Tag Archives: cascadia

Media: Slow Train Coming (Cascadia Trains) / Vancouver Courier, Oct. 22, 2008

from the article by Robert Alstead, Oct. 22nd, 2008
from the Vancouver Courier article by Robert Alstead, Oct. 22nd, 2008

I was interviewed (and used loquacious quotes like “super lame”) for an article about train travel in the Vancouver Courier.

I am including my quotes and a few other snippets about my pet-rant, ergo: inadequate train travel between here and points south – as well as the photo by Dan Toulguet so it doesn’t disappear…

##

Slow train coming

Robert Alstead takes a journey north by rail from California and wonders if Canada’s vanished passenger trains will once again carry us from coast to coast – Robert Alstead, Vancouver Courier Published: Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dave Olson, who works in marketing for Gastown web design company Raincity Studios, travels six or seven times a year by train, on business and pleasure. “I don’t care for jet travel because of the incredible hassle and huge eco-footprint,” says Olson. Like many, he would take the train more if he could. “I like the pace and not having to drive, I like the rhythm and the scenery you normally don’t see, the rail yards and seashores and forgotten neighbourhoods. I find the train-riding experience somehow charming, even poetic and certainly creativity stimulating,” he says.

However, he complains Amtrak’s evening train south is hardly convenient for trips to Olympia or Portland, seeing as travellers must make an overnight stopover in Seattle. The Amtrak Cascades is also infrequent and often booked up. Amtrak does offer several “train buses” which Olson has found “super lame” with long border waits. He’d rather take the car if there are no seats on the train, although it did mean a $124 parking bill and a chipped windshield on a recent three-day trip to Seattle. “I know we would’ve enjoyed some work or playing cards or meditating on the train,” he rues.

##

However, the Amtrak Cascades offers a good example of the difficulties faced in enhancing rail services.

For years, Amtrak has wanted to add a second roundtrip train between Eugene and Vancouver. However, congestion due to heavy freight movement on track this side of the border meant that a new siding needed to be added to allow trains to pass. For six years, Canadian and U.S. officials and railroad owners Burlington Northern Santa Fe had been unable to hammer out a deal over who should pay for the upgrade.

That means that a second Amtrak Cascades has been running only as far as Bellingham. Then in March of last year, spurred on by the onset of the 2010 Olympics, B.C. transportation minister Kevin Falcon announced that he was committing “up to $4.5 million” (reportedly 57 per cent of the upgrade cost) to build the siding.

In June last year, Premier Gordon Campbell marked the new service on the platform at King Street Station in Seattle by exchanging a large symbolic train ticket with Washington Governor Chris Gregoire in a photo op.

The siding was completed months ago. Amtrak is ready to go. But the service hit the buffers due to complications with the Canadian Border Services Agency, which reportedly wants $15,000 per day to clear the train.

Graham says the matter is in the hands of the B.C. government. A spokesperson for the province says it’s a federal government issue. Faith St. John, spokesperson for the CBSA, said she could not comment on the matter “because we are in discussions.” But she did say that “decisions to provide CBSA services at a new location or to expand current services take into account human resource requirements and the ability to provide security and service to the public.”

She could not say when the matter would be resolved.

##  

Update, the article “disappeared” from the internets (mostly), 

Print version of Slow Train Coming

Web version of Slow Train Coming [archived link via WayBack]

HempenRoad / promo postcard, 1996-7

HempenRoad: promo postcard, 1996

A promotional postcard for the HempenRoad film project Made while we were still in production, printed on 100% hemp cardstock paper (from Ecosource in Victoria ,BC) and mailed all over to wrangle up support and excitement about the project.

HempenRoad: promo postcard, 1996

Note: the toll-free 888-UNC-WEED phone number and the Olywa.net/Uncleweed web address (before there was a domain).

The card itself was laid out from various mixed-media elements (including Eiji (rip) and I snapped by Ben Livingston i think) using an early version of Photoshop on a pirate mission at a Kinko’s (prob with Pete Word).

There is another glorious postcard and duplex paper made after the film was released which eventually (hopefully) will turn up (and possibly a higher-res scan of this one).

Also: recently resurrected the film as ” chapters” + made an IMDb page and surfacing artefacts as I find them… including poster art and other items – and there are production journals for your perusal to meet pioneers and unique products.

