November 4, 2018 – Only ten months after half-jokingly suggesting I should try tackling an escape room in every state in 2018, and I’m done. I also achieved my stretch goal of succeeding in an escape room in each state, which doesn’t matter too much to me, but it’s nice, I suppose. And now I’m left wondering what to do in November and December.
These last states were some of my favorites. I love the mountainous terrain around the northwest part of the country. I got to experience a sandstorm in Wyoming, see elk, visit a historic mission, and hike a trail near Lake Coeur D’Alene. The trip is nearly over, but it feels a lot longer than an extended weekend.
I’m glad to say that I still haven’t encountered too many repeat puzzles in escape rooms around the country. Maybe it’s because of the way I selected rooms, avoiding chains and bad reviews, but it’s great for the future of escape rooms to see that the experiences can be fresh and appealing even after going through 300 different rooms.
One of my favorite things about the journey this year was connecting with escape room owners around the country. I swear that the cleverness per capita of escape room owners dwarfs the cleverness of any other group in the world. So many ingenious puzzles and designs. It was wonderful to experience these challenges and then talk them over with the minds that built them.
So… that’s it. I still have a lot of reporting to do on the escape rooms I solved, plus some of the other adventures I had along the way. And I’m not giving up travel. In fact, it’s a little liberating to be able to revisit destinations as desired rather than ticking states off a checklist. Though I can’t really think of any place I’ve been that I DON’T want to go again, so it may just be a matter of where I see cheap flights to.
One last note for now- I’ve discovered the joys of Bed & Breakfast. When booking places to stay this trip, I hesitantly pulled the trigger on Bed & Breakfast venues in Missoula and Coeur D’Alene. It’ll be hard to go back to hotels. I was afraid at first – “Will I have my own bathroom?” “Will it be loud?” “Will other guests need to go through my room to get to theirs?” All my fears were for naught, and both venues provided wonderful experiences. It’s essentially a hotel with only a handful of rooms, and where each room is a unique suite. Each experience feels special.
Now I just need to decide if I should push for Puerto Rico before year’s end. It’s not a state now but may be in the future, and it’ll be nice to not have to plan another year’s vacation around re-doing what I did this year…