My Bike was STOLEN…but the cops found it!!

5 Nov

After 6 months collecting dust in a pawn shop my stolen bike is returned to me!

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Photographs of Artists, downtown Seattle Oct. 7

8 Oct

The first Thursday Art Walk is a wonderful way to revel in art, drink wine from plastic cups, mingle with Seattle’s formidable artist community and, of course, snap some photos.

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Seattle Waterfront photo-motion fun

23 Sep

A short and spastic video made from a few hundred photos snapped in a single afternoon

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Photos! Climb Mt. Stuart on a September Day

10 Sep

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I love nothing more than drenching myself in sky blue and forest green. Here are some photos not included in the recent Traveler’s Notebook post; Notes on the Magical Existence of Mountain Top Lady Bugs.


What? You never punch your camera man??
The moment our mountain comes into full view leaves me more than a little menaced with doubt.
My trusty adventure co-pilot and brother, Dust J Summit giving his Robert DeNiro face… Rock on
Steadily climbing up and up.
We fell in love with this gargantuan rock, seen from a distance, balancing on top of Sherpa PeakDozing at the top…
It’s never a bad time to bust out some rhythms! Yes, we rap on top of mountains…

How to Engage Strangers and Make friends while Traveling

27 Aug

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I have always had an easy time meeting locals and colorful individuals while on the road. Here are a few tips to meet more people and have more fun while traveling.

PAVE THE WAY FOR FRIENDS
Go solo or in small groups. Linger, make eye contact and laugh. Break out your video camera and start spontaneously vlogging. Have loose plans and keep room for the course of your day to veer into a new friendship or an encounter with a friendly stranger.

BE READY FOR “YES”
This is the word that will open doors. You don’t have to know what is going to happen, what they will feed you or how you will get back to your hostel, you just have to say “Yes”. Of course you should say “No” if you are talking to drug lords or pushy pimps, use your instincts.

The kids in the picture above are a part of a large family I met at the ruins of My Son, in central Vietnam. They were out on a day trip and notice me vlogging and strolling though the sun lit ruins. We took pictures and they invited me back to their house for lunch, a tour and a meet and greet with about 30 extended relatives.

They said it was not far, maybe 10km, but I wondered for a moment if it was a good idea to follow strangers down twisting roads and into an uncertain fate. Then I remembered that it was not a good idea, it was THE BEST idea, the ONLY IDEA!

These are the types of authentic experiences that arrive as rewards to stepping out of the comfort zone and surrendering to a joyous, mysterious “Yes!”

IF SOMEONE INVITES YOU FOR DINNER, OBLIGE THEM
Even if you are sickened my the Yak butter tea, even if you don’t speak the language.

IF SOMEONE OFFERS YOU A SHOT, OBLIGE THEM
Ladies, I don’t know if you want to follow this course necessarily, but this is my general rule of thumb. Drinking with locals, accepting an outstretched tumbler of moonshine is a ticket to quick friends if not a sour stomach.

SMILE & PRESENT YOURSELF
Put out a good vibe, smile. Don’t skulk or saunter, walk with a curiosity that compels companionship.

ASK ADVICE
Stop people to ask where they like to eat lunch or a good place to swim is. Ask where a good bar to watch the soccer match is and they just may walk you there.

Wandering into a village an asking where a good place to eat has gotten me invites to dine in peoples homes with their family on many occasions.

STAND OUT
In a sea of tourists, trite and predictable, what makes you stand out? What are you offering by way of conversation and cultural exchange? Realize the unique gifts you have to offer to passing potential pals and utilize them.

I know meeting people is usually a matter of circumstance, I also know the more willing you are to go out on a limb and say “Yes” to a new person the more likely that person is to appear.

HOW DO YOU MAKE FRIENDS WHILE TRAVELING?

Gandhi Speaks

26 Aug

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The venerated spiritual leader and freedom fighter speaks on perceiving god and among other super spiritual things.

Sailing in Seattle

23 Aug

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Summer in Seattle means time spent on or in the water. The Pacific Northwest is overflowing with rivers, lakes, ponds, creeks, hot springs, bays and inlets. All these aquatic options lends itself to many adventures, be it kayaking, swimming, fishing, or in today’s case, sailing.

On pier 54 ‘Let’s Go Sailing!’ offers low-key jaunts around Eliot Bay in a racing sail boat. The trips are a few hours long and for $25 a person I think they are very affordable.

Bridget and I chose the sunset sail, shoving off with 12 other passengers and 2 crew men at 7:30 to catch one Seattle’s amazing sunsets from the peaceful waters of the Puget Sound.

Witnessing the Seattle skyline shrink back as the waters lap at the hull and dusk begins to paint the skyscrapers gold and the sky pink and orange is a wonderful feeling.

I have seen this city, ‘the Emerald City’, from countless perspectives and angles but it is from the sailboat, 4 feet above the water, under a full sail, that I think is my favorite.

The focus is on the Olympics and the orange orb as we merry makers sip our wine and champagne and snap photos.

MY FAVORITE PLACES TO GET ON OR IN THE WATER IN SEATTLE

MADISON PARK
At the Eastern foot of Madison st. is a grassy swath, packed on sunny summer days. The beach is small and the water of lake Washington is chilly to some, but the opportunity to swim out to the floating dock and leap from the high dive make this my favorite swimming hole in Seattle.

ALKI BEACH
Sand underfoot and a spectacular view of Seattle are two good reasons to head to West Seattle (via bus or water taxi) for an afternoon on Alki. There are several fire pits, volley balls nets and enough beachfront eateries, coffee shops and bars to keep you satiated. Rent a bike and cruise the easy bike path around the point.

THE ARBORETUM
A huge garden, nature conservatory and public space, the Arboretum is perhaps Seattle’s best park. And with plenty of paths that wind along canals and dip into the lake it is also an excellent place to get near water and the many species it collects.
I like to rent a canoe from the University of Washington waterfront activities center ($7/hour) and paddle under the 520 bridge to access the peaceful channels that snake through the park. From your humble craft you can see bald eagle, blue heron, lake turtles and all manner of water fowl.

THE FERRY
I have rode the ferry form Seattle to Bremerton perhaps thousands of times, even so, it is still one of my favorite ways to get on the water and enjoy fresh air and beautiful views. A $7 dollar ferry ticket brings you through narrow passages and past sea lions, evergreen forests and depending on the season, orca whales. And they serve beer on the ferry.

MYRTLE EDWARDS PARK
Walking North along the waterfront the Olympic Sculpture Park presents itself as an eventuality. Enter the footpath and continue as the Seattle Art Museum sponsored green space gives way to Myrtle Edwards park. Small beach coves, rose gardens, bike paths and the sound of a serene surf punctuate this waterfront strip of zen.