Well, I really hit the big time now ;)… If you look closely, I mean *very very* closely, you can see me in the brewing loft of the centuries old saké maker in our neighbouring region of￼ Maniwa here in Okayama, Japan.
Background: Ryoko and I were invited along very special tour around fermented foods makers (2 saké makers, plus craft beer, wine/grappa/cheese, and miso/ vinegar/ shoyu/ koji)… along with a handful of international guests came a small legion of photographers/videomakers to document the event.
(Some of) the results appear in this lusciously-designed and luxuriously-produced brochure.
Aside: We had visited this area for Ryoko’s work a few weeks earlier, at which point I shared some thoughts about the changes going on in inaka/country areas of Japan (i.e. de-population, lack of investment, transportation links cut/reduced, so many elderly folks somewhat ignored, reduction of services in general, lack of appreciation for the important produce of these areas…) ￼as so much of the attention and money and power is concentrated in the big cities (really, Tokyo)￼.
Anyway, there are loads are fantastic photos from this outing, and one tiny one appears here as a bit of a preview… (Really i will share eventually! It’s on my list but, so are a lot of other things, one of these days…) and you’ve maybe noticed of late I’m learning more about fermented foods (i.e. making pickles)￼ with a big dream of making my own miso.
Anyhow, did you spot me? Might need a magnifying glass, like I said “big-time”.￼ Let’s visit Maniwa next time you come to visit OK?￼
Sept. 03, 2014, Leah Poulton wrote an article about transit-accessible hikes around Vancouver and name-checked a few of my faves. So, i chimed in with some annotations which are shared below to augment the original article.
May I offer a few tips from someone who has marauded through these trails in various patterns over many years?
First, by starting the trip in Deep Cove and ending up in Lynn Valley, it makes for a little bit of a shorter trip getting home if you live in Vancouver. But either way I advise a stop at The End of the Line Café.
This location has housed a general store of some kind since the old logging days and now is filled with a ridiculous assortment of imported candies (esp. England and The Netherlands), plus a variety of chutneys to make your picnic lunch extra special, neat toys (balsa wood airplanes and sock monkeys) and decent coffee… and my favourite: trail pucks. Tell them Uncle Weed sent you. You won’t be disappointed whether you start or finish there it’s right by the trailhead.
Next, as a young Scout growing up in Surrey, we hiked along the Baden Powell trail in various parts a few times when it was still more primitive (or i recall it that way) and the houses weren’t built up so close to the trail. I remember camping along the Baden Powell trail – which seems like it would be verbotten now.
I remember one particular night sitting around the campfire at about 12 years old with the other scouts from Whalley when a mountain lion came and sat right in our camp fire circle with us. You could see his/her muscles, sinews, teeth and quickly realized there was nothing you could do except chillout and make no sudden movements. Fortunately my fellow Khaki Scouts didn’t freak out as we watched this creature, larger than any of us, including our wide-eyed volunteer scout leader. I don’t know if s/he stayed for 10 seconds or 20 minutes but it’s moment I’ll never forget.
Finally, one more transit tip. If you decide to go from Deep Cove to Lynn Valley (this was my preferred method because my house was right by the Lynn Canyon end of the trailhead and had a sauna for warming up after and autumn or winter hike) and you’re eager to get home, you can take the 210 bus.
Catch it just around the corner from the aforementioned End of the Line Café, and it’ll roll ya to the very houseline to the top of Mountain Highway, then all the way down through Lynn Valley Centre, to Phibbs Exchange, across Ironworkers Memorial Bridge and then express service through East Van (stops at Renfrew, Commercial, Nanaimo & couple more) finally ending up at Burrard Skytrain station.
Certainly not as scenic as the “three dollar harbour cruise” Sea Bus, but if you are in a hurry, and especially if you live in East Van, this can be a winner.
Great article Leah! I’m hoping your next one is a brewery tour of the North Shore with 3 stops (at least) now pouring.
