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Ever feel a little burnt out? Like your flame needs re-igniting?

Today’s story of travel writing adventure, from Denver Post Travel Editor Kyle Wagner, might be just the spark you need.

After all, being a travel writer is so much more than just travel and writing.

Kyle says, “It’s not just the joy of the exploration of a cool place — it’s the joy of doing, the kind of kid-again, new-undertaking sort of glee that reignites your passion for discovery.”

Read on to see what she means, below…

By Kyle Wagner in Denver, Colorado

The trail looked just like a rollercoaster, except instead of a metal track and little cars with seat-belts looking out over an amusement park, there were ponderosa pine trees, swathes of long grass and shrubs, and a lot of dirt scraped into jumps, turns, and obstacles.

This was the aptly-named Whoops Trail in Bend, Oregon, a mountain-biking mecca that offers plenty of options for those who get their thrills on two wheels to find the fun within a five-minute ride from town.

What had started as a vacation quickly turned into a travel story. Why? Because the Whoops Trail turned out to be too good not to share.

Just like on a real rollercoaster, someone would wind up squealing, and that someone was me. I paused at the top of what was likely to be two miles of sweet, handlebar-gripping singletrack, eased up on the brake, held my breath, and started rolling gently downhill.

Not for long. Twenty yards along and, all of a sudden, the bike was airborne. I giggled like a little kid, and from then on, I couldn’t get the smile off my face.

Swoosh, the bike swung around a berm to the right. Thunk, the bike hit hard after a two-foot, man-made dirt bump sent it sky-high again.  Rumble, rumble, rumble as the bike and I navigated rocks and logs, and then went up and down over wavy-gravy hills that called to mind the rollercoaster once again.

When I finally rolled to a stop at the end, my biking buddy, who had been about a quarter-mile ahead and was waiting at the bottom of the trail, sported a grin from ear-to-ear that mirrored my own. I barely had the one word out of my mouth before he was nodding and pedaling.


This was the kind of experience that makes travel writing worth doing, regardless of the money or the name-in-print glory.

It’s not just the joy of the exploration of a cool place — it’s the joy of doing, the kind of kid-again, new-undertaking sort of glee that reignites your passion for discovery.

You don’t have to strap on a helmet or leap over shrubbery for travel writing to keep you young, but an open heart to the rollercoaster of a trail that’s always ahead? That is the path to adventure.

[About the Author: Kyle Wagner is the Travel Editor at the Denver Post and for 15 years was a renowned Denver food critic. Kyle is extremely well-respected in foodie circles and was an award-winning food editor, as well.

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