HempenRoad / chapter 6: Olympic Peninsula / Port Townsend (bonus)

This segment of Hempen Road documentary is a bit different so calling a “bonus” clip… rather than interviews with hemp cannabis pioneers, activists, entrepreneurs etc, this one features my rather poetic (according to HempWorld magazine’s review) soliloquies about broken promises to land, societies and neglect of culture along with Eiji’s stellar mixed-media cinematography and montage editing as we worked our way up and around the glorious Olympic peninsula with a stop to gaze at the albatross of Satsop nuclear chimneys, struggling and damaged reservation land.

Then comes a stop in scenic and absurdly charming Victorian-era port town appropriately called Port Townsend (as this was as far as sailing ships could make it before steam power came along and made the the place irrelevant for decades – now its bustling, then was perfect…) for a look around.

Note: we filmed a segment with PT Hemp Co (you’ll notice their 2nd floor store in the clip) but wasn’t able to use and now the footage is “lost” in a shoebox somewhere due to Eiji’s untimely demise.

Then, head off towards Vancouver via various ferries for the “big finish” of the filming and film with 16mm B&W footage of seagulls winging through the air. Sigh.

Another note: music in this clip are both faves as well. The spacey “Ry Cooder-esque” one is “Desert in my Toenails” (or something like that) by Chris Sullivan who i knew in Utah, he was from Kentucky, played all sorts of instruments, left our band to catch crabs in Alaska and still rambles with various bands and places. The outro song is Chris Jacobsen who i knew in Guam, a Rhode Islander boat cap’n with a zany sense of humour but an air of melancholy around him. I’ve tried to track him down to no avail. Notably, both of these were captured from cassette tapes, recorded on 4 tracks (still have the originals i think). 

+++

Artifacts, Background, Technical notes at:

* Daveostory – https://daveostory.com/category/film-vids-docs/hempenroad-documentary/

* IMdb – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9839016/

View full-length documentary at:

+++

  • Filmed 1996
  • Released 1997
  • Digitized 2007
  • Chapter Edit 2020

thanks for Pete Word and Bread Rees for various archiving assists

+++

Additional chapters include:

  • Victoria, BC, Canada
  • Olympia, WA, USA
  • Eugene, OR, USA
  • Portland, OR, USA
  • Seattle, WA, USA
  • Vancouver, BC, Canada

with entrepreneurs, activists, scientists, farmers, pioneers etc.

+++

With Special Dedication To:

  • Misa and Naoyo
  • Robert Lunday (rip)
  • Eiji Masuda (rip)

Fondly, daveo / Okayama, Japan, April 2020

HempenRoad / chapter 5: Seattle (1996/7)

Hemp cannabis pioneer entrepreneurs in Seattle, Washington, USA are featured in this chapter of 1996/7 documentary film in which host/producer Dave Olson (hello) visits with interesting characters including:

  • David Edwards, Earthgoods
  • S. David Stunda, Earthgoods
  • Rob Jungman, Manastash
  • Khamphy S., Panther Manufacturing 
  • Tom Cluck, Belltown Hempery
  • Jill Etherington, Belltown Hempery
  • Kristina Lynch, Belltown Hempery
  • Fred Martin, Belltown Hempery

along with scenes of a snowboard “big air” contest and Seattle landmarks including the now-demolished Kingdome, Pike Street Market, Showbox theatre, Lusty Lady and Hammering Man.

+++

Artifacts, Background, Technical notes at:

* Daveostory – https://daveostory.com/category/film-vids-docs/hempenroad-documentary/

* IMdb – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9839016/

View full-length documentary at:

  • Youtube – https://youtu.be/-zph6xDAc-g
  • Vimeo – https://vimeo.com/122077349
  • Reelhouse – https://www.reelhouse.org/uncleweed/hempenroad/

+++

  • Filmed 1996
  • Released 1997
  • Digitized 2007
  • Chapter Edit 2020

thanks for Pete Word and Bread Rees for various archiving assists

+++

Additional chapters include:

  • Victoria, BC, Canada
  • Olympia, WA, USA
  • Eugene, OR, USA
  • Portland, OR, USA
  • Olympic Peninsula, WA, USA
  • Vancouver, BC, Canada

with entrepreneurs, activists, scientists, farmers, pioneers etc.

