscape painter Francis McComas referred to this rugged coast as “…the greatest meeting of land and water in the world.”

Read the complete article: California_Coast

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A chance to go back to ancient Egypt

Egyptian Museum, San Jose, CA

Egyptian Museum, San Jose, CA

The great historian and philosopher, Will Durant, complained that most of us spend too much time on the last 24-hours and too little time on the last 6,000 years.

It is ironic that in the heart of California’s Silicone Valley, whose industry is devoted very much to the future, there is an edifice honoring the 6,000-year-old civilization of the early Egyptians.

Mankind’s earliest great civilization developed about 6,000 years ago in the fertile Nile Valley. Because the soil was so bounteous those early Egyptians had time to think.

This social laboratory gave birth to mathematics, writing, music, art and architecture. An early Egyptian Pharaoh also first propounded monotheism.

The Egyptian Museum in San Jose, California, dates from 1932 and is a project of the Rosicrucian Order, which has its world headquarters and administrative center in the city.

Read the complete article: Egyptian_Museum

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