We thank our partner-sponsors of OpenRoad with Doug McConnell, Kaiser Permanente , East Bay Regional Park District and Lake County, California for making the series possible.
-- Doug McConnell
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In the body of our first story, I mention that Vancouver, BC is my second-favorite urban area in North America. Now this is not to put down some of my other favorite cities, big and small, but I really mean it. In fact, for me, Vancouver runs almost neck and neck with my home base, the San Francisco Bay Area.
Vancouver's setting, stitched between the sea and steep mountains, is absolutely stunning. The city itself is diverse and sophisticated and graced by natural jewels such as Stanley Park. Many cultures. A fine University which my high school junior hopes to attend. Excellent food. Good coffee. And I don't mind the rain. I lived for several years in Ketchikan, Alaska where the average annual rainfall is about 13 feet. By comparison, Vancouver is almost desert-like.
But there's what's just out of town that seals the deal for me. If you love magnificent and wild landscapes and outdoor adventures of all kinds only minutes away, Vancouver is tough to beat. Then you have the rest of extraordinary British Columbia and the beauties of immense Vancouver nearby. Vancouver, Whistler and BC generally will be placed firmly on the global map next year during the Winter Olympics. After the world sees all that the region has to offer, I'm afraid there will be no room left in the inn for me for years to come.
Having said all that, I've never lived in Vancouver. I came close several times, but never quite made it. I did live for a few terrific years in Seattle, about 3 driving hours south (not counting the long waits you can encounter at the border crossings.) I worked for legendary KING Television back in the early 80s and enjoyed my time there very much. It's a wonderful city on its own, with fabulous access to BC, the islands of Puget Sound, the Olympic Peninsula to the west and the Cascades to the east including Mt. St. Helens. I have special affection for Seattle because our first son, Nicolas, was born there at Group Health Central Hospital in 1983. Now he's working with us part-time on these shows. Life comes full circle.
So here's to Vancouver and Seattle. Oh, and don't forget Portland which is pretty desirable, too. OK, I own up to liking the whole northwest quite a bit. I hope if you live there or visit that you'll send us your pictures, video and stories about your favorite spots up that way.