+++

With Special Dedication To:

  • Ralph Seeley, esq (rip)
  • Robert Lunday (rip)
  • Eiji Masuda (rip)

Fondly, daveo / Okayama, Japan, March 2020

HempenRoad / chapter 4: Olympia (1996/7)

Hempen Road / chapter 4: Olympia (1996/7)

Hemp cannabis pioneers and activist in Olympia, WA, USA (ala OlyWa) are featured in this chapter of 1996/7 documentary film in which host/producer Dave Olson (hello) visits with interesting characters including:

  • Bob Owen, Wa Hemp Education Network (and Lt. Governor candidate)
  • Dennis Peron, Prop 215 (California) activist etc
  • OlyWa.net: Chas Lance Tomala, Jay Unabonger Stewart, Scott(y) Orr
  • And many Washington State activists in action

Continue reading HempenRoad / chapter 4: Olympia (1996/7)

HempenRoad / chapter 3: Portland (1996/7)

Hempen Road / chapter 3: Portland (1996/7)

Hemp cannabis pioneer entrepreneurs in Victoria, Canada are featured in this chapter of 1996/7 documentary film in which host/producer Dave Olson (hello) visits with interesting characters including:

  • D. Paul Stanford, CRRH etc
  • Cheryl Kolander, Aurora Dye Works

Continue reading HempenRoad / chapter 3: Portland (1996/7)

HempenRoad / chapter 2: Eugene (1996/7)

Hempen Road / chapter 2: Eugene (1996/7)

Hemp cannabis pioneering entrepreneurs and activists n Eugene, Oregon are featured in this chapter of 1996/7 documentary film in which host/producer Dave Olson (hello) visits with interesting characters including:

* Todd Dalotto, Hungry Bear Hemp Foods

* Carolyn Moran, Living Tree Paper

* Bruce & Diedre Mullican, Sow Much Hemp Continue reading HempenRoad / chapter 2: Eugene (1996/7)

HempenRoad / chapter 1: Victoria (1996)

Hempen Road / chapter 1: Victoria (1996/7)

Hemp cannabis pioneer entrepreneurs in Victoria, Canada are featured in this chapter of 1996/7 documentary film in which host/producer Dave Olson (hello) visits with interesting characters including:

* Ian Hunter, Victoria Mayoral candidate & Sacred Herb shop

* Sarah Hannah Bedard, Sacred Herb shop

* Padra Ahmadi, Earthenware clothing

* Alice Bracegirdle, Zima Foods

* Eric Hughes, Zima Foods

* Odette Kalman, Ecosource Paper Continue reading HempenRoad / chapter 1: Victoria (1996)

Note: High-speed Rail from Vancouver > Seattle > Portland & oatmeal

Snoqualmie Oatmeal onboard Amtrak en route to Pe ELL (Centralia, WA) Dec. 29, 2013

There is much discussion about high speed rail between Vancouver and Portland… This conversation isn’t new, been going on for years and years and there’s always more pushback, grumbling about costs and right of way, another expensive study and blah blah blah… In my mind, the existing service *could* be great if they had priority right of way on the tracks, without hindrance of landslides which are prone to some areas, and better connections from the often remote/poorly located stations to the related urban centers (looking at you Olympia).

I mean, the trains themselves are great, the route is lovely, and importantly there is Snoqualmie Falls oatmeal served in the morning, or Ivar’s clam chowder and Black Butte Porter in the afternoon… Last time I rode anyway.

By the way, it’s no longer my challenge, request, cause or whatever as I live in Japan where train lines are abundant with all manner of service from super fast to slow locals as well as scenic treasures on olden stock.

However, I have yet to find a train in Japan which serves oatmeal so I have to get by a delicious Ekiben.

Field Notes from Elsewhere – Choogle On! #121

Field Notes from Elsewhere – Choogle On! #121
Field Notes from Elsewhere – Choogle On! #121

Embarking on meandering natural healing journey around Asia, Indian sub-continent, Arabia, Mediterranean, across Canada, US rocky mountain canyons, and to Grateful Dead anniversary shows while emerging from a fog after chronic and complex illness diagnosis resulting in lost years due to prescription meds. 

Hit the golden road for: Field Notes from Elsewhere – Choogle On! #121 (160k .mp3, 105MB, 1:03:20)

Continue reading Field Notes from Elsewhere – Choogle On! #121