It was on this day, 2 years ago, that Mark Highfield and I launched Quick Escapes. We shared a vision but we really didn't know what to expect from this venture. Our goal was to share personal stories and experiences with others in the hopes that people would be motivated to get up off of the couch and 'Go Do Something'.
The genesis of Quick Escapes is a little fuzzy. Like so many great beginnings, this one came about after a night (or 2...or 3) of drinking. Many of our planning sessions took place over cold pintsin the local pub or hunkered down next to campfires in Algonquin Park. With a firm vision and a solid(ish) plan in place we called upon the services of Mark's brother, Cory.
I've personally never met Cory but Markquickly convinced me that, whenproperly motivated,Cory's prowess as a webmaster was second to none. Right away Cory suggested that we launch our own site instead of opting for one of the many blog supporting sites (wordpress, blogspot etc.). It would allow for more control of our content and give the site a more professional look and feel. Cory offered to host the site and provided all of the setup and support that we need and for this I thank you Cory (I owe you a beer or 12).
We haven't done this ourselves. Our vision was to develop a stable of contributors who could call upon their expertise and experience to add more diversity to the site. Over these last 2 years we have received contributions from Jonas Ratensperger, John Lopes, Ryan O'Grady, Rob DelDuca and Joe Armitage. A special thanks to each and every one of these gentlemen. Wehope to have their continued support andto grow this stable of contributorsas we move into year 3. (That's our way of saying that if you wish tocontribute, please reach out).
Some Interesting Facts:
In our first 2 years we have:
- Seen over 20,000page viewson Quick Escapes
- Published 99 articles
- Been read in over 60 countries
- Received contributions from 7 different authors
- Posted 31 short films (sounds way better then videos eh!)
Cream Of The Crop:
Looking at our analytics we are able to tell which articles are the most popular. In order of most views, our most popular articles are:
1) By a landslide (5 times more views) is our article 11 Tips For Hiking Killarney's La Cloche Silhouette Trail.
2) Our second most popular article was a bit of a surprise. This was a personal article for me, written about the route that I first cut my teeth on as a backcountry camper many years (decades) ago: Gibson-McDonald Canoe Route.
3) Number 3 and 4 were so close and of a similar nature that I will put them both together: Hiking In Algonquin Park - Backpacking Trails and Mark Highfield personal account of hiking the Highlands trail - Algonquin Highlands Backpacking Trail.
4) Next with over 500 page views we had our article on the La Cloche Silhouette Trail - Killarney Provincial Park.
5) Our fifth and final article to round out our most popular posts was Jeff's Maps - An Invaluable Resource.
I would have a hard time choosing one article that I would classify as my personal favourite. So many of our articles have resonated with me. They have brought back all sorts of great memories I'm proud to share (most of) these memroies withyou. If I were forced to choose one article that I am most proud of Ithink that I would say my article The Thrill of Whitewater Canoeing would take the prize.
Looking back, our accomplishments may seem insignificant, but I believe that we have laid the foundation for a great little community here. Quick Escapes has provided me with a creative outlet to share my passion(s). It has pushed me personally and forced me to move out of my comfort zone.
I would like to personally thank each and every one of you who has taken the time to click on our links, read our articles and share with your friends an family. I hope that you've learned a few things along the way and if just one person was inspired and motivated to 'Go Do Something' then we've done our job.
***We are always looking for your feedback, comments and suggestions. Don't be shy! Feel free to post in the comments below or email us directly. If you are interested in sharing your adventures we would love to chat about opportunities.***