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Reflections on the best two weeks of travel ever

By JIM BUSEK • Sep 12, 2017 at 10:00 AM

When I got the idea back in 2014 to have an adventure in every state, I knew I would be writing about those adventures a lot.

At the time, I thought that was pretty selfish — a little like inviting you to my home and then making you look at my vacation pictures. Over and over.

But I really had no choice. For three years, those adventure trips became my life. And, as if you have not already noticed, my life is the subject of most of my columns.

The big surprise was that a lot of you seemed to really enjoy reading about my 50 adventure trips. I started hearing nice things after the very first one. And, to this day, the most common compliment I get is “I really liked those adventure trip stories.”

In fact, quite a few of you say something like “And now I really miss them.”

You and me both, pal.

For three years, I was constantly planning a trip, taking a trip, writing about a trip or making a video about a trip.

Now it has been six months since adventure number 50. And I am still in withdrawal.

This August really got me thinking. It is the first anniversary of my all time best travel month.

Here’s what happened in just a single 15-day stretch in August, 2016.

I flew into the Pacific Northwest, my favorite part of the country.

I started in Bend, Oregon — one of America’s best cities for outdoor adventures.

I spent a day hiking in Oregon’s Crater National Park, a stunningly beautiful and unique destination.

The next day I hiked to a mountain lake that reflected a dormant volcano on its quiet surface.

From Bend, I drove to Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington. The first night, I stayed in a tiny cabin. My meal in the room consisted of an entire rotisserie chicken and bottle of red wine I had purchased at a crossroads grocery.

The next day I hiked more than half way up snow-capped Mt. Rainier, my favorite mountain.

And the day after that, I was back at sea level — literally — on San Juan Island in Puget Sound, a place I have enjoyed periodically for 30 years. However, this was the first time I ever kayaked its deep blue water in Deception Pass, near the city of Anacortes. So fun!

On Aug. 13, I drove to Seattle, a vital, vibrant city and picked up Char at the airport.

The next day we flew to Anchorage, Alaska which became our home base for the coming week. There we bicycled the scenic Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, twice encountered bull moose close enough for a selfie photo and had three of the best meals of my life at a little downtown restaurant called F Street Station.

Oh yeah, we also hiked to waterfalls, cruised to glaciers, drove the awe-inspiring Seward Highway and rafted down the rushing Kenai River.

As I implied, I am pretty sure it was the most interesting and exciting two weeks of my adult life.

So no wonder I am missing my travel adventures, right?

I have an idea for the next ones, but they will have to wait until 2018.

Meanwhile, I want to take a look back at some of the other trips in the first 50 adventures and share some things I hope you will enjoy.

And if you were just being polite in saying such nice things when I wrote about them in the first place, it is too late to turn back now.


Jim Busek is a free-lance writer who lives in Norwalk. He can be reached via e-mail at jimbusek@ hotmail.com.

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