Rebirth of Montserrat

 

Montserrat's new waterfront businesses adjacent to port. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Montserrat’s new waterfront businesses adjacent to port. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Situated in the heart of the Eastern Caribbean, the tropical paradise of Montserrat, a British overseas territory island, 10 miles wide, by 7 miles long, with Antigua just 30 miles away.  A visit to Montserrat is truly unique Caribbean experience—it’s like stepping back in time—to a long vanished era of Caribbean life in the 1920s or 30s when people didn’t lock their doors, when crime was an anomaly, and gated, guarded mega resort destinations such as Sandals were not even imaginable. The island was dealt a one-two punch when Hurricane Hugo thrashed the island back in 1989, and followed in 1995 when Montserrat’s Soufriere Volcano erupted. The subsequent pyroclastic flow buried the historic town center of Plymouth.

The Town of Plymouth buried in ash Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

The Town of Plymouth buried in ash Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

The town and the entire southern half of the island was abandoned, But today the island is in the midst of an amazing rebirth and renaissance.

An entirely new town on the northern end of the island has been laid out. Bulldozers are leveling ground for the new town center on the north end of the island with the centerpiece– a waterfront resort hotel complex, hillside condominium and townhouse complexes, a state of the art protected port, and yachting center. This enchanting island’s rebirth includes harnessing the volcanoes geothermal vents for power generation, cultural tours to it’s modern day Pompeii town of Plymouth, treks to the Scientific Volcanic Observatory high perched on a mountainside, rain forest hikes, birding adventures, scuba diving, kayaking and other nature oriented adventures.

Architectural rendering of new development on Montserrat

Architectural rendering of new development on Montserrat

Join Correspondent, Tom Wilmer on the lush tropical isle of Montserrat for a journey of discovery as we visit with Ayiesha de Coteau Sammy Director of Trade and Investment Promotion, David Crichton, economic development consultant, and Ivan Browne Chief Executive of the Montserrat Development Corporation, and the Honorable Reuben T. Meade, Premier of Montserrat.

Listen to the audio excursion on the Lowell Thomas Award winning Podcast Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, featured weekly on NPR.ORG

Check out this episode!

Car Free Los Angeles

Car Free Los Angeles Photo Credit: Matt Marriott

Car Free Los Angeles
Photo Credit: Matt Marriott

Car Free Los Angeles Photo Credit LA Tourism

Car Free Los Angeles
Photo Credit LA Tourism

Kimberli Samuel talks with correspondent, Tom Wilmer about Car Free Los Angeles– The car is no longer king in L.A. With over 120 miles of new bike ways created within the city of Los Angeles in the last two years, increased Metro transit options and the expanded frequency and reach of CicLAvia—the nation’s largest open streets event—the city is putting the brakes on its car-centric roots.

The Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (LA Tourism) invites travelers to be a part of this green movement with the launch of “Car Free LA,” an eco-friendly initiative designed to showcase the city’s unexpected car-free offerings. “Car Free LA” features a series of expertly-tailored itineraries centered around exploring Los Angeles’ various neighborhoods on foot, bike and public transportation while highlighting the city’s iconic attractions, vibrant music scene, historic architecture, arts and culture, eclectic cuisine and endless entertainment. “Car Free LA” itineraries are available for free at: Car Free LA

Listen to the interview on the Lowell Thomas Award winning travel show, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, a weekly featured podcast on NPR.ORG

Check out this episode!

Photo Credit: Matt Marriott

Downtown LA Photo Credit: Matt Marriott

Laura Deutsch

Laura Deutsch, Author

Laura Deutsch, Author

Author and writing seminar expert Laura Deutsch talks about her new book, Writing from the Senses-59 Exercises to Ignite and Revitalize Your Writing—Shambala Press. Audio interview on Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer weekly podcast on NPR.ORG

Join the conversation on the Lowell Thomas Award Winning podcast, “Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer” featured weekly on NPR.ORG and produced by Central California Coast NPR affiliate station KCBX.

Listen to Laura on the Lowell Thomas Award winning podcast Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer  Check out this episode!

Outward Bound California with correspondent, Molly Blaisdell

Courtesy Outward Bound California

Courtesy Outward Bound California

In 2008, Outward Bound launched its first West Coast urban-based “Center” in San Francisco (“Bay Area Center”) following the successful establishment of other Centers in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, New York and Philadelphia in the 1980s and 1990s. Urban-based Centers reach more underserved urban youth populations through a menu of programs that promote personal transformation using the natural and historical settings of cities and their surrounding areas. Join correspondent, Molly Blaisdell in San Francisco as she interviews Outward Bound California Executive Director, Josh Brankman; faculty member, Lawence Schuessler; Student Services Associate, Marcela Maldonado; and Operations and Program Director, Aiko Yoshino.
Courtesy Outward Bound California

