ON THE LATEST EDITION OF MEET A LOCAL

Sonja Seher—active community member and interim Branch Manager at Wildsight Kimberley-Cranbrook—metaphorically stops by the blog to introduce herself and leave behind a bunch of great tips for getting the most out of a life lived (or a visit visited) around Highway 95 eh.


WHO ARE YOU & WHAT DO YOU DO?

Lifelong environmentalist & community volunteer, loving girlfriend, stepmother to pre-teen girls, amateur cyclist, basement cider-brewer, plant-and-animal lover, reader. I’m also proud to now call myself Interim Branch Manager at Wildsight Kimberley-Cranbrook.

WHY LIVE AROUND HIGHWAY 95 EH?

I took a job with an environmental consultant in Cranbrook about 5 years ago. The job didn’t last, but Kimberley has been my home since. I do love the mountains, but it’s really the closeness of this community, and the proximity to all wild things that keeps me here.

IF SOMEONE IS ONLY IN THE AREA FOR A FEW DAYS, WHAT WOULD BE ON YOUR LIST OF MUST-DO’S?

Grab a latte and watch the Platzl-rats from the Bean Tree front-stoop. Meet someone, get a story out of them. If that fails, read Jeff Pew’s latest interview in GO Kimberley. Hike the Ski Hill (winter or summer). Or, if you have a bike, find a route out to Thunder Turkey and back. Have a little swim in the flume. Skip the line of tourists at the Pedal and refresh yourself with a Hopped Cider at the Shed, consider the daily special if you’re hungry. Browse the community notice board for posters: if you see an event matching the date, just go to it. Tent at the campground. Marvel that you did all this without leaving Kimberley City Limits.

I’M HUNGRY… WHERE SHOULD I GO TO FIX THIS REOCCURRING PROBLEM?

Oh Jeremy, I’m vegan! Which means that, at any given establishment in Kimberley, I can eat precisely one dish off the menu. I still enjoy eating out, for the break from cooking and the focused, quality time with friends and family, but my best meals are arguably enjoyed at home. I will say that I can walk into just about any restaurant in Kimberley, and the staff will make sure I’m happily fed, without compromise to my ideals and without judgement. If you are someone with dietary restrictions, you can take comfort in that.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE OUTDOOR ACTIVITY AND YOUR TOP PLACE AROUND HERE FOR DOING THAT ACTIVITY?

Mountain biking. I put a lot of miles in last summer training for a big endurance race, and I can honestly say that no matter how many laps I did of it, the Round the Mountain Loop always put a smile on my face. It just keeps getting better every year.

FINALLY… PLEASE SHARE ONE LAST KOOTENAY TIP / RECOMMENDATION / THOUGHT / WHATEVER THAT YOU DIDN'T GET A CHANCE TO GET IN DURING THE PREVIOUS QUESTIONS.

This is from one of my favourite cookbook authors: “Everybody needs a Sunday”, and I would go further to say “Everybody needs a Shoulder Season”. It’s easy to lose your mind in Kimberley in November/March when the weather has gone to pot, when there’s nothing to do on a Saturday night for weeks on end. The earth needs frost, snowfall, rain and runoff. We need days without an agenda. We need weeks without relentless activity. That time is for building your fire.

OK, ACTUAL FINALLY… PLEASE GIVE ONE COMPLETELY UNAIDED RECOMMENDATION THAT YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD START DOING / USING / WATCHING / LISTENING / EATING / THINKING / QUITTING / READING / ETC-ING TO MAKE THEIR LIVES A LITTLE BIT BETTER AND/OR BEARABLE.

My boyfriend Brian and I have an ongoing debate as to which will ultimately save the planet: equality for women or environmental justice. In truth, I think both are necessary. Be a better feminist. Be a better environmentalist.


Alright, that's it for another MEET A LOCAL. Before you head off to some other corner of the internet, make sure to sign-up for the Wildsight Kimberley-Cranbrooks newsletter, as that's where you will find even more words from Sonja.

And if you’d like to stick around HWY 95EH a little longer, maybe glean some extra local knowledge off a few more locals…

…or maybe you're a local yourself and you'd like to pass on some of your own hard earned local knowledge?

And finally, don't forget to connect with 95EH elsewhere on the interweb to be the first to know when excellent things—like the Q&A above—get posted.

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