Take a love for nature, a passion for travel and enthusiasm for your job. Wrap them up into an outdoors adventure, and you might just find yourself in the hands of Betsy Bowen and Peter Grubb, the founders and owners of ROW Adventures, now celebrating its 40th year in business.

We talked to her about the spirit of adventure, what makes the Inland Northwest a travel destination and what's kept ROW in business all these years.

A shared humanity

If there's one big takeaway Betsy Bowen has learned from her years' worth of experience at ROW, it's that we're all human. When ROW's clients show up, they all have similar experience levels, boundaries and pretenses. But once the journey begins (usually after the first day, she says), "adults learn to play again."

"There is freedom in just being present in the wilderness — to feel connected to the ground, the water and the sky," Bowen says. "The crazy, complicated, multi-tasking lives we all lead gives rise to a hunger for something fundamental, pure and simple."

The Inland North-best

Though ROW Adventures include travel packages spanning the globe, the Inland Northwest has some of the best river trips in the world, Bowen says.

"Many have been protected by the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, preserving them in their natural state for all to enjoy," she says. "With good consistent snow pack and long hot summers, our rivers are perfect playgrounds from May to late September."

40 years and going strong

Forty years isn't small potatoes...

Bowen says the company's success has relied on the smallest details from start to finish when their clients are planning a trip.

"We are always learning and striving to create the best possible experience, from the first phone call to the last detail, we know that each piece is vital to the whole adventure," Bowen says. "We've continued to pioneer new trips around the world, and people return to ROW to travel to these places because they trust us to provide a well-planned and orchestrated adventure."

Find more about them and their 40th anniversary at rowadventures.com.

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About The Author

Quinn Welsch

Quinn Welsch is the copy editor of the Inlander.