Courtesy Outward Bound California

Outward Bound was founded in 1941 during World War II to provide young sailors with the experiences and skills necessary to survive at sea. Outward Bound was a joint effort between British shipping magnate Sir Lawrence Holt and progressive German educator Kurt Hahn. Hahn believed education must encompass both the intellect and character of a person. In creating the first Outward Bound School, he expanded the concept of experiential learning to include real and powerful experience to gain self-esteem, the discovery of innate abilities, and a sense of responsibility toward others. Outward Bound has since become the premier adventure-based education program in the world. In the early 1950s, Josh Miner founded the Outward Bound movement in the United States, and in the ensuing decade, Outward Bound pioneered wilderness experiential learning with the establishment of the Colorado Outward Bound School in 1961. Outward Bound’s curriculum established the standard for outdoor education: adventure, challenge, character development, compassion and social and environmental responsibility. In 1991, Outward Bound established the Pinnacle Scholarship Program to increase student diversity and provide opportunities for highly motivated and low income students to enroll in Outward Bound courses. California leaders, investors and nonprofit partners pioneered the program, which is now offered nationwide.

Listen to Ms. Blaisdell’s interview on the Lowell Thomas Award winning podcast, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer featured weekly on NPR.ORG.   Check out this episode!

For further information:
Outward Bound California          1539 Pershing Drive,  San Francisco, CA 94129             (415) 933-6222

outwardboundcalifornia.org

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6pmL9HtIOU – See the impact for yourself!

Laurie McAndish King

 

Laurie McAndish King with host of Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer NPR.ORG weekly podcast

Laurie McAndish King talks story about her new book Lost, Kidnapped, Eaten Alive on Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer NPR.ORG podcast                            Photo Credit: Jim Shubin

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer as he visits with acclaimed travel journalist, Laurie McAndish King as she talks about her new book, Lost, Kidnapped, Eaten Alive and reads some selected passages.

Laurie McAndish King is an award-winning writer and photographer specializing in nature and culture. Her work has appeared in Smithsonian magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, and literary anthologies from Lonely Planet and Travelers’ Tales. Whether she is lost in a parallel universe, kidnapped in the scorching Tunisian desert, or eaten alive by the blood-sucking denizens of tropical north Queensland, King’s stories—poignant, quirky, and often quite funny—are always inspiring and entertaining. Her new collection of true travel tales, Lost, Kidnapped, Eaten Alive, is available from Amazon and your local bookstore.

Cassowary

Cassowary Photo Credit: Laurie McAndish King

Listen to King’s interview on Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, the Lowell Thomas Award winning podcast featured weekly on NPR.ORG. Check out this episode!
Luwak

Luwak Photo Credit: Laurie McAndish King

 

Pacifica a Coastal Haven 20 minutes from San Francisco

 

Landa Mar Beach, Pacifica, CA Photo Credit: Sharron Waiker

Landa Mar Beach, Pacifica, CA Photo Credit: Sharron Waiker

The natural beauty and unparalleled serenity of Pacifica, California has attracted travelers to this coastal gem for more than 100 years. Located just 15 minutes south of San Francisco, Pacifica feels worlds away but is convenient to some of the most vibrant, international communities on the West Coast.

Easily accessible from Highway 1, Pacifica’s rich cultural heritage and bohemian personality make it a unique destination worth discovering. Of the many diversions, Pacifica boasts some of the most breathtaking panoramic vistas atop a wide range of hiking trails and walking adventures along the expansive beaches dotting the destination’s shoreline. Additionally, the destination features recreational options, including surfing, boating, scuba, fishing and paragliding, birding, cycling, golf, tennis, archery and horseback riding. According to the National Marine Sanctuaries of the West Coast, Pacifica is known to be the fourth richest area in the world for marine mammal life.

Listen to correspondent, Molly Blaisdell’s Pacifica show on Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer the Lowell Thomas Award winning podcast featured on NPR.ORG  Check out this episode!

http://visitpacifica.com

Yexplore Yosemite Adventures

images-8If you’re planning a first visit to Yosemite National Park, a guided hiking adventure is an excellent way to maximize your experience. Yexplore Yosemite Adventures offers an array of customized back country explorations, from day hikes to overnight backpack treks.

Photo Credit Yexplore.com

Photo Credit Yexplore.com

Yexplore also offers specialized Photographic workshops including one that’s focused on capturing Yosemite landscapes at night with a sky full of stars. Hiking options also include treks to the top of Half Dome, journeys through Tuolumne Meadows and alpine Lakes, and a backpack trip wending above the tree line across Red Peak Pass at 11,200 feet.

Photo Credit Yexplore

Photo Credit Yexplore

We met up with John Degrazio the CEO of Yexplore Yosemite Adventures in the Sierra foothills town of Sonora.

Listen to the conversation on Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, the Lowell Thomas Award winning NPR.ORG podcast. Check out this episode!

www.yexplore.com

Telephone: 800-886-8009

 

AFTCO’S Bill Shedd Awarded Conservation Award

Bob Semerau (lft) Bill Shedd (rt) Photo credit: Barbara Steinberg

Bob Semerau (Lft) Bill Shedd (rt)
Photo credit: Barbara Steinberg

Bill Shedd, president of the American Fishing Tackle Co. was recently awarded the prestigious 2014 Californian of the Year by the Outdoor Writers Association of California (OWAC). Shedd is the son of Milton Shedd, founder of Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute and SeaWorld San Diego.

In the past two years alone, Shedd’s American Fishing and Tackle Company has made approximately $500,000 in financial contributions to marine environmental research and conservation. He is a co-founder of United Anglers of Southern California, California’s largest sport fishing organization, leading efforts to develop White Seabass grow-out facilities and hatchery programs. Shedd volunteers more than 500 hours a year on marine resource and recreational fishing industry issues. Among his many contributions to marine ecology, Shedd is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Hubbs/SeaWorld Research Institute, a member of the International Game Fish Association’s Board of Trustees, He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for Coastal Conservation (CCC), and the California Artificial Reef Enhancement program (CARE).

Join Tom Wilmer, Vice President of the Outdoor Writers Association of California for a conversation with Bill Shedd–the 2014 Californian of the Year, on the Lowell Thomas Award-winning NPR Podcast, “Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer”  Check out this episode!

Discovering Western Nebraska’s Treasures

Western Nebraska Photo Credit Tom Wilmer

Western Nebraska
Photo Credit Tom Wilmer

Scotts Bluff territory Nebraska-- Photo Credit Tom Wilmer

Scotts Bluff territory Nebraska– Photo Credit Tom Wilmer

Western Nebraska is a realm of never-ending surprises from the diverse environment where rolling hills are suddenly interrupted by towering sandstone bluffs and spires, rolling rivers, and even the largest hand planted forest in North America. The Sandhills of Western Nebraska are a mesmerizing undulating grass covered landscape that is a destination draw in its own right.

Join correspondent, Tom Wilmer for an exploration of cool things to do and see in Western Nebraska. Well start our journey in Sidney, Nebraska at the home and birthplace of Cabela’s outfitters.

Photo Credit Tom Wilmer

Next stop is Alliance Nebraska where we’ll visit with Becky Thomas, director of the Knight Museum and Sandhills Center.

The Museum of the Fir Trade on the outskirts of Chadron, Nebraska showcases the roots of the American West that was trail blazed by fir trappers and traders, 200 years before the Lewis & Clark Expedition.

Western Nebraska is graced with tall sandstone bluffs and outcroppings. Chimney Rock National Historic Site in Bayard, Nebraska includes an interpretive center where visitors learn about the trials and tribulations of the early pioneers. We’ll join Loren Pospisil who shares his insights in to Nebraska’s most recognizable visual icon of Western migration.

Pony Express statue in Sidney, Nebraska-- Photo credit Tom Wilmer

Pony Express statue in Sidney, Nebraska– Photo credit Tom Wilmer

IMG_4197Fast food chain eateries abound in Nebraska, but there’s a new generation of restaurateurs who offer trend setting cuisine. We’ll stop in at the Emporium coffee shop and restaurant in Scotts Bluff Nebraska for a chat with owner, Sara Schluter and her executive chef, Rob Backus who came from Napa Valley California to infuse Nebraska with cutting edge culinary offerings.  www.visitnebraska.com

Listen to the in-depth interview on the Lowell Thomas Award winning NPR.ORG Podcast, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer  Check out this episode!

Award-Winning Author Steven T. Callan

 

Ryan Hanson & Steve Callan

Ryan Hanson & Steve Callan

Listen to award-winning author Steven T. Callan, as he talks about his hit book, Badges, Bears, and Eagles—The True-Life Adventures of a California Fish and Game Warden. Steve’s book, a 2013 “Book of the Year” finalist, chronicles his illustrious thirty-year career as a wildlife protection officer for the state of California.

During his career as a wildlife protection officer, Steve Callan conducted some of the most fascinating, complex, and highly successful wildlife investigations in California history. He also collected a wealth of action-packed, suspenseful, and often humorous true stories. In Badges, Bears, and Eagles, Steve provides a vivid first-person account of his adventures.  Steve and his colleagues outsmarted game hogs, thwarted fish thieves, and foiled outlaws. Callan was even stalked by African lions and mauled by a five-hundred pound Bengal tiger. Callan and his working partner, Dave Szody, conducted a three-year undercover investigation which exposed a statewide criminal conspiracy to kill California black bears for their valuable gallbladders. It’s not all about catching bad guys—it’s also about conservation: in “Saving Lake Mathews,” Steve chronicles how he helped save a beloved wildlife sanctuary from development.

Callan has earned numerous awards for his work in wildlife protection. He also was recently awarded the 2014 “Best Outdoor Magazine Column” Craft Award, from the Outdoor Writers Association of California.

Passionate about the environment, Steve and his wife Kathleen are avid kayakers, anglers, bird watchers, and scuba divers. They currently live in the Redding area. The interview includes some commentary by a young State Warden, Ryan Hanson based on the Blue Fin in Morro  Bay Harbor.

Listen to Steve’s interview on the Lowell Thomas Award winning travel podcast, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, featured weekly on NPR.ORG and produced by California Central Coast NPR affiliate KCBX  Check out this episode!

Steve can be found online at callan.coffeetownpress.com