The section of the Baden Powell Trail between Lynn Canyon and Deep Cove in North Vancouver is a great transit-accessible hike in Vancouver. One of the things I really love about Vancouver is that it’s completely possible to live or visit here without having access to a vehicle.
November’s #SoMeT12 – a symposium about Social Media in the Tourism industry – held in El Paso, Texas does seem like ages ago now. But every so often – like now, just getting back into the swing of things in Vancouver and dealing with the unenviable task of sorting through hundreds of emails in my inbox – something pops up from the past.
I had a great time speaking to delegates representing many countries, regions, cities and so on at #SoMeT12 and it was great to find myself quoted in a story about all things SoMeT.
Here’s an excerpt:
Dave Olson, vice president of community at HootSuite, ended his presentation about building an impassioned and actively supportive community around a brand or destination by asking the question, “How do you measure happiness?” On the surface, it seems a flip remark for a serious business to consider, but most businesses know that a happy customer is a returning customer. Just as most meeting planners know that a happy conference community keeps attendees coming back.
I recently presented at #SoMeT12 – a symposium about Social Media in the Tourism industry – held in El Paso, Texas.
On November 8, 2012 a day after the US election, plenty of stories and hugs were passed around to the delegates representing many countries, regions, cities and so on. It was great to connect with everyone and talk tourism and social media, plus enjoy some Tex-Mex food and a wee splash of sunshine in a historic park.
Read on for some fun highlights of my visit:
Social Media Tourism Symposium Official Recap
Mikala Taylor wrote a detailed re-cap of my talk – here’s an excerpt to set the stage:
One of these kids was doing his own thing: and at SoMeT12 that kid was HootSuite’s VP of Community, Dave Olson. Dressed in a burgundy jacket and sporting impressive mutton chops, Olson woke the bleary crowd at 8:30am with an energetic talk about sparking conversations, and how to create a social media journey.“I’ve been to destinations”, he joked at the tourism crowd, before reminding everyone that travel really is just about “making friends and sharing stories.” “Five years from now,” he said, “the tools will be totally different…Social media is just a weird term of convenience. It’s just about listening.”
With an audience of social media enthusiasts, no doubt the tweets and photos flowed on, catch a few below or more at Clemens Schuster’s Flickr Stream (who travelled all the way from Austria for the event):
Dave, VP of Community at HootSuite and colleague Connor chat from the coffee shop on topics including: Tourism conference in El Paso, my first trip to Europe in 1993 and the role of the Internet in travel.
With an enormous joint of Kemo bud, Uncle Weed hauls his UK counterpart The Dopefiend into the woods on Vancouver’s North Shore to talk about stoner travel delights in BC, break down the cult of the Purple Kush and explain the true meaning of chooglin while the the river rolls by while the stone mason rambles a tune from the woodshop.
I wrote to a Belgian pal planning to move to Vancouver, thusly:
Don’t listen to the right-coast curmudgeons, Vancouver is the best city going.
While Belgium undoubtedly has the best beer (please bring me some Grimberger Dubbel), Canada does alright … though the industry is kind of caught between micros which have been purchased by macros, and micros which are still figuring out the zen of brewing and, as such, the CDN beer industry has lost of wee bit of the cachet it enjoyed for years.
The whining about raining is the local pasttime but honestly the rain is not intolerable (don’t hardly need an umbrella or rain jacket most days) and the constant drizzle just makes the shiny, glowing summers even more enjoyable. Plus amazing scenery all year round and fantastic food and eclectic neighborhoods make the area very livable despite the burgeoning pre-Olympic and condo-mania construction craziness fueled by speculators and hype.
As for weed, well, the short version is “yes” – though not Amsterdam, liberal smokeeasys do exist which is as much a comment on Vancouver’s strategic political climate of harm reduction as it is for preferred recreational habits … and yup, you’ll get to see a higher does of urban plight (homelessness, meth-addicts, flop houses etc) than you are accustomed to in Europa.