Monthly Archives

January 2019

Lifestyle

Celebrate 25 Years of Japanese Art at Chigirie.com

  • By
  • January 17, 2019

Buy “The Trout” and I’ll donate 10% of the proceeds to two well-known and deserving organizations.

Celebrate with me! I’m commemorating my 25th art anniversary at chigirie.com. You can purchase “The Trout” in three sizes at joanmatsuitravelwriter.com/shop.

Friends and acquaintances who know me well understand why I love to fly-fish but they’re also aware I’m an advocate for responsible fishing, land and water preservation, and the healing effects nature provides. Much of my time on the road is spent fly fishing and appreciating our waterways that Trout Unlimited (TU) has worked so hard to preserve. TU and Casting for Recovery (CfR) will each receive 5 percent of the proceeds from the sale of “The Trout” prints.

TU is a national organization that’s at the forefront of fisheries restoration work at the local, state and national levels. Its 300,000 members and supporters are organized into 400 chapters and councils from Maine to Montana to Alaska with approximately 30 offices nationwide. Over the years, I’ve assisted with TU fly fishing education programs and I’m one of the founding members of my local TU Women’s Initiative.

Casting for Recovery (CfR) is a non-profit organization that provides phenomenal healing outdoor retreats for women with breast cancer and at no cost to the participants. Their retreats offer inspiration, connections with other women and of course, one of the greatest healing powers known to mankind, nature. CfR retreats are open to women with breast cancer of all ages and in all stages of treatment and recovery. Women from all walks of life have benefited from CfR’s inspiring program model for more than 20 years with 60 retreats across the country that serve 800+ women each year. CfR partners with volunteers in Canada, UK/Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Italy and its volunteer teams are made up of medical and psychosocial professionals, fly fishing instructors and alumnae. Click here to learn more about CfR.

“The Trout” original was a commissioned piece I created around the same time I took my first fly fishing lesson with my local Trout Unlimited chapter and the PA Fish and Boat Commission. The original trout collage was used to create trail art at a neighborhood community park and I donated the original to the park as an auction item.

The unveiling of “The Trout” trail art at a community park.
“The Trout” is permanently displayed as trail art on a walking trail in Pennsylvania.

If you’re not familiar with Chigirie, the Japanese art of tearing paper to create a collage (or painting with paper), glance at The Trout and you’ll see 50 or more tiny pieces of pre-dyed torn paper I blended (without paint) to create a layered effect.

The Trout is my one and only fishing-related art project and I’m thrilled to be able to offer prints and support TU and CfR.

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America by car America's road trips Lifestyle Scenic Road Trips The most breathtaking highest roads in America Travel America Travel and Tourism U.S. Road Trips

Revealed: The Highest Road in Every U.S. State

  • By
  • January 15, 2019
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Geotab Study Ranks America’s Most Breathtaking Views

Travel to One or All: 2019 U.S. Must-See Vistas

Information provided by Geotab
Toronto, ON – November 27, 2018 – Geotab, a global leader in IoT and connected transportation, has launched a new study analyzing U.S. road data to identify the highest paved road in every state in America. Treat yourself and your family to America’s scenic wonders.
All photos courtesy of GEOTAB

At 4,757 feet, the highest point of Alaska’s Dalton Highway (in the Atigun Pass on the Continental Divide) was identified as having the most stunning view in America. Taking second place is Colorado’s Mount Evans Scenic Byway. At 14,132 feet at its peak, it is the highest paved road in North America and one of the highest in the world.


7,419ft Washington National Forest Development Road 5400 to Slate

The interactive piece, which also ranks the top ten most breathtaking views can be accessed in full here. By analyzing the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Elevation Dataset, Geotab was able to determine the highest road coordinates in each state. Aside from identifying the highest, reachable peaks, Geotab also leveraged the expertise of renowned outdoor photographer, Tony Bynum, to help determine the ranking of the ten most breathtaking views in America that can be accessed by hitting the open road.

“I’ve visited all of the roads on this list and there is simply nothing like Alaska for solitude and breadth of views,” says Tony Bynum, outdoor photographer, and conservationist. “In general, Western U.S. scenery is the ‘best’, with a tendency to offer better visibility up to 100 miles on clear days. However, most of the higher elevations in the west are closed in winter, whereas the central and eastern roads are often available all year round.”

Tony Bynum

The full ranking of America’s 10 most breathtaking views is below:
Rank Height State Road

  • 4,757ft Alaska Dalton Highway, in the Atigun Pass
  • 14,132ft Colorado Mount Evans Scenic Byway
  • 10,953ft Wyoming Beartooth Highway
  • 7,419ft Washington National Forest Development Road 5400 to Slate

Peak Radar Site

  • 9,714ft Oregon Steens Mountain Loop Road
  • 13,781ft Hawaii Mauna Kea Access Road
  • 6,265ft New Hampshire Mount Washington Auto Road
  • 5,740ft Tennessee Clingmans Dome Road
  • 4,850ft West Virginia Forest Road 104 to peak of Spruce Knob
  • 4,765ft Georgia State Route 180 Spur to Brasstown Bald

“This piece serves as a useful reminder of the sheer beauty that can be seen across America’s world-leading road network,” said Maria Sotra, VP of Marketing at Geotab. “Thanks to the nation’s ever-growing infrastructure system, you no longer have to embark on a grueling hike or commit to climbing a mountain in order to take in an awe-inspiring view. Instead, breathtaking views can often be seen from behind the wheel of a car.”

Maria Sotra
Explore the full findings and view the stunning landscape photography here:

6,265ft New Hampshire Mount Washington Auto Road

About the data

U.S. Census TIGER/Line® Shapefiles were used to build a set of coordinates representing segments of every road in the United States, then the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Elevation Dataset was applied to establish the height of each segment. Google Maps and OpenStreetMap data was used to exclude roads that were not clearly accessible via an ordinary road vehicle. Roads were analyzed in October 2018. Main background image of Mount Evans supplied by Airphoto. All photo credits and licenses. About Geotab
Geotab is advancing security, connecting commercial vehicles to the internet and providing web-based analytics to help customers better manage their fleets. Geotab’s open platform and Marketplace, offering hundreds of third-party solution options, allows both small and large businesses to automate operations by integrating vehicle data with their other data assets. As an IoT hub, the in-vehicle device provides additional functionality through IOX Add-Ons. Processing billions of data points a day, Geotab leverages data analytics and machine learning to help customers improve productivity, optimize fleets through the reduction of fuel consumption, enhance driver safety, and achieve strong compliance to regulatory changes. Geotab’s products are represented and sold worldwide through Authorized Geotab Resellers. To learn more, please visit www.geotab.com and follow us @GEOTAB and on LinkedIn.


14,132ft Colorado Mount Evans Scenic Byway
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Lifestyle

Hilton at the Heart of Downtown Harrisburg

  • By
  • January 3, 2019

Rooms with a View

Day or night, you're within walking distance to the best-of-the-best Harrisburg downtown attractions and nightlife.
Do you love bright city lights and the faster-paced “downtown” scene? Day or night, you’re within walking distance to the best-of-the-best of Harrisburg’s downtown attractions, entertainment, or a walk along the Susquehanna River.

Do you have travel plans that include Pennsylvania’s state capital?

When you’re looking for outstanding lodging in Pennsylvania’s historic capital city, the Hilton Harrisburg is at the center of “downtown” activity, making it the perfect setting for a business trip, getaway, and sight-seeing adventure. You’ll find all the services you’ll ever need to make the most of your visit and the Hilton is in close proximity to many historical sites, shopping, dining, and a plethora of other attractions.

Travel Tip: Wallow in city life and plan your day around a visit to the State Capitol Complex, only three minutes by car or a whopping eight minutes by foot. Take advantage of the Hilton’s valet parking and begin your stay with lunch. Plot your route using this map courtesy of Google. Who knows? Is a leisurely stroll in order?
Use this map to navigate to the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex where you’ll find history in the making and magnificent architecture. Map courtesy of Google.

Hilton Brand = Exemplary Service

The Hilton over-delivers in every way – from location and hospitality to the decor and business services. Use my suggestions below to make the most of your stay.

Order a bottle of wine from room service and celebrate your overnight or weekend get-away with your partner.
Take a leisurely nap or continue to plan for your Harrisburg visit while lounging on the ultra-comfortable furniture. My “mini-suite” was the epitome of comfort and style you’d expect at a Hilton property.
The Hilton Harrisburg "Junior Suite" sitting room and bedroom are spacious with plenty of room to set up your laptop and ease into the relaxation mode after a busy day.
My spacious “1 KING BED MINI SUITE” included a sitting room and bedroom with plenty of room to set up my laptop and ease into a “relaxation mode” after a busy day covering Harrisburg dining, hiking, and fishing on the Susquehanna River.
Get in touch with local happenings in and around the Harrisburg area. Elevate your feet and read a copy of The Burg, the Greater Harrisburg’s Community Magazine.

Don’t Skip Breakfast!


The motto is “old favorites ‘turned on their side.”

Are you an early-riser breakfast-type who can’t wait to rise and shine to a full breakfast? AD LIB was my first stop on my second and third day in Harrisburg. You should allow time for the buffet, which is lovingly prepared and attended to by the staff to be sure the breakfast items are piping hot. Special requests for eggs cooked your way are honored by the gracious staff.

Travel Tip:
While you’re enjoying your breakfast, schedule some FREE outdoor time. Explore fresh- air options at Wildwood Park where you’ll find a Nature Center (perfect for families with children) and plenty of trails and boardwalks geared for exercise and nature enthusiasts.

Hilton Dining

The Hilton’s fashionable decor is also home to The 1700 Steakhouse open daily for dinner. Small plate options, 30 varieties of wines by the glass, and more than 60 selections of beer, and “edible cocktails” will round out your meal. Hours of operation and other details are available by following this link.

Many thanks to Visit Hershey-Harrisburg, my sponsor, for the opportunity to spend three glorious days exploring Harrisburg during my second media trip. This week, I’ll return to Harrisburg to cover the PA Farm Show, an annual event that focuses on education and family fun.

Be sure to navigate to Visit Hershey-Harrisburg to learn more about year-round and seasonal attractions and activities.

Disclaimer:

My trip was sponsored but my opinions are my